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.