|Sopwith 1-½ Strutter|
|First flight||Dec 1915 |
|Introduction||24 April 1916 [note 1]|
|Primary users|| U.K. (RNAS)|
|Number built||Britain: 1513-1520|
|Wingspan||10.2 m (33 ft 6 in) |
|Propeller Diam.||2.74 m (9 ft)|
|Engine||110-130hp Clerget rotary or|
110hp Le Rhône rotary
|Armament||fixed, sync. Vickers and|
rear flexible Lewis
45–120 kg (100–260 lb) of bombs
|Ammo||Two-seater: 300 (Vickers) +|
5 drums of 47 or 97 rounds (Lewis)
Single-seater: 500 (Vickers)
|Crew||1 or 2|
|Max Speed||159 km/h (99 mph) to|
171 km/h (106 mph) (see chart)
|Service Ceiling||see chart|
The Sopwith 1-½ Strutter was named for its short central struts and single-bay wings. The Admiralty's official name was the Sopwith Type 9400 or 9700 and the RFC, the Sopwith Two-Seater. It was a fairly conventional plane, though the designers had the foresight to place the pilot in the forward seat. The tail pattern would be recognizable on all future Sopwith types, and the angle of tail incidence could be adjusted in-flight as trim control. The center section of each lower wing could be tipped upward to act as air brakes. Perhaps its biggest claim to fame would be that it was the first production British airplane to go to war with a synchronized gun. Early planes used a pillar-mount for the observer's Lewis, but later planes use a Scarff ring-mounting.
Seventy-seven Strutters were transferred to the RFC to fill shortages around the Battle of the Somme (along with Short Bombers), and the RFC started receiving their own in May 1916. The Strutter was a fairly stable, docile aircraft, but it was still sometimes flown as a single-seat fighter or light bomber, and -- in fact -- the Strutter was put to almost every conceivable use: reconnaissance, bombing, escort, anti-submarine patrol, fighter. By autumn 1916 it was looking a bit long in the tooth, but it wasn't until summer to autumn of 1917 that large-scale replacements began.
The French, who were struggling to produce an acceptable tractor two-seater, obtained the license and built even more Strutters than the British: perhaps as many as 4,500, many with the 110hp Le Rhône engine. French reconnaissance planes were known as the Sopwith 1A.2 and bombers the Sopwith 1B.1 or Sopwith 1B.2 (for the single and two-seater respectively). The first French-built Strutters arrived with units in Sept 1916, and it wasn't until around April 1918 that the last was produced, although the plane had been largely relegated to training by then.
Strutters also found their way into the Belgian air force, equipping at least three Escadrilles, including eight English-built units and the rest of French construction, and some survived the war. The Russians used the Strutter for reconnaissance and some served the White Russians during the Revolution. They were also used by Romania, Japan, and Latvia. The USA bought 514 for training, but a few made it into service with the 90th Aero Squadron, and perhaps the 88th and 99th in the period of May 1918 until they could be replaced with Salmson 2's in July.
After their main combat lifetime was over, Strutters continued to be used by the RNAS as two-seat reconnaissance from ships. Starting in April 1918 25-75 of them were modifed with detachable wings, skid undercarriages, float bags, and 140hp Clerget engines. This variation was known was the Ship Strutter.
RFC two-seat fighter
|161.7 km/h (100.5 mph) - 171 km/h (106 mph)||2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 10:50
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 20:25
4,000 m (13,000 ft) in 35:00
|4,000 m (13,000 ft)||4:15|
|164 km/h (102 mph)||2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 9:10-12:40
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 17:50-24:25
4,600 m (15,000 ft) in 41:55
|4,000 m (13,000 ft) - 4,700 m (15,500 ft)||3:45|
|110hp Le Rhône
|166 km/h (103 mph)||2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 10:30
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 18:55
4,600 m (15,000 ft) in 41:30
|4,900 m (16,000 ft)|
|2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 12:40
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 24:35
|4,000 m (13,000 ft)|
|145hp Clerget 9Bc
|167 km/h (104 mph)||2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 12:45
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 23:40
|135hp Le Rhône 9Jby
|159 km/h (99 mph)||2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 10:40
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 17:40
|135 Clerget 9Bb
For more information, see Wikipedia:Sopwith Strutter.
|Version||Maneuver||Damage||Dmg Points||Max Alt.||Climb||Points|
|Vickers+Lewis||V||B or B/B||14||10||5||86|
Plane and Crew Cards
De La Lettenhove
Miniatures and Models
- Ares: WGF209A Costes/Astor; WGF209B Collishaw/Portsmouth; WGF209C 78Sqn.
- Two-Seater: Arctic Skunk, Decapod, Kampfflieger
- Nightfighter (Comic): Kampfflieger, Reduced Aircraft Factory
- Metal kit: Red Eagle, Reviresco
- Cast Metal: MSD Games/Hostile Aircraft
- Metal kit: Heroics & Ros GWA125
- Shapeways: Decapod
- Shapeways: Snafu Store
- Shapeways: Snafu Store
Orthographic Top Views
two-seater with Eteve ring
two-seater with Scarff ring
one-seat bomber with Vickers
one-seat bomber with Lewis
- Stutters transferred to the French made attacks starting in Sept. 1916, around the same time that the first French-built Strutters were starting to arrive with escadrilles.
- British usage numbers are approximate, derived from the squadron histories.
- Plane counts are approximate and based of escadrille usage in Davilla'97.
- Updated card
- Lamberton, p.58.
- Argus Vol. 1, p.39.
- Bruce'69, p.541.
- Bruce'65, p.4.
- Bruce'65, p.13.
- Angelucci, p.76.
- Ferry'14, p.139.
- Lamberton, pp.216-218.
- Angelucci, p.68.
- Bruce'65, p.16.
- Ferry'14, p.135.
- Kelly, p.230.
- Munson, p.58.
- Bruce'00, p.36.
- Nowarra, p.97.
- Lamberton'60, pp.214-215.
- Bruce'69, p.549.
- 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.
- Argus Books, Airplane Archive: Aircraft of World War One, Volume 1. Great Britain: Argus Books, 1989. ISBN 0-85242-983-5
- J.M. Bruce. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. Great Britain: Funk & Wagnalls, 1957, 1969. ISBN 0370000382
- J.M. Bruce, Profile Publications 121: The Sopwith 1½ Strutter. Great Britain: Profile Publications, Ltd., 1966.
- J.M. Bruce, Windsock Datafile 34: Sopwith 1½ Strutter. Great Britain: Albatros Publications, Ltd., 1992. ISBN 0-948414-42-1
- J.M. Bruce, Windsock Datafile 80: Sopwith 1½ Strutter, Volume 2. Great Britain: Albatros Publications, Ltd., 2000. ISBN 1-902207-22-X
- Vital Ferry. French Aviation During the First World War. Paris: Histoire and Collections, 2014. ISBN 978-2-35250-370-5
- Kevin Kelly, "Belts and Drums: A Survey of First World War Aircraft Ammunition Totals". Over the Front, Vol. 5, No. 3, Autumn 1990. Walsworth Publishing Co, Inc. and The League of World War I Aviation Historians.
- W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Ltd., 1962. ISBN 9780900435027
- 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
- Ian Philpott, The Birth of the Royal Air Force. Great Britain: Pen & Sword Books Limited, 2013. ISBN 978-1-78159-333-2