The Aerodrome Home Page
Aces of WWI
Aircraft of WWI
Books and Videos
The Aerodrome Forum
Sign the Guestbook
Help
WWI Web Sites
Medals & Decorations
The Aerodrome News
Search The Aerodrome
Today in History




 
 
The first prototype of the Sopwith 1½ Strutter took to the air in December 1915. Initally ordered for the Royal Naval Air Service as both a single-seat light bomber and as a two-seat fighter, the latter was the first operational British two-seat scout. It was also the first British fighter equipped with a fixed, forward firing, synchronized machine gun. With the fuel tank dangerously positioned between the pilot and gunner, some airmen joked that the designer of the aircraft must surely have been German. By April 1916, 45 Squadron at Gosport and 70 Squadron at Farnborough both received production models of the two-seat fighter and, in May 1916, 70 Squadron sent the first 1½ Strutters to France. In July 1917, in response to the new German scouts appearing in the skies over France, the Royal Flying Corps began replacing the 1½ Strutter and it disappeared from the front by the end of the year. Only 78 Squadron at Suttons Farm continued using the 1½ Strutter until July 1918.

With 13 victories, the highest scoring ace to fly this aircraft was Geoffrey Cock.
 
Sopwith 1½ Strutter Specifications
Country: Great Britain
Manufacturer: Sopwith Aviation Company
Type: Figher; later used for reconaissance/bombing
First Introduced: April 1916
Number Built: About 6000
Engine(s): Clerget 9Z, 110 hp
Clerget 9B, 130 hp
Clerget 9Ba, 135 hp
Clerget 9Bb, 135 hp
Clerget 9Bc, 145 hp
Le Rhône 9J, 110 hp
Le Rhône 9Jby, 135 hp
Le Rhône 9C, 80 hp
Wing Span: 33 ft 6 in
Length: 25 ft 3 in
Height: 10 ft 3 in
Empty Weight: from 1,159 lb to 1,411 lb
Gross Weight: from 2,041 lb to 2,416 lb
Max Speed: 80 mph to 103 mph (at 10,000 ft)
Ceiling: from 10,000 ft to 15,000 ft
Endurance: from 2 ¼ hours to 8 hours
Crew: 1 or 2
Armament: two .303 machine guns; two seater could carry four 25 lb to 65 lb bombs
 
Sopwith 1½ Strutter Units
Belgian Air Service: 2me, 3me, 4me
French Air Service: 13, 23, 24, 28, 29, 36, 54, 61, 66, 71, 106, 107, 108, 111, 123, 128, 129, 131, 132, 134, 141, 204, 206, 210, 214, 221, 222, 223, 224, 226, 227, 270
Royal Air Force: 225
Royal Flying Corps: 37, 43, 44, 45, 70, 78
Royal Naval Air Service: 5N, 8N, 10N, 13N, 3W, 5W, 6W
United States Air Service: 88th Aero, 90th Aero, 99th Aero
 
Sopwith 1½ Strutter Aces (7)
1 England Cock, Geoffrey Hornblower 13
2 England Belgrave, James Dacres 6
3 Scotland Harries, Thomas Montagu 6
4 Canada Blaiklock, George Walker 5
5 Scotland Frew, Matthew Brown 5
6 England Murison, John Thompson Guy 5
7 England Vessey, John Arthur 5
 
1
 
Aces · Aircraft · Books · Forum · Guests · Help · Links · Medals · News · Search · Today