BILL PIPPIN COLLECTION
No. 11869. Sopwith Snark (F4068) Ministry of Supply
Aeroplane Photo Supply (APS) Photo No. 3774

Sopwith Snark

03/31/2013. Despite the fact that, by 1918, the triplane configuration was widely considered as passť for the fighter, on May 14 of that year, Sopwith was awarded a contract for three prototypes of a new single-seat fighting triplane, conforming to the RAF Type I specification and named the Snark. Powered by a 320 hp A.B.C. Dragonfly I nine-cylinder radial and featuring a plywood monocoque fuselage, the Snark was an equi-span staggered triplane and its designed armament was somewhat radical in the weight of fire that it offered, consisting of two synchronized 0.303 in (7.7 mm) guns on the fuselage and four weapons of similar caliber mounted two per side under the bottom wing.

The first Snark was passed for flight test in September 1918, but unavailability of a Dragonfly engine and the decision to make various minor modifications delayed manufacturer's trials until September of the following year, the aircraft arriving at Martlesham Heath for official trials on November 12, 1919. The second prototype reached MartIesham on March 17, 1920, and the third prototype, with a 360 hp Dragonfly Ia engine, late in the year. Apart from engine problems, the Snark triplanes suffered fuselage deterioration and all three were written off in 1921.

Created March 31, 2013