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WORLD WAR 1

Sopwith Dolphin


Biplane Fighter Aircraft (1917)


Aviation / Aerospace

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Jump-to: Specifications

The Sopwith Dolphin biplane fighter proved to be an outstanding design, providing impressive armament and an attention to pilot needs.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/03/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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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.

Specifications



Service Year
1917

Origin
United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Crew
1

Production
2,072
UNITS


Sopwith - UK
National flag of France National flag of the United Kingdom France; United Kingdom
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.


Length
22.2 ft
(6.78 m)
Width/Span
32.5 ft
(9.91 m)
Height
8.5 ft
(2.59 m)
Empty Wgt
1,479 lb
(671 kg)
MTOW
2,008 lb
(911 kg)
Wgt Diff
+529 lb
(+240 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin production variant)
Installed: 1 x Hispano-Suiza piston engine developing 200 horsepower.
Max Speed
112 mph
(180 kph | 97 kts)
Ceiling
19,997 ft
(6,095 m | 4 mi)
Range
196 mi
(315 km | 583 nm)
Rate-of-Climb
855 ft/min
(261 m/min)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
2 x 7.7mm forward-firing fixed machine guns
1 OR 2 x 7.7mm machine gun in forward oblique angled position.


Supported Types


Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun


(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0


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.


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