Самолеты (сортировка по:)
Страна Конструктор Название Год Фото Текст

Sopwith Salamander / T.F.2

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1918


Sopwith - Dragon - 1918 - Великобритания<– –>Sopwith - Scooter/Swallow - 1918 - Великобритания

В.Обухович, А.Никифоров Самолеты Первой Мировой войны

К завершающему периоду войны была продемонстрирована эффективность штурмовых атак самолетов на передовые позиции противника, особенно в наступлении. Поэтому сразу несколько британских компаний приступили к разработке самолета-штурмовика. Сопвич предложил штурмовой вариант истребителя "Кэмел" TF.1. Однако по результатам его испытаний было решено создать штурмовой вариант на основе "Снайпа". Новый самолет получил наименование TF.2 "Саламандер" ("Trench Fighter" - "траншейный истребитель"),
  В передней части фюзеляжа был установлен бронированный короб, в котором помещались кабина пилота и топливный бак. К коробу крепились лонжероны нижнего крыла и стойки кабана верхнего, а также лонжероны фермы фюзеляжа. На серийных машинах иногда из-за перекоса короба нарушалась симметрия планера. Вооружение должно было состоять из двух пулеметов, установленных под углом вниз, и одного синхронного перед кабиной. Однако в серии оставили обычное вооружение - два синхронных пулемета перед кабиной пилота. Запас патронов был увеличен до 1000 на каждый пулемет. TF.2 оснащался двигателем Бентли B.R.2, который закрывался капотом с большим нижним вырезом. Из-за этого выреза капот вибрировал в полете и его пришлось подкрепить стальным подкосом к фюзеляжу.
  Всего было произведено 526 самолетов, однако в боевых действиях они практически не участвовали. Отдельные образцы испытывались в США и Франции. Был создан палубный вариант самолета с водной лыжей перед колесами.
  По конструкции TF.2 "Саламандер" представлял собой в основном деревянный двухстоечный биплан. Кабина пилота и бензобак были заключены в бронекороб, заголовник кабины также бронировался. Лонжерон стабилизатора был выполнен из алюминия. Устанавливались элероны как с роговой компенсацией, так и без.

Двигатель 1 х "Бентли" B.R.2 230 л. с.
  размах х длина х высота 9,50 х 5,95 х 2,80 м
пустого 836 кг
взлетный 1139 кг
Максимальная скорость 200 км/час
Потолок 4000 м
Продолжительность полета 2 ч
  стрелковое 2 синхронных пулемета "Виккерс"
Экипаж 1 чел.

H.King Sopwith Aircraft 1912-1920 (Putnam)

T.F.2. Salamander

  The fact that this present chapter - dealing with Sopwith's second type of armoured single-seat 'trench fighter' - is quite distantly removed in the book from that on the Camel T.F.1 (so that this Camel variant could be grouped with others of the same basic type) calls for repetition of one sentence from the T.F.1 account in order to establish a time-scale. Thus:
  'On 7 March, 1918, the T.F.1 was flown to France, though its visit was apparently brief - possibly because the Salamander was already far advanced.'
  This information we may now expand by noting that it was only in January 1918 that Sopwith had been asked to design the highly specialised Snipe-related machine which bore the designation T.F.2 - an appropriate one not only because this was a later design in the Sopwith series (the T.F.1 having been an interim or stop-gap type, possibly offering alluring prospects of ready conversions from the F.1 design) but more especially because the Snipe-related, instead of Camel-related, machine was intended to comply with British Expeditionary Force Specification No.2 (though for that matter, so had the T.F.1, handicapped though it was by lower power).
  By the end of the month in which the above-mentioned request was made - January 1918 - the first of three T.F.2 airframes (E5429-E5431) was being erected. On 26 April it was sent to Brooklands, and on the very next day was first flown the T.F.1 Camel having first been airborne at Brooklands only on the preceding 15 February. By the time the T.F.2 had flown the name Salamander had been officially recognized - and never was an aeroplane named more fittingly.
  The three factors most vitally affecting the specialised aspects of design and employment (apart from the Salamander's overall compatibility with the Snipe) were engine, armament and armour. Respecting the engine, an air-cooled rotary (Bentley B.R.2, though the eleven-cylinder Clerget 11E was considered as an alternative) was preferred to a water-cooled inline type, not only by reason of its reduced vulnerability to return fire from the ground but because by its very form it constituted a protective metal shield (the merits of such protection still being acclaimed for RAF radial-engined fighters between the wars).
  As for armament, although it was at first intended to have one fixed synchronised forward-firing Vickers gun only (or a Lewis gun having a restricted arc of fire as had the top-wing gun on the T.F.1 Camel) in addition to two downward-firing Lewis guns through the floor (a la T.F.1, except that they would be adjustable in depression over a range of 35-55 degrees) the ultimate, and firmly-favoured, scheme was twin fixed forward-firing synchronised Vickers guns only.
  Armour protection for the pilot and petrol tanks was a pre-eminent feature of design; no longer was 'a bit of armour underneath or an armoured bucket seat' sufficient - so the entire front fuselage was made as a box composed of armour plate (sufficient plates being ordered from Firths, in fact, for six machines, though three only were initially built). The box made up of armour plate was of these thicknesses: front (forming engine back-plate) 8 mm - the engine itself giving added protection, as already noted; bottom 11 mm.; sides 6 mm.; back 10-gauge sheet with 6-gauge close behind it. The pilot's head-fairing (not fitted on the Snipe) was also armoured, the frontal armour of this portion being in continuation of the forward of the two back-plates.
  As flown at Brooklands on 27 April, 1918, Salamander E5429 had Snipe mainplane panels (in essence if not in detail) though the tailplane differed from the Snipe's in having an all-duralumin front spar. This metal spar has more than a passing interest, for during 1918 it was suggested at least once that three happenings only would bring down a Salamander - a direct hit by A. A. fire, the shooting-away of two flying wires or severe damage to a main spar. Prominent external differences were the flat-sided fuselage; early-type vertical tail-surfaces, as at first fitted to Snipe B9966 - that is, with slightly bigger rudder than formerly, but still with the horn-balanced part unshielded; differences in aileron rigging (the ailerons, in any case, being aerodynamically unbalanced, as on the early Snipes) - and unstaggered guns (staggered guns being a distinctive feature of production Salamanders).
  To France for Service test went E5429 on 9 May, 1918; and on 30 June E5431 was tested at Martlesham Heath. Flight-reports were generally favourable, though aileron control was judged to be heavy. On E5431, at some stage, the guns were staggered (port gun a few inches behind starboard) the reason for this arrangement apparently being connected with the need to carry 1.000 rounds (earlier 750 rounds) for each gun. Thus, all things taken into account a fully equipped Salamander weighed about 500 lb (227 kg) more than a comparable Snipe. (A point to make in this regard is that although potential bomb load was 4 x 20 lb or 1 x 112 1b, this was not considered in any sense as primary armament - except, perhaps, for 'special' attacks, as envisaged for Naval units and as pioneered by Camels).
  Although it might be supposed that, being called upon to operate at low level and high power, the Salamander would have a larger fuel capacity than the Snipe Mk.I, the reverse was the case - weight being a prime consideration, though the quantity of petrol actually carried varied. Moreover, the Salamander's petrol-delivery system and piping layout differed from the Snipe's. In addition to the Badin vacuum-feed system, the venturi for which was on the front starboard centre-section strut of the Salamander (as on contemporary Snipes) there was a Weyman hand-operated pump for stand-by use and protected by armour. The fifth instruction in Manufacturers' Order of Erection was, in fact: 'Fit Main Petrol Tank and connect up piping as far as V.P. cock and first rubber joints in pipe from Weyman pump at bottom of Main Tank.' A gravity tank was fitted close behind the engine.
  In the dive the Salamander's speed accumulated quickly. Gliding angle was steep, and heavy landings led to landing-gear strengthening. Nevertheless, the opinions of some pilots were manifestly over-critical or ignored the aircraft's unique character, for its armour gave adequate protection against German armour-piercing bullets fired from short range. Rigging presented problems of its own, and in January 1919 it was formally notified that the machine was in rigging position when the thrust line which was scribed on the armour plate 'immediately aft of the side cowl on the port and starboard sides' - was level longitudinally and the fuselage was 'also level transversely'.
  By this time, it was also made clear, the Salamander's tailplane was braced not by wires, as initially, but by 'four adjustable streamlined steel tubes', two above and two below. By means of these tubes the tailplane was to be adjusted until level transversely and until the incidence was correct (2 deg on the centre line).
  The bottom wings were attached to 'fuselage housings' on the armour plate by means of a 'joint rod' and the rear end of the fuselage was attached 'by means of the four bolts through the joint box'. Other points of interest were that in truing-up the wings it was advisable first to adjust the upper wings until the dihedral was correct, and afterwards to adjust for stagger. It would then be found that any inaccuracy would be confined to the first bay from the fuselage on the lower wings. Such inaccuracy would occur at the lower-spar housings on the armour plate, and would be due to the 'very considerable' amount of distortion inherent in these plates, caused by the hardening process.
  Clearly, the Salamander was a 'difficult' aeroplane from everyone's viewpoint - designer, constructor, pilot and rigger especially; though the difficulties must in the main have been foreseen when it was ordered into production (by the early summer of 1918). As production proceeded the type acquired the 'production-Snipe' fin-and-rudder assembly as well as the Snipe's horn-balanced top ailerons; though the slab-sided fuselage, prominent headrest, staggered guns and fixed tailplane still gave it visual distinction not to mention the camouflage that was applied in more than one scheme, was administered 'on the line' after October 1918, and was to be seen in Egypt as late as 1922.
  Production continued after the Armistice (at Sopwith's own Ham works until the summer of 1919) - totalling nearer 300 than 200, and, as far as can be discovered, every Salamander built having the B.R.2 engine. Nevertheless, Salamanders never equipped a squadron, although many were stored, and the type was not unfamiliar at RAF stations.
  One example, F6533, went to the USA. But although some of its postwar history is cloudy, the Salamander was never strong in private-owner appeal in the post-Armistice years at least, though the same would hardly be true today!
  Production orders for Salamanders were:
  Sopwith E5429-E5431; F6501-F7000 (not all of main batch delivered, but F6602, with strut-braced tailplane and horn-balanced top ailerons, was photographed on 25 January, 1919, and F6660 was at Farnborough in November of the same year).

  N.B. A few in the range J5892-J5991 were completed by Glendower Aircraft Co Ltd, but large Salamander orders placed with the Air Navigation Co Ltd, National Aircraft Factory No.1, Palladium Autocars Ltd and Wolseley Motors Ltd were cancelled or curtailed by reason of the Armistice.

T.F.2 Salamander (230 hp Bentley B.R.2)

  Span (over horn-balanced ailerons) 31 ft 2§ in (9.5 m); length 19 ft 6 in (5.9 m). Empty weight 1.844 lb (835 kg); maximum weight 2,512 lb (1,139 kg). Maximum speed at 3,000 ft (915 m) 125 mph (201 km/h); maximum speed at 6,500 ft (1,980 m) 123 mph (198 km h); maximum speed at 10,000 ft (3,050 m) 117 mph (188 km/h): climb to 6.500 ft (1.980 m) 9 min 6 sec: climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m) 17 min 5 sec; service ceiling 13,000 ft (3,960 m).

  N.B. Having regard to the Salamander's greater weight, largely attributable to its armour, it is of special interest to note that at 10.000 ft (3,050 m) the rate of climb had fallen off to about 330 ft/min (100 m/min) only, whereas the Snipe would still be climbing at about 700 ft/min (210 m/min).

O.Thetford Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918 (Putnam)


  A derivative of the Snipe, the Salamander was intended for ground-attack duties, and for this purpose carried 650 lb. of armour plate for the protection of the pilot and petrol tanks. The first prototype (E 5429) did Service trials on the Western Front from May to 18, but no squadron was equipped with the type. About forty had been delivered to the R.A.F. by the Armistice. One 230-h.p. Bentley B.R. 2 engine. Max. speed, 125 m.p.h. at 500 ft. Service ceiling, 13,000 ft. loaded weight, 2,512 lb. Span, 31 ft. 2 5/8 in. Length, 19 ft. 6 in.

H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)

Salamander. 'The armour plating is painted in chocolate brown. On the wings is a forked-lightning camouflage design to render it comparatively invisible from above.' Thus ran an eye-witness account of a Salamander, to which it was added that the machine carried no roundels. Thus passive protection was visual as well as in the form of the armour-plate for which this 1918 'trench fighter' successor to the Camel T.F.1 is best known. The entire forward portion of the fuselage consisted of armour, and additional plating formed part of the top decking round and behind the cockpit, as well as the characteristic head-rest. The weight of all this armour (nearly 650 lb) was doubtless the cause of one officer describing the aeroplane as a 'heavily plated product of the Sopwith factories' which 'on account of its clumsiness and poor flying characteristics was found to be more lethal to its pilot than to the enemy'. This criticism may have been over-severe, although Martlesham Heath reported that lateral control was heavy and that the aircraft was tiring to fly.
  The armour gave adequate protection against German armour-piercing bullets fired from short range but presented problems additional to that of weight. In January 1919 the RAF gave notice that in trueing-up the wings it was advisable first to adjust the upper wings until the dihedral was correct, and afterwards to adjust for stagger. It would then be found that any inaccuracy would be confined to the first bay from the fuselage on the lower wings. Such inaccuracy would occur at the lower-spar housings on the armour-plate, and would be due to the 'very considerable' amount of distortion inherent in these plates caused by the hardening process. The makers' order of erection was: place armoured portion on trestles and attach undercarriage vees and axle; true-up undercarriage, attach rear end of fuselage by means of four bolts 'through the joint box'; true-up fuselage; fit main petrol tank and connect piping as far as V.P. cock and first rubber joints in pipe from Weyman pump at bottom of main tank; mount engine, fit oil tank and gravity tank and connect all piping; connect engine controls, revolution counter and C.C. gear; fit magazines; mount Vickers guns and connect pipe lines to trigger motors; fit rear decking; place t op gun cowl in position; attach side cowls and front engine cowl; assemble tail unit; and connect controls. These facts may lend further interest to the details from superb manufacturers' photographs now reproduced, apparently, for the first time.
  Although the Salamander was closely related to the Snipe and was similarly armed with two Vickers guns, there were many differences in the armament installation, stemming from the requirement that each gun should have 1.000 rounds o f ammunition. This led to the staggering of the guns in plan on the production type (starboard gun foremost). Case and link chutes were close together near the feed blocks. Sights were arranged as on the Snipe. Experimental installations reported, but not confirmed by photographs, were eight downward-firing guns (presumably Lewis), and two downward-firing Lewis guns and two Lewis guns over the centre-section, additional to the two standard Vickers guns. It was doubtless in connection with the Salamander that Sopwith designed a form of magazine comprising two telescopic belt boxes. This arrangement was such that when one box was completely emptied the adjacent box was moved into it with the new ammunition supply occupying the correct position relative to the gun.
  Provision was made for four 20-lb bombs, as on the Snipe.

W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters


  A requirement for an armoured single-seat ground attack fighter was issued to the Sopwith company in January 1918, a standard F.1 Camel being rapidly fitted with armour protection and triple-gun armament, and flying as the T.F.1 in the following month (T.F. indicating Trench Fighter). The T.F.1 was a stop-gap type that could be made available rapidly by modifying existing aircraft, but the requirement had specified the use of a 230 hp Bentley B.R.2 nine-cylinder rotary engine and Sopwith discarded the T.F.1 in favour of a modified Snipe design as the T.F.2 Salamander. Despite many similarities to the Snipe, the Salamander differed extensively and there was little or no interchangeability between the two aircraft. The forward portion of the fuselage was a simple armoured box, the bottom being 11-mm plate, the sides 6-mm plate, the front - the engine backplate - 8-mm plate and the rear 10-mm plate with a second 6-mm plate separated by 3.75 in (9,50 cm). Armament comprised two synchronised 0.303-in (7,7-mm) guns with provision for four 25-lb (11,34-kg) bombs. The first of three prototypes was flown on 27 April 1918, and the Salamander was ordered in large numbers (contracts were placed with the parent company, Air Navigation Co, Glendower Aircraft, National Aircraft, Palladium Autocars and Wolseley Motors), 37 being on RAF charge by 31 October. When hostilities ceased, production of the Salamander continued with a view to its use by the postwar RAF, and by mid 1919, when manufacture eventually terminated, Sopwith had delivered 334 and other contractors had contributed a further 85. However, no squadron was ever equipped with this type which was abandoned in favour of the Snipe.

Max speed, 125 mph (201 km/h) at 3,000 ft (915 m).
Time to 5,000 ft (1525 m), 6.5 min.
Endurance, 1.5 hrs.
Empty weight, 1,844 lb (836 kg).
Loaded weight, 2,512 lb (1139 kg).
Span (balanced upper ailerons), 31ft 2 6/8 in (9,52 m).
Length, 19 ft 6 in (5,94 m).
Height, 9 ft 4 in (2,84 m).
Wing area, 272 sqft (25,27 m2).

P.Lewis The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)

The busy Sopwith factory proceeded to produce in the Spring of 1918 another single-seat two-bay biplane fighter - the T.F.2 Salamander - with the emphasis on trench strafing. In appearance closely resembling the Snipe, the whole fore-section of the fuselage was protected by armour plating. The Salamander’s engine was the 230 h.p. Bentley B.R.2, standard armament being a pair of nose-mounted Vickers guns. Experimental installations were tested consisting of batteries of multiple machine-guns, even to the extent of equipping one Salamander with eight guns concentrated to fire downwards through the bottom of the fuselage. The Salamander went into production but was too late to become operational before the Armistice and its very nature nullified use in the R.A.F. after the War.

Журнал Flight

Flight, February 6, 1919.



The "Salamander." (April 26, 1918)

In general lines this formidable aeroplane is modelled upon its prototype, the "Snipe," but its function is of a totally different character, as it was designed primarily as a trench fighter, for which purpose it is armed with two fixed machine guns and protected with armour plating. The latter forms the front of the fuselage from a point immediately in the rear of the engine (a B.R. of 200 h.p.), and extends to the rear of the pilot's cockpit. This plating was not added to an existing frame, but had a structural as well as a protective function, and itself formed the front portion of the fuselage. It will be noticed that the faired cowling behind the engine is added above the armour. A small variation from "Snipe" detail is seen in the tapering spine serving to fair off the pilot's head. This being bullet-proof, gave him a considerable means of protection against attack from the rear. The total weight of the armour is 650 lbs., and, in addition to this extra load, 2,000 rounds of ammunition were carried for the guns.

В.Обухович, А.Никифоров - Самолеты Первой Мировой войны
Сопвич TF.2 "Саламандер"
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
It is believed that this is either an early production Salamander or one of the prototypes, as indicated by the small fin and rudder fitted to early aircraft. The fin and rudder were enlarged on production aircraft
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Early production Salamander with an enlarged rudder
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
This Sopwith Salamander (E5429) trench fighter was sent to France during May of 1918 for an operational evaluation. Pilots reported that the Salamander was heavy on the controls
H.King - Sopwith Aircraft 1912-1920 /Putnam/
Compared with dead-rear views of Snipes in the preceding chapter, this aspect of Salamander E5429 shows similarities and dissimilarities - the latter chiefly respecting fuselage and head-fairing. The Sopwith caption is essentially as on page 252, but the photograph number is S.361 and "200 hp Bentley Rotary Engine' has been added.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
The cowling of the Bentley B.R.2 engine and the unstaggered Vickers guns show well in this close-up of the first Salamander - E5429. Maker's caption: "S.365 - Sopwith Salamander Trench Fighter T.F.2 - May 1/18'.
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
View, showing the first Salamander E5429 in Sopwith photograph S.362. The panel showing between the unstaggered guns of E5429 bears the word 'Petrol' and a figure for 'gallons' ending in '3/4'.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
A production machine before final assembly (Sopwith Salamander E5429 ??). Especially interesting on the production machine, with its staggered guns, is the large case chute, with small link chute above it and the loading handle for the starboard gun peeping up above the cockpit rim just behind. Attachment points for a bomb-carrier are seen under the cockpit.
H.Cowin - Aviation Pioneers /Osprey/
Созданный на основе "Снайпа", внешне TF2 "Саламандер" отличался плоскими бортами фюзеляжа / The Sopwith TF 2 Salamander was an armour-clad version of the Sopwith Snipe used for close air support, or trench strafing duties. The first of three prototypes, serial no E5429 seen here, initially flew on 27 April 1918. Using the same engine and armament as the Snipe, the major difference between the two aircraft was the Salamander's additional 492lb of armour to protect the pilot. The Salamander's top level speed was 125mph at 3,000 feet, but the extra weight depressed the climb rate to a mediocre 6 minutes 30 seconds to reach 5,000 feet.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Sopwith Salamander. The third prototype Salamander
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
This production Salamander was sent to America, and is here seen at McCook Field
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
F6602, was one of 160 TF.2 Salamanders constructed at the Sopwith factory at Ham
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
This Sopwith Salamander carried an experimental camouflage scheme developed specially for the Salamander
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Fig. 37. - Ground fighter. Sopwith Salamander.
P.Jarrett, K.Munson - Biplane to Monoplane: Aircraft Development, 1919-39 /Putnam/
The aircraft industry's initial phase of expansion occurred during the First World War. By 1918 the most successful British company of this era, Sopwith, was producing aircraft like these Snipes and Salamanders in very large numbers.
H.King - Armament of British Aircraft /Putnam/
Another comparative view of the Salamander and Snipe, in production at Sopwith's Ham works in December 1918. Note staggered Vickers gun installation on Salamander (front row) and flat sides.
H.King - Armament of British Aircraft /Putnam/
A third Salamander Snipe comparison, with the Salamanders in the foreground exhibiting not only the armoured forward fuselage but the staggered gun-mountings.
H.King - Sopwith Aircraft 1912-1920 /Putnam/
Salamanders (row in foreground) and Snipes beyond: Sopwith caption, 'S.705 - Sopwith Aviation Co Ltd Kingston. Ham Works. Dec. 1918'.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Side elevations of the Sopwith machines
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Front elevations of the Sopwith machines
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Plan views of Sopwith machines
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
Sopwith TF2 Salamander.