The Sopwith Pup was a British Single-seat biplane fighter
that entered service with the Royal Flying Corp and the Royal
Naval Air Service towards the end of 1916. The name ‘Pup’ was
not an official designation, but a nickname that came about
when a pilot commented that the aircraft was a smaller version
of the Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter. With pleasant flying
characteristics and good maneuverability, the aircraft proved
very successful. The Pup was eventually outclassed by newer
German fighters, but it was not completely replaced on the
Western Front until the end of 1917.
This image above
was taken at Stow Maries Aerodrome in Essex during a dawn
photoshoot; the reenactors are dressed in authentic costumes
from the era. The airfield itself was established here in 1916
for use by the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War.
By 1919 the airfield had served its purpose and ceased to be
required during peace time. Due to an unsuitable clay-based
soil, Stow Maries was not re-opened during the Second World
War despite its location.
The airfield was therefore
left largely abandoned and intact for almost 90 years, some of
the buildings were used for grain store, but otherwise
remained untouched until the airfield was purchased by Steve
Wilson and Russell Savory who set about restoring it to the a
state that it would have been found in 1919.
Aviation Heritage Trust and the Vintage Aviator Ltd base
several World War One aircraft at the historic Aerodrome and
regular open days are held where some of these aeroplanes can
be seen taking to the skies.