Sopwith Pup

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Sopwith Pup
Sopwith Pup replica
Type: Double Decker - fighter
Design country:

United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom


Sopwith Aviation Company

First flight:

February 1916

Number of pieces:


Sqn Cdr Edwin Dunning lands on the HMS Furious

The Sopwith Pup was a single-seat British biplane - fighter aircraft of the First World War . She was built by the Sopwith Aviation Company and officially called the Sopwith Scout . Operationally, however, the name Pup (dt. Puppy) was used because the machine was smaller than the two-seater Sopwith 1½ Strutter , which was also known as the Sopwith Scout.


The pup had been derived from the personal aircraft of Sopwith chief test pilot Harry Hawker .


The aircraft was a single-handled biplane with two wooden spars. The wing tips and trailing edges were made of tubular steel. The wings had a fabric covering. There was a cutout in the upper wing to improve visibility. All wings had ailerons. The hull was made of wood with a rectangular cross-section. The planking consisted of aluminum in the front area, while the upper area was planked with plywood up to the rear of the cockpit. The rest of the fuselage was covered with fabric. The tank was located behind the engine. The tail unit was constructed in normal construction. Wood was also used as a material. Only the spar was made of metal. The covering was made of fabric. The aircraft had a rigid landing gear with a continuous axle and a tail spur .

She was a very agile fighter and very pleasant and easy to fly. Her large wings gave her a good rate of climb and maneuverability, especially at high altitudes. Although it had a weak drive compared to the Albatros D.III , it was able to fly two circles in the time that the Albatros needed for just one, according to James McCudden . Manfred von Richthofen praised the Pup for its agility, but criticized its lack of ability to dive. The Pup was armed with a synchronized 7.7 mm Vickers machine gun or (in the case of RNAS aircraft) with an upper wing mounted, upward-firing 7.7 mm Lewis machine gun.


A total of 1770 Sopwith Pup machines were built.


She was used with great success by the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service . The first Pups reached the Western Front in October 1916 . In mid-1917 they were withdrawn from the front and were used for homeland security against zeppelin attacks .

Other countries of operation:

On August 2, 1917 Sqn Cdr Edwin Dunning landed with a pup as the first aircraft in World War I on an aircraft carrier , the HMS Furious . However, Dunning was killed on his second landing approach when his machine slipped from the aircraft carrier deck and fell into the sea, drowning him.

After the First World War, the machines were used for tests with aircraft carriers. In June 1920, a Japanese pup took off from the transport ship Wakamiya and shortly afterwards from the battleship Yamashiro .

Technical specifications

Parameter Data
crew a pilot
length 5.9 m
span 8.1 m
Wing area 23.60 m²
height 2.9 m
Empty mass 338 kg
Takeoff mass 556 kg
drive a Le-Rhone 80 or 100 HP (59 or 75 kW)
Top speed 171 km / h
Service ceiling 5600 m
Max. Flight duration 3 h
Armament 1 x 7.7 mm Vickers machine gun , 4 x 11.3 kg bombs

Preserved copies

A number of restored machines and replicas of the Sopwith Pup still exist in museums in the UK .


  • Wilfried Copenhagen and Dr. Rolf Neustädt: The great aircraft type book . Transpress Verlag, Berlin.

Web links

Commons : Sopwith Pup  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files