The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 (Scout Experimental 5) was a British biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War. Although the first examples reached the Western Front before the Sopwith Camel and it had a much better overall performance, problems with its Hispano-Suiza engine meant that there was a chronic shortage of S.E.5s until well into 1918 and fewer squadrons were equipped with the type than with the Sopwith fighter. Together with the Camel, the S.E.5 was instrumental in regaining allied air superiority in mid-1917 and maintaining this for the rest of the war, ensuring there was no repetition of "Bloody April" 1917 when losses in the Royal Flying Corps were much heavier than in the Luftstreitkräfte.
Only 77 original S.E.5 aircraft were built before production settled on the improved S.E.5a. The S.E.5a differed from late production examples of the S.E.5 only in the type of engine installed - a geared 200 horsepower Hispano-Suiza 8b replacing the 150 horsepower model. In total 5,265 S.E.5s were built by six manufacturers.
Source: Wikipedia, "Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5", available under the CC-BY-SA License.
As Described In
: Though not as maneuverable as the Camel, the S.E.5a
is faster, sturdier, and easier to fly. It's a great fighter for novice pilots.
Knights of the Sky: The SE 5a was usually equipped with a Vickers machine gun firing through the propeller and a Lewis machine gun mounted on the upper wing. It was faster and sturdier than the Spad and Nieuport, although slightly less maneuverable than the latter. It had excellent high altitude performance, unsurpassed visibility from the cockpit, and good firepower.