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Sopwith Tabloid - $5.95

This Sopwith Tabloid was an adorable British biplane sports aircraft, one of the first to be built by the Sopwith Aviation Company. When it showed up for the Schneider Races in 1913 everyone laughed until, at 100mph ! it blew by all the other monoplanes of the day. An utterly delightful model.

Sopwith Tabloid Racing Plane downloadable card model from Fiddlersgreen

Sopwith Tabloid WWI Floatplane Baby Scout


Sopwith tabloid made up In the 1914 Schneider Trophy race, this little Sopwith Tabloid had qualified with the incredible speed of 86.78 MPH!! So awesome was this speed that the other pilots refused to complete!! The name 'Tabloid' was chosen to signify its small size and compact nature. A sweetheart of a WWI model and one of the few you'll find with floats.


The land version of the Sopwith Tabloid was designed by TOM Sopwith and F. Sigrist as a demonstration and racing aircraft. After being built in great secrecy, preliminary tests were made at Brooklands in autumn 1913, and the plane immediately demonstrated its speed and maneuverability...


 




The Sopwith Tabloid: 92 MPH!!!


The sopwith tabloid winner of the Schneider Trophy in 1914The land version of the Sopwith Tabloid was designed by TOM Sopwith and F. Sigrist as a demonstration and racing aircraft. After being built in great secrecy, preliminary tests were made at Brooklands in autumn 1913, and the plane immediately demonstrated its speed and maneuverability.

 

At the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough, where the tests were conducted, the Tabloid reached a top speed of 92 mph in horizontal flight and showed a rate of climb in the order of 1,200 fpm. The same day, November 29, test pilot, Harry Hawker flew the plane to Hendon, where one of the popular Sunday air shows was being held. The new Sopwith was seen by a surprised crowd of more than 50,000 spectators who witnessed two low-altitude laps round the course at more than 87 mph. After that brilliant example of public relations, the plane was ordered in large numbers by the army and the navy as a single seater reconnaissance aircraft.

The Mighty Sopwith Tabloid winner of the Schneider TrophyThen the Sopwith Company readied one of its single-seaters for the upcoming Schneider Trophy race. Since the race was restricted to seaplanes, the aircraft had to be modified by removing the landing gear and installing a large float in its place.

The 100 hp Gnome engine was also modified for this occasion. The single float did not stand up to tests and the plane capsized.

There was very little time left before the race, so the Sopwith designers decided to slice the original float in half to make two new ones. This time the landing tests on the Thames were successful, and the Tabloid was sent off to Monaco on April 8, 1914. The final modification before the race was the installation of a better propeller. The rest is history.

 


 

Construction Tips!


Sopwith Tabloid flyingGood news! This is a real fun model with the floats and all. Here's whatcha do....

Build the floats, lay them in position and then join them by gluing the spacer struts between them. Next glue the vertical struts to the floats and just before they're really firm, hold the entire assembly up against the lower fuselage to see what needs moving or even shortening. Adjust and let the glue set firmly. Lastly, glue the fuselage onto the float assembly.

You'd be clever to add a little weight (clay or a couple pennies) inside the nose to balance the model properly on its floats. To really do it up right, after the model is completed, melt a couple old white or yellow candle stubs(taking care to get it a little on the hot side) in a flat tray about the size of a sardine can. Then quickly dip the floats to make them waterproof.


The Sopwith Tabloid was constructed in 1913 as two-seater racing airplane. The design was one of extreme simplicity. The engine was the popular 80 h.p. Gnome rotary enclosed in a peculiar metal cowling, with two small cooling slots in front. The fuselage, a wire-braced woods box girder, was rather broad, for the pilot and passenger sat side by side in the one cockpit. The wings were of usual fabric-covered wooden construction, with raked tips. Wing warping was used for lateral control. The undercarriage was equipped with twin skids.

Flown by Harry Hawker, the Tabloid performed excellently on test at Farnborough. reaching a speed of 92 m.p.h and climbing to 1,200 feet in one minute, with pilot. passenger and fuel for two and a half hours' flying. Its first public appearance at Hendon was sensational; it easily outclassed the monoplane, which had hitherto been supreme.

The original machine was taken by Hawker to Australia- he returned in June 1914; by then the airplane had a plain vee undercarriage and the fabric had been removed from the rear end of the fuselage.Sopwith Tabloid

On April 20th, 1914, Howard Pixton, who had taken over Hawker's duties, piloted a seaplane version of the Tabloid to victory in the Schneider Trophy race. This model had the 100 h.p. Gnome Monosoupape engine and plain rudder and fin.

Production commenced in the spring of 1914 for both the R.F.C. and R.N.A.S. The service machines were single seater's, had rudders and fins resembling those of the Schneider seaplane, and twin-skid undercarriages. A few had extra bracing struts to each skid.

Four Tabloids went to France shortly after the outbreak of war, and were eventually attached to squadrons for fast scouting duties. An early success was obtained by Lieutenant Norman Spratt, who forced down a German machine by circling his Tabloid around it; his only 'armament' at the time being a bundle of steel darts! Some R.N.A.S. machines had Lewis guns fitted on their top wings to fire above the revolving airscrew. One naval Tabloid had a Lewis gun fixed on the starboard side of its fuselage to fire through the airscrew arc; deflector plates protected the blades from damage-a device invented by the French engineer Saulnier and used on the single-seater Moraine Saulnier monoplane.

The type scored its greatest success in the light bomber role. On October 8th, 1914, the first two R.N.A.S. Tabloid to reach the front, Nos, 167 and 168, took off from beleaguered Antwerp to raid the Zeppelin sheds at Cologne and Dusseldorf. Squadron Commander Spenser Gray, flying 167, was unable to find his target, and bombed the railway station at Cologne, flight Lieutenant Marix dropped his 20 lb. bombs on the airship shed at Dusseldorf and destroyed the new Zeppelin Z.IX. Both airplanes were forced to land, but the pilots reached Antwerp before the town was evacuated by the Allies.

Later machines had ailerons for lateral control, In place of wing warping. It is believed that about forty of the type were built.

SOPWITH TABLOID. Joe MasseyI was reading a number of articles here and there on the original Tabloid while I was building it and for its' day it was quite the cutting edge tech. Being able to turn out 92 MPH way back then, well anything approaching the century mark was downright radical considering man was not that far off from the horse and buggy. I may have to work one up in the land plane configuration here one of these days, those skis look downright jazzy. Of course, it was more of a method to help landings and preventing ground loops. It would also be an opportunity for me to try changing the color on a model as well, something that I have yet to attempt.

I have a couple of other versions of this plane in card model form in larger scales in my stash from other makers but by far this one has them beat for ease of construction. Since I equate tinkering time to modeling enjoyment this one has at least a 8 out of 10 on my fun scale. Jay Massey, Las Vegas, NV

 


 

he Jaques Schneider Cup awarded to Fiddlers Green for it's speedy airplane images on the Web Site-1998THE JACQUES SCHNEIDER CUP

When the French industrialist Jacques Schneider announced the Coupe d'Aviation Maritime on December 5. 1912, very few imagined the importance it was to eventually assume. To promote seaplane and flying-boat development. Schneider offered an impressive trophy to be awarded to the nation which won the race three times out of a series of five. The first Schneider race began inconspicuously in 1913 with 3 Frenchmen and one American competing, all 4 flying French planes (Deperdoom, Morane-Saulnier. Nieuport) converted for marine use by the application of floats.

The race was won by the Frenchman Maurice Provost. Provost, through an error on the part of the judges, was assigned an average speed of 45.75 miles per hour instead of his correct time of 6(!) miles per hour. It was the only French victory in the Schneider Cup's history. In fact, as early as 1914 an Englishman, flying a Sop with Tabloid, beat their embattled French competitors, thus gaining the first international acknowledgment of an English-built aircraft.

Understandably, the War interrupted the yearly cup event, which was held again in England in 1919, with the victory going to the Italian Guido Janello flying a Savoia. However, the winner was not officially recognized because of alleged irregularities due to fog. The Italians won again in 1920 and 1921, thanks to inadequate preparation on the part of their competitors. A third Italian victory in the 1922 race held in Naples would have won them the Cup. but the English, victors that year with a Supermarine Sea Lion II, reopened the competition.

Sopwith TabloidThe Americans were official entries in 1923 and 1925 tin 1924 the race was not runt, routing all other contenders. But in 1926 in Norfolk, Virginia. Mario de Bernardi's Macchi M-39 stopped them. Disillusioned, the U.S.A. withdrew from all future Schneider races, citing economic reasons. It was a mistake for which the Americans paid dearly, for the studies and plans drawn up for the Schneider were to prove of great importance.

For example, the Spitfire, star of the Battle of Britain, was in fact a descendant of the Supermarine 5-5, S-6 and S-6B which, with its three consecutive victories in 1927, 1929 and 1931, decisively won the Cup for Great Britain. Italy could not keep pace with Great Britain: the fastest piston-engine seaplane of all, the Macchi-Castoldi MC-72, was not ready until 1932. In 1934 it broke all seaplane speed records at 441 miles per hour.

A specially modified Sopwith Tabloid was the winner of the Schneider Trophy race, in 1914. alterations consisted of the addition of two floats and a more powerful engine. On April 20, 1914. at Monaco, Howard Pixton flew an average of 86.9 mph. In two extra laps, he reached 92 mph. establishing a new seaplane speed record. Thus the Sopwith biplane had its revenge on the Deperdussin monoplane and gave Great Britain its first major international success in aviation.

The special version of this plane prepared for Britain's first appearance at the Schneider Trophy was not substantially different from the model that had appeared the previous autumn. The land version of the Tabloid was designed by T. O. M. Sopwith and F. Sigrist. as a demonstration and racing aircraft. It was built in great secrecy, and preliminary tests were made at Brooklands in autumn 1913. These were followed by the official evaluation tests, and the plane immediately demonstrated its speed and maneuverability.Sopwith Tabloid on table

At the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough, where the tests were conducted, the Tabloid reached a top speed of 92 mph in horizontal flight and showed a rate of climb in the order of 1,200 feet per minute. The same day, November 29, test pilot Harry Hawker flew the plane to Hendon, where one of the popular Saturday air meetings was being held. The new Sopwith was seen by more than 50,000 spectators, and flew two low-altitude laps round the course at more than 87 mph. After that, the plane was ordered in large numbers by the army and the navy as a single-seater reconnaissance aircraft.

Then the Sopwith company readied one of its single-seaters for the upcoming Schneider Trophy race. Since the race was restricted to seaplanes, the aircraft had to be modified. The landing gear was removed, and a large central float was installed in its place. The 100-hp Gnome engine was also modified for the occasion. The single float did not stand up to tests, the plane capsizing.

There was very little time left before the race, so the Sopwith designers decided to slice the original float in half to make two new ones. This time flight and landing tests on the Thames were successful, and the Tabloid was sent off to Monaco on April 8, 1914. The final modification before the race was the installation of a better propeller. The rest is history.

Back in England after the race, the floats were removed at Sopwith's factory at Kingston-on-Thames, and a V strut landing gear was installed. Now the plane was ready for R. H. Barnwell to fly at the 1914 Aerial Derby. But because of poor visibility the plane did not complete the race. That was the end of the Tabloid's racing career. War broke out, and the Tabloid served as a reconnaissance plane during the first months of the conflict, when its speed and general handiness became very useful military assets indeed.


 

Sopwith Tabloid

Sopwith Tabloid

Marc's  Sopwith Baby Tabloid
Thanks to Marc Witten for this little gem..he writes:
"Thought you might like to see this picture of one of your models, did it during my lunch breaks over two days"


 

Specifications for the Sopwith Tabloid

Three views of the Sopwith Tabloid Length: 23 ft
Wingspan: 25 ft 6 in
Height: 10 ft
Wing area: 241 ft²
Empty weight: 1,200 lb
Max takeoff weight: 1,580 lb
Powerplant: 1× Gnôme
Monosoupape 9-cylinder rotary
engine, 100 hp

Performance
Maximum speed: 92 mph
Range: 315 mile
Service ceiling: 15,000 ft

Armament
Some RNAS aircraft fitted with
1 × forward-firing .303 in
Lewis gun
2 × 20 lb bombs