|Sopwith Baby in use with Norway's Marinens flyvåpen|
|Role||Single-seat scout and bomber biplane seaplane|
|Manufacturer||Sopwith Aviation Company|
|First flight||September 1915|
|Primary user||Royal Naval Air Service|
|Developed from||Sopwith Schneider|
|Variants||Fairey Hamble Baby|
Development and design
The Baby (also known as the Admiralty 8200 Type) 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 initial, Sopwith built production version of the Baby differed little from the Schneider Trophy winner.
Further modified aircraft, designed to met the more demanding conditions of 1916-18, were later built by Blackburn Aircraft at Leeds, United Kingdom. In Italy licensed manufacture was undertaken by SA Aeronautica Gio Ansaldo of Turin. A modified variant of the Baby, the Hamble Baby was built by Fairey and Parnall.
Altogether, 286 Babies were built for the Royal Naval Air Service, 100 by Sopwith at Kingston and 186 by Blackburn Aircraft at Leeds with others for export.
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 United States, 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.
- Royal Naval Air Service
- Royal Air Force
Data from Holmes, 2005. p 44.
- 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 ft² (22.30 m²)
- Empty weight: 1,226 lb (557 kg)
- Loaded weight: 1,715 lb (779 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × 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 × Lewis gun
- 2 × 65 lb (28 kg) bombs
- Holmes, 2005. p 44.
- Lamberton, 1960. p 58.
- Holmes, Tony (2005). Jane's Vintage Aircraft Recognition Guide. London: Harper Collins. p. 44. ISBN 0-00-719292-4.
- Lamberton, W.M. (1960). Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Herts: Harleyford Publications Ltd.
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