‘Bounced’ - WW1 series (4)
A section of RFC SE5s poised to fall on an unsuspecting Fokker Triplane. The Triplane’s pilot hampered by restricted vision due to his top wing and the ’up-sun’ position of the SE5s. The classical set-up of aerial combat unfolds as the SE5s use their height and visual advantage to fall on the Fokker - ambushed from behind and with little hope of escape.
The silk scarf seen on the nearest pilot is not an affectation but was to alleviate friction burns caused by the constant need to check behind for enemy aircraft - this solution carried on into WW2 where the RAF fighter pilots ‘insignia’ was the top tunic button undone with a silk scarf and no tie - seriously bad form, old boy.
The SE5 (SE stands for Scout Experimental) became the premiere fighter machine for the RAF and when eventually fitted with a reliable engine achieved a top speed of 120mph and a service ceiling in excess of 20,000ft and that with no oxygen or special clothing!! Over 5,000 were built and considerable numbers supplied to the French and the American Expeditionary Force.
Composite image of SE5s of the Shuttleworth Trust and a Fokker Triplane from a Canadian airshow - skyscape from the archives.
Have, at last, got the new computer fully up and running and all the data and software recovered - the investment in external drives for all the photo images really paid off!!