Sopwith Antelope

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Role Light transport aircraft
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Sopwith Aviation Company
First flight 1920
Retired 1935
Number built 1
Developed from Sopwith Wallaby

The Sopwith Antelope was a British three-seat transport aircraft built after the end of the First World War. A single-engined biplane based on the Sopwith Wallaby long-range aircraft, only a single Antelope was built.

Development and design[edit]

In 1919, the Sopwith Aviation Company developed a three-seat transport aircraft, the Sopwith Antelope, based on its Wallaby long-range aircraft built to compete for a £10,000 prize for an England-Australia flight, which was in turn based on the Sopwith Atlantic, which had crashed during an attempt to be the first aircraft cross the Atlantic Ocean non-stop earlier that year.[1][2][3]

Like the Wallaby, the Antelope was a single-engined tractor biplane, but with a modified fuselage to accommodate the pilot and two passengers. The pilot sat in an open cockpit under the tailing edge of the wing, in front of an enclosed cabin where the two passengers sat on wicker seats facing each other, with a door on the left side of the cabin to give direct access and windows to provide the passengers with a view. The cabin was fitted with a hatch on its roof, which when slid forward allowed the rearmost passenger seat to be raised so the passenger could be seated with his or her head outside the cabin.[4][5][6] It was powered by a single 180 hp (134 kW) Wolseley Viper water-cooled V8 engine and had two-bay wings.[1][7]

Operational history[edit]

The Antelope was displayed at the 1920 Olympia Aero show,[4] and received its Certificate of Airworthiness on 10 August 1920 [1] before being entered into the Air Ministry Small Commercial Aircraft Competition later that month, where it received the second prize of £3,000.[1]

While Sopwith went into Voluntary liquidation, the Antelope was sold to the Larkin Sopwith Aviation Company of Australia in 1923, being fitted with a Siddeley Puma engine,[1] where it was used to fly air mail, remaining in existence until 1935.[2]


Data from Sopwith - The Man and His Aircraft [8]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 2 passengers
  • Length: 31 ft 0 in (9.45 m)
  • Wingspan: 46 ft 6 in (14.18 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 3 in (3.43 m)
  • Wing area: 550 sq ft[9] (51.1m²)
  • Empty weight: 2,387 lb (1,085 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 3,450 kg (1,568 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wolseley Viper water-cooled V8 engine, 180 hp (134 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-blade propeller


  • Maximum speed: 110 mph (96 knots, 177 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 84 mph (73 knots, 135 km/h)
  • Range: about 450 mi[9] (360 nmi, 724 km)
  • Endurance: 4 hours
  • Climb to 5,000 ft (1,520 m): 7.5 min

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era



  1. ^ a b c d e Jackson 1988, p.311.
  2. ^ a b Robertson 1970, p.231.
  3. ^ Robertson 1970, p.142.
  4. ^ a b Flight 22 July 1920, pp. 799—800.
  5. ^ Flight 5 August 1920, p.857.
  6. ^ Flight 8 July 1920, p.725.
  7. ^ Robertson 1970, p.193.
  8. ^ Robertson 1970, pp. 236—237, 240—241.
  9. ^ a b Flight 5 August 1920, p.858.


"The Olympia 1920 Aero Show". Flight, 22 July 1920, pp. 793—806.