Designed at Farnborough by H P Folland at the end of
1914, the S.E.4a was one of a series of "Scouting Experimentals"
used to study the interplay of stability and
manoeuvrability. Unrelated, except in configuration
and design authorship, to the high performance S.E.4 of
mid-1914, the S.E.4a was a sturdy little single-bay
biplane with equi-span wings incorporating 3.5° of
dihedral and having no centre section. The square-section
fuselage was of conventional spruce construction
with steel tubes to accept the loads from the lower
wings, and, like the wooden wings and tail unit, was
fabric-covered. Full-span ailerons were fitted to both
sets of wings, and power was provided by an 80hp
Gnome seven-cylinder rotary in a fully circular shortchord
cowling. The first of four S.E.4a's built at the RAF
flew there on 25 June 1915, and differed from its successors
in having faired fuselage sides and an outsize spinner.
The fourth and last S.E.4a flew on 13 August that
year. The third, flown on 27 July, was at first fitted with
an 80hp Le Rhone engine, the Gnome being substiprovided with an 80hp Clerget. In the hands of the
RFC, at least one of the S.E.4a's was armed with a
7.7mm Lewis gun mounted on the centre
line above the upper wing to clear the propeller disc.
|A three-view drawing (1280 x 952)|
| Wingspan||8.38 m||28 ft 6 in|
| Length||6.37 m||21 ft 11 in|
| Height||2.87 m||9 ft 5 in|
Lewis gun mounted on the centre line above the upper wing to clear the propeller disc.
Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.4a
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?