2 years ago Bob Thompson from the APSS (Aircraft Preservation Society Scotland) gave us a talk about how you retrofit a radio and electronics to an aircraft designed before there was electricity required, far less a radio. Click.


We now welcomed Gerard Lohan to give us an update on their “late production” Sopwith 1½ Strutter. Over the last 20 years they have built to the original drawings an (almost) exact replica of Sopwith's WW1 bi-plane, The Strutter.  The team want it to fly; where are they on their journey?

Gerard brought us up-to date on the Strutter story, as well as sharing the vision of what APSS is going to do next, once Sophie flies the coop!


 Please note that the following slides, kindly provided by Gerard, are not necessarily in the right order, due to compatibility issues between the Apple file and your webmaster's Windows PC computer!



 The first aircraft had virtually no metal parts.



Early French aircraft were more sophisticated than British ones. 




 There was much rivalry between the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps.








 The Sopwith 1½ Strutter.


Open day at the Sopwith Strutter workshop.




First launch of a Strutter from a ship.




Sometimes the launches did not go so well!


 Initially Strutters had to land in the sea and be lifted back on board by crane!



 Then landing on the ship's deck became possible.









 Women were very involved in many aspects of the Sopwith Strutter program.



 The women were not too pleased to be referred to as "Civilian Subordinates"!


Visit to Strutter base by King Edward VII and Queen Mary.  

With all those "Civilian Subs" together with 29 pilots, there had to be stories! 




 Strutter crew waiting for action.




Strutter photo contrived to be in Edinburgh!


 Strutter flying near the Forth Bridge.


 Various Strutter badges.

 Close-up of Sophie the Strutter badge.


Another open day at the Sophie workshop. 


Kids love the open days. 


 The Sophie reconstruction crew which has been working for over 20 years.

Sophie workshop sign.


Direction sign to the Sophie workshop in East Lothian. 


The existing Sophie workshop is required to be returned to the owners soon. 


Design for proposed new Sophie workshop and display location, to be called The WW1 Living Heritage Visitor Attraction.

Interior of proposed new location.

The APSS is campaigning for contributions to the building fund.

See: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter | Hangar 32 (strutteraviation.com)




 Scott McNeill of APSS with model aircraft at the LRS meeting.


After the presentation, Gerard Lohan was thanked by LRS President, Colin Wright GM4HWO, and presented with a donation from the LRS to help establish the WW1 Living Heritage Visitor Attraction commemorating the men and women who defended the country in the Great War. 


The chairman of the Aircraft Preservation Society of Scotland (Mike Harper) has asked that we pass on his thank-you for the LRS speaker contribution following Gerrard's Strutter talk, and also for the collaborative efforts by LRS recently to sell some of the surplus museum electronic equipment on eBay.

   All gratefully received.