Thursday, 26 April 2012
Sopwith Tabloid, 1914
This smart looking streamlined biplane is a Sopwith Tabloid, first flown as a two seater in November 1913 and built by the Sopwith Aviation Company, famous for their later rotary engined single seat Scout First World War aircraft such as the Sopwith Pup and Sopwith Camel. Powered by a 100hp Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine (this means the entire engine spins around, and the propellor is simply bolted onto the engine, very powerful and common in early aircraft but with the disadvantage of only having two speeds - on or off!
The streamlined cowling is very distinctive, and also rare for a rotary engine, which are usually left mostly open to the front to allow for maximum cooling (the cylinders of the Monosoupape engine can just be seen underneath the cowling). A floatplane adaption, called the Sopwith Schneider, won the Schneider Trophy Air Race in 1914. In the First World War the Sopwith Tabloid and Sopwith Schneider were popular with the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service until made obsolete. This replica is in the RAF Museum, Hendon
Posted by Richard Hannay at 08:38