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N1915K Pruitt Ken Sopwith Pup c/n 3 - Lelystad aerodrome in Holland - 4 September 2004 oldtimers biplanes

In the development of aviation the military scene played a major rule. Already during WWI the early aeroplanes became reliable and easy to fly as they had to when they became war-machines, produced in large numbers. The 1992-built Pruitt Ken Sopwith Pup N1915K is a replica of the original Sopwith Pup which played a major rule in the early years of WWI. About 1770 airframes of the Sopwith Pup were built by and under license for the Sopwith Aviation Company Ltd. The Sopwith Aviation Company Ltd in Kingston-on-Thames was founded in 1912 by Tommy, Thomas Octave Murdoch, Sopwith. Due for commercial reasons this company had to end its activities in 1920. The Sopwith Pup was a single-seat fighting scout which flew first in January 1916. Delightful to fly, simple and reliable the Sopwith Pup design was based on the 2-seat Sopwith type 9700 or 1 1/2 Strutter. The Pup was original powered by a 80 hp Le Rhône 9C, 9 cylinder, air cooled rotary engine. It was ordered by the Admiralty for the Royal Navy Air Service to serve on the Western Front, where it arrived in September 1916. Armed with a single synchronous Vickers .303 machine gun, it was superior to the Fokker D.III. Soon it was underpowered for combat on the Western Front when the German put the Albatros DIIIs in service. Although underpowered, pilots liked the plane because it was manoeuvrable and fast. It could climb and hold its altitude better than any other fighter. The Sopwith Pup remained in service on the front until late 1917 when it was replaced by the Sopwith Camel. After removal from the front it was used as a Home Defence unit fighter against Zeppelins.

Pruitt Ken Sopwith Pup N1915K is part of the Early Birds / Stichting Vroege Vogels collection at Lelystad Airport in the Netherlands. This aircraft was built under Manufacturer/Model code 0561899 by Pruitt Ken in Oklahoma, USA, it was flown first on 9 January 1992. The aircraft is powered by a Warner scarab engine. In 1988, the Pruitt Ken Sopwith Pup N1915K was sold in the Netherlands, and based since at Lelystad Airport. On 22 February 2005, registration N1915K was cancelled as exported to the Netherlands.

page last updated: 28-09-2005
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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