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Sopwith TF.2 Salamander Role Ground attack Manufacturer Sopwith First flight 27 April 1918 Primary user Royal Air Force Produced 1918-1919 Number built 419 Developed from Sopwith Snipe The Sopwith TF.2 Salamander was a British World War I ground attack aircraft which first flew in April 1918. The war ended before the type could enter squadron service, although two were in France in October 1918. Contents 1 Design and development 2 Service history 3 Operators 4 Specifications (Sopwith TF.2 Salamander) 5 See also 6 References // Design and development By autumn 1917, the use of close support aircraft had become an essential[dubious – discuss] part of an infantry attack. On the German side, aircraft were specifically designed for the task, such as the Halberstadt CL.II and the armoured Junkers J.I – the British however relied for this work on ordinary fighters (called "scouts") such as the DH 5, and the Camel, and general-purpose two-seaters such as the F.K.8. Ground fire took a heavy toll of aircrew involved, and an equivalent to the armoured German machines was sought. The first British aircraft to be built specifically for strafing—as close air support was known—was an armoured version of the Camel, known by the company as the “TF.1” (for "trench fighter"). This did not go into production, but information gained in testing it was used for the Salamander design. Design of the Salamander, conceived as an armoured version of the Sopwith Snipe, began in January 1918. The forward portion of the fuselage was a 650 lb (295 kg) box of armour plate. The rear portion was a generally similar structure to the Snipe’s, but flat sided, to match the forepart. The wings and tail unit were identical with the Snipe, and the same Bentley BR2 rotary engine was fitted. This was protected by a standard (unarmoured) cowling – the foremost armour plate forming the firewall. Originally an armament of three Lewis guns was planned, as for the TF.I. Two would have fired forward and downwards through the cockpit floor, while a third would have fired upwards. In the event a conventional battery of two synchronised Vickers guns was mounted in front of the cockpit, as on the Snipe, although they were staggered, the starboard gun being mounted a few inches forward of the port one. The prototype underwent its initial trials in April 1918, and was sent to France for evaluation on 9 May, but subsequently crashed on 19 May during test program while with No. 65 Squadron when the pilot had to avoid a tender crossing the aerodrome responding to another crash.[1]. By this time four prototypes were flying, undergoing many of the same modifications to the tail and ailerons as the Snipe in order to correct the initially rather heavy and unresponsive controls. Service history Production was intended to be on a very large scale – The Air Navigation Co., Glendower Aircraft, and Palladium Motors all signed contracts to supply Salamanders, as well as the Sopwith company itself. By the end of the war, however, only 37 Salamanders were on RAF charge, and only two of these were in France. None had as yet been issued to an operational squadron. With the Armistice, the immediate need for a specialist close support aircraft evaporated, and no squadron was ever fully equipped with the type, which had disappeared from RAF service altogether by the mid 1920s. The type was not developed, but was used in trials of various patterns of disruptive camouflage in the early post war years. One example went to America, and was apparently still in existence at McCook Field in 1926. Operators  United Kingdom Royal Air Force No. 86 Squadron RAF No. 95 Squadron RAF No. 157 Squadron RAF Specifications (Sopwith TF.2 Salamander) General characteristics Crew: 1 Length: 19 ft 6 in (5.94 m) Wingspan: 31 ft 3 in [2] (9.53 m) Height: 9 ft 4 in (2.84 m) Wing area: 272 sq ft (25.27 sq m) Airfoil: *Chord: 5 ft (1.5 m) Empty weight: 1,844 lb (836 kg) Loaded weight: 2,512 lb (1.140 kg) Powerplant: 1× Bentley BR2 rotary, 230 hp (172 kw) *Fuel: 29 gallons (110 litres) Performance Maximum speed: 117 mph at 10,000 ft, 125 mph at low altitude (188 km/h at 3,048 m, 201 km/h at low altitude) Service ceiling: 13,000 (4,000 m) Rate of climb: 17 minutes to 10,000 ft (3,048 m) Endurance: 1.5 hours Armament 2 x 0.303 Vickers machine guns 4 light bombs See also Related development Sopwith Snipe Sopwith Dragon Related lists List of aircraft of the Royal Air Force References ^ Bruce, Jack M., "The First British Armoured Brigade", AIR International, Bromley, Kent, UK, April 1979, Volume 16, Number 4, page 185. ^ upper wing Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War I. New York, New York: Military Press. 1990. pp. 87. ISBN 0-517-03376-3.  Bruce, J.M. (1969). War Planes of the First World War (Vol.2). London: Macdonald. ISBN 0-356-01490-8.  v · d · eAircraft designed by Sopwith Aviation Company By role Fighters: Buffalo • Bulldog • Camel • Dolphin • Dragon • Gunbus • Hippo • L.R.T.Tr. • Pup • Snail • Snapper • Snark • Snipe • Triplane Bombers B.1 • Cobham • Rhino Scouts/Bombers: Baby • Sparrow • 1½ Strutter • Tabloid • Two-Seat Scout Seaplanes: Bat-Boat • Special • Sopwith Pusher Seaplane/S PG N • Type 807 • Type 860 • Schneider (1914) • Baby • Schneider (1919) Ground attack: Salamander Sports tourer: Gnu By name Antelope • Atlantic • Baby • Bat-Boat • Bee • Buffalo • Bulldog • Camel • Cobham • Cuckoo • Dolphin • Dove • Dragon • Gnu • Grasshopper • Gunbus • Hippo • L.R.T.Tr. • Pup • Rainbow • Rhino • Salamander • Scooter • Snail • Snapper • Snark • Snipe • Sparrow • 1½ Strutter • Tabloid • Tadpole • Tractor Biplane • Triplane • Wallaby v · d · eLists relating to aviation General Timeline of aviation · Aircraft (manufacturers) · Aircraft engines (manufacturers) · Rotorcraft (manufacturers) · Airlines (defunct) · Airports · Civil authorities · Museums Military Air forces · Aircraft weapons · Experimental aircraft · Missiles · Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Accidents/incidents General · Commercial (airliners) · Military Records Airspeed · Altitude · Distance · Endurance · Most-produced aircraft