The Sopwith 1½ Strutter
was named for its short central struts and single-bay wings. The Admiralty's official name was the Sopwith Type 9400
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, 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).
Strutters also found their way into the Belgian air force, equipping at least three Escadrilles. 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.
This product comes in two scales: 1:144 and 1:285/6mm/1:288. The 1:285 product contains two aeroplanes
joined by disposable links. You can cut the links with wire cutters or fingernail clippers. Due to printing limitations, the mounting of the observer's gun in simplified in the 1:285 product, and the propeller blades are replaced by removable translucent propeller disks.
This version depicts a two-seater Strutter with a Nieuport/Etévé-type mounting for the Lewis
, as used in early British aircraft and many French aircraft. A variety of Stutters are available: the two-seater with a Scarff-type mounting
, this two-seater with the Etévé/Nieuport mounting, the one-seat bomber with Vickers
, the one-seat bomber with Lewis
, and the night fighter for Home Defense
For more details and gaming information on this plane, see https://linen.miraheze.org/wiki/Sopwith_Strutter