The Sopwith 1 1/2 fighter was a British World War I fighter aircraft.
Since September 1917, the German air force had revised its air campaign plan against the British Isles, because losses were too high in daytime attacks, they decided to carry out their attacks only at night. At that time, the still young RAF had no specific type of bomber interceptor for homeland defense; most of the aircraft in service were fighters retired from the front, including some Sopwith 1½ Strutter two-seater fighters.
Captain F.W. Honnett proposed to modify one of the 1½ Strutters by moving the pilot’s seat and all controls to the observer’s position. The original pilot’s position was closed and the aircraft was equipped with a night searchlight. The first three modified 1½ Strutters joined No. 78 Squadron in September 1917. During the night raid over London on the night of October 31-November 1, 1917, they engaged, for the first time twenty-two enemy “Gotha” aircraft.
The 1½ Strutter Comics were used extensively by No. 78 Squadron until February 1918, performing night interdiction missions against Gothas and giant R-planes. Due to the low performance of this type, it was never produced in series. At the beginning of 1918, the night fighter version of the famous Sopwith Camel replaced the 1½ Strutter Comic and other obsolete night fighters in many RAF units.
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