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Bitten By A Pup
"Today I saw my first  scout machine, a  Sopwith Pup. It's the  prettiest little thing I  ever laid my eyes on. I  am going to fly one if I  live long enough. They  aren't as big as a  minute and are as  pretty and slick as a  thoroughbred horse.  Tiny little things, just big enough for one man and a machine gun." The enthusiastic words quoted above were  written by the diarist* of War Birds: Diary of  an Unknown Aviator; they epitomise the  feelings of many wartime pilots on first  making the acquaintance of the Sopwith  Pup. In the classic simplicity of its lines the  Pup bore the hallmark of inspired design; so  much so that it is easy to believe the legend  of its origin, which tells of how Harry Hawker  sketched his inspiration in chalk on the shop  floor at Kingston, and how that first layout  remained virtually unchanged throughout all  the detail design which preceded the emerg-  
The perfect flying machine - Sopwith Scout (Pup)
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ence of the prototype. To the Sopwith  Company the machine was known as the  80 h.p. Le Rhone Single Seat Biplane,  and its official title was simply the Sopwith  Scout. The name "Pup" was unofficial and  was frowned upon by authority. Orders  were issued forbidding the use of such a  frivolously incorrect name for the  aeroplane, but the Pup it was and the Pup  it remained. The origin of the name and the identity of  its inventor are alike obscure, but a more  appropriate title could hardly have been  devised, for the machine inspired in its  pilots the same kind of affection as is  lavished on a pet, and gave in return flying qualities which have probably never been  equalled in any other aeroplane before or  since. Perhaps the most remarkable feature of  the Pup was its excellent performance on  the mere 80 h.p. of its Le Rhone rotary  engine, and the flying controls were  harmonious and effective.
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