About This File
The French had three versions of the Strutter. The 1A2 for recon and artillery spotting, and two bombers, the 1B2, which carried a gunner, and the 1B1 which had only the pilot. The French prioritized delivery of the 1A2. The 1A2 Strutters, like the English 9400 series, had a fuel tank between the pilot and the observer. Consequently the 1A2 had greater range than the 1B2 and 1B1, which carried internal bomb bays in that same area.
France began building Strutters under license in April 1916 to replace obsolete Farmans and Caudron G-4s. As the first French built Strutters were tested ten months later in February 1917, a 1B2 Strutter broke up in mid air. The British insisted over stressing by the pilot caused the crash but the French demanded a total design review. The review resulted in few changes, but French built Strutters were not put into combat until the Spring of 1917, when they were significantly outclassed by enemy aircraft.
Bombing squadrons were routinely equipped with a mix of the 1B2 and 1B1 variants. and the 1B2 was often used to escort the 1B1. I find no evidence that the French mounted any external stores on the 1A2 or either of the 1B Strutters.
The French produced approximately 4,500 Strutters through April 1918. Some American units were provided with French built Strutters, which they intensely disliked, in part because they were initially delivered without weapons. All versions of the Strutter had air brakes on the inboard lower wings, which are not operational on the model; these brakes were often not favored by the aircrews because they created “mushy” handling. Many pictures of Strutters nosed over, perhaps document this characteristic.
The flight models attempt to reflect the known variations in the French aircraft.
The windscreens on French Strutters were different (some would say more graceful) than the British. That, unfortunately has not been modeled in this version. Dagaith, my original partner in this project left to join the army before the 1A2 model was started. Perhaps one day I will become sufficiently adept with 3dMax to make the adjustment, but that is not possible today. I'd love to have some help with that, if there is someone interested who can make 3dMax sing and dance.
We may eventually have a 1B1 Strutter, but, meanwhile there are production delays. . .
Thanks to Dagaith for the original model, Peter01 for the flight model, Laton for the additional LODs, , Gustav for conseils français, as well as beta testing by Southside Bucky (for the original English versions) Panama Red and Ojcar, who prompted me to get this bird out of the coop.
The included skin sets for the 1A2 depict aircraft flown by two French Escadrille, Sop 226, with silver dope and Sop 284, which operated 10 camo 1A2s from March 1918, the date the unit was formed, until the end of the war. Some sources incorrectly depict the Esc 226 aircraft in clear doped linen or light yellow dope, a mistake I made before discovering more recent and authoritative information. There are two files sets, on for FE2 and another for all previous versions of FE. Just drop them in and go.
sinbad 3 Nov 2010