According to Robert he has
had the idea of building a full scale Sopwith in the back of
his mind for some time now, so when a customer asked him
whether "he would be interested in doing a kit for one" he
decided to design and build a prototype.
90 days later the Airdrome
Aeroplanes Sopwith was completed. (Robert appears to be
slowing down a bit, as he built 4 aircraft in 52 days for
the Fly Boys movie). Sun N Fun was the Sopwith's first
official unveiling, and once back at the factory flight
testing will begin.
The plane is powered by a
Rotec Radial R 2800 engine putting out 110 horsepower. This
should give the Sopwith outstanding performance as it weighs
about 60% of the original with the same horsepower.
Airdrome has been using the
engine on it's kits for 4 years. The engine burns just over
5 gallons of fuel an hour. According to Robert the plane
should take off in about 3 seconds, in about 275 feet, with
a 1,000 feet per minute climb rate.
Like all of the other
aircraft Airdrome offers the Sopwith features aluminum tube,
gusset, rivet together construction, covered in standard
aircraft covering materials. The craft should take between
350 and 400 hours to build.
All welded and machined
parts come pre-done from the factory, and according to
Robert "if you have basic hand tools, can drill a hole and
install a rivet, you have the skills necessary to build an
Airdrome Aeroplane airplane."
Robert reports a high
completion rate on his kits, with most builders taking
between a year and eighteen months to complete their
project. This is aided by the fact that the factory offers a
builders support program where a customer can work at the
factory for three days and have his or her tail feathers
done and the fuselage up and on the landing gear.
All of his kits qualify as
Experimental Lightsport Aircraft and can be flown with a
Light Sport pilots license.