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Sopwith Tabloid

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1913

Single-seat scouting and bombing aircraft

Sopwith - ST - 1913 - Великобритания<– –>Sopwith - Three-Seater - 1913 - Великобритания


Tabloid


В 1913 году английский инженер Томас О.М. Сопвич построил на своей фирме спортивный двухместный самолет "Таблоид". На одной из авиационных гонок он развил скорость 139 км/ч, став одной из самых скоростных предвоенных машин. Самолет оказался удачным и привлек пристальное внимание военных специалистов, которые рассматривали его как скоростную боевую машину. Таким образом, "Таблоид" стал первым серийным самолетом британской военной авиации.
  Эта машина выполнена по схеме фюзеляжного одностоечного биплана. Фюзеляж выполнен из деревянных брусков с растяжками из троса и стальной ленты и обтянут полотном, которое покрывалось лаком. Капот двигателя выполнялся из алюминиевых листов, двигатель самолета "Гном" 7-цилиндровый, воздушного охлаждения, звездообразный, ротативный, с тянущим винтом. За двигателем расположен топливный бак, а за ним - двухместная кабина. Места пилота и пассажира расположены рядом. Горизонтальное оперение обычного типа. Стабилизатор нерегулируемый эллиптический. Вертикальное оперение на машинах 1913 года бескилевое, руль поворота с весовой компенсацией. На "Таблоиде", выпускаемом с 1914 года, вертикальное оперение оборудовано небольшим килем. Крылья бипланной коробки двухлонжеронные, выполнены из дерева и обтянуты полотном. Стойки каплевидного сечения, растяжки первоначально тросовые, позднее - стальная лента. На машинах 1913 года управление осуществлялось перекашиванием крыльев (гошированием). На машинах 1914 года крылья уже оборудовались элеронами. Управление самолета тросовое, от ручки управления и педалей. Шасси жесткой конструкции с резиновой амортизацией. Оборудовано противокапотажными лыжами. Костыль неуправляемый, первоначально жесткий, позднее с резиновой амортизацией.
  На пятнадцатый день войны четыре "Таблоида" Королевского воздушного корпуса были отправлены морским путем во Францию. Через неделю они уже участвовали в боевых действиях, но были невооружены. Некоторые пилоты брали в полет стальные стрелы, которые сбрасывались сверху на самолет противника. Известно, что в течение месяца боевых действий таким образом была сбита одна машина. "Таблоиды" использовались авиацией флота, в том числе и с авианосца. Часто они применялись для отражения атак германских дирижаблей. В этом случае самолеты были вооружены неподвижным пулеметом "Льюис", который устанавливался на верхнем крыле, и легкими авиабомбами. 7 октября 1914 г. двумя 9-кг бомбами, сброшенными с "Таблоида" на завод по производству дирижаблей в Дюссельдорфе, был уничтожен армейский дирижабль Z IX, Всего было изготовлено 36 "Таблоидов".
  
  
Модификации
  
  "Таблоид" 1913 года - двухместный спортивный самолет с двигателем "Гном" мощностью 80 л. с.
  "Таблоид" 1914 года - одноместный разведчик и легкий бомбардировщик с двигатетелем "Гном" мощностью 100 л. с., строился как учебный, но с началом войны использовался как разведчик. Отличался конструкцией оперения. Крыло оборудовалось элеронами, использовался новый профиль, изменилась форма законцовок крыла. Удлинены противокапотажные лыжи. Самолет мог нести четыре 9-кг бомбы. Построено около 40 машин.
  
  
Показатель "Таблоид" 1913г. "Таблоид" 1914г.
Размеры, м:
   длина 6,10 6,50
   размах крыльев 7,82 7,82
   высота 2,68 2,68
Площадь крыла, м2 22,30 22,40
Вес, кг:
   максимальный взлетный 480 505
   пустого 300 330
Двигатель: "Гном" "Гном"
   мощность, л. с. 80 100
Скорость, км/ч 148 140
Дальность полета, км 350
Потолок практический, м 4600
Экипаж, чел. 2 1
Вооружение 36 кг бомб


M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)


Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing


H.King Sopwith Aircraft 1912-1920 (Putnam)


Tabloid

  This tiny biplane was Sopwith's historic essay in building an aeroplane primarily for high performance (especially respecting speed) both for sporting and military-scouting work. In its first two seat-form it appeared in November 1913; and when officially tested at Farnborough late in that month (the actual date quoted by Sopwith being the 29th, on which day also Hawker 'buzzed' a crowded Hendon meeting) showed a speed range of 36.9-92 mph (59-148 km/h) and an initial rate of climb of 1.200 ft (336 m) per minute and this when carrying two men and petrol for 2 1/2 hours' flying. Here, then, was yet another example of what Sopwith - Britain's new, up-and-coming aircraft constructor - could achieve with low power, by virtue of excellent aerodynamic and structural design; for the reader may now recall the earlier rhetoric of Aeronautics concerning the Three-seater: 'How many constructors would undertake ..." etc. and stressing the low power required.
  Like the Three-seater, the Tabloid had a Gnome engine of 80 hp only; and one of the few criticisms that could be made of the little newcomer was that the two occupants, seated side by side, with the pilot to port, had a poor field of view especially upwards, for the cockpit was under the centre section, and the wings, though short in span, were deep in chord, and initially had no trailing-edge cutout. The depth in chord was due in part to the use of warping for lateral control; and another notable feature of the controlling surfaces was the absence of a fin ahead of the aerodynamically balanced rudder.
   Although construction was conventional in the conventional sense (wooden, wire-braced, fabric-covered) it was sufficiently ingenious in detail to be lengthily described in two consecutive articles in Flight during February 1914. These articles were not only partly written, but illustrated also, by the present writer's one-time editor C. M. Poulsen; and though no specific reference could be made at the time to the Tabloid as such, 'C.M.P.' assured me once that what he had to say and show in those early efforts was essentially applicable.
  "We are indebted', the first article acknowledged, 'to the Sopwith Aviation Co., Ltd., for their courtesy in giving us every information and in placing their extensive works at our disposal. It would have been difficult to find a more representative firm' (the declared topic of the articles being 'An Aeroplane in the Making') 'for at their works at Kingston, where the Sopwith Aviation Co. employ some 150 workmen, in addition to a large staff of draughtsmen, all the most up-to-date machinery and latest labour-saving methods are employed, whilst the workmanship of their machines has already established for them an enviable reputation, equalled only by the excellence of their design." Poulsen then went on to say a great deal about woodwork, which was always his particular interest (one remembers him talking of his days in American forests); but perhaps the most relevant paragraph in his first instalment - especially in view of the many stories told (with picturesque variations) about Sopwith aeroplanes being 'chalked out on the floor' was this:
  'The method of constructing the fuselage is similar to that employed in building up the wings. The longerons, struts and cross-members are all cut to shape on the spindle machines, and, this being done, they are taken to the erecting shop, on the floor of which are secured some thin strips of wood bent to the shape which it is desired to give the fuselage. The longerons are placed on the floor, and kept to the desired shape by wood blocks pressing them against the strips on the floor. The struts with their respective sockets are then put in place, and the two sides of the fuselage made rigid by means of diagonal cross-bracing. Each of the bracing wires has incorporated in it a wire strainer in order to allow of each bay being tuned up separately. When the two sides are thus finished they are raised up on edge and connected by the cross-members and by diagonal bracing, and the whole structure is then adjusted, or, as it is called, "tuned up". The next job to be done is that of putting the engine bearers, tank supports, pilot's and passenger's seats, controls &c., into place, and when this is accomplished the fuselage is ready to be covered with fabric. In the Sopwith machines, this is done by cutting the fabric to shape and, passing it around the fuselage, lacing it along one longeron. The fabric is then doped similarly to the wings, and the fuselage is ready for the wings.'
  Here, I think, we have a singularly interesting study in philology (apart from one's deliberate suppression of italics for the words fuselage and longeron); for the expression 'tuning up' was to endure only in respect of engines, whereas the early wire-braced airframes were quite literally tuned-up like musical instruments (flying, in any case, then being more of an art than a science). Further respecting terminology and nomenclature, one is here constrained to quote a more famous editor than C. M. Poulsen. in the person of C. G. Grey, who declared of the Sopwith aeroplane which now concerns us: 'It was nicknamed the Tabloid, and those universal benefactors Burroughs Wellcome & Co. objected to the use of their registered trade name thinking that it was poking fun at them. I took much pains to show them that it was a compliment, and we went on using it.'
  Ironically, in the context of the 1919 Transatlantic attempts, it was the victorious Sir John Alcock and the hapless Harry Hawker who pronounced the 'Tabloid' first - aid kit to be 'the only possible medical equipment for airmen'; and as early as March 1914 Burroughs, Wellcome and Co. had been advertising their 'No.706, or The Aviator's Case' as being no larger than a cigarette case.
  Exploitation of the Sopwith Tabloid's military potential as a fast scout dated from April 1914, when the first of a small batch for the RFC was finished. By 26 May the sixth was at Brooklands for test. These Service Tabloids were single-seaters, with a fin and plain rudder and finer nose lines. It was, in fact, these very features that apart from a float landing gear had distinguished the specimen to which attention is now directed, and which was to prove the most famous Tabloid of all by winning for Great Britain what came to be regarded as almost the Grail of airmen - the Schneider Trophy.
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  After the blue of the Mediterranean meanwhile, back at the (Brooklands sewage) farm ...
  From the Sopwith Scouts - as the military Tabloids were now sometimes called R. H. Barnwell of the Bristol Flying School (who is not to be confused with his brother F. S., and who had taken over as temporary test pilot) was getting splendid results. These single-seaters, as already noted, had a tail fin and a plain rudder, and though they retained the skid/wheel landing gear, the skids were longer than those on the original Tabloid and were necessarily supported by longer, and more sharply raked, struts, one specimen at least having three instead of two main struts. Conversely, the nose and other features had been cleaned up, and more than one form of engine mounting had been tried.
  Barnwell's best performance was, perhaps, not a test flight in itself but a delivery flight to Farnborough on 22 April. There a new speed range of 39.6-94.9 mph (63.6-153 km h) was established. Pixton was quickly home from the racing to carry on the good work on behalf of ‘the military' and fortified not only by a good lunch stood by the Aero Club but by having heard the Marquess of Tullibardine affirm at that lunch that Sopwith was one of the world's foremost aircraft constructors.
  The summer of 1914 saw the delivery of one of the first military Tabloids to No.7 Squadron. RFC; and thereafter the technical, as distinct from the operational, history of the type became obscured by the fog of war - especially so as the RNAS, as well as the RFC, employed it. Four were shipped in crates to Boulogne as early as 19 August, 1914, and two of these were flown by Lieuts Gorden Bell and Norman Spratt. This last-named officer has achieved an unusual kind of fame for having forced an enemy aircraft to land by manoeuvring in 'an aggressive manner', though he carried with him on that occasion a few steel darts; and he is also remembered for his tentative trailing of a grenade on a cable. A grapnel and a pistol have also been named among Spratt's weapons; but although he has been credited with tiring thirty shots from a 'revolver', he must have been as dextrous as he was ingenious to reload about six chambers several times over.
  In any case, air fighting was only just beginning in those times, and Tabloid production ended in the spring of 1915. Though the redoubtable 'Sammy' (Cdr C. R. Samson) seems to have approved a top-wing mounting for a Lewis gun, the two most famous Tabloids that came to his squadron at Antwerp Nos.167 and 168 (which, with No.169, made up a brave little trio) - were destined to establish Sopwith and the RNAS in the low-level bombing, or strike, business. The importance of this function was implicit in the following letter received by Sopwith from the Director of the Admiralty Air Department on 28 December, 1914 alluding to some stirring events of the previous October:
  'Gentlemen. With reference to the recent attack on the German air [ship] sheds at Cologne and Dusseldorf, carried out by Sqn. Cdr. Spenser D. A. Grey and Fl. Lieut. R. L. G. Marix, you may be interested to learn that the machines used were your Sopwith Tabloid aeroplanes.'
  Sad would it be indeed if we were to leave the Tabloid landplane a classically clean biplane if ever there was one still hampered by the wheel skid landing gear that was a feature of early-production specimens. Happily, the facts are otherwise, for when it returned to England from Monaco Pixton's racing seaplane was further modified for sporting use by fitting one of the neatest V-strut gears (two wheels, 'split' half-axles, no skids) that could have been desired. In this form it was intended to participate in the 1914 Aerial Derby with 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape engine, and with R. H. Barnwell as pilot. A second Tabloid, from the RFC production batch, flown by Pixton and powered by an 80 hp Gnome, was also entered, but fog obliged both Tabloids to retire. Respecting speed one notes with special interest this passage in C. H. Barnes' book Bristol Aircraft Since 1910 (the 'modified Scout' referred to being, of course, a Bristol product, and the Tabloid's spritely rival). Thus: 'On 14 May, 1914, Busleed put the modified Scout through an A.I.D. performance test at Farnborough and recorded a speed range of 97.5 m.p.h. to 40 m.p.h.; he then flew to Brooklands, where he gave a spectacular demonstration and in a handicap race was beaten only by seconds by Harold Barnwell in the 100 h.p. Gnome-engined Sopwith Tabloid."
  Concerning the very neat V-strut landing gear earlier mentioned, it is helpful to have the following description, written in 1915, because this general form of gear, utilising steel tubes for the main members, was to become a veritable Sopwith 'trademark', being associated in particular with the 1 1/2 Strutter. Having stressed the quality of simplicity, the 1915 description added: 'The axle is divided in the centre, where it is pivoted between two transverse members joining the apexes of the chassis struts. In order to prevent a downward movement of the centre of these members a single wire is taken from this point to the bottom of the body. Transverse rigidity is established by diagonal cross bracing between the front pair of chassis struts. This undercarriage, it should be pointed out, is not that fitted as standard on the Sopwith scouts. It was, in fact, quickly produced for the last Aerial Derby.'
  Quickly though this form of gear may have come (and here, if one is not grossly in error, the hand of Sigrist is once more discerned) long was it to remain. 'Split-axle', though technically correct in a descriptive sense, is nevertheless misleading (having regard to later usage of the term) and 'stub axles' were the main transverse components.
  It was not, in any case, sheer speed which was to distinguish the Sopwith fighters of later years so much as their powers of manoeuvre (Spratt's aggressiveness has already been instanced) - combined, of course, with effective armament. To emphasise the manoeuvrability factor (and remembering what construction T. O. M. Sopwith had placed on the term 'factor', as noted earlier) one could adduce no more convincing or entertaining instance than the following report of Brooklands activities, rendered as early as April 1914:
  'Mr. Pixton was out on the "tabloid" Sopwith biplane; but the flights of the afternoon were by Mr. Barnwell on the Sopwith "tabloid" on which he achieved the distinction of being the first Brooklands airman to "loop the loop", after having quickly climbed to 4,000 ft. In the strong sunshine and at the height the evolution was carried out it was difficult to follow every detail of movement, but to most it seemed that the machine, after turning vertically upwards, fell to one side, and then, turning over, completed the loop prior to planing down. Mr. Tom Sopwith ran out to greet Mr. Barnwell and to ask him exactly what he had done, to which question the aviator called out: "That's just what I've come down to ask you!" His idea of his movements, however, coincided with the above opinion, so, apparently quite satisfied as to what he had to do the next time, he immediately restarted, and at his second attempt made three very good loops at a height of about 3.000 feet. On his return to terra firma he had a warm reception by the crowd near the "Blue Bird". It is worthy of note that nobody has previously attempted the feat on a machine approaching the speed of the Sopwith "tabloid". Mr. Barnwell seemed to think nothing of the feat he had accomplished, merely remarking after his second attempt: "I began to wonder where the world had got to that last time!"
  That this little effort was indeed 'worthy of note' would not have been disputed by Pup and Camel pilots in the war then drawing near; nor was the rendering 'tabloid Sopwith’ unknown in Service circles, for about six months before the war Lieut Col F. H. Sykes named as a captain in the chapter on 'Other Men's Aeroplanes' was reported as having affirmed: 'Experience places the value of aerial reconnaissance beyond a doubt, not only in calm weather, but practically in all weathers; reconnaissance will however be opposed, and that in the air. Anti-aircraft guns will assist, but probably insufficiently. This fact being granted, there is the obvious necessity for different types of aircraft ... Does the advanced cavalry require one type? The Headquarters of an Army another? Flanking divisions a third? Will there be a battle squadron? A fast scout flotilla? A squadron to hunt down and destroy airships and to attack aircraft bases? A low-flying armoured destroyer of ammunition parks and supply trains? A heavy transport convoy craft? A breakdown and repair craft?
  'For all these duties, slightly different types and qualities are required. Even now, one can hardly imagine the tabloid Sopwith taking the role of a Sikorski argosy." [sic].
  An interesting study, this, not only in the coming needs of air warfare (which Sopwith was to do so much to meet) but in aircraft nomenclature also.
  With the quality of manoeuvrability one was careful to associate a little earlier 'effective armament"; and though the full significance of the qualification 'effective' (as distinct from merely 'heavy') will later be emphasised-especially in regard to the 1 1/2 Strutter and Camel the moment now arrives to proclaim the Tabloid as an initiator of the 'deflector' propeller one, that is, which had an arrangement of steel plates to protect it from damage from bullets fired straight ahead through the plane of the revolving blades. That this same innovation is sometimes ascribed to the type of aeroplane called the Sopwith Gordon Bennett appears to be amply justified, and is explained in the "Gordon Bennett' chapter which follows the present one; but for the present at least this particular armament fitment is associated with the Tabloid. Relevant in any case is a minute written by Winston Churchill in April 1915 calling for a single-seat Naval aircraft 'with a Lewis gun firing through the deflector propeller.’ (It is not, however, suggested that the device was in any sense a product of 'Winnie's toy-shop' - as a certain exciting, dangerous and unofficial emporium came to be known one war later).
  Whatever its origins (probably French) one deflector scheme had associations with The Integral Propeller Co Lid of Euston Road, London. A stout bracing-rod for the channel-form bullet-deflector was a prominent feature.
  Beyond recording that between October 1914 and June 1915 Tabloid production totalled 36 machines (all Sopwith-built); that the later examples had ailerons instead of wing warping; and that allocated Service numbers included 123, 124, 167-169, 326, 394 and 1201-1213, little remains to be said of this historic little biplane; for though four were sent to the Dardanelles aboard hms Ark Royal (later renamed Pegasus) early in 1915, though two were at the Isle of Grain and one or more served at Great Yarmouth, these achieved little operational distinction.
  These facts notwithstanding, we must not omit to note that Ark Royal was commanded by that pioneer of aircraft armament Cdr R. H. (later Air Marshal Sir Robert) Clark-Hall, who himself reported that the "four land machines' (the Tabloids) had so small a wing span that they could be hoisted in and out 'with their wings spread' (meaning fully rigged, for the wings did not fold). These aeroplanes, said Clark-Hall, could be flown off the ship's deck, but could not land back on to it, and they could alight on the sea only with great risk. One wholly fascinating observation by 'Clarkie', was that they could be set ashore, for service from land bases, 'without difficulty in the ship's boats'.
  Shades of Sir Francis Drake and company: yet the armament of these particular Tabloids was no mere musketoon, but four or more 20 lb bombs, or quantities of steel spikes weighing 50 lb per thousand.
  So, from Kingston-on-Thames and Monaco, it was out to the Dardanelles ... Yet, later in the war came a reminder - a somewhat poignant one today for lovers of Sopwith 'original' material - of Pixton's historic peacetime victory, on the strength of which some observers steadfastly declared that it ‘had proved the biplane to be as fast as the monoplane’ (the dubiety of which would have been less in 1914 than now). The reminder just mentioned came after the Sopwith Sports of 1917, concerning which it was announced: 'The gate receipts totalled ?52. 7s. 6d., the tickets sold realised ?46. 16s. 6d., while the draw for the beautifully made model of the Schneider Cup winner brought in ?16. 3s. 6d.'.
  Where - many readers will join the writer in wondering - is that model today?


Tabloid (80 hp Gnome)

  Span 25 ft 6 in (7.7 m): length 20 ft 4 in (6.2 m); wing area 241.3 sq ft (22.4 sq m). Empty weight 730 lb (331 kg); maximum weight 1,120 lb (508 kg). Maximum speed 92 mph (148 km/h); endurance 3.5 hr.



P.Lewis British Aircraft 1809-1914 (Putnam)


Sopwith Tabloid

  Following the current trend of attempts to produce small fast tractor biplane scouts, T. O. M. Sopwith and F. Sigrist embodied their own ideas in the Tabloid, which was built in secret for racing and demonstration by their test pilot, H. G. Hawker, who also made some contribution at the design stage. First trials were made during the autumn of 1913 at Brooklands and, upon completion, they were followed by official tests at Farnborough on 29th November. These disclosed that the Tabloid possessed the unusually wide speed-range of 55T m.p.h. Later the same day, Hawker flew the machine from Farnborough to Hendon, arriving over the aerodrome while one of the popular Saturday meetings was in progress. He showed the new Sopwith off to the competitors and 50,000 spectators by completing two low, fast circuits of the field at 90 m.p.h.
  The two-seat prototype was scheduled to appear at the 1914 Paris Aero Show, but, instead, Hawker took the machine on demonstration to his native Australia in an effort to arouse the Government's interest in the type. While it was away, the Tabloid was modified and, on its return to England on 6th June, 1914, was seen to have had the fabric of the rear fuselage removed and a new undercarriage with simple vee-struts fitted. The original machine was built without a fin, and the single cockpit housed its two occupants side-by-side.
  Early in 1914 the Tabloid was put into production as a single-seat scout for both the Military and Naval Wings of the R.F.C. The length of the production version was increased by 4 ins. to become 20 ft. 4 ins.; a fin was added to the tail unit and ailerons replaced wing-warping.
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SPECIFICATION

  Description: Single- and two-seat tractor biplane. Wooden structure, fabric covered.
  Manufacturers: Sopwith Aviation Co. Ltd., Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey.
  Power Plant: 80 h.p. Gnome, 100 h.p. Monosoupape Gnome.
  Dimensions: Span, 25 ft. 6 ins. Length (prototype), 20 ft. Length (production), 20 ft. 4 ins. Height, 8 ft. 5 ins. Wing area, 241.3 sq. ft.
  Weights: Prototype. Empty, 670 lb. Loaded 1,060 lb. Production. Empty, 730 lb. Loaded, 1,120 1b.
  Performance: Maximum speed, 92 m.p.h. Landing speed, 36.9 m.p.h. Climb, 1,200 ft./min. Endurance, 3.5 hrs.


O.Thetford British Naval Aircraft since 1912 (Putnam)


Sopwith Tabloid

  The Tabloid was one of the most outstanding aircraft produced in Great Britain before the outbreak of war in 1914. By the standards of those days, its top speed of over 90 mph and its climb of 1,200 ft per min were remarkable, and it caused a sensation when demonstrated in public for the first time by Harry Hawker, at Hendon on 29 November 1913. The prototype seated two, side-by-side, but subsequent Tabloids were single-seaters, including the seaplane flown to victory in the 1914 Schneider Trophy contest by Howard Pixton.
  The military potential of the Tabloid was immediately apparent and production for the Naval and Military Wings of the RFC began early in 1914. By October 1914 the RNAS possessed only three Tabloids, yet in that month the type struck a telling blow at the enemy. On the 8th Sqn Cdr Spenser Gray and FlLt R L G Marix took off from Antwerp, then under bombardment by the enemy, in Tabloids Nos.167 and 168 to bomb Zeppelin sheds at Cologne and Dusseldorf. Mist prevented Spenser Gray from finding his target, so he bombed Cologne railway station, but Marix's success was complete. He dived on the sheds at Dusseldorf and bombed from 600 ft. Within 30 seconds flames had risen to 500 ft; the new Zeppelin ZIX had been destroyed, the first to fall a victim to a British aircraft.
  Between October 1914 and June 1915, a further 36 Tabloids were built and delivered to the RFC and RNAS. The naval Tabloids served with Wg Cdr Samson's Eastchurch squadron in Belgium, as already mentioned, and later with Samson's No.3 Squadron, RNAS, in the Dardanelles campaign. Others served aboard the seaplane-carrier Ark Royal in the same campaign, and at least one Tabloid was on the strength of the RNAS station at Great Yarmouth.
  RNAS Tabloids received the serial numbers 167, 168, 169,326,362,378,386, 387,392,394 and 1201 to 1213.

TECHNICAL DATA (TABLOID)
  Description: Single-seat scouting and bombing aircraft. Wooden structure, fabric covered.
  Manufacturers: Sopwith Aviation Co Ltd, Kingston-on-Thames.
  Power Plant: One 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape.
  Dimensions: Span, 25 ft 6 in. Length, 20 ft 4 in. Height, 8 ft 5 in. Wing area, 241 sq ft.
  Weights: Empty, 730 lb. Loaded, 1.120 lb.
  Performance: Maximum speed, 92 mph at sea level. Climb, 1 min to 1.200 ft. Endurance, 3 1/2 hr.
  Armament: One Lewis machine-gun mounted on the centre section or at the side of the fuselage. A small load of 20 lb bombs could be carried.


H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)


Tabloid. On 28 December, 1914, the following letter was received by the Sopwith Company from the Director of the Admiralty Air Department:
  'Gentlemen, With reference to the recent attack on the German air[ship] sheds at Cologne and Dusseldorf, carried out by Sqn Cdr Spenser D. A. Grey and Fl Lieut R. L. G. Marix, you may be interested to learn that the machines used were your Sopwith Tabloid aeroplanes.'
  The bombs employed in this famous raid, in which Marix destroyed Z.IX and Spenser Grey had to transfer his attack to Cologne station, were of the 20-lb Hales pattern.
  The Tabloid first appeared in 1913. As early as February 1915, Tabloids of Cdr Sampson's squadron were lined with a mounting for a Lewis gun above the lop wing. This mounting was devised by Lieut T. Warner and Warrant Officer J. G. Brownridge. Other installations were made on the side of the fuselage. More primitive weapons, apart from pistols and perhaps rifles, included steel darts (as carried by Lieut N. C. Spratt when he forced an enemy aircraft to land after manoeuvring in 'an aggressive manner'), a grapnel and hand grenades. On one occasion an attempt was made by Lieut Spratt to tie a grenade to a length of control cable with the intention of fouling the enemy's airscrew. This device was never used.


Журнал Flight


Flight, December 20, 1913.

THE NEW 80 H.P. SOPWITH BIPLANE.

  WHEN the latest production of the Sopwith Aviation Co. made its bow to the public at Hendon a few Saturdays ago it did so like a bolt from the blue, and wasting no time in showing what it could do, immediately completed two circuits at a speed of about 90 m.p.h. The successes of the former Sopwith machines - designed by Mr. T. O. M. Sopwith and Mr. Segrist - are, no doubt, still fresh in our readers' minds, and with this new 80 h.p. "baby" biplane, in the design of which Mr. H. G. Hawker, who piloted the former machines to success, has played an important part, it seems that further achievements will soon be added to the credit of this go-ahead Kingston firm.
  The general lines of the new biplane are similar to those of the other Sopwith tractor machines previously described in FLIGHT, and so, with the help of the accompanying scale drawings and illustrations, we need but briefly describe its principal features. It has been designed with the intention of producing what might be called an exhibition machine, that is to say, a machine capable of performing all sorts of evolutions such as steep bankings, small circles, switchbacks, &c. This machine is therefore of small dimensions, having a span of 25 ft. 6 ins. and an over-all length of 25 ft. The total area of the main planes is 240 sq. ft., which gives a loading of 3 lbs. per sq. ft. light or 4-5 lbs. per sq. ft. fully loaded, the weight of the machine empty and with pilot and 3 1/2 hours' fuel being 670 lbs. and 1,060 lbs. respectively. The main planes, which are comparatively flat, are set at a slight dihedral angle, and the top plane is staggered forward 1 ft. They are built up in two cellules, the lower planes being attached to the lower portion of the fuselage, whilst the top planes are secured to a centre panel supported above the fuselage by two pairs of struts; there are only two other pairs of struts separating the main planes near the extremities. The attachment of the rear spar of the lower plane to the fuselage is shown in one of the accompanying sketches. It should be noticed that the struts, including those of the chassis, are well streamlined. In plan form the planes have a greater length in the trailing edge, as on the Morane monoplane. The fuselage follows usual Sopwith practice, being rectangular in section, tapering to a vertical knife-edge at the rear. The pilot is seated in a small cockpit between the planes, whilst another seat for a passenger is provided on the pilot's right. The forward ends of the top and bottom longerons converge, forming an attachment for the front engine bearer. The 80 h.p. Gnome engine is mounted in the nose of the fuselage, and is almost completely covered by a neat aluminium cowl, but is nevertheless efficiently cooled by the stream of air passing through a narrow slit formed in the cowl by the front engine bearer; the lower extremity of the engine also projects slightly below the cowl. The latter is easily detachable, and hinges forward, giving easy access to the valves. The carburettor, to which the petrol is fed by gravity, projects within the cockpit, and can easily be got at by the pilot or passenger. The landing chassis has been considerably modified, and consists of two short skids, each connected to the fuselage by a pair of struts. At the rear the skids are connected by a streamlined cross strut, in the centre of which is hinged the divided axle, carrying at its outer extremities the covered-in running wheels. In its normal position, the axles lie in a groove formed in the cross strut, thus maintaining the streamline effect of the latter. The axle is sprung by means of rubber shock absorbers attached to the skids, and is held in position by two very short radius rods, hinged to the rear extremities of the skids. In order to prevent the cross strut from bending downwards in the middle, it is braced at this point to the fuselage by a wire. The whole of this arrangement is clearly shown in one of our sketches. The tail consists of a semi-circular stabilizing plane, to the trailing edge of which are hinged two elevator flaps with a balanced vertical rudder, almost circular in shape, between them. The simple tail skid is shown in one of the sketches. Lateral control is by wing warping, the movement being carried out by a wheel mounted on a vertical column, a fore-and-aft movement of which operates the rear elevators through a connecting rod and countershaft. The warp cables are led from a rockshaft to pulleys let into the uprights of the fuselage just above the rear spar attachments of the lower plane. From these pulleys the cables go to the top sockets of the rear outer struts. A continuous cable also runs from each of the outer rear strut sockets of the lower plane over pulleys on the tops of the two rear struts attached to the fuselage. The new tubular steel rudder bar forms the subject of one of our sketches, so needs no further comment here, other than we should think that its shortness has much to commend it on account of the sensitive nature of the control on a machine of this type. As regards the actual performances of this biplane, we referred to these last week, but they are worthy of repetition. Tested over the measured course at Farnborough, fully loaded with fuel for 3 hours, pilot and passenger, a maximum speed of 92 m.p.h. and a minimum speed of 36.9 m.p.h. were attained. The climbing speed was 1,200 ft. in one minute, also fully loaded - quite a credit to British aeroplane design. It was originally intended to take this biplane over to Paris during the Aero Show in order to demonstrate its wonderful capabilities in the home of aviation, so to speak. We understand, however, that this plan has been changed, and that the machine has been sent out to Australia, where Mr. Hawker will put it through its paces above his native soil, and endeavour to rouse the interest of the Australian Government.
  After staying there some months, we may hope to see him back in England. Our readers will, we feel sure, join us in wishing both Mr. Hawker and the Sopwith Aviation Co. every success in this latest enterprise.


Flight, May 22, 1914.

THE AERIAL DERBY.

THE PILOTS AND HOW TO RECOGNISE THE MACHINES.

No. 19. The 80 h.p. Sopwith
  is a small fast machine, somewhat similar to the Vickers and Bristol, but has a wider and deeper fuselage, and may be identified by its chassis, which differs from that of the two above-mentioned machines in that two skids are fitted.

No. 20. The 100 h.p. Sopwith Biplane
  is similar in outward appearance to No. 19, from which it differs only in engine power.

THE MACHINES AND HOW TO RECOGNISE THEM.

Nos. 19 and 20. The Sopwith Biplanes, of which one is fitted with an 80 h.p. engine, whilst the other has a 100 h.p. motor, are very similar to the biplane on which Mr. Pixton won the Schneider race at Monaco recently, with the exception, of course, that it is fitted with a land chassis. As these small Sopwith biplanes are very fast indeed, they should provide a very close race with some of the other really fast machines entered.


Flight, September 25, 1914.

THE R.N. AIR SERVICE RAID ON ZEPPELIN SHEDS.

  IN the following statement issued by the Secretary of the Admiralty through the official Press Bureau, the story of the raid by the Royal Naval Air Service pilots on the Zeppelin sheds at Dusseldorf is briefly told. Dusseldorf is on the Rhine about 22 miles north of Cologne, and is about 103 miles from Antwerp. It, with Cologne (the headquarters) and Darmstadt, form the bases of Germany's third Airship Battalion. The statement is as follows :-
  "Yesterday British aeroplanes of the Naval Wing delivered an attack on the Zeppelin sheds at Diisseldorf.
  "The conditions were rendered very difficult by the misty weather, but Flight Lieutenant C. H. Collet dropped three bombs on the Zeppelin sheds, approaching within four hundred feet.
  "The extent of the damage done is not known.
  "Flight Lieutenant Collet's machine was struck by one projectile, but all the machines returned safely to their point of departure.
  "The importance of this incident lies in the fact that it shows that in the event of further bombs being dropped into Antwerp or other Belgian towns measures of reprisal can certainly be adopted if desired to almost any extent."


Flight, October 22, 1915.

CONSTRUCTIONAL DETAILS.-VII.

<...>
  The two examples given of the single axle and single-pairs-of wheels form of undercarriage are similar in type and differ in detail construction only. In the Dyott monoplane the axle runs right across from skid to skid, while in the Sopwith Scout the stub axles are pivoted in the centre, half way between the skids, and move up and down between two transverse members. Bracing of the front portion of the undercarriage is effected in the Dyott machine by a transverse compression member and diagonal cross-bracing, while in the Sopwith there is no such transverse member in front, its place being taken by cables running outwards from the skids to the main planes.
<...>


Flight, February 6, 1919.

"MILESTONES"

THE SOPWITH MACHINES

  ALTHOUGH OUT "Milestones" series are primarily intended to include machines built during the War, we reserve ourselves the privilege of referring, when it seems advisable to do so, to machines built before the outbreak of hostilities. This is sometimes necessary in order to fully grasp the significance of the development that has taken place. A case in point, when dealing with the machines built by the Sopwith Aviation Co., Ltd., of Kingston, is the Sopwith "Tabloid" biplane. This machine, although built in 1913, has had such an extraordinary effect on aeroplane design in general, and in particular was certainly the beginning of the greatness of the House of Sopwith, that it undoubtedly merits inclusion in this series of articles. We, therefore, make no apology for including the "Tabloid," although it antedates the War by some twelve months.

The Sopwith "Tabloid"

  In its original form the Sopwith "Tabloid" was built as a side-by-side two-seater, with an 80 h.p. Gnome engine. It was built for Mr. Hawker, the famous Sopwith pilot, to be taken out to Australia in 1914, but very soon after its triumphant appearance a number of single-seaters of similar type were ordered by and built for the Army. The machine in its original form was described in FLIGHT for December 20, 1913, when scale drawings of it were published. This machine, as shown in the accompanying illustrations, had a skid type undercarriage and a balanced rudder, while there was no fixed vertical fin. The pilot and passenger sat side by side, the pilot on the left. Lateral control was by means of wing warping. When this machine paid its first visit to Hendon it left everyone agape, as such speed as it developed had certainly never been seen, nor probably been believed possible, with a biplane type of machine. In those days the general opinion was that for speed one must have a monoplane, and it was not until the advent of the "Tabloid" that this fallacy was effectively cleared up. After that the small fast single-seater biplane received a great impetus, and the type began to become general all over the world. It will, therefore, be seen that the world at large, and British aviation in particular, owes a debt of gratitude to the Sopwith firm for having demonstrated the possibilities of the small biplane. In addition to its great maximum speed - 92 m.p.h. - the "Tabloid" was remarkable in those days for its great speed range, as it would fly as slowly as 36 m.p.h. This was a range of speeds which none of the contemporary monoplanes were capable of.
  In its single-seater form the "Tabloid" underwent various minor alterations. Thus one of our photographs shows it with skid undercarriage, but with the front struts slightly more raked than they were in the original machine. Another slight alteration - which, unfortunately, does not appear in the photograph - was the addition of a vertical fin in front of the rudder, which latter was not balanced. The next step in the evolution of the "Tabloid" was seen when the late Mr. Harold Barnwell flew a "Tabloid" in the aerial Derby. This machine, although similar to its prototype, was fitted with a Vee-type undercarriage. Finally, the "Tabloid" entered the last stage of its development by being fitted with ailerons instead of warping wings, and in this form it was a most successful single-seater scout.

А.Шепс - Самолеты Первой мировой войны. Страны Антанты
Спортивный/учебный самолет Сопвич "Таблоид" (1913г.)
А.Шепс - Самолеты Первой мировой войны. Страны Антанты
Разведчик/учебный самолет Сопвич "Таблоид" (1914г.)
M.Goodall, A.Tagg - British Aircraft before the Great War /Schiffer/
Sopwith Type StB Stunt Bus. The first of the type later known as Tabloids was a two-seater and was taken to Australia by Hawker.
Журнал - Flight за 1913 г.
THE 80 H.P. SOPWITH BIPLANE. - Side view.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
The prototype Sopwith Tabloid was demonstrated in Australia by Harry Hawker during 1914. The aircraft was a side-by-side two-seater with no vertical fin, and skids attached to the undercarriage
H.King - Sopwith Aircraft 1912-1920 /Putnam/
Engine cowlings on Tabloids were modified according to period and operating conditions. On this, the first of the type, the engine was almost totally enclosed, though with an exhaust outlet at the bottom of ihe cowling. Note the metal windshield - a feature later developed as the Camel's 'hump'.
Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.
The landing chassis of the new Sopwith biplane at Brooklands.
P.Lewis - British Aircraft 1809-1914 /Putnam/
Sopwith Tabloid with modified undercarriage for racing.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Three stages in the evolution of the Sopwith "Tabloid." - The top photograph shows the machine in its original form as a side-by-side two-seater. On the left is a later type, single-seater, in which the chassis struts are slightly more raked, and which has a non-balanced rudder, in front of which is a triangular fin. On the right the Sopwith "Tabloid" in which the late Mr. H. Barnwell flew In the aerial Derby. This machine had a Vee-type undercarriage.
Журнал - Flight за 1913 г.
THE 80 H.P. SOPWITH BIPLANE. - View from the front.
P.Jarrett - Pioneer Aircraft: Early Aviation Before 1914 /Putnam/
This view of the first Sopwith Tabloid at Hendon shows to advantage its relatively wide cockpit, seating two side-by-side. When it first appeared, in November 1913, it impressed everyone with its sprightly performance, and soon won orders from the military.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
A HISTORICAL EVENT. - Mr. Hawker, on the first Sopwith side-by-side two-seater "Tabloid," pays bis first flying visit to Hendon in 1913.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Rear view of the first Tabloid. Note, among other features, the absence of a trailing-edge cut-out
M.Goodall, A.Tagg - British Aircraft before the Great War /Schiffer/
Sopwith Type SS the single-seater Tabloid scout derived from Hawker's 'Stunt Bus' was used by both the RFC and RNAS. In front is Howard Pixton.
Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.
THE SCHNEIDER CUP VICTORY. - From right to left: Mr. T. O. M. Sopwith, the designer and builder of the winning seaplane; Mr. C. Howard Pixton, the pilot; and that important "accessory," the expert mechanician, Mr. Victor Mahl.
H.King - Sopwith Aircraft 1912-1920 /Putnam/
A simple V-type landing gear and stripped rear fuselage gave a distinctive appearance to the modified version of the first Tabloid that Harry Hawker demonstrated in Australia, and seen here after its return.
Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.
The Sopwith Scout (Nos. 19 and 20).
H.King - Sopwith Aircraft 1912-1920 /Putnam/
Though as yet un-numbered, this Service Tabloid - with Brooklands track behind, proclaims its maker's name below the blank oblong on the rudder. (Sopwith caption reads: '62-"Tabloid"-80 hp Gnome.'
Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.
Mr. C. Howard Pixton on the Sopwith "tabloid"just getting off at Brooklands.
Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.
THE SOPWITH "TABLOID" A T BROOKLANDS. - Mr. Howard Pixton banking for a turn.
Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.
R. H. Barnwell, the scratch man and the last man to leave in the Aerial Derby, just off from Hendon Aerodrome on the Sopwith biplane on Saturday last.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
Sopwith "tabloid" scout landing.
Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.
Pilot: Mr. H. Pixton.
H.King - Sopwith Aircraft 1912-1920 /Putnam/
Fine man, fine aeroplane: Victor Mahl with a Tabloid having the 'racing', or V-type landing gear, fabric-faired wheels and one of several forms of engine cowling tried on the Tabloid. A spinner adds an extra sporting touch.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Harry Hawker himself demonstrates, on a single-seat Tabloid, how the trailing-edge cut-out could prove serviceable to a photographer as well as to pilot
O.Thetford - British Naval Aircraft since 1912 /Putnam/
Tabloid number 326 was flown briefly by No 4 Squadron Royal Flying Corps. This Tabloid is unarmed and is used in the reconnaissance role
H.King - Sopwith Aircraft 1912-1920 /Putnam/
At first glance, Tabloids Nos. 326 and 394 were seemingly identical; but scrutiny of the wheel/skid landing gear proves otherwise the latter having extra struts (or a V-type gear plus skids).
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
The Sopwith Tabloid, serial no 394 seen here, typifies the best of the RNAS's front-line equipment at the start of the war. Powered by a 100hp Gnome and capable of a top level speed of 92mph at sea level, the single seater was able to carry a couple of 20lb bombs and as such was to become the first British aircraft to fly a significant strike against German forces, when, on 8 October 1914, a bomb dropped from Lt R.L.G. Manx's Tabloid, serial no 168, destroyed the Zeppelin Z IX in its shed at Dusseldorf. Once mighty Zeppelin Z IX's hulk smouldering in its lair following the daring raid by Marix. Flying his No I Naval Wing machine from an already embattled Antwerp, Marix's Tabloid was damaged during the attack, resulting in the pilot having to force land twenty miles short of his base, completing his journey by borrowed bicycle. Between April 1914 and May 1915, the RNAS took delivery of 39 Tabloids.
M.Goodall, A.Tagg - British Aircraft before the Great War /Schiffer/
Sopwith Type SS.3 was a much modified Tabloid scout for the RNAS. The wing stagger was deleted and a gun was mounted on the center section.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
This Sopwith Tabloid (1205) of No 2 Wing RNAS is armed with a .303 Lewis machine gunmounted above the upper wing center section. Mounting the gun in this manner kept it free of the propeller arc
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Ground crew hold down Sopwith Tabloid 1205 as it runs up its engine. The aircraft was attached to No 2 Wing of the Royal Naval Air Service and carried early Naval markings which consisted of a Red ring on a White circle carried above the upper wing and below the lower wing
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Sopwith Tabloid 1208 was assigned to RNAS Great Yarmouth during 1915. The aircraft had a V-strut undercarriage and ailerons on the upper and lower wings which were connected by light struts
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Sopwith workers construct Tabloids in the Sopwith factory at Kingston-on-Thames. The aircraft hull at the right is a Sopwith Bat Boat being built for the Royal Naval Air Service
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
A Sopwith Tabloid staked and tied down at Royal Naval Air Service air field. This is late production Tabloid with strut connected ailerons on the upper and lower wing. The aircraft appears to be unarmed
H.Cowin - Aviation Pioneers /Osprey/
Though sometimes called a 'Sopwith Gordon Bennett' this particular Tabloid variant was acquired by the Admiralty and was distinguished not only by a 'racing' landing gear and liberally ventilated cowling, but by a Lewis gun fixed on the starboard side and firing ahead by virtue of a deflector propeller / A revealing aspect on an experimental Lewis gun mounting on this late production Sopwith Tabloid scout. Note the armoured propeller cuffs approximately half way out along each blade, used to deflect any impacting round of ammunition.
Журнал - Flight за 1916 г.
SCALE MODEL MADE BY MR. W. M. BUNCE FROM "FLIGHT" DRAWINGS - Sopwith Tabloid.
Журнал - Flight за 1913 г.
The landing chassis and engine housing of the new 80-h.p. Sopwith biplane.
Журнал - Flight за 1913 г.
View of the cockpit of the new 80 h.p. Sopwith biplane.
Журнал - Flight за 1913 г.
The simple and strong tail skid of the new 80 h.p. Sopwith biplane.
Журнал - Flight за 1913 г.
Detailed view of the Sopwith hinged axle and radius-rod on the landing chassis.
Журнал - Flight за 1913 г.
The combined back rest and fuselage cross-member of the 80 h.p. Sopwith biplane.
Журнал - Flight за 1913 г.
The new type of rudder-bar on the 80 h.p. Sopwith biplane; note the shortness and inclined position of the same. On the right detailed sketch showing the attachment of the rear spar to the fuselage.
Журнал - Flight за 1915 г.
Various types of double skid undercarriages.
Журнал - Flight за 1916 г.
Engines mounted between double bearers, and their housings.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Plan views of Sopwith machines
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Side elevations of the Sopwith machines
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Front elevations of the Sopwith machines
P.Lewis - British Aircraft 1809-1914 /Putnam/
Sopwith Tabloid Prototype
O.Thetford - British Naval Aircraft since 1912 /Putnam/
Sopwith Tabloid
Журнал - Flight за 1913 г.
THE 80 H.P. SOP WITH BIPLANE. - Plan, side and front elevations.