William W. Whitson


Prototype S.E. 5

(Photographs reprinted by permission of the San Diego Air and Space Museum)

When David returned to England in late November, 1916, after three months at the Somme, he had a chance to flight test the prototype S.E.5. It was powered by a new 150hp Hispano-Suiza engine. It had a new Constantinesco synchronizing gear. For most of 1917 David would later fly the improved S.E.5a in 56 Squadron, commanded by Major Blomfield (See THE WARRIOR HEART). Superior to the Albatros DIII, DV and Fokker Dr-1 Triplane, the S.E.5 was able to hold its own against the formidable Fokker D-VII through 1918. The Royal Aircraft Factory produced over 5,200


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