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Sopwith Baby Aircraft Information

Sopwith Baby


Manufacturer: Sopwith Aviation Company
First flight: September 1915
Primary user: Royal Naval Air Service
Number built: 286 (Baby) 180 (Hamble Baby)
Developed from: Sopwith Schneider

The Sopwith Baby was a British single-seat seaplane used by the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) from 1915.

Development and design

The Baby was a development of the two-seat Sopwith Schneider. Although the Schneider had won the Schneider trophy in 1914, the RNAS did not place a formal order until January 1915. The production version of the Baby differed little from the Schneider Trophy winner.

The Baby was also built by Blackburn Aircraft, Fairey, and Parnall in the United Kingdom. In Italy licensed manufacture was undertaken by SA Aeronautica Gio Ansaldo of Turin.

Altogether, about 700 Babys were built.

Manufacturing history

Schneider: 136 - Sopwith

100 - Sopwith Aviation Company
186 - Blackburn Aircraft

Hamble Baby:
130 - Parnall
50 - Fairey Aviation

Operational history

The Baby was used as a shipborne scout and bomber aircraft operating from larger ships such as seaplane carriers and cruisers, and smaller vessels such as naval trawlers and minelayers. It was even considered for operation from submarines. The main role of the Baby was to intercept German Zeppelin raids as far from Britain as possible.

Babys saw service with Canada, the US, France, Chile, Greece and Norway. In Norway Babys were built occasionally as replacements, with a few seeing service until 1930. Two of the 10 Sopwith Baby floatplanes that were acquired by the Norwegian Navy were brought to Svalbard in midsummer 1928 to participate in the search for the disappeared Norwegian Polar explorer Roald Amundsen, but were not used as intended.



One Sopwith Baby seaplane was used by the Royal Australian Navy in 1917. It was operated from the cruiser HMAS Brisbane.


Canadian Air Force


Chilean Air Force


French Air Force


Hellenic Air Force

Italy Norway

Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service

United Kingdom

Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Air Force
No. 219 Squadron RAF
No. 229 Squadron RAF
No. 246 Sqaudron RAF
No. 248 Squadron RAF
No. 249 Squadron RAF
No. 263 Squadron RAF
No. 269 Squadron RAF
No. 270 Squadron RAF


Data from Holmes, 2005. p 44.

General characteristics

Crew: one
Length: 23 ft 0 in (7.01 m)
Wingspan: 25 ft 8 in (7.82 m)
Height: 10 ft 0 in (3.05 m)
Wing area: 240 ft (22.30 m)
Empty weight: 1,226 lb (557 kg)
Loaded weight: 1,715 lb (779 kg)
Powerplant: 1x Clerget rotary engine, driving a two blade wooden propeller, 110 hp (82 kW)


Maximum speed: 87 knots (100 mph, 162 km/h) at sea level
Service ceiling: 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
Rate of climb: 285 ft/min (1.45 m/s)
Endurance: 2.25 hrs


1 x Lewis gun
2 x 65 lb (28 kg) bombs


Holmes, Tony (2005). Jane's Vintage Aircraft Recognition Guide. London: Harper Collins. p. 44. ISBN 0 0071 9292 4.
Lamberton, W.M. (1960). Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Herts: Harleyford Publications Ltd..

Related development

Sopwith Tabloid
Fairey Hamble Baby
Port Victoria P.V.1

Sopwith Baby Pictures and Sopwith Baby for Sale.

Living Warbirds: The best warbirds DVD series.

Source: WikiPedia

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