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Authentic Reproduction of Sopwith Aeroplanes & Components

KipAero provides an authentic aeroplane experience by supplying kits and components for the following WWI aeroplanes:

Sopwith 1½ Strutter

Sopwith Pup

Sopwith Triplane

Sopwith Camel


Sopwith 1½ Strutter
First developed for the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915, the Strutter was one of the first aeroplanes to have trailing edge flaps, then referred to as air brakes. This two-seater fighting scout was also the first British aeroplane to have a machine-gun firing through the airscrew disc by means of an interrupter gear, and was also the first to be fitted with a Scarff ring mounting for the observer, later to become standardized.
Sopwith 1½ Strutter
Upon their arrival on the Western Front as reinforcements for the Battle of the Somme on the 24th of May 1916, Strutters were used for fighting, escort duties, reconnaissance and day bombing. A vast improvement over the 'pusher' type machines previously used for such work, Strutters were soon outmatched by the new Albatros and Halberstadt scouts. Even so, the type was used by the air services of many countries throughout the war and became one of the mainstays of the American Expeditionary Forces. It continued in service into the early 1920's with the United States and Royal Navies in observation duties, flying from wooden platforms fitted to the turrets of battleships.

The name "1½ Strutter" emanated from the splayed centre section struts, which appeared to be composed of "one-and-a-half" struts, the inner short and the outer long.

Specifications

Engine: 110-hp Clerget rotary* Empty Weight: 1305 lbs
Span: 33 ft., 6 in. Gross Weight: 2342 lbs
Length: 25 ft., 3 in. Max Speed: 100 mph at 6,500 ft
Height: 10 ft., 3 in. Rate of Climb: 540 ft/min
Crew: 1 or 2 Service Ceiling: 15,500 ft
Type: Scout, Observation, Bombing,
Training
Armament: Single fixed Vickers for pilot; One free Lewis gun aft
*most commonly fitted power plant  


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Sopwith Pup
The Pup was an intermediate machine between the 1½ Strutter and the Triplane. It was a lineal descendant of the original Sopwith Tabloid of early 1914, and was used by the RNAS from early 1916.  By the end of that year it had entered service with the Royal Flying Corps, becoming its' predominant single-seater throughout 1917. During its existence it maintained the reputation of being one of the most delightful flying machines ever built. The performance attained with low-powered an engine as the 80 Le Rhone, is astonishing.

As a flying machine, it was able to be force-landed on the smallest of fields, making it a good deal safer than the average light aeroplane of the time. As a military machine its most useful feature was that it could hold its height better than any other Allied or German aeroplane of the period. With sensitive controls and powerful elevators, the machine was fully aerobatic up to 15,000 ft.  Selected for trials aboard HMS Furious due to their excellent flying qualities, Pups and Strutters pioneered the operation of landplanes from the decks of early aircraft carriers and in the development of arrester gear.

It is extremely likely that, as a sporting single-seater for the pilot owner, this type will maintain its popularity for some time to come.

Specifications

Engine: 80-hp Le Rhone rotary* Empty Weight: 856 lbs
Span: 26 ft., 6 in. Gross Weight: 1313 lbs
Length: 19 ft., 4 in. Max Speed: 106 mph at 6,500 ft
Height: 9 ft., 5 in. Rate of Climb: 650 ft/min
Crew: 1 Service Ceiling: 17,500 ft
Type: Scout Armament: Single Vickers .303
*most commonly fitted power plant  

Sopwith Triplane
An ideal flying machine with qualities similar to those of the earlier Pup, the Triplane entered production for the RFC in 1916. By the time it entered service in early 1917, the RFC was so enamored with the SPAD S7's then flown by RNAS squadrons that an exchange was arranged, the RFC trading their new Triplanes for the RNAS SPADs. In the hands of the naval pilots, the Triplane worked wonders at the Battle of Messines and throughout the summer of 1917. Fully aerobatic, the Triplane could out climb all German scouts, and many an enemy pilot must have paid with his life for not realizing this fact. Many held that the Triplane pilots had a strong psychological advantage because the mere sight of a "Tripehound" going through its' paces was enough to instill fear in the heart of many an enemy pilot. Triplanes replaced Pups, Strutters and Nieuports in naval service and became so well liked that its' pilots were reluctant to part with them when their replacement Camels arrived later in the year. Sopwith Triplane aka Triphound

The Sopwith Triplane dispels the fallacy that the first triplane scout was developed by Anthony Fokker for the Germans. Probably as a result of the Sopwith's astonishing success, Fokker was induced to try the novel layout, recognizing that the decreased span and increased wing area of a triplane could benefit maneuverability and climb over the biplanes then predominating.

As a type, the Triplane is peculiar to the Great War and has never been revived on a production basis.  

Specifications

Engine: 110-hp Le Rhone rotary* Empty Weight: 1101 lbs
Span: 26 ft., 6 in. Gross Weight: 1541 lbs
Length: 19 ft., 4 in. Max Speed: 117 mph at 6,500 ft
Height: 10 ft., 6 in. Rate of Climb: 1000 ft/min
Crew: 1 Service Ceiling: 20,500 ft
Type: Scout Armament: Single Vickers .303
*most commonly fitted power plant  
 

Sopwith Camel
Designed especially for high performance and extreme maneuverability, the Camel was essentially an enlarged and modified Pup. As a single-seater scout, it is probably the most famous machine of the period, destroying more enemy aircraft than any other single type during the Great War. Amazingly maneuverable and a deadly weapon in the hands of a skilled pilot well versed in its' eccentricities, it was also the undoing of many a 'rookie' pilot. Novices regarded the Camel with horror, as such an alarming number of pupils were killed during their first flight in the machine. Sopwith Camel
Often referred to as "a fierce little rasper", the Camel spun quickly, had extremely sensitive elevator control and was very fast on right hand turns, owing to the gyroscopic force produced by the rotary engine in combination with its' short fuselage. Arriving on the Western Front July 1917, the Camel was used in gradually increasing intensity on offensive patrols, escort work and ground strafing. From this period to the end of the war, RFC Camels alone destroyed nine hundred and eight enemy aircraft.

The Camel is easily identified by converging wingtips and the distinctive "hump" over the twin Vickers machine-guns from whence it derives it's name.

Specifications

Engine: 110-hp Le Rhone rotary* Empty Weight: 889 lbs
Span: 28 ft. Gross Weight: 1453 lbs
Length: 18 ft., 8 in. Max Speed: 118 mph at 6,500 ft
Height: 8 ft., 6 in. Rate of Climb: 1000 ft/min
Crew: single-seater Service Ceiling: 19,000 ft
Type: Scout Armament: Twin fixed Vickers .303
*most commonly fitted power plant  
 

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