The Royal Aircraft Factory SE 5a scout was one of the most successful British fighter aircraft of the First World War and was one of the first aircraft to fly from the newly constructed RAF Tangmere in 1918 when No 92 Squadron trained on the airfield before leaving for France and the Western Front.
Earlier this year, the Museum decided that one of our activities to remember the centenary of the start of the First World War next year should be the construction of an SE 5a cockpit replica. In July, the RAF Museum allowed us access to their complete SE 5a to enable measurements and photographs to be taken; from these, Bob Goodrick, the Museum’s lead engineer on the project, produced computer drawings and commenced work constructing the wooden cockpit section.
The project is intended to produce an accurate representation of the SE5a cockpit for visitors to sit in, complete with flight instruments, controls, Vickers and Lewis machine guns and gun sight. To this end, Bob Goodrick is being assisted by Simon Fielder and Colin Lyle who will be covering the replica with fabric.
Main picture: The SE 5a cockpit replica under construction at Tangmere.
Bottom left: Team member Colin Lyle working on the wing centre section.
Bottom right: Team leader Bob Goodrick (left) and Museum General Manager & Chief Engineer Phil Stokes measuring up a real SE 5a in the RAF Museum’s Grahame-White Factory building.