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Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a (replica)

1918 (1996), Brooklands Aircraft Factory, On long term display

The SE5a will be off-site at Farnborough International Airshow from Wednesday 18th to Monday 23rd July inclusive. Apologies for any disappointment caused.

Designed by H.P. Folland in World War One (WWI) at the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough, the SE5a was a highly successful fighter with the Royal Flying Corps (later the Royal Air Force). Besides production at Farnborough, SE5as were built under licence elsewhere - including 1,650 produced by Vickers Aviation Ltd at Brooklands. Early models were fitted with Hispano-Suiza engines but the Wolseley Viper became the standard powerplant in 1918. When WWI ended, the SE5a was in service with 20 British squadrons, but very few examples now survive out of a total of 5,205 built between 1917 and 1919.

This is a non-flyable replica (identified as BAPC 250) built in 1994-96 by volunteers at Brooklands Museum. The aeroplane it represents (serial no. F5475) was originally built by Vickers in 1918 as a presentation aeroplane funded by the 1st Reserve Battalion, Honourable Artillery Company. After being photographed at its Brooklands birthplace, F5475 was delivered to the RAF at Droglandt South in Flanders on 24/9/1918 and joined 41 Squadron over the Western Front. The aeroplane was usually flown by Lt. Frederick McGraw and survived the war to return to England in Spring 1919. Today 41 Squadron forms part of the Royal Air Force and is equipped with BAC/SEPECAT Jaguars at Coltishall, Norfolk. The Honourable Artillery Company and London Sailplanes Ltd generously supported the building of this exhibit.

DATA: One 200hp Wolseley Viper engine; wing span 26ft 4in (8m); length 20ft 11in (6.4m); height 9ft 5in (2.9m); max. speed 120mph at 15,000ft; endurance three hours.