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Thread: Sopwith Baby passed airworthiness inspection.

  1. #1

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    Sopwith Baby passed airworthiness inspection.

    Yea! The Airdrome Sopwith Baby passed and was granted its airworthiness certificate today! My second homebuilt, a modest practical flying replica of the WW1 Sopwith Baby version.

    Historically, the last 70 Parnall-built Sopwith Babies were built as landplanes, and known as Hamble Baby Converts. Although a few were deployed forward as observation planes, most were used as trainers. This Airdrome replica takes advantage of the base Tabloid aircraft wide fuselage to give an a WW1 scout that is very comfortable plane for larger modern pilots like me at 6'2" and 250 pounds.





    N8184 is marked as a 1917 operational Naval aircraft. The engine is a 110 Rotec with a Culver climb prop. Interestingly, the Airdrome plane replicates the original wheel aileron control and has several original and reproduction cockpit fittings. Cockpit - note wheel, original altimeter and compass, replica Tampier quadrant and ASI.



    More soon! Moving in a week or so to the test field for first hops. Hope it flies ok!!! And, hope I can fly it!!
    The Airdrome Sopwith Tabloid, Schneider and Baby are basically the same airframe, differing in small details and engine. The length is 22'10" with a wingspan of about 25'8".
    Airdrome Baby N8184 weighed in at 890 pounds, and will carry a crew weight of 400 pounds with a MAC at 32% - easy peasy.. The weight of the Rotec before the wings allows a much higher payload after. N8184 is a bit heavier due to an extra layer of paint (we changed colors) at about 30 lbs and lots of detais such as a cast metal Lewis gun replica.

    The series can be set up as a side-by side or one very comfortable big guy (yea me!). The original Baby config was a single seat with a wheel and rudder bar, which is what we used. It is a bit of a Pup for big guys. I still have yet to do the ash landing skids, and a few other details, but she has a CoA and I am very happy.

    Robert Baslee, who always likes flashy artwork planes better than my drab kites, remarked: "That's sure a generic WW1 looking plane". Well, that's exactly what I was going for...

    Thanks to so many folks that made this possible! .
    Last edited by snj5; 06-04-2012 at 01:20 AM.

  2. #2
    dewi8095's Avatar
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    Very nice, indeed! What's its cruise speed and range going to be?

    Don

  3. #3
    EAA Staff / Moderator Hal Bryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snj5 View Post
    Cockpit - note wheel, original altimeter and compass, replica Tampier quadrant and ASI.

    <snip>

    Robert Baslee, who always likes flashy artwork planes better than my drab kites, remarked: "That's sure a generic WW1 looking plane". Well, that's exactly what I was going for...
    Fantastic! The wheel is just magnificent - absolutely beautiful! And I love the "flatter" paint scheme - it really does look it's ready to go to work in 1917. Clean and new, but not too shiny. Wonderful work - thanks for sharing it here!

    Hal Bryan
    EAA #638979
    Online Community Manager
    EAA—The Spirit of Aviation

  4. #4
    prasmussen's Avatar
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    Wow!

  5. #5

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    Thanks everyone.
    Based on performance from similar engined Airdrome kits with similar weights (R-2800 N.28 and Pup), I am expecting a pretty good short field performance and a cruise in the 70 - 80 range with about a 2.5 hour range - all much like the original Sopwith. As some of you may know, I also have a Sopwith Camel, and this new plane was meant to be a somewhat less demanding and easier plane to fly. A nice compliment to the more fierce Camel.

    Although this is an unfinished photo earlier during building, you can get a view of the panel, throttle and rudder bar. The rudder bar and mount is based on the original manufacturer drawings as well. And, yes, the small box on the right is the entire electrical system simply there to support the engine, battery and starting system.


    Last edited by snj5; 06-04-2012 at 10:53 AM.

  6. #6
    Chad Jensen's Avatar
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    That just looks like SO much fun!! Congrats on finishing the build!
    Chad Jensen
    EAA #755575

  7. #7

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    That looks fantastic! Have fun, and be safe!

  8. #8

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    This replica is a prototype for a Airdrome Aeroplanes series of kits for full size replicas of the Sopwith Tabloid/Schneider or Baby. There are several suitable engines depending on version, and the aircraft can be built to a two place side by side if desired. The level of detailing is left up to the builder. This aircraft, N8184, will probably have very Cub/Champ like flight performance with the control character of the 1915 original airplane with the unbalanced ailerons and rudder bar. The use of modern materials in construction makes it a good deal safer than the original.
    Attached is a photo of the Sopwith Tabloid version, this one a two place with dual controls, which received its Certificate of Airworthiness a couple of weeks prior with a Valley VW redrive engine and Culver propeller..
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9

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    Goggles On the cover of the Rolling Stone....

    Although now with a new owner in Georgia, our Sopwith Baby is on the cover of Feb 'Kitplanes'!!
    Even though she has left home, dad is still proud for his 'baby'.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Congratulations, it really looks the part of the era of the prototype.

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