Author(s): Paul R. Hare
From the author of Fonthill Media’s Fokker Fodder: The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c, Mount of Aces: The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a is a fitting testament to a legendary fighter. Arguably, the Sopwith Camel may be the best known British fighter plane of the First World War that took on the mighty and feared Jastas over the killing fields that were the trenches. However, almost all the highest scoring aces including McCudden and Mannock preferred the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a.
It was well-armed, fast, highly manoeuvrable and a superb gun platform, and yet it was easy and safe for even the most sketchily trained pilot to fly. The S.E.5a was deadly. Not only could it absorb punishment and turn on a penny, it packed a wallop with its .303 Vickers and .303 Lewis machine guns. Over 5,500 examples were produced in the war and Major Edward C. ‘Mick’ Mannock scored fifty of his seventy-three victories in the S.E.5a.
The S.E.5a helped turn the tide of war in the Allies’ favour. After the war, examples took part in air races and were employed in the ‘sky-writings’ industry for advertising purposes in both Britain and America. And today, all over the world, home-builders are producing reproductions of the S.E.5a for sport and leisure flying, a fitting tribute to a design now nearly a century old and an appropriate memorial to the thousands of pilots who flew it in combat in defence of their country.
|234 x 156 mm
|15 August 2014
|120 black-and-white photographs
Paul R. Hare has made a lifelong study of early aviation with particular emphasis on the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough and, in addition to writing books and articles, has lectured on the topic to numerous organisations both in England and the USA. Hare has been involved, at director level, with several aeroplane museums and, as a leading authority on the subject, have acted as technical advisor on a number of restoration projects.