[WWI] SE5a Question

Christopher Malany cmm-saj at snet.net
Thu Feb 15 06:12:22 EST 2007


Hello again, Doug:

I'm new to this list, but I'm really confused.  Wasn't
the Sopwith Gerbil a Cuckoo torpedo bomber modified
for operations in the Mid-East?  And I always thought 
Sopwith used hamsters in their aero engines.

- Chris Malany

--- Douglas Anderson <djandersonza at yahoo.com> wrote:

> What was the function of the cylinders? Is that
> where the replacement gerbils were kept?
> 
> Ray B <fokkereiv at gmail.com> wrote:  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 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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> 
> -- 
> 
> My Model Blog
> 
> http://sagitariousrising.blogspot.com/
> 
> 
> 
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Christopher M. Malany
Stephanie A. Johnson


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