SE5 (oz7563)


SE5 (oz7563) by David Boddington 1981 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

SE5. Radio control scale model WWII biplane fighter, for Mills 1.3 diesel power. Scale is 1/10.

Quote: "FEW aircraft made a greater contribution to the allied aerial war effort on the Western front in WW1 than did the SE5 and its development the SE5A. Not that it was immediately accepted by the experienced pilots at the front - new designs of aircraft were rarely welcomed without reservation and with the history of obsolete and unsuitable machines being delivered to the RFC this was hardly surprising. Captain Albert Ball was particularly scathing about the SE5 on his first acquaintance with it, views that were later slightly modified as he became better acquainted with the aircraft.

Certainly the SE5 lacked the maneuverability of the Nieuports and the Sopwith Pups and Camels and in their original form were sluggish in the climb compared with their adversaries. They were however a very rugged and stable aircraft and proved to act as an excellent gun platform. Mannock, Bishop, McCudden, McElroy and many other pilots flew the later SE5A with great distinction.

Over five thousand SE5 and 5As were produced and, apart from internal design changes to wing tip shapes removal of greenhouse cockpit and strengthening of the undercarriage, the main improvements involved the quest for more powerful and reliable engines The development from the SE5 to the 5A was gradual affair and there is little design change that automatically differentiates one from the other although the Viper engine had a different thrustline. As the 5A had been modeled to a greater extent than its predecessor the plans presented here are based on the earlier 5 version, the changes needed to be made to bring the model up to the later status are few involving only undercarriage nose section and engine installations.

Doug McHard's one-twelfth scale free flight plan of the SE5a (oz793) has always been a popular design and has been converted for R/C operation despite having a wingspan of only 27inches. One tenth scale was selected for the featured version, it offers more space for conventional equipment but remains small enough to be transported in a fully rigged state.

Although glow plug engines can be used, the diesel engine offers a number of advantages for this type of design, this SE5 has been considered as a two function model ie rudder and elevator. The ability of a diesel to swing a large diameter propeller increases the scale affect in both appearance and sound the Mills 1.3cc has long been an absolute favorite and it is now commercially available again. Similar size engines could be used but may require a separate fuel tank to be installed. There is nothing to stop you fitting a third servo for engine throttle operation if this is desired most mini-servos can be accommodated three abreast in the width of the fuselage.

Construction is quite conventional and results in a tough little model, you can afford to select light grades of balsa wood for all parts except for wing spars. Lightweight nylon covering will add considerably to the durability of the model, but the tail surfaces should be covered in lightweight tissue to keep the weight down in the area.

The fuselaqe has been designed so that the top wing centre section and the undercarriage assembly can be fitted at the later stages of construction - easing the problems of sanding and covering the fuselage. Allow for installing the radio equipment during the building stage ie pre-drill servo bearers hole in former for battery access (the switch can be incorporated in the cockpit area).

A single piece top wing or as shown on the drawing, plug in outer panels can be constructed, the former is more prone to serious damage as the wing is permanently fixed to the cabane struts. Hardwood cabane struts were selected for the model as these are easier to align correctly - a notorious danger spot for piano wire assemblies for many modelers. Rigging wires are non structural and shirring elastic is quite suitable for these wires. Greater scale fidelity interplane strut fixings rigging fittings and control surface linkages may be devised to improve the overall scale standards.

Outlines are correct and the model can be built as a basic sports scale version or taken to higher detailed scale standards. Ample photographic and written references exist for the SE’s plus prototypes in existence so you have a wide choice of color schemes and decoration for the model and for detailing.

Before flying, note the usual admonishments - check for balance point for warps (equal washout is permissible for correct operation of R/C equipment and for suitable weather conditions). Hand launching over grass is to be preferred to attempting a take off for the first flights - the model is on the small size for take offs except from a very smooth surface.

The SE5 is a good small field flyer (high drag) and is the ideal summer evening modal, grab yourself the transmitter, a small can of fuel and off you go. lf you stick with a slow revving diesel, you are unlikely to upset any neighbors with excessive noise and the model will fit the car boot so avoiding complaints of that that funny oily hospital smell - as one lady was disposed to describe the exquisite aroma of diesel fuel..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 29/03/2016: replaced article with clearer version, thanks to Gene Rock.

Supplementary file notes

Article page, text and pics.
Previous article version, shows templates (the shaded background is templates for .4mm plywood cockpit decking parts A and B).


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SE5 (oz7563) by David Boddington 1981 - model pic

  • (oz7563)
    by David Boddington
    from Radio Control Scale Special
    32in span
    Scale IC R/C Biplane Military Fighter
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 20/03/2016
    Filesize: 379KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: Circlip
    Downloads: 3466

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    ScaleType: This (oz7563) is a scale plan. Where possible we link scale plans to Wikipedia, using a text string called ScaleType.

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SE5 (oz7563) by David Boddington 1981 - pic 003.jpg
SE5 (oz7563) by David Boddington 1981 - pic 004.jpg

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User comments

Hi Steve and Mary, The SE5 has always been a favorite aircraft for me and I have been looking for one around 30" span. So, this morning I downloaded both the drawing and the article. My eyes are not as good as they used to be and I found the article hard to read. I have redone the article so that I can read it. Attached is the result [see supplementary file].
GeneRock - 29/03/2016
Hi - does anyone know in what magazine and year this SE5 design was published? Thanks.
GeneRock - 29/03/2016
Radio Control Scale Special, 1981. Thanks to RFJ for confirmation.
SteveWMD - 30/03/2016
Difficulty in reading article was due to templates being 'Dotted' behind text, see bottom of article page. Regards,
Circlip - 31/03/2016
Ah, got it now. OK, have put previous version of the article also as a supplement, so the template shapes are available. Thanks
SteveWMD - 31/03/2016
I have this magazine somewhere and built this model around 2000. Unfortunately the radio set I had was complete garbage and the plane augered in. It is in around 5 bits and would not take much to get flying again. I remember it as being pretty easy to build with no hidden traps.
JasonHorn - 19/04/2018
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