American Triplanes

Curtiss 18-T Wasp

Curtiss 18-T Wasp - 1918
Curtiss 18-T Wasp - 1918

The Curtiss 18T, unofficially known as the Wasp and by the United States Navy as the Kirkham, was an early American triplane fighter aircraft designed by Curtiss Engineering for the US Navy.

The Curtiss 18T was intended to protect bombing squads along the French coast, and a primary requisite for this job was speed. Speed was not the triplane's only salient feature: an 18T-2 set a new altitude record in 1919 of 34,910 ft (10,640 m). The streamlined and very "clean" fuselage contribiuted to the aircraft's performance. The basic construction was based on cross-laminated strips of wood veneer formed on a mold and attached to the inner structure. The technique was a refinement of that used on the big Curtiss flying boats.

Flown by Roland Rholfs, the 18T achieved a world speed record of 163 mph (262 km/h) in August 1918 carrying a full military load of 1,076 lb (488 kg).

The Model 18T-2 was an improved version of its predecessor, boosting 50 additional horsepower. The wings of the new model were swept back. It was also 5 ft (150 cm) longer with a 9 ft (270 cm) longer two-bay wing, though its flight ceiling was 2,000 ft (610 m) lower.

After World War I, it was employed as a racing plane: an 18T-2 nearly won the Curtiss Marine Trophy Race in 1922 (limited to U.S. Navy pilots), but pilot Sandy Sanderson ran out of fuel just before the finish line.

Curtiss Engineering followed the success of the Model 18T with the launch of the Model 18B, unofficially known as the "Hornet", built to otherwise similar specifications.

Curtiss 18-T Wasp
  • Role: two seat fighter triplane
  • Manufacturer: Curtiss Engineering Corporation
  • Designed by: Charles B Kirkham
  • First flight: 7 May 1918
  • Introduction: February 1919
  • Primary user: United States Navy
  • Unit cost: $55,400
  • Variants
  • Model 18T or 18T-1: Two-seat fighter triplane with single-bay wings, powered by a 400-hp (298-kW) Curtiss-Kirkham K-12 piston engine. Referred to by the US Navy as the "Kirkham". Originally designated 18T, the type was redesignated the 18T-1 when the prototype was modified to a new configuration designated 18T-2 (see below).
  • Model 18T-2: 18T with longer-span two-bay wings. Could be fitted with floatplane or landplane landing gear.
  • Model 18B: Biplane fighter version, known unofficially as the "Hornet".
  • Powerplant: 1 × water-cooled 12-cylinder vee engine, 350 hp (261 kW)
  • Propellers: four-blade prop, 1 per engine
  • Wingspan: 31 ft 10 in (9.70 m)
  • Wing area: 288.04 ft² (26.76 m²)
  • Length: 23 ft 4 in (7.11 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 11 in (3.02 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,069 lb (485 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 3,049 lb (1,383 kg)
  • Maximum speed: 163 mph (262 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: Approximately 34,908 ft (10,640 m)
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament:
    • Primary: 2 × forward-firing synchronized 0.30 in (7.62 mm) Marlin guns
    • Secondary: 2 × rear-cockpit 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns on a Scarff ring

References

  1. Curtiss 18-T Wasp. (2011, January 13). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:56, January 16, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtiss_18
  2. Angelucci, Enzo and Peter Bowers. "The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft from 1917 to the Present. New York: Orion Books, 1985, pp. 114-115. ISBN 0-517-56588-9.
  3. "The Curtiss Model 18-T Triplane." Flight, Volume XI, Issue 22, No. 544, 29 May 1919, pp. 698-700.
  4. "The Curtiss Model 18-B Biplane." Volume XI, Issue 28, No. 550, 10 July 1919, pp. 902-904.
  5. Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. New York: Salamander, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.

Curtiss Model S

Curtiss Model S-3 - 1917
Curtiss Model S-3 Model 10

The Curtiss Model S (also known as Speed Scout or Model 10) was a single-seat fighter aircraft.

The Model S was Curtiss' first attempt at a fast and maneuverable single-seat fighter. The first variant, S-1, had disappointing performance. In March 1917, new wings were attached to the S-1 fuselage and the project was redesignated S-2. In 1917, the S-3 became the first triplane in service in the United States. In 1918 and 1919, Curtiss experimented with seaplane versions of the S-3, designated S-4 and S-5. The S-6 was intended to be an improved S-3, but performance was poor and of the 12 ordered by the USASC, only 1 was delivered.

Curtiss Model S-3
  • Role: fighter
  • National origin: United States
  • Manufacturer: Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
  • Variants:
    • S-1 Speed Scout: Biplane, unarmed
    • S-2 Wireless Biplane: updated S-1 lacked wing wires. First flight in March 1917.
    • S-3 Model 10: Triplane derived from S-2. Four built.
    • S-4 Model 10A: Seaplane version of S-3 with 2 main floats
    • S-5 Model 10B: Seaplane version of S-3 with 1 main central float and two wingtip floats.
    • S-6 Model 10C: Triplane, improved S-3
  • Length: 19 ft 6 in (5.94 m)
  • Wingspan: 25 ft 0 in (7.62 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 7 in (2.62 m)
  • Wing area: 142.6 ft² (13.25 m²)
  • Empty weight: 970 lb (440 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1,320 lb (599 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Curtiss OXX-3, 100 hp (75 kW)
  • Maximum speed: 115 mph (185 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 16,500 ft (5,029 m)
  • Crew: 1

References

  1. "Curtiss Model S". (2010, March 17). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:14, January 16, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Curtiss_Model_S&oldid=350489016
  2. Angelucci, Enzo "The American Fighter from 1917 to the present", pp. 112-113. 1987 New York: Orion Books.
  3. Bowers, Peter M. "Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947", p.133. 1979 London: Putnam. ISBN 0 370 10029 8.

Austrian Triplanes

Aviatik (Berg) Dr.I 30.24

Aviatik-Berg (Aviatik) Dr.I sn-30.24
Aviatik-Berg (Aviatik) Dr.I sn-30.24- 1917

The Aviatik 30.24 (this designation indicating that it was the 24th experimental aircraft produced by O-UF Aviatik) single-seat fighter triplane designed by von Berg in May 1917. The Aviatik 30.24 employed a similar structure to that of the D.I and the fuselage was very similar. Based on a contract with Aviatik for four experimental fighter planes powered by 185/200 hp Daimler engines in Sept 1917.

Flight testing of 30.24 on Oct 1917, the 185 hp powered 30.24 had inferior performance compared with a similar engined Aviatik D.I. The 200 hp Daimler also shows little improvement. The Triplane was referred to FLEK (FLiegerErsatzKompanie) 6 in Wiener Neustadt, where a variety of experimental radiators were installed to improve the pilots forward view on Aviatik fighters. 30.24 was accepted by LFT inspectors in Sep 1918. The remaining three prototypes (designations unknown), completed but disassembled, were accepted at the end of Oct 1918. The 30.24 was offered for sale to the Czechoslovakian government in April 1920.

Aviatik (Berg) Dr.I 30.24
  • Role: Experimental Triplane Fighter
  • National Origin: Austria-Hungary
  • Manufacturer: Österreichische-Ungarische Flugzeugfabrik
  • Designed by: Julius von Berg
  • Contract Accepted: September 1917
  • First Flight: October 1917
  • Testing Unit: Flek 6
  • Number Built: 4
  • Status: Prototype only
  • Power Plant: 1 × Austro-Daimler, 200 hp (149 kW) 6 cylinder liquid cooled inline engine
  • Wingspan: 7.22 m 24 ft 8 in
  • Wing area: 242.19 ft² (22.50 m²)
  • Length: 23 ft 6 in (6.86 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 0 in (2.75 m)
  • Take-off Weight: 1900 lb (862 kg)
  • Empty Weight: 1367 lb (620 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 108 mph (174 km/h)
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament: 2 × Synchronised fixed forward-firing 0.315 in (8 mm) Schwarzlose machine guns

References

  1. Aviatik (Berg) 30.24 The Virtual Aircraft Museum retrieved from http://www.aviastar.org/air/austria/aviatik_30-24.php

Hansa-Brandenburg L.16

Hansa-Brandenburg L16 - 1917
Hansa-Brandenburg L.16 - 1917

The Hansa-Brandenburg L.16 was a single-seat equi-span fighter, developed by Hansa-Brandenburg for the Austro-Hungarian K.u.k. Luftfahrttruppen. It had a distinctive triplane configuration with aerofoil-section I-type interplane bracing struts. The L.16 was powered by a 185 hp (138 kW) Austro-Daimler six-cylinder water-cooled engine. The proposed armament for the L.16 consisted of two synchronized Schwarzlose machine guns. Various coolant radiator arrangements were evaluated on the single prototype built. Evaluation flights proved the fighter did not perform well enough to warrant series production. The development of this design was abandoned.

Hansa-Brandenburg L.16
  • Role: fighter triplane
  • National Origin: Austria-Hungary
  • Manufacturer: Hansa-Brandenburg
  • Operator: K.u.k. Luftfahrttruppen
  • Number Built: One
  • First Fight: 1917
  • Status: Prototype
  • Power Plant: Austro-Daimler six-cylinder water-cooled engine 185 hp (138 kW)
  • Wingspan: 30 ft 6 in (9.00 m)
  • Length: 24 ft 8 in (7.21 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 2 in (3.70 m)
  • Wing area: 360.59 ft² (33.5 m²)
  • Take-off weight: 2061 lb (935 kg)
  • Empty weight: 1631 lb (740 kg)
  • Maximum speed: 118 mph (190 km/h)
  • Crew: One
  • Armament: 2 × Synchronized fixed forward-firing 0.315 in (8 mm) Schwarzlose machine guns

References

  1. Hansa-Brandenburg L.16 1917 The Virtual Aircraft Museum retrieved Jan. 11 2011 09:11 from http://www.aviastar.org/air/germany/brandenburg_l-16.php

Lloyd 40.08 Luftkreuzer

Lloyd 40.08 Luftkreuzer - 1917
Lloyd 40.08 Luftkreuzer - 1917

The Lloyd Luftkreuzer was a very bizzare and unsuccessful triplane bomber which was first proposed in 1916. It was plagued with design flaws which were never solved to the degree that never let it leave the ground. It never made it past the prototype stage of development.

The prototype Lloyd Luftkreuzer was based on the requirement of LFT (Luftfahrtruppen) to develop a modern and powerful bomber powered by three engines. In August of 1915 LFT approached two compnies, Lloyd and Oeffag Phönix who were awarded funding to construct two prototype triplane heavy bombers. The machine should be driven by one powerful engine in the main hull and two engines in smaller side mounted boom style fuslage. The next requirement was the ability to carry a 200 kg bomb load and endurance of at least 6 hours. Defensive armament would provided by four machine guns, two of the guns should be mounted on the main fuselage and the other two guns would be mounted in the side hulls.
[Read more]

Lloyd 40.08
  • National Origin: Austro-Hungarian Empire
  • Role: prototype bomber triplane
  • Manufacturer: Ungarische Lloyd Flugzeug und Motorenfabrik AG
  • Manufactured: 1916-1917
  • Number Built: 1
  • Status: Prototype Only
  • Power Plants:
    • Pusher: 1 × Austro-Daimler 12 cylinder water cooled Engine 300 hp (224 kW)
    • Tractor: 2 × Austro-Daimler 6 cylinder inline water cooled Engines 160 hp (120 kW)
  • Wingspan: 23.26 m
  • Wing Area: 110.0 m²
  • Length: 9.55 m
  • Height: 5.01 m
  • Takeoff Weight: 4840 kg
  • Endurance: 6 hours Required in specification
  • Crew: 4-5
  • Armament: Required in specification
    • Bombs: 200 kg
    • Guns: 4 × 0.315 in (8 mm) Schwarzlose machine guns

References

  1. Knights of the Air Made in Hungary http://www.dieselpunks.org/profiles/blogs/knights-of-the-air-made-in
  2. Lloyd 40.08 Valka Cz http://en.valka.cz/viewtopic.php/t/66002
  3. Grosz, Peter, the Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of World War One. Flying Machines Press, 2002, ISBN 1-891268-05-8

Lloyd Triplane

Lloyd Triplane - 1917
Lloyd Triplane - 1917

The Austro-Hungarians built many bizzare aircraft, and the Lloyd 40.15 was no exception. The Lloyd 40.15 triplane fighter prototype was a rather ungainly aircraft with a lot of unique features. It had fully cantilevered wings, probably of mixed veneer and fabric construction. It appears that the wings were originally designed to be all veneered with tipperons. Then the wing construction was changed to a veneer/fabric construction. On the middle wing, rotating wingtip ailerons were fitted. The lower wing was mounted behind the undercarriage struts. The plane was powered by a 185 hp (138 kW) Daimler and was armed with twin fixed, forward-firing 0.315 in (8 mm) Schwarzlose machine guns, mounted within the pilots reach.
[Read more]

Lloyd 40.15 Triplane
  • Role: Experimental Triplane Fighter
  • National Origin: Austria-Hungary
  • Manufacturer: Ungarische Lloyd Flugzeug und Motorenfabrik
  • First Flight: December 1917 or March 1, 1918
  • Number Built: at least 1
  • Unit: unknown
  • Serial: 40.15
  • Status: Prototype
  • Powerplant: 1 × Austro-Daimler (MAG) six-cylinder liquid-cooled inline engine, 185 hp (138 kW)
  • Wing Span: 24 ft 10 ⅞ in (7.6 m)
  • Wing Area: (22.2 m²)
  • Length: 23 ft 3⅝ in (7.1 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 1⅜ in (2.8 m)
  • Maximum Take-off Weight: 1 984 lb (900 kg)
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament: 2 × fixed, forward-firing 0.315 in (8 mm) Schwarzlose machine gun

References

  1. Green, William, and Swanborough, Gordon, Fighter A To Z, Air International
  2. Grosz,Peter M. Haddow, George. Schiemer, Peter. Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of World War One. Flying Machines Press, 1993. ISBN 0963711008,
  3. WW1 Aero 71 (dec 78), available from http://www.ww1aeroplanesinc.org

British Triplanes

Armstrong Whitworth F.K.5 and F.K.6

Armstrong-Whitworth F.K.6 - 1916
Armstrong Whitworth F.K.6 - 1916

The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.5 and F.K.6 were experimental triplanes built as escort fighters by Armstrong Whitworth during the First World War. They carried two gunners in nacelles mounted on the center wing. One example of each type was built, with no further development or production following.
[Read more]

Armstrong Whitworth F.K.6
  • Role: Experimental Escort fighter
  • National Origin: United Kingdom
  • Manufacturer: Armstrong Whitworth
  • Designed by: Frederick Koolhoven
  • First Flight: 1916
  • Project Terminated: 1916
  • Number Built: 2
  • Status: Prototype
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Eagle water-cooled V-12 engine, 250 hp (187 kW)
  • Wingspan: 62 ft in (18.90 m)
  • Length: 37 ft 0¾ in (11.30 m)
  • Height: 17 ft in (5.18 m)
  • Maximum Speed: 99 mph (160 km/h)
  • Crew: 3
  • Armament: 2 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns, one in each nacelle

References

  1. Armstrong Whitworth F.K.6. (2010, September 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:11, October 30, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Armstrong_Whitworth_F.K.6&oldid=385009811
  2. Armstrong Whitworth F.K.6 1916 Virtual Aircraft Museum Retrieved 17:11, October 30, 2010, from http://www.aviastar.org/air/england/arm_fk-6.php
  3. Koolhoven Aeroplanes Foundation http://www.koolhoven.com/history/airplanes/aw/
  4. Bruce, J.M. "British Aeroplanes 1914-18". London:Putnam, 1957.
  5. Bruce, J.M. "War Planes of the First World War: Volume One Fighters". London:Macdonald, 1965.
  6. Green, William and Swanborough, Gordon. "The Complete Book of Fighters". New York:Smithmark, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.
  7. Lewis, Peter. "The British Fighter since 1912". London:Putnam, Fourth edition, 1979. ISBN 0 370 10049 2.
  8. Mason, Francis K. "The British Fighter since 1912". Annapolis, Maryland, USA:Naval Institute Press, 1992. ISBN 1-55750-082-7
  9. Tapper, Oliver. "Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1914". London:Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0 85177 826 7.

Austin A.F.T.3 Osprey

Austin A.F.T.3 Osprey
Austin A.F.T.3 Osprey - 1918

The Austin A.F.T.3 Osprey was a prototype British fighter triplane of the First World War. Developed by the motor car manufacturer Austin as a replacement to the Sopwith Camel, only one was built, the Sopwith Snipe being preferred.

In 1917, Britain's War Office issued Specification A.1.A for a single seat fighter to replace the Sopwith Camel. To meet this requirement, the Austin Motor Company, already a large scale manufacturer of aircraft, produced a design for a single-engined triplane, the A.F.T.3 Osprey. receiving a licence to build three prototypes as a private venture.

The Osprey was of conventional wood and fabric construction, with single-bay triplane wings. It was powered by a Bentley BR2 rotary engine, and featured the required armament of two Vickers machine guns and a single Lewis gun. The synchronised Vickers guns were mounted ahead of the pilot, while the Lewis gun was mounted on a movable mounting on the centre section of the middle wing, where it had a very limited field of fire, with the large diameter propellor blocking any forward fire.
[Read more]

Austin A.F.T.3 Osprey
  • Type: Fighter Triplane aircraft
  • National Origin: British
  • Manufacturer: Austin Motor Company
  • First Flight: February 1918
  • Flight Trials: March-June 1918
  • Status: Prototype
  • Number Built: 1
  • Powerplant: 1× Bentley BR2 rotary engine, 230 hp (172 kW)
  • Wingspan: 23 ft (7.01 m)
  • Wing Area: 233 ft² (21.7m²)
  • Length: 17 ft 7 in (5.36 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 8 in (3.25 m)
  • Empty Weight: 1,106 lb (503 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 1,888 lb (858 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 118.5 mph (103 knots, 191 km/h) at 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
  • Service Ceiling: 19,000 ft (5,790 m)
  • Endurance: 3 hours
  • Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 10 min 20 s
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament:
    • Guns Forward: 2 × forward firing, synchronised 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns
    • Guns Aft: 1× 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun on semi-free mounting on rear of middle wing

References

  1. From Wikipedia Austin Osprey, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_Osprey"
  2. Bruce, J.M. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. London:Putnam, 1957, p.33.
  3. Bruce, J.M. War Planes of the First World War:Volume One: Fighters. London:Macdonald, 1965, p.27-29.
  4. Mason, Francis K. The British Fighter since 1912. Annapolis, USA:Naval Institute Press, 1992, p.128, p.273. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.

Blackburn Triplane

Blackburn Triplane
Blackburn Triplane - 1917

The Blackburn Triplane was a single-engine pusher single-seater, designed specifically to attack Zeppelins. It flew in 1917, but was not successful.

The Triplane was the third unsuccessful attempt at an anti-Zeppelin fighter that involved Blackburn. The first was Blackburn's own Twin Blackburn and the second the AD Scout, Blackburn building two of the four machines of this type to an Air Department of the Admiralty design. In 1916, the Scout's designer, Harris Booth moved to Blackburn where he created a heavily-revised aircraft, the Triplane.
[Read more]

Blackburn Triplane
Data from Jackson 1968, p. 101 No performnace data is known to exist
  • Type: Anti-airship fighter
  • National Origin: United Kingdom
  • Manufacturer: Blackburn
  • Designed By: Harris Booth
  • Designed: 1916
  • First Flight: 1917
  • Accepted by Admiralty: Feb. 20, 1917
  • Retired: March 1917
  • Number Built: 1
  • Status: Prototype
  • Powerplant: 1 × Gnome rotary, 100 hp (75 kW)
  • Wingspan: 24 ft 0 in (7.32 m)
  • Wing Area: 221 ft² (20.5 m²)
  • Length: 21 ft 5.25 in (6.53 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m)
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament: 1 × Recoilless Davis gun 2 lb (1 kg) shells

References

  1. From Wikipedia Blackburn Triplane, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackburn_Triplane"
  2. Jackson, A.J. (1968). Blackburn Aircraft since 1909. London: Putnam Publishing, pp. 98-101. ISBN 0 370 00053 6.

Bristol Braemar

Bristol Braemar Mk.II - 1918
Bristol Braemar Mk.II - 1918

The Bristol Braemar was a British heavy bomber aircraft developed at the end of the First World War for the Royal Air Force. Only two prototypes were constructed.

The prototype Braemar was developed in response to the establishment of the Independent Air Force in October 1917, as a bomber capable of the long-range bombing of Berlin if necessary. A large triplane, it had internal stowage for up to six 250 lb (110 kg) bombs.

The initial design featured a unique engine installation with a central engine room housing all four engines. The engines were to be geared in pairs and power taken from the engines to the four propellers by power shafts. This design was abandoned early in development, and both the completed Braemars had a conventional engine installation, with the engines in inline tandem pairs, driving pusher and tractor propellers. However, the engine-room design was resurrected later in the Braemar's development life, for the proposed steam-powered Tramp.
[Read more]

Braemar Mk.II
  • Role: Heavy bomber
  • National Origin: Great Britian
  • Manufacturer: Bristol Aeroplane Company
  • Designed by: Frank Barnwell
  • First flight: August 13, 1918
  • Number built: 2
  • Developed into: Bristol Pullman
  • Powerplant: 4 × Liberty L-12 inline engine, 400 hp (300 kW) each
  • Wingspan: 81 ft 8 in (24.89 m)
  • Wing area: 1,905 ft² (177 m²)
  • Length: 51 ft 6 in (15.73 m)
  • Height: 20 ft (6.10 m)
  • Empty weight: 10,650 lb (4,840 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 18,000 lb (8,170 kg)
  • Maximum speed: 109 kn (125 mph, 200 km/h) at sea level
  • Range: more than 1,000 mi ()
  • Service ceiling: 17,000 ft (5,100 m)
  • Wing loading: 9.45 lb/ft² (46.2 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.08 hp/lb (150 W/kg)
  • Crew: 6 - two pilots, wireless operator, engineer and two gunners
  • Armament:
    • Guns: 2 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis machine guns
    • Bombs: up to six 250 lb (110 kg) bombs total: 1,500 lb (680 kg)

References

  1. Bristol Braemar. (2010, November 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 06:38, March 8, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bristol_Braemar&oldid=395872431
  2. Barnes C.H. (1964). Bristol Aircraft Since 1910. Putnam & Company Ltd. ISBN 0-370-00015-3

Sopwith L.R.T.Tr.

Sopwith L.R.T.Tr - 1916
Sopwith L.R.T.Tr. - 1916

The Sopwith Long Range Tractor Triplane (L.R.T.Tr) was a prototype British long-range three seat triplane escort fighter of the First World War. Of unusual layout, with a small gunner's nacelle mounted on the upper wing to give an all-round field of fire. Only a single example was built, other, smaller, fighters proving more practicable.
[Read more]

Sopwith L.R.T.Tr.
  • Role: Escort fighter
  • National origin: United Kingdom
  • Manufacturer: Sopwith
  • First flight: 1916
  • Status: Prototype
  • Number built: 1
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Eagle water-cooled V12 engine, 250 hp (187 kW)
  • Wingspan: 52 ft 9 in (16.08 m)
  • Length: 35 ft 3 in (10.75 m)
  • Maximum speed: approx 107 mph (172 km/h)
  • Crew: 3 (pilot and two gunners)
  • Armament:
  • 1× 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun in nacelle
  • 1× 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun in rear cockpit

References

  1. Sopwith L.R.T.Tr.. (2010, September 22). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:22, November 28, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sopwith_L.R.T.Tr.&oldid=386348868
  2. Sopwith L.R.T.Tr. Virtual Aircraft Museum 1916 http://www.aviastar.org/air/england/sopwith_lrtt.php
  3. Sopwith LRTTr. (1916) (England) http://www.the-blueprints.com/blueprints/ww1planes/ww1-english/36180/view/sopwith_l_r_t_tr_(1916)_(england)/
  4. Bruce, J.M. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. London:Putnam, p.25, 1957.
  5. Bruce, J.M. War Planes of the First World War: Volume Two Fighters. London:Macdonald, 1968, pp. 139-142. ISBN 0 356 01473 8.
  6. Green, William and Swanborough, Gordon. The Complete Book of Fighters. New York:Smithmark, p.535, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.
  7. Lewis, Peter. The British Fighter since 1912. London:Putnam, Fourth edition, p.99, 1979. ISBN 0 370 10049 2.
  8. Mason, Francis K. The British Fighter since 1912. Annapolis, Maryland, USA:Naval Institute Press, p.67, pp.78-79, 1992. ISBN 1-55750-082-7
  9. Gunston, Bill "Back to the Drawing Board: Aircraft That Flew But Never Took Off". First Edition edition (Jun 1996) Airlife Publishing Ltd; ISBN-10: 1853107581

Sopwith Triplane

Sopwith Triplane
Sopwith Triplane - 1916

The Sopwith Triplane was used in combat by the Royal Naval Air Service. The stack of three wings reduced wingspan and increased wing area making it handle and climb better than biplanes. Visibility from the cockpit was outstanding but it was slower and less heavily armed than it's German opponents.
[Read more]

Sopwith Triplane
  • Type: Fighter
  • Manufacturer: Sopwith Aviation Company
  • Entered Service:28 May 1916
  • Number Built:147
  • Powerplant: Le Rhône 9B, air-cooled 9 cylinder rotary 130 hp. (97 kW)
  • Wingspan: 26 ft 6 in (8 m)
  • Length: 18 ft 10 in (5.73 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 6 in (3.2 m)
  • Empty Weight: 993 lb (450 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 1,415 lb (642 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 117 mph (187 km/h) at 5,000 ft (1,830 m)
  • Service Ceiling: 20,500 ft (6,250 m)
  • Range: 280 mi (450 km)
  • Endurance: 2 hrs 45 min
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament: 1× 0.303 (7.7 mm) forward-firing Vickers gun

References

  1. From Wikipedia Sopwith Triplane, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopwith_Triplane"
  2. Bowers, Peter M. and Ernest R. McDowell. Triplanes: A Pictorial History of the World's Triplanes and Multiplanes. St. Paul, Minnesota: Motorbooks International, 1993. ISBN 0-87938-614-2.
  3. Bruce, J.M. Sopwith Triplane (Windsock Datafile 22). Berkhamsted, Herts, UK: Albatros Productions, 1990. ISBN 0-94841-426-X.
  4. Connors, John F. "Sopwith's Flying Staircase." Wings, Volume 5, No. 3, June 1975.
  5. Cooksley, Peter. Sopwith Fighters in Action (Aircraft No. 110). Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1991. ISBN 0-89747-256-X.
  6. Davis, Mick. Sopwith Aircraft. Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire: Crowood Press, 1999. ISBN 1-86126-217-5.
  7. Franks, Norman. Sopwith Triplane Aces of World War I (Aircraft of the Aces No. 62). Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-84176-728-X.
  8. Hiscock, Melvyn. Classic Aircraft of World War I (Osprey Classic Aircraft). Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 1994. ISBN 1-85532-407-5.
  9. Kennett, Lee. The First Air War: 1914-1918. New York: The Free Press, 1991. ISBN 0-02917-301-9.
  10. Lamberton, W.M., and E.F. Cheesman. Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Letchworth: Harleyford, 1960. ISBN 0-90043-501-1.
  11. Mason, Francis K. The British Fighter Since 1912. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1992. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.
  12. Robertson, Bruce. Sopwith – The Man and His Aircraft. London: Harleyford, 1970. ISBN 0-90043-515-1.
  13. Thetford, Owen. British Naval Aircraft Since 1912. London: Putnam, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.

French Triplanes

Nieuport Triplane Nie-11C

Nieuport Triplane Nie-11C - 1916 Nieuport Triplane - 1916
Nieuport Triplane - 1916

The Nieuport Triplane was an experimental design built by the French and tested by the British Royal Flying Corps. As with many of the attempts to build successful triplanes by aircraft manufactures, the design was doomed to failure. The design was never adopted as a production aircraft because of the poor handling characteristics due to the aircraft's unusual wing configuration.
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Nieuport Triplane Nie-11C
  • Type: Experimental Triplane Fighter
  • National Origin: France
  • Designer: Gustave Delage
  • Manufacturer: Société Anonyme des Établissements Nieuport
  • First Flight: Late 1916
  • Retired: 1917
  • Primary User:
    • France: Section Technique de l'Aéronautique
    • Britian: Royal Flying Corps
  • Status: Prototype
  • Number built: Unknown
  • Airframes:
    • Nieuport Nie. X 2-seater
    • Nieuport Nie 17
  • Powerplant: 1× Le Rhône 9J rotary engine, 110 hp. (82 kW)
  • Length: 24 ft 0.5 in
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament: 1 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) drum-fed Lewis gun mounted forward of the cockpit

Italian Triplanes

Caproni Ca.4

Caproni Ca.4 - 1918
Caproni Ca.4 - 1918

Caproni Ca.4 Series was patterned along the lines of the Caproni Ca.3 series of biplane bombers, the larger triplanes of the Ca.4 series were designed to be more effective in combat. Sometimes armed with up to eight machine guns, these cumbersome bombers were capable of accurately delivering large payloads of bombs to distant enemy targets. Although mainly used at night, they took part in daylight raids towards the end of the war. Of thirty-two Ca.42s manufactured in 1918, six of them were used by the Royal Naval Air Service.
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Caproni Ca.42
  • Type: Heavy Bomber
  • Country: Italy
  • Manufacturer: Caproni
  • First Introduced: 1918
  • Number Built: 32
  • Engines: 3 × Isotta-Fraschini, water cooled V-6, 270 hp
  • Wing Span: 98 ft 1 in (29.9 m)
  • Length: 42 ft 11.75 in (13.1 m)
  • Height: 20 ft 8 in (6.3 m)
  • Loaded Weight: 14,793 lb (6,710 kg)
  • Speed: 78 mph (126 kmh)
  • Service Ceiling: 9,842 ft (3000 m)
  • Endurance: 7 hours
  • Crew: 4
  • Armament:
    • Guns: 4 to 8 machine guns
    • Bombs: 3,197 lb (1,450 kg) of bombs

German Triplanes

AEG Dr.I

AEG Dr.I - 1917
AEG AEG Dr.I - 1917

The AEG Dr.I was a triplane fighter of World War I, built by Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft in 1917 during Germany's period of experimentation of the triplane concept. The design was based on the equaly unuccessful AEG D.I.

The Dr.I was powered by a Mercedes D.IIIa 6-cylinder, liquid-cooled inline engine, producing 158 hp (118 kW). The armament was twin forward-firing 0.312 in (7.92 mm) LMG 08/15 machine guns mounted on the deck.

Only a single prototype was built and its poor performance meant that no further production of this model.

AEG Dr.I
  • Role: Fighter aircraft
  • Manufacturer: Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG)
  • National Origin: German Empire
  • First Flight: 1917
  • Primary user: Luftstreitkräfte
  • Number built: 1
  • Developed from: AEG D.I
  • Status: Prototype
  • Powerplant: 1× Mercedes D.IIIa 6-cylinder, liquid-cooled inline engine, 158 hp (118 kW)
  • Wingspan: 30 ft 10⅛ in (9.40 m)
  • Length: 20 ft 0¼ in (6.10 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,562 lb (710 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,139 lb (970 kg)
  • Maximum speed: 92 kn, 106 mph (170 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 92 mph (148 km/h)
  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Armament: 2 × forward-firing 0.312 in (7.92 mm) LMG 08/15 machine guns

References

  1. AEG Dr.I. (2010, August 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:45, February 27, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=AEG_Dr.I&oldid=380535853
  2. AEG Dr I 1917 The Virtual Aircraft Museum Retrieved 04:40, February 27, 2011, from http://www.aviastar.org/air/germany/aeg_dr-1.php
  3. AEG Dr I 1917 The Virtual Aviation Museum Retrieved 04:50, February 27, 2011, from http://www.luftfahrtmuseum.com/htmi/itf/aegdr1.htm
  4. Gray, Peter and Thetford, Owen. German Aircraft of the First World War. London:Putnam, 1962.

Albatros Dr.I

Albatros Dr.I
Albatros Dr.I - 1917

The Albatros Dr.I is one of those planes that should have been good but wasn't. During the First World War, aviation was in its infancy and a number of interesting designs were flown, but never accepted for service. The Albatros Dr.I was one of those designs.

After the appearance of the Sopwith Triplane, manufacturers in Germany were requested to give thought to the triplane format. Built to try to improve climb performance, the Albatros Dr I had a DVa fuselage and powerplant, serial D 1573/17 with wings of equal cord and span. All three wings had ailerons connected by vertical steel struts.
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Albatros Dr.I
  • Type: Experimental Triplane Fighter
  • Manufacturer: Albatros Werke GmbH
  • Designed By: Gustave Delage
  • First Flight: September 1917
  • Primary User: Luftstreitkräfte
  • Status: Prototype
  • Number built: 2
  • Powerplant: Mercedes IIIa, water cooled 6 cylinder in-line, 180 hp (134 kW)
  • Wing Span:
  • Length: 24 ft 0.5 in
  • Height:
  • Loaded Weight:
  • Maximum Speed:
  • Service Ceiling:
  • Endurance:
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament: 2 × forward firing Spandau 7.92mm machine guns

Albatros Dr.II

Albatros Dr.II - 1918
Albatros Dr.II - 1918

The Albatros Dr.II was a German prototype single-seat fighter triplane, the sole example of which flew in the spring of 1918. It was similar in many respects to the D.X biplane, employing amongst other features the same 145 kW (195 hp) Benz Bz.IIIbo V-8 liquid cooled piston engine and twin 0.312 in (7.92 mm) machine guns.

The three pairs of wings were sharply staggered, braced by broad I-struts and shared parallel chords. All three pairs were equipped with ailerons, linked by hinged struts.
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Albatros Dr.II
  • Type: Fighter
  • First Flight: Spring of 1918
  • Manufacturer: Albatros Flugzeugwerke
  • Number Built: 1
  • Primary User: Luftstreitkräfte
  • Powerplant: 1 × Benz IVb V-8 liquid cooled piston engine, 145 kW (195 hp)
  • Wingspan: 10.0 m (32 ft 9¾ in)
  • Wing area: 26.6 m² (287 ft²)
  • Length: 6.18 m (20 ft 3¼ in)
  • Height: 3.34 m (10 ft 11½ in)
  • Empty weight: 676 kg (1,487 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 915 kg (2,013 lb)
  • Wing loading: 25.4 kg/m² (5.18 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 0.16 kW/kg (0.097 hp/lb)
  • Crew: One
  • Armament: 2 × 0.312 in (7.92 mm) machine guns.

Fokker Dr.I

Fokker Dr.I - 1917
Fokker Dr.I Triplane - 1917

The Fokker DR.I triplane was built after the successful Sopwith Triplane. While the Fokker DR.I not as fast as many contemporary biplanes, the Dreidecker could easily outclimb any opponent. Small, lightweight and highly maneuverable, it offered good upward visibility and lacked the traditional bracing wires that could be shot away during combat. This combination of features made it an outstanding plane in a dogfight.

When the DR.I first entered service, antagonists scoffed until pilots like Werner Voss showed what it could do in a fight. Flying a prototype, Voss shot down 10 British aircraft in 6 days of aerial combat during September 1917.
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Fokker Dr.I
  • Manufacturer: Fokker Flugzeug-Werke GmbH
  • Type: Fighter
  • First Introduced: August 1917
  • Number Built: 320
  • Powerplant: Oberursel UR-II, air cooled 9 cylinder rotary, 110 hp. (82 kW)
  • Wing Span: 23 ft 7 3/8 in (7.19 m)
  • Length: 18 ft 11 1/8 in (5.77 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 8 in
  • Empty Weight: 893 lb
  • Loaded Weight: 1,289.2 lb (586 kg)
  • Speed: 103 mph 165 kmh 13120 ft (4000 m)
  • Service Ceiling: 20,013 ft (6100 m)
  • Endurance: 1½ hours
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament: 2 × forward firing Spandau 7.92mm machine guns

Pfalz Dr.I

Pfalz Dr.I -1918
Pfalz Dr.I - 1918

The Pfalz Dr.I was a German fighter prototype of World War I. Official interest in the potential of the triplane configuration for single-seat fighters prompted Pfalz to develop the Dr.I. It underwent initial testing in October 1917, and an initial batch of 10 aircraft were shipped to the Front and arrived in April 1918.

Service pilots involved in testing the Dr.I considered it too slow and its Sh III engine too unreliable for frontline use and no further examples were produced.

Pfalz Dr.I
  • Type: Fighter
  • Manufacturer: Pfalz Flugzeugwerke
  • First Flight: October 1917
  • Introduced: April 1918
  • Retired: 1918
  • Primary User: Luftstreitkräfte
  • Number built: 10
  • Powerplant: 1 × Siemens-Halske Sh.III eleven cylinder geared rotary engine, 160 hp (119 kW)
  • Wingspan: 28 ft 0.66 in (8.55 m)
  • Wing Area: 185.14 ft² (17.20m²)
  • Length: 18 ft 0½ in (5.50m)
  • Height: 9 ft 0.66 in (2.76 m)
  • Empty Weight: 1,124 lb (510 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 1,554 lb (705 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 118 mph (190 km/h) 118mph (190km/h) at 13,125 ft (4,000m)
  • Time to: 5,000 m 13.5 minutes
  • Endurance: 1.5 hours
  • Crew: One
  • Armament: 2 × synchronised LMG 08/15 machine guns

References

  1. From Wikipedia Pfalz Dr.I, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pfalz_Dr.I"
  2. William Green and Gordon Swanborough. "The Complete Book of Fighters". Colour Library Direct, Godalming, UK: 1994. ISBN 1-85833-777-1.