Historic Aircraft EBERHART SE-5E


AvStop Magazine Online

The SE-5E is an American-built version of the WW I S.E.5a designed by the Royal Aircraft Factory in Britain. The prototype S.E.5 first flew in December 1916 and deliveries of production S.E.5s began in March 1917. S.E.5a deliveries followed in June 1917. The S.E.5a, noted for its strength, stability and speed, is said to have rivaled the Sopwith Camel as the most successful British fighter of WW I.

The American Expeditionary Force bought 38 S.E.5a's in Britain and the design was selected for U.S. production. Orders were placed with the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motors Corp. but the Armistice halted production and only one Curtiss S.E.5a was completed. Fifty-six more were completed from components shipped from Britain.


Span: 26 ft. 9 in.

Length: 20 ft. 11 in.

Height: 9 ft. 6 in.

Weight: 2,100 lbs.

Armament: None

Engine: Wright Hispano "E" of 180 hp.

Crew: One


Maximum speed: 122 mph.

Cruising speed: 90 mph.

Range: 225 miles

Service Ceiling: 17,000 ft.