Lebed VII "Russian Sopwith Tabloid"Art.No.: 100-SH48071 Product number: 8594071081409
|Era||Word War I|
SH48071 - Lebed VII
SH48071 - Lebed VII
Before World War I, aeroplanes were at first considered to be the toys of crackpot inventors and only later the flying machines for adventurous sportsmen. In 1913 Sopwith Company designed a two-seater Sporting Biplane which became known as Tabloid. Tabloid's performance was considered at that time as amazing. By that time the military was starting to take an interest in flying machines and RFC [Royal Flying Corps] put in an order for a single-seat version SS or Speedy Scout. RNAS also put in an order for these planes. Just before the World War I broke out, one of the Tabloid planes had been fitted with floats and this version went on to win the Schneider Trophy, the race which then had been organised for a second successive year. There were later two versions of Tabloid planes with floats which were called Schneider and Baby.
When the war started both the RFC and RNAS used these planes on the Western front in Europe. They were mainly used as reconnaissance and bomber planes and their pilots used their own personal weapons in the aerial combat.
Lebed VII has its origin in Sopwith Tabloid. In 1914 Russian aircraft designer Vladimir A. Lebedev had ordered one Sopwith Tabloid for evaluation and possible license production. The aircraft was ordered on June 8 an in spite of the coming war it was delivered on July 30. Lebed VII was built in small quantity by Aktsionernoe obshchestvo vozdukhoplavaniay V. A. Lebedeva (Lebedev's joint stock aeronautic company) located near Petersburg. It is not known how many Lebed VIIs were built but at least 16 tachometers were ordered from Sopwith for Lebed aircraft. Records of aircraft assignment are sparse. In the spring of 1915, one Lebed VII flown by Lieutenant Semenov was assigned to the Grodnensky fortress air detachment. Another Lebed VII went to the Seventh Fighter Air Detachment in December 1916 for training, but crashed with Ensign Janchenko at the controls. Lieutenant Tsirgiladze damaged one of the last Lebed VII aircraft, works number (WN) 52, while landing at the Gatchina flying school on February 5, 1917.
Technical data: Wingspan: 7.77 m, Length 6.20 m; Max. Speed 148 kmh, Max. Service Ceiling: 4,572 m; Max. Flying time: 3.5 hours.
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