“We saw at once that the enemy aeroplane was superior to ours,” noted Baron Manfred von Richthofen, “The Red Baron”, after first observing the Pup in 1917.

A more glowing testament to the quality of Sir Thomas Sopwith’s aircraft could not be offered than that of Germany’s Red Baron. The Pup, officially known as the Scout, earned its nickname from its similarity of appearance to the earlier, larger Sopwith 1½ Strutter. In service from the summer of 1916 to the fall of 1917, the Sopwith Pup was the first aircraft to land on a moving ship, a tricky maneuver with the crew stopping the plane by grabbing leather straps attached to the wings. It had no brakes! The Pup was used extensively in the development of deck landing techniques. The rotary engine which powers the Pup is bolted directly to the propeller, and spins around a fixed crankshaft. This spinning motion provides, among other things, the source of cooling.

Specifications: Span 26’ 6”; Length 19’ 4”. Engine: 80 horsepower LeRhone nine-cylinder air-cooled rotary. Maximum speed 111 mph.

Accession no. 1992P41.

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