Sopwith Swallow (oz1960)


Sopwith Swallow - plan thumbnail image

About this Plan

Sopwith Swallow. Scale parasol WWI fighter, for free flight. Scale is 1/8, for 1cc to 1.5 cc engines. Features pendulum rudder and shock absorbing undercarriage. April 1956 Aeromodeller.

Quote: "A monoplane joins our flying scale range of one-eighth size 1914-18 fighters. Sopwith Swallow, from the board of John Darnell.

THIS RELATIVELY little-known Sopwith parasol monoplane makes a perfect free-flight scale model and completes the APS range of 1/8 th size '14-18 fighters that came from the Kingston factory. Already firmly established as favourites in plans service are the Pup (oz1570), Camel (oz873) and Triplane (oz1850)so why not add this snappy flier to your collection? It suits any of the 1.5 cc diesels, will trundle around with a 1 cc and really tear up the air on 2 cc or more.

The Swallow (real one) began life under another name as the Scooter and appeared as the Sopwith Monoplane No.1 in 1918. It had a 130 hp Clerget rotary engine and was based on a Camel fuselage with the swept wing surfaces placed very low over the normal gun position. As such, it was an ambitious project and in the guise of civil registration G-EACZ was a fine aerobatic and racing mount for Harry Hawker. The Swallow was Monoplane No.2, having a higher centre-section to clear the armament, greater span and larger ailerons: but in spite of persistent trials, it showed no great advantage over the Camel and was of course, too late in 1919 for active service. Registered B-9276, the sole Swallow had a 110 hp Le Rhone engine.

John Darnell's model has simple structure, is a veteran flier, and can take either radial engine mounting direct on the ply bulkhead F.1, or have a beam mounted engine on the alloy bracket detailed. The pendulum-controlled rudder is a fine stability aid, and the shock absorbing undercarriage is both realistic and practical. Like the full size, the axle is retained in position with rubber band binding which allows initial bumps to be taken by the flexible axle, while in the event of a resounding thwack on terra firma, the whole u/c pivots and rear legs stress a rubber band as they slide into the fuselage and give up to 2 in of total wheel travel!

Begin with the fuselage, making up the basic box structure using spruce longerons, extra weight of which is negligible and strength value inestimable, then add the surrounding formers stringers etc. Do not apply the nose sheeting until after the cabane struts, undercarriage tube and rigging tubes are bound in place and the u/c fitted complete with shock rubber to dowel. Note that the axle assembly is completely separate and need not be made until last. With the u/c in place, and 22 swg cross braces soldered to prevent sidesway just as they did on the full-size, pre-cement the nose faces to take F.1 and after fixing this important bulkhead, apply the nose sheet.

Now turn to the wing, which should by rights be flat: but needs the dihedral indicated to make the model auto-stable in flight. To get this dihedral angle, all we need to do is to adjust the rigging cord on final assembly and to set the root rib of each wing panel at the angle provided by the tem-plate shown. The wing then can be made in one flat unit..."

Update 30/10/2018: Added article, thanks to RFJ.

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