Book review
Tue, 22 Aug 1995 19:06:44 -0400

'The FightingTriplanes' by Evan Hadingham
First published in Great Britain in1968 by Hamish Hamilton Ltd.,London
First American edition in 1969 by MacMillan Co., New York
Printed in Great Britain

A large hard cloth bound volume of some 240 pages, the pages measuring 8 1/4"
by 10 11/16" tall. The pages alone without the covers are 9/16" thick.

The dust cover is a painting of Sopwith Triplane N5428 in a dogfight with an
Albatros D.III. The Albatros has a green fuselage with two red stripes
flanking either side of the fuselage cross, and a red rudder. In the
distance there two more Albatros fighters, one preparing to attack and
another going down in flames.

This painting is reproduced as a frontspiece.

There is a foreward by Air Vice-Marshal Raymond Collishaw, DSO and Bar, DSC,
DFC, C de G. At the end of the book there are three appendices, 1.-
Sopwith triplane serial list, with pilot names and misc. details.
Fokker triplane serial list, with pilot names and misc. details. 3.-Further
details of triplane pilots. There is an extensive bibliography. and an
extensive index.

The main body of the work is devided into two parts, 1. The Story of Triplane
Development,and 2. An exhaustive Review of 80 of the Military Triplanes
developed during 'The Great War'.

Part one consists of some 82 pages, with 77 photographs and numerous other
illustrations. It tells the story of the development of the triplane concept
from an idea, thru to the production and use of military triplane warplanes.
Much of the text is devoted to the opereational use of the Sopwith and
Fokker Fighters, and the pilots who flew them. There is an extensive use of
quotes from diaries, reports, leters and personal remanisances. Actually,
the quality of writing of this book is excellent. 'A good read',
as some are wont to say.

Part two is composed of 130 pages of at least one, and in many cases more,
and text and specifications of 80 different triplane types developed during
Some of the more popular planes are given quite an extensive treatment, with
detail sketches, and in the case of the Sopwith design, reprints of factory

There are photos of such little known planes as the Siemens Schuckert DDr.1,
triplane pusher design, the Curtiss FL, a triplane model of the 'F boat'.
Who could forget the beautiful and graceful Sablatnig SF 4, a triplane float
equiped fighter. Too many
others to list them all here.

So, when all is said and done, what do we have? A quality product in a
package, with enough esoteric stuff to keep anyone happy for a good while.

Thank you for your time, Mike Franklin