Sopwith Triplane

The Sopwith Triplane was a follow up design after their very successful Scout (Pup). The 110hp Clerget powered prototype was approved on May 28, 1916 only four months after the Pup prototype. It was sent to France in mid June 1916 for trails where it was reportedly sent into action as soon as it arrived. The second prototype with a 130hp Clerget engine was flying by August 1916 and was also dispatched to France for trials.The Triplane or "Tripehound" (often shortened to Tripe) was an instant hit with the young pilots lucky enough to fly them. Although superficially similar to the Pup the Tripe fuselage was designed from the outset for the larger 110hp and 130hp Clerget engines. The wingspan was the same but the triple short cord wings afforded greater visibility, more maneuverability and a phenomenal rate of climb. Although only armed with one Vickers machine gun the Tripe could out climb and out maneuver the best German fighters of the time, the twin gunned Albatros D.II and D.III (and the later D.V), and it was faster too ! The performance of the Tripe so impressed the Germans that much time and expense was expended by their aircraft industry in attempts to come up with their own Triplane. The only successful design was the famous Fokker DR.1 which started to appear on the front towards the end of 1917, about the same time that the Sopwith design was being phased out in favor of the Camel. The arrival of the Camel meant that only about 150 Tripes were built.

The Sopwith Triplane specifications as follows;

Wingspan 26.5'
Length 19.5'
Max speed 113 mph
Total number built 146 from June 1916 to Nov. 1917
Armament consisted of one or two Vickers .303 machine guns.

The Kit

The kit was released in 2012 as the initial run has already sold out. a limited re release is scheduled which includes different marking and a pilot figure. Another kit that was attractive to me due to a lesser amount of rigging and it's unique design.

While most of the kits in the WNW series can be built out of the box to an excellent level of detail there seems to always be some after market items to enhance things. Many of them are for the engines which are small kits in and of themselves but they can be enhanced with wiring, spark plugs and valve springs. I have not given in to any of this yet and probably won't until I start building and find I have the desire to do some enhancement.

Links to kit build or reviews

A very extensive in box review here and a build review here

If you are interested in finding other reviews a good place to look is here. Just enter the aircraft name and search.

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Updated  5/11/18