2016 Aircraft of WWI – Sopwith Tri-Plane 1oz Silver
2016 Aircraft of WWI – Sopwith Tri-Plane 1oz Silver: Planes were still a rare sight in the sky when the world was plunged into war in 1914. The “flying machines” seemed to have little use, but the ever-evolving tactics of war quickly propelled them from rickety canvas-over-wood reconnaissance planes to full-fledged aerial combat weapons that engaged in spectacular dogfights.
This exciting new coin series features three of the most successful Allied fighter planes of the First World War, beginning with the British-built Royal Aircraft Factory S.E. 5a. Introduced in 1917, this biplane was on the front lines of innovation. It could fly up to 222 km/h and remain airborne for more than two hours, two factors that enabled the Allies to regain and maintain air superiority until the war’s end in 1918.
This coin, the second in the series, features the Sopwith Tri-Plane, with the S.E. 5a being the first. The Triplane’s combat debut was highly successful. The new fighter’s exceptional rate of climb and high service ceiling gave it a marked advantage over the Albatros D.III, though the Triplane was slower in a dive. The Germans were so impressed by the performance of the Triplane that it spawned a brief triplane craze among German aircraft manufacturers. Their efforts resulted in no fewer than 34 different prototypes, including the Fokker V.4, prototype of the successful Fokker Dr.I.
The Triplane was famously flown by No. 10 Naval Squadron’s “B” Flight, better known as “Black Flight.” This all-Canadian flight was commanded by the ace Raymond Collishaw. Their aircraft, named Black Maria, Black Prince, Black George, Black Death and Black Sheep, were distinguishable by their black-painted fins and cowlings. Black Flight claimed 87 German aircraft in three months while equipped with the Triplane. Collishaw himself scored 34 of his eventual 60 victories in the aircraft, making him the top Triplane ace.
- Coin 1: Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a
- Coin 2: Sopwith Triplane
- Coin 3: Curtiss H-12 – released Sept 2016
- Coin Metal: 9999 pure silver
- Coin Weight: 1oz (31.83g)
- Coin Finish: Proof
- Coin Denomination: $20
- Year of Issue: 2016
- Coin Mintage: 7,500
- Country of Issue: Canada
- Diameter: 40mm
This coin, the second in the series, features the Sopwith Tri-Plane flying over the skies of WWI. The Triplane was famously flown by No. 10 Naval Squadron’s “B” Flight, better known as “Black Flight.” This all-Canadian flight was commanded by the ace Raymond Collishaw.
This historcal obverse features George V was the grandfather of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and appeared with the Latin inscription GEORGIVS V DEI GRA:REX ET IND:IMP, which means “George V, by the grace of God, the King and Emperor of India.” For part of 1911, coins did not include the DEI GRA part of the inscription and became known as the “Godless” coins.
Your coin is packaged in a standard clamshell case and numbered certificate of authenticity.