The promising Bentley B.R.2 rotary engine was the center of a new fighter based roughly on the Sopwith Camel, the Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe. Huge numbers were ordered, and the first deliveries came in the summer of 1918. However, relatively few reached the front before Armistice: ninety-seven were in France on 31 Oct 1918, despite plans to replace all Camels in early 1919. They had a thicker, faired fuselage than the Camel to accommodate the larger engine, and the wings had equal dihedral. The tail surfaces were larger to deal with the torque of the larger engine. The plane retained excellent maneuverability and climb, but it eliminated the hair-trigger sensitivity of the Camel.
|Designer||Herbert Smith |
|First flight||Dec 1917 |
|Introduction||23 Sept 1918 |
|Primary user||U.K. (RFC/RAF)|
|Wingspan||9.14 m (30 ft)  [note 1]|
|Propeller Diam.||2.77 m (9 ft 1 in)|
|Engine||230hp Bentley B.R.2 rotary|
|Max Speed||195 km/h (121 mph) [note 2]|
|Climb||2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 5:10|
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 9:25
4,600 m (15,000 ft) in 18:50 
|Service Ceiling||5,900 m (19,500 ft) |
The original single-bay wings in the prototype were increased to two-bay wings for increased strength and load-bearing, as early specifications imagined a third gun on a Foster mount, armor plating, heating and oxygen equipment, of which the first two were abandoned.
Squadron No.43 was the first to be equipped with the Snipe and it flew its first operational sortie on 23 September 1918.
As well as conventional patrol, the Snipe was also intended to replace the Camel in shipbourne duties and Home Defense (as a night fighter), and it served on after the war as late as 1927.
Those who flew the Snipe thought it was the best Entente fighter available at the end of the war.
For more information, see Wikipedia:Sopwith Snipe.
Timeline [note 3]
|Availability||Maneuver||Damage||Dmg Points||Max Alt.||Climb||Points|
Miniatures and Models
- Ares: WGF116A Barker; WGF116B Kazakov; WGF116C Sapozhnikov
- Shapeways: Decapod, Kampfflieger
- Metal kit: Red Eagle, Reviresco
- Wings of War: WW08D Barker; WW08E Richmond-Baker; WW08F Ryrie
- Metal kit: Heroics & Ros GWA109
- Shapeways: Decapod
- Angelucci, p.61.
- Bruce'69, p.607.
- Bruce'65, p.6.
- Lamberton, pp.216-217.
- Angelucci, p.51.
- Bruce'65, p.10.
- Munson, p.75.
- Bruce'94, p.36.
- Bruce'65, p.12.
- Bruce'65, p.9.
- Philpott'13, pp.379-444.
- Enzo Angelucci, ed. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980. New York: The Military Press, 1983 edition. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.
- J.M. Bruce. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. Great Britain, Funk & Wagnalls, 1957, 1969. ISBN 0370000382
- J.M. Bruce, Profile Publications 50: The Sopwith 7F.I Snipe. Great Britain: Profile Publications, Ltd., 1965.
- J.M. Bruce, Windsock Datafile 46: Sopwith Snipe. Great Britain: Albatros Publications, Ltd., 1994. ISBN 0-948414-61-8
- W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Limited, 1960.
- Kenneth Munson, Fighters 1914-19, Attack and Training Aircraft. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1976. ISBN 0713707607
- Ian Philpott, The Birth of the Royal Air Force. Great Britain: Pen & Sword Books Limited, 2013. ISBN 978-1-78159-333-2