Our Aircraft’s History

Sopwith Triplane “Tripehound” (S/N 001; C/S N6291) ~ Our privately owned Sopwith Triplane replica was made from the original drawings by owner Bill Woodall from the Akron area. This endeavor was a 20-year journey from scratch, finishing in 1989. Between the original Sopwiths still around and the replicas, the number left in existence is estimated to be less than 9. 

The pilots of the era nicknamed the aircraft the “Tripehound” or simply “Tripe”. Manfred von Ricktofen, the “Red Baron”, saw one of these in battle and demanded to have his own German triplane, which became the Fokker Triplane.  When the Tripehound came online for the RAF during WWI, she helped turn the tide against Germany air power.

Here is a description, by Bill Woodall, of his time building the Sopwith. Video of his flight.  Bill’s interview at MAPS Air Museum.  Bill Woodall is the Crew Chief and maintains this historic replica of WWI!

Specifications/Performance (Clerget 9B-engine variant)

  • Role: Fighter
  • National Origin: United Kingdom
  • Manufacturer: Sopwith Aviation Company
  • First flight: May 28, 1916
  • Introduction: December 1916
  • Built: 147
  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 18 ft 10 in
  • Wingspan: 26 ft 6 in
  • Height: 10 ft 6 in
  • Empty weight: 1,101 lb
  • Loaded weight: 1,541 lb
  • Engine: 1 x Clerget 9B rotary engine, 130 hp
  • Max speed: 117 mph @ 5000 ft
  • Range: 321 mi
  • Endurance: 2 hrs 45 min
  • Service ceiling: 20,500 ft

Armament, notable

  • Guns: 1 x .303 in Vickers machine gun

Museum display notes: markings are of the Royal Air Force insignia that started in 1918.

Designed to replace: Sopwith “Pup”

Replaced by: Sopwith “Camel”