Sopwith Cuckoo

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Sopwith Cuckoo
Sopwith Cuckoo launching torpedo.jpg
Role Torpedo Bomber
Manufacturer Sopwith
First flight June[1]-July[2] 1917
Introduction Oct 1918 [2]
Primary users RAF Type A Roundel.svg U.K. (RNAS)
Japan
Number built 90 [2]
Wingspan 14.2 m (46 ft 8 in)[3]
Engine 200hp Sunbeam Arab or
200hp Wolseley W.4A Viper
Armament 450 kg (1,000 lb)[3] torpedo
Crew 1
Max Speed 166 km/h (103 mph) [2][4]
- 172 km/h (107 mph)[3][note 1]
Climb 610 m (2,000 ft) in 4:00[2][3]
2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 15:40[2]
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 31:00[2][3]
Service Ceiling 3,700 m (12,100 ft) [2] to
4,800 m (15,600 ft)[4]
Endurance 3:45[4] to 4:00 [2]

While several seaplanes had be built to carry a torpedo, the Sopwith T.1 Cuckoo was the first British torpedo carrier with a land undercarriage. It was envisioned to be carried aboard a carrier and the wings could fold backwards. While the prototype used a 200hp Hispano-Suiza vee engine, those were desperately needed for the R.A.F. S.E.5a, so a Sunbeam Arab or Wolseley Viper was used instead. Both the engine and the plane (being sub-contracted to an inexperienced builder) experienced delays, and of the initial orders of 350 planes only 90 had been delivered by the Armistice. One squadron was ready to fly from the HMS Argus by 19 October 1918, but the war came to an end before any missions were flown.

Three others had been assigned to the Furious and 32 were awaiting delivery at the end of the war. Cuckoos were declared obsolete in 1923, but six Mk.IIs supplied to Japan became the foundation of Japanese torpedo-bomber designs.[1]

For more information, see Wikipedia:Sopwith Cuckoo.

References[edit]

Notes
  1. 129 km/h (80 mph) top speed while carrying a torpedo.[3]
Citations
  1. 1.0 1.1 Nowarra, p.94.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Bruce'69, p.596.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Nowarra, pp.202-203.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Munson, p.59.
Bibliography
  • J.M. Bruce. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. Great Britain, Funk & Wagnalls, 1957, 1969. ISBN 0370000382
  • Kenneth Munson, Bombers: Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft, 1914-1919. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1968, Blandford Press Ltd. ISBN 978-0753721711
  • Heinz J. Nowarra, Bruce Robertson, and Peter G. Cooksley. Marine Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Letchworth, Herts, England: Harleyford Publications Limited, 1966. ISBN 0900435070