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Sopwith Dolphin

United Kingdom (1917)
Picture of Sopwith Dolphin Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Picture of Sopwith Dolphin Biplane Fighter Aircraft Picture of Sopwith Dolphin Biplane Fighter Aircraft
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The Sopwith Dolphin biplane fighter proved to be an outstanding design, providing impressive armament and an attention to pilot needs.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Sopwith Dolphin Biplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/3/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Sopwith Dolphin was yet another fighter design in the long line of Thomas Sopwith production aircraft during World War 1. The system was produced with the fighter pilot in mind and offered up an unobstructed view from out of the cockpit. This was accomplished by lowering the upper wing section of the traditional biplane assembly, allowing the pilot's head to protrude from the aircraft. The wing was basically an extension of the upper fuselage now and less a component all its own. Additionally, care was taken to provide the pilot with complimentary armament capable of engaging any enemy aircraft of the time. This would come in the form of twin 7.7mm machine guns firing forward and an additional one or two 7.7mm machine guns angled to fire forward and above. The system served - albeit with some reservation - for a time since its introduction in 1917.

The Dolphin provided a viable platform to which a fighter pilot could tally an impressive list of kills. For some, however, the system was somewhat a threat unto itself as it developed noted stalling characteristics thanks to the tail wing design. With the pilot's head protruding from the design, the aircraft was also open to lethal "nose-over" accidents in which the aircraft might flip up and over its own nose, landing square on the head and neck of the pilot. As such, a support to the upper wing section was later added to address this. In the end, the Dolphin served its purpose to a limited extent, but nevertheless became another accepted Allied fighter design to combat the Fokker Scourge.

Total production reached 2,072 examples.


Picture of the Sopwith Dolphin Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Picture of the Sopwith Dolphin Biplane Fighter Aircraft



Any available statistics for the Sopwith Dolphin Biplane Fighter Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (112mph).

    Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
2072
2072


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
Supported Mission Types:
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: United Kingdom
Service Year: 1917
Classification Type: Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Sopwith - UK
Production Units: 2,072
Global Operators:
France; United Kingdom
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
22.24 ft


Meters
6.78 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
32.51 ft


Meters
9.91 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
8.50 ft


Meters
2.59 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,479 lb


Kilograms
671 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,008 lb


Kilograms
911 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Hispano-Suiza piston engine developing 200 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
112 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
180 kph


Knots
97 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
196 mi


Kilometers
315 km


Nautical Miles
170 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
19,997 ft


Meters
6,095 m


Miles
3.79 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
855 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
261 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

2 x 7.7mm forward-firing fixed machine guns
1 OR 2 x 7.7mm machine gun in forward oblique angled position.
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Dolphin Mk I - Initial production model; Hispano-Suiza 8B engine of 200 horsepower.
• Dolphin Mk II - French license production; fitted with Hispano-Suiza 8F engine of 300 horsepower.
• Dolphin Mk III - Fitted with direct-drive Hispano-Suiza 8B engine.