Wingnut Wings 1/32 SE.5A ‘Hisso’ Model Kit
Released in April 2009 • High quality Cartograf decals included for 5 aircraft • 136 high quality injection moulded plastic parts • Optional loose fabric fuselage halves, radiators, 2 and 4 blade propellers • Fine, in scale, rib tape detail • Highly detailed “Hisso” geared V8 engine • 7 photo-etched metal detail parts • Full rigging diagrams
When the 150hp V8 Hispano-Suiza 8Aa powered RAF SE.5 (Royal Aircraft Factory Scout Experimental 5) first appeared over the front lines in early April 1917 with 56 Sqn it was to mixed reactions though it soon proved itself in combat. The large canopy type windshield proved most unpopular and was removed almost immediately at Squadron level. Later production SE.5 incorporated this change, shorter span wings and several lesser alterations. The final few SE.5 built in July 1917 were fitted with more powerful 200hp Hispano-Suiza ‘Hisso’ 8Ab engines, effectively creating the SE.5a standard and it was pretty much in this form that they soldiered on to the end of the Great War 15 months later.
Problems with supply and reliability of the 200hp ‘Hisso’ engines dogged the SE.5a throughout its service and led to a dizzying array of engines from Hispano-Suiza and Wolseley (mostly improved ‘clones’ of Hispano-Suiza designs) being installed. The two significant differences were the earlier ‘geared’ types, where the propshaft was driven by a reduction gear off the crankshaft (the propeller has a higher thrust line and rotates counter clockwise- from the pilots perspective) and the later ‘direct drive’ types (with a lower propeller thrust line and rotating clockwise).
As Hispano-Suiza supplied most of the early engines and they were mostly of the geared type, ‘Hisso’ has become how these early geared engine powered SE.5a have colloquially become known, whether their engines were manufactured by Hispano-Suiza or Wolsley. Eventually the reliable direct drive Wolsely Viper (again an improved clone of a Hispano-Suiza design) was settled on as the preferred engine. Just as SE.5as with geared engines have been identified as ‘Hisso’ powered, direct drive engined aircraft have become ‘Viper’ powered, whether they were powered by the Viper or a direct drive Hispano Suiza.
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