01/31/2011. A private venture intended to compete with the Sopwith Snipe, the Osprey was of wooden construction with fabric skinning and was powered by a 230 hp Bentley B.R.2 nine-cylinder rotary engine. Armament comprised two fixed and synchronized 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machineguns and one semi-free Lewis gun of similar caliber on the rear spanwise member of the middle-wing centre section. The Osprey was flown for the first time in February 1918, but performance proved to be inferior to that of the Snipe, and construction of second and third prototypes was abandoned.
It was made unlawful in the UK in 1917, under the Defense Regulations, to construct an aircraft without official authority, to prevent material wastage on aircraft unlikely to be accepted. If a firm wished to venture privately on a promising project, license to construct could be granted and the aircraft numbered in a special 'X' for experimental series, hence the three Osprey's were produced under the Ministry of Aircraft Production License No. 17, and were assigned the serials X15 to X17. The X-series was abandoned in 1918, after only 25 serials were issued.