The Royal Aircraft Factory SE-5 was a British airplane that, like the French SPAD XIII and the German Fokker D-VII, epitomized the third generation of fighters (in the day called pursuit planes) in WW1. Compared to its forebears the SE-5 was bigger, heavier and not as nimble, but it was much more stable, easier to fly, faster and a better climber, due largely to the powerful in-line engine which enabled the use of a gear-driven four blade propeller. Although designed to be fighters, unlike their predecessors these aircraft could also carry bombs. The SE-5 entered service in March 1917, first equipping the newly formed No. 56 Squadron RFC, which was created to hunt down German Aces.