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Sopwith Triplane

Entering service in 1917, the Sopwith was the first triplane to be used on the Western Front. It proved agile, with an excellent rate of climb, and ruled the skies from its introduction until its replacement by the Sopwith Camel in November 1917. German pilots routinely avoided combat with formations of Triplanes, while the German aircraft industry struggled to replicate its success.

The Triplane has a historical endurance of 2 hours and 45 minutes. The planes uses 4.85 gallons of fuel per hour at routine usage. A full load of fuel and ammo costs $13.


Sopwith Triplane

Subassemblies: Recon Fighter chassis +2; Recon Fighter wings with Biplane option +2; 2 fixed wheels +0.

Powertrain: 97-kW HP gasoline engine with 97-kW old prop and 15-gallon standard fuel tank [Body].

Occ.: 1 XCS Body

Cargo: 8 Body


Armor F RL B T U

Body: 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C

Wings: 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C

Wheels: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3



2xAircraft LMG/.303 Vickers [Body:F] (500 rounds each).*




Size: 19'x26'x10' Payload: 0.22 tons Lwt.: 0.77 tons

Volume: 96 Maint.: 110 hours Cost: $3,319

HT: 7. HPs: 15 Body, 75 each Wing, 3 each Wheel.

aSpeed: 117 aAccel: 3 aDecel: 35 aMR: 9 aSR: 1

Stall Speed: 35 mph. Take-Off Run: 136 yards. Landing Run: 123 yards.

gSpeed: 180 gAccel: 9 gDecel: 10 gMR: 1.25 gSR: 2

Ground Pressure: High. 1/6 Off-Road Speed.


Design Notes:

Historical wing area was 231 sf. The wings were modeled as biplane wings x1.5 to weight, cost, and HPs. Per p. VE18, triplanes have a 25% increase in SA to Volume for their wings over biplanes; this has little effect on the design in the MVDS. The fuel capacity was calculated based on fuel consumption and historical endurance. MG load outs are a guess. Design payload was 347.5 lbs; the historical value has been substituted. Design aSpeed was 100 mph. Performance calculations were based on historical values for wing area and loaded weight. The Body MGs are synchronized, lowering RoF by 10% (see p. W:MP8). Using the calculated gSpeed at 1/6 Off-Road speed (30 mph) gSpeed is still 86% of stall speed, so the plane could therefore potentially get airborne in a bumpy field, at the GM's discretion.



Two Triplanes were re-engined with 112-kW power plants. The plane was never produced due to a shortage of engines.


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic