[WWI] SE5a Question

Ray B fokkereiv at gmail.com
Wed Feb 14 12:00:59 EST 2007


I always thought Sopwith hid an exercise wheel behind the cylinders and  
had 9 overized and overworked Gerbils running in it.


Douglas Anderson wrote:
> I am afraid that I am still in doubt about the bicycle / internal combustion thing. I have heard that rumour but have yet to see any hard facts. You see, Sopwith were known to stick infernal combustion engines on the blunt end of their products with the result that the wooden thing went round with the engine one way, and the flying machine went around the other way.
>   However, I do agree that the SE5/a is indeed the only aircraft whose airframe wasn't inspired by that pavilion in the Crystal Palace.
> Christopher Malany <cmm-saj at snet.net> wrote:
>   Hello, Doug:
>
>   
>> It was used to wind up the rubber-band. 
>>     
>
> I beg to differ from you, Doug, but the SE5 and SE5a
> were the only products of the Royal Aircraft Factory
> that were not designed from the outset to be rubber
> band-powered. They were designed to be
> bicycle-powered, with the hand-cranked magneto
> providing inspirational jolts to the panting Cyclist
> Pilot. However, a shadowy cartel of French
> industrialists, perhaps fearing future Tour de France
> competition from UK cyclists, prevailed on Lloyd
> George to insist on a noisy, smelly internal
> combustion engine. Doubtless, francs changed hands. 
> I've been assured that the SE5 and SE5a were also
> unique in being the only RAF products whose airframe
> wasn't inspired by a pavilion at the Crystal Palace.
>
>
> - Chris Malany 
>
>
> --- Douglas Anderson wrote:
>
>   
>> It was used to wind up the rubber-band. 
>> I have a photo of McCudden in the cockpit of his
>> SE5 and teh crank is visble. So it isn't limited to
>> the SE5a. nfortunately I do not have any of my
>> information at my fingertips here, so I am afraid I
>> cannot help you with what its purpose was.
>>
>> John Ratzenberger 
>> wrote:
>> Looking through photos on the SE5a while working
>> the Roden 1/32 kit, I "discovered" a small crank on
>> the outside of the cockpit, 
>> right side, toward the rear. It is best illustrated
>> on the first page of the WS SE5a DF Special. Photos
>> of a restored SE5a 
>> show some kind of electric gizmo inside the cockpit
>> about that location. I do not see it on all right
>> side SE5a photos, just 
>> some. It is not on the WS 3-views.
>>
>> What is it ?
>>
>> Thanks,
>> John Ratzenberger
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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>
>
>
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