At EAA Adventure 2018, a new production, full-scale, fully functional Sopwith 1½ Strutter fitted with a new production Gnome Monosoupape 100hp rotary engine will be on display.
The Sopwith 1½ Strutter was commonly referred to as the ‘workhorse’ of the Great War due to its versatility. It was used extensively by the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) as a scout (fighter), for artillery observation and photo reconnaissance, and as a bomber. With the Army’s Royal Flying Corps (RFC) covetous of the RNAS’ Sopwiths, an Advisory Air Board was eventually created to better allocate resources and reduce inter-service rivalries. Eventually, the RNAS and RFC were merged in April 1918, becoming the Royal Air Force (RAF). During this time, the Sopwith Pup, 1½ Strutter, Triplane and Camel were used extensively by both services to gain air superiority and ultimately win the war. In celebration of the Centennial of the Royal Air Force, any RAF airman attending AirVenture is invited to climb aboard the 1½ Strutter and experience first-hand the cockpits and controls of an early aeroplane.
Produced using the original Sopwith factory drawings, this uncovered, two-seater fighter/trainer allows the enthusiast to examine the construction methods used at the time as well as the working control systems. For those who want to experience exactly what it was like to fly an aeroplane from the Great War era, four Sopwith models are currently offered, either fully assembled or in kit form; 1½ Strutter, Pup, Triplane and Camel. KipAero is located at Booth #310, main aircraft display area at AirVenture.
Daily engine runs of the new production Gnome 100hp rotary engine will be conducted at the Vintage Village starting at 11am by Tony Wytenburg of Classic Aero Machining Services of New Zealand. Nothing sounds or smells like a rotary engine!
As a division of Kip Motor Company, KipAero was formed to focus on the expanding line of products and services for the vintage aircraft market. From early magneto and distributor caps to authentic WWI airplanes – in kit form or fully assembled – KipAero specializes in authentic reproductions for the original experience.
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