BILL PIPPIN COLLECTION
No. 12134. Sopwith L.R.T.Tr.
Aeroplane Photo Supply (APS) Photo No. 2907 & 3266

Sopwith L.R.T.Tr.

10/31/2013. 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 (site files), 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; span was 52 ft 9 in (16.08 m) and length was 35 ft 3 in (10.74 m). Power was provided by a 250 hp Rolls-Royce Mk.I (Eagle I) twelve-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 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machinegun.

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 had been rendered outdated by the advent of practical gun synchronization equipment and the success against airships enjoyed by more conventional aircraft. This clumsy aeroplane, meanwhile assigned the epithet of Egg Box, was duly abandoned.

Created October 31, 2013