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Sopwith Tabloid

Sopwith Tabloid
Serial No: 168
Period: WWI
Reference: 83/A/526
Museum: London
Location: Hangar 2
On Display: No

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The Tabloid was developed as a civil demonstrator and racing biplane, but its military potential was obvious and it was ordered by both the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service; the latter using it for some of the earliest strategic bombing attacks against Germany.

When it first appeared in 1913 its performance was quite outstanding, being far better than any previous biplane. The Royal Naval Air Service used their Tabloids in early bombing attacks against the airship sheds at Cologne and Dusseldorf in an attempt to deny the Germans the use of operating bases close to the North Sea. The first raid took place on 22 September 1914 and although not a success was the first ever air raid on Germany. The second raid was much more successful.

Royal Flying Corps Tabloids were used for scouting duties and were involved in some of the earliest experiments in arming aircraft. Although it was one of the first aircraft to have a machine gun fitted to fire through the propeller arc it was only after the Tabloid had been withdrawn from operational service in the spring of 1915 that a successful interrupter gear was developed.

Please note: The Grahame-White Factory is now closed until late Autumn, whilst this Hangar undergoes building works. During this period the Sopwith Tabloid will be placed in storage in our Reserve Collection at Stafford and will not be returning to our London site.



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