9 February 1916 – The new Sopwith Scout

Today saw the first test flight of the new Sopwith Scout.

Following the development of the 1½ Strutter, Sopwith Aviation turned their attendtion to developing a single seat scout. Back in 1915, Sopwith has produced a personal aircraft for the company’s test pilot Harry Hawker, a single-seat, tractor biplane powered by a 50 hp Gnome rotary engine. This became known as Hawker’s Runabout. Sopwith then developed a larger more robust military version heavily influenced by this design, though more powerful and controlled laterally with ailerons rather than by wing warping.

The resulting aircraft is a single-bay, single-seat biplane with a fabric-covered, wooden framework and staggered, equal-span wings. The cross-axle type main landing gear are supported by V-struts attached to the lower fuselage longerons. The prototype is powered by the 80 hp (60 kW) Le Rhône 9C rotary engine. Armament is a single 0.303 inch (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun synchronized with the Sopwith-Kauper synchronizer – one of the first British fighters specifically designed with this feature.

Early Sopwith Scout

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2 thoughts on “9 February 1916 – The new Sopwith Scout

  1. sethspeirs Post author

    The aircraft soon acquired the nickname “Pup”, and although it was officially called the Sopwith Scout by the army and the Sopwith 9901 by the navy, the nickname stuck. As a result most future Sopwith aircraft were named after animals.

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  2. Pingback: 21 December 1916 – New Sopwith Camel | airwar19141918

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