Sopwith tabloid

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Sopwith tabloid
Sopwith Schneider.jpg
Sopwith Schneider at the Schneider Trophy in Monaco 1914, flown by Howard Pixton
Type: Sports and reconnaissance aircraft
Design country:

United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom



First flight:

November 1913



The Sopwith Tabloid was a biplane - light aircraft , which by the Sopwith Aviation Company in 1913 was built.


The name Tabloid was chosen because of the small size of the aircraft. The machine's performance when it appeared was outstanding; it trumped all competitors.

The original tabloid was still a land-based aircraft and first flew in November 1913. It was an unusual two-seater with the two crew members sitting next to each other. It had no ailerons and was instead steered by twisting the wing . The original engine was an 80 HP (60 kW) rotary engine Gnôme Monosoupape. In the flight test, the machine reached 148 km / h with the pilot Harry Hawker and a passenger in Farnborough . It only took her a minute to reach 1200 ft (647 m) altitude.

On April 20, 1914, a seaplane variant , the Sopwith Schneider , took off at the Schneider Trophy in Monaco . It was equipped with a 100 hp Gnôme monosoupape radial engine and won the trophy.


From 1914, single-seat tabloids went into production. Presumably 36 machines reached the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). They went at the beginning of the First World War to France and were as fast reconnaissance aircraft used. Some naval machines received a Lewis machine gun on the top wing, while others shot through the armored propeller.

The tabloids also operated as bombers. On October 8, 1914, two RNAS tabloids flew from Antwerp against German airship hangars in Cologne and Düsseldorf . In Cologne they did not find the halls and instead bombed the train station. Two 20 lb bombs were dropped from a height of 200 m in Düsseldorf and the Zeppelin LZ 25 (Z IX) was destroyed.

Many unsuccessful missions were carried out by seaplane carriers such as the HMS Ben-my-Chree , who, as the ancestors of the aircraft carriers, could start seaplanes at sea and take watered machines back on board with a crane and take care of them. Modifications such as a new 110 hp Clerget engine led to the successor model, the Sopwith Baby .

It was not until April 1915 that the tabloids were decommissioned.


In Russia, the Sopwith Tabloid with slight modifications under the name Lebed VII or Russkij Tabloid was rebuilt in small numbers without a license and used by the Russian air force.

Technical specifications

Parameter Sopwith tabloid Lebed VII
crew 1 1
length 6.20 m 6.95 m
span 7.83 m 7.49 m
height 2.57 m
Wing area 22.39 m²
Empty mass 309 kg 545 kg
Takeoff mass 481 kg 717 kg
drive 1 × 9-cylinder rotary engine Gnôme Monosoupape , 100 PS (74 kW) 1 × 9-cylinder rotary engine Gnôme Monosoupape, 80 PS (59 kW)
Top speed 148 km / h
Service ceiling 2000 m
Range 510 km
Flight duration 3 h
Armament 1 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis MG, 2 × 20 lb (9 kg) bombs


  • Kenneth Munson: Fighter Planes 1914-1918. Orell-Füssli-Verlag, Zurich 1968.

Web links

Commons : Sopwith Tabloid  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. cf. Russian Aviation 1915 ( Memento from November 30, 2010 in the Internet Archive )