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.
|Sopwith 1-½ Strutter|
|First flight||Dec 1915 |
|Introduction||April 1916 |
|Primary users|| U.K. (RNAS)|
|Number built||Britain: 1513-1520|
|Wingspan||10.2 m (33 ft 6 in) |
|Engine||110-130hp Clerget rotary or|
110hp Le Rhône rotary
|Armament||fixed, sync. Vickers and|
rear flexible Lewis
100 kg (224 lb) to 110 kg (250 lb) of bombs
|Crew||1 or 2|
|Max Speed||164 km/h (102 mph) to|
171 km/h (106 mph) (see chart)
|Service Ceiling||see chart|
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).
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. 
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.
|110hp Clerget||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|
|130hp Clerget||2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 9:10
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 17:50
4,600 m (15,000 ft) in 41:55
|4,700 m (15,500 ft)||3:45|
|110hp Le Rhône||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)|
|130hp Clerget (Nightfighter)||2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 12:40
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 24:35
|4,000 m (13,000 ft)|
For more information, see Wikipedia:Sopwith Strutter.
|Maneuver||Damage||Dmg Points||Max Alt.||Climb|
|V||B or B/B||14||11 or 10[note 1]||4 or 5|
Plane and Crew CardsEdit
Miniatures and ModelsEdit
- 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
- Metal kit: Heroics & Ros GWA125
- Shapeways: Decapod
- Shapeways: Snafu Store
- Shapeways: Snafu Store
Orthographic Top ViewsEdit
- The first number is for a one-seater.
- Updated card
- Lamberton, p.58.
- Bruce'69, p.541.
- Lamberton, pp.216-218.
- Munson, p.58.
- Bruce'00, p.36.
- Nowarra, p.97.
- Lamberton'60, pp.214-215.
- Bruce'69, p.549.
- J.M. Bruce. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. Great Britain, Funk & Wagnalls, 1957, 1969. ISBN 0370000382
- 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
- W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Ltd., 1962.
- 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