WW1 AHT DVa – G WAHT arrives in UK next Tuesday, JM Munn Continues the Comparison with the SE5a (2-4)
The loss of rudder control, for example, on most WW1 aircraft would be catastrophic but necessarily not so for the SE5a. Further, the SE5a airframe is strong and capable of being dived to terminal velocity (i.e. full attainable power and pointing vertically down!). Further still all the critical bracing wires and controls on the SE5A are duplicated for enhanced survivability.
Similarly to the airframes, it’s hard to argue that the massive 15 litre Merc DIII, though probably more reliable at first than the 12 litre Hisso, was a better engine. Both were liquid cooled with controllable shuttered radiators but the most powerful DIII weighs in 1/3 heavier than the comparably powered Hisso. The fuel systems are almost identical but the SE5a has a much more logical fuel control cock and a proper gravity tank i.e. one that will work in all attitudes. Speaking of fuel, the SE5a has at least 1/3rd greater endurance/range than the DV too.