When the Sopwith Pup entered service in the fall of 1916, it quickly became a favorite of pilots in the Royal Naval Air Service. Squadrons of the Royal Flying Corps began receiving the Pup in January 1917. It was superior to the Fokker scouts and more than a match for any of the new Halberstadt and Albatros scouts. Armed with a single synchronous machine gun, it was lighter and less dangerous than it's successor, the Sopwith Camel. Although underpowered, pilots liked the Pup because it was fast and maneuverable. It could climb and hold its altitude better than any other fighter at the time. In August 1917, the Sopwith Pup was the first aircraft to land aboard a moving ship, the Royal Navy's H.M.S. Furious.
"We saw at once that the enemy airplane was superior to ours." Manfred von Richthofen, after encountering the Sopwith Pup in combat
"When it came to maneuvering, the Sopwith [Pup] would turn twice to an Albatros' once." James McCudden
"...it was a remarkably fine machine for general all-round flying. It was so extremely light and well surfaced that after a little practice one could almost land it on a tennis court." James McCudden
Sopwith Pup Specifications
Sopwith Aviation Company
Le Rhône 9C, 9 cylinder, air cooled rotary, 80 hp
Gnôme Monosoupape, air cooled rotary, 100 hp