Britain was slow to use tractor aircraft with synchronized machine gun. Most British fighters up to this time were pusher aircraft. Even with introduction of the Sopwith 1½ Strutter, Pup and Triplane , the British fought at a serious disadvantage during The Battle of Arras and Bloody April of 1917. It would take the introduction of the Sopwith Camel and the RAF SE.5a to turn the tide of battle.
Britain Begins Using the Synchronized Machine Gun
The Sopwith 1½ Strutter was a British one or two-seat biplane multi-role aircraft of the First World War. It is significant as the first British-designed two seat tractor fighter, and the first British aircraft to enter service with a synchronized machine gun. It also saw widespread but rather undistinguished service with the French Aéronautique Militaire.
The first British fighter equipped with a fixed, forward firing, synchronized machine gun, the Sopwith 1½ Strutter was built in both one and two-seat models. In the latter version, the gas tank was dangerously positioned between the pilot and observer.
This design flaw prompted some airmen to joke that the designer of the aircraft must surely have been German. Not long after its introduction, the 1½ Strutter was replaced by the Sopwith Pup.
- From Wikipedia Sopwith 1½ Strutter "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopwith_1%C2%BD_Strutter"
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