Sopwith Sociable

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Role Two-seat tractor biplane
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Sopwith Aviation Company
First flight 17 February 1914
Introduction 1914
Retired 1914
Primary user Royal Naval Air Service
Number built 1

The Sopwith Sociable (or sometimes Churchill or Tweenie[1]) was a British single-engined two-seat tractor configuration biplane designed and built by Sopwith for the Royal Naval Air Service.[2]

Design and development[edit]

The Sociable, so called because the crew were seated side-by side rather than in tandem, was ordered by the British Admiralty for use as a training aircraft by the Royal Naval Air Service. It was two-bay biplane powered by a 100 hp (75 kW) Gnome Monosoupape radial.[2] The Sociable was given serial number 149 by the Admiralty and first flew from Brooklands on 17 February 1914.[2]

Operational history[edit]

Two days after its first flight, the Sociable was delivered to Hendon on 19 February 1914.[2] The next day the First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill flew in it as a passenger;[2] it afterwards gained the nickname the "Sopwith Churchill". It was based at Eastchurch when on 25 March 1914 it spun into the ground on take-off.[2]

Repaired by Sopwith it was delivered to No. 3 Squadron RNAS in Belgium in September 1914.[2] It was fitted with an additional fuel tank and a bomb rack and was used on an abortive attempt to bomb a German airship shed at Cologne on 22 September 1914.[2] It was transferred to No. 1 Squadron RNAS but broke an axle on take-off from Antwerp, damaging the landing gear and badly damaging the upper wing.[2] While awaiting repair at Antwerp it was abandoned following the advance of German troops.[2]


 United Kingdom


Data from Sopwith - The Man and His Aircraft[3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 24 ft 3 in (7.39 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 0 in (2.74 m)
  • Empty weight: 960 lb (435 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1,640 lb (744 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 25 imp gal (110 L)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine, 100 hp (75 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed, 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) diameter


  • Maximum speed: 90 mph (145 km/h; 78 kn)
  • Endurance: 3 hr

See also[edit]

Related lists



  1. ^ Robertson 1970, p. 211.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Sturtivant and Page 1992, p. 39
  3. ^ Robertson 1970, pp. 234–235, 238–239.