Triplane Builder

Poems by Triplane Builder - William (Bill) Woodall

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Sopwith Triplane

I have three wings and I am quite tall.
But few have heard of me--
Wore roundels instead of a cross--
Fought for Democracy

My pilots had a bit of a climb--
When they went to take their seat--
With bracing wires both fore and aft--
"Duck", "pull" and shuffle feet.

With my tail up on the take-off run--
My cockpit view quite good--
My rate of climb would take your breath--
(My make-up--wire and wood).

My Clerget makes a certain roar--
As it whirls us through the air--
Some thought my bracing might be weak--
So diving took some care.

Of ailerons--I had six--
(To facilitate my roll)--
When someone did fly me right---
My Vickers took a toll.

my owners were the Navy--
Airspeed by the Knot--
Ceiling "twenty two angels"
Army-my services sought.

Much is made(in later times)--
Of the so-called "flying tail"--
My design-- utilized that too--
(Should circumstance prevail).

My given name was "Tripehound"--
(I came from the Sopwith clan)--
My family itself (though very small)--
We've had a long life span.

One of us in England,
Another in Moscow--
A few repros have now been built--
(Might see one at a show).

Far less known than the "CAMEL"--
(Another in my line)--
Far less known than the FOKKER--
[Who copied of my design].

But I'm content with being first--
And the performance that I had--
Could hold my own in most any scrap--
If my pilot wasn't bad.

So I have a place in history--
Not something all can say--
And though my time was very brief--
I was SOMETHING in my day!

Bill Woodall

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