Sopwith L.R.T.Tr.
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Sopwith L.R.T.Tr.

The L.R.T.Tr., presumably signifying Long-Range Tractor Triplane, was designed to meet an RFC requirement for a combined escort fighter and airship interceptor. Other contenders were the Armstrong Whitworth F.K.6, also of triplane arrangement, and the Vickers F.B.11, which was of more conventional biplane layout. Of bizarre appearance, the L.R.T.Tr. was a three-bay triplane with narrow-chord wings, all of which were fitted with ailerons. Power was provided by a 250hp Rolls-Royce Mk I (Eagle I) 12-cylinder water-cooled engine, and the crew comprised a pilot and two gunners. One gunner occupied the rear cockpit and the other a streamlined nacelle built around the upper wing centre section, both having a single 7.7mm machine gun. By the time flight test commenced in 1916, it was appreciated that the concept of the L.R.T.Tr. had been rendered outdated by the advent of practical gun synchronisation equipment and the success against airships enjoyed by more conventional aircraft. This clumsy aeroplane, meanwhile assigned the epithet of Egg Box, was duly abandoned.

Sopwith L.R.T.Tr.A three-view drawing (1280 x 894)

    Wingspan16.08 m53 ft 9 in
    Length10.74 m35 ft 3 in

leo rudnicki, 22.04.2009

The engine was probably a Falcon, not the Eagle.

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The LRTTr was powered by the Rolls-Royce Eagle engine, a fine powerplant also used in the Bristol fighter. The Bristol, however, was more compact with better streamlining and had only two crew.

A very makeshift-looking fourwheel undercarriage kept the nose and tail ofF the ground. Riding in the 'howdah' for take-off must have been an interesting experience.

Both gunners had a single Lewis gun. The rear hemisphere was covered by a gunner in a more conventional cockpit behind the pilot.

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