The Siemens-Schuckert Werke S.S.W E I was the first Siemens fighter to be ordered into production during the First World War, and was a shoulder-wing monoplane similar in appearance to the more famous Fokker eindeckers.
The prototype E I was built in the autumn of 1915 and was designed by Franz Steffen (in June 1916 he would be killed in an accident while flying his own S.S.W. E II). It was a fairly conventional aircraft, with a wire braced shoulder mounted wing. The wing had steel-tube spars and was fabric covered, while the fuselage was plywood covered. The prototype had a pointed spinner, but this wasn't included on production aircraft. It was powered by the Siemens-Halske Sh I, an unusual rotary engine in which the crankshaft and cylinders rotated in different directions. It was armed with a single Spandau machine gun.
The S.S.W. E I was accepted by Idflieg (the Inspectorate of Flying Troops), and a batch of twenty aircraft was ordered. The E I had a short service career - only five were still at the front on 31 October 1916, and by then the aircraft was obsolescent.
Two variants on the E I were produced and a third was proposed. One E II, powered by an Argus As II engine and six E IIIs, with the Oberursel U I rotary engine were built, while the E IV, which was to have had a circular cross section fuselage, was never built.
Engine: Siemens-Halske Sh I
Span: 32ft 9 3/4in
Length: 23ft 3 5/8in
Height: 9ft 2 1/4in
Empty weight: 1,041lb
Loaded weight: 1,481lb
Maximum take-off weight:
Max speed: 87mph
Endurance: 1hr 30min
Armament: One Spandau machine gun