Alcock Scout

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Alcock Scout
Alcock Scout.jpg
Role Fighter
National origin United Kingdom
Designer Flight Lieutenant John Alcock
First flight 15 October 1917
Retired 1918
Number built 1
Sopwith Triplane, N5431, of C Squadron, No. 2 (Naval) Wing, on the ground at Mudros. N5431 was the only Triplane to serve overseas with the RNAS, and accounted for five enemy machines in the Aegean theatre in 1917, while flown by Flight Sub-lieutenant H T Mellings. After hitting a wall on landing in 1918, she was broken up and parts were used to construct the Alcock A.1 Scout.

The Alcock Scout, a.k.a. A.1 and Sopwith Mouse, was a curious "one-off" experimental fighter biplane flown briefly during World War I. It was assembled by Flight Lieutenant John Alcock at Moudros, a Royal Naval Air Service base in the Aegean Sea. Alcock took the forward fuselage and lower wings of a Sopwith Triplane, the upper wings of a Sopwith Pup and the tailplane and elevators of a Sopwith Camel, and married them to a rear fuselage and vertical tail surface of original design (presumably by Alcock himself). It was powered by a 110 hp Clerget 9Z engine, and carried a .303 Vickers machine gun.

Affectionally referred to as the 'Sopwith Mouse' by Alcock and his fellow designers, Alcock never flew it himself, but squadron-mate FSL Norman Starbuck made a few flights in it, the first on 15 October 1917. However, it crashed in early 1918, was written off and never flew again.

Specifications (approximate)[edit]

Data from War Planes of the First World War: Volume One Fighters[1][nb 1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 19 ft 1 in (5.82 m)
  • Wingspan: 24 ft 3 in (7.39 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 9 in (2.36 m)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Clerget 9Z nine-cylinder rotary engine, 110 hp (84 kW)



  1. ^ No weight or performance details are available.[1]


  1. ^ a b Bruce 1965, p. 8.


  • Bruce, J.M. (1965). War Planes of the First World War: Volume One Fighters. London: Macdonald. 
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 56. 
  • The Complete Book of Fighters. Godalming, UK: Salamander Books. p. 302.