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Sopwith Dolphin Machine Gun School Photo


Clint
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Hello,

Currently on ebay there are two photos of the first prototype of the Dopwith Dolphin captioned Machine Gun School

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/353735759596?hash=item525c4b56ec:g:FbUAAOSwD~phcalm

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/353718759239?hash=item525b47ef47:g:hTQAAOSwa~lhVgAu

My question is,did the first Dolphin serve with the Machine Gun School or is that unit simply the origin of the photos ?

On a related matter,looking at other photos of this machine it has the usual white rectangle for application of the serial. But was a serial ever applied to the 5F.1/I or indeed the second and third prototypes?

Regards,

Clint

 

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Is that a Sopwith Dolphin, I thought they had an in line engine, that looks to be a rotary. The Dolphin entered service in April 1918... I think.

 

Would a prototype be at a Machine Gun school in 1917?

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3 hours ago, adrian 1008 said:

Is that a Sopwith Dolphin, I thought they had an in line engine, that looks to be a rotary. 

 

The prototype Dolphin had a single tall frontal radiator - hence the large oval shaped opening.  Production machines had flank radiators and a more tapered nose. 

The location of the top image - and possibly the second - is Brooklands, and the other machine is Camel N6336.  There's a similar photo in JM Bruce's The Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps (Military Wing)  According to Bruce, this machine went to France on 13 June 1917 flown by Capt HT Tizard.  The next day it was flown by Capt WA Bishop DSO MC of 60 Sqn.  

Bruce also states: There can be no doubt that the fourth prototype was the unnumbered Dolphin that went to France early in November 1917.  ... The new aircraft was flown extensively by pilots of 19 Sqn ...    Although unnumbered previous to its flight to France, this machine was apparently used operationally by 19 Sqn acquiring the locally alloted serial B6871.   All previous prototypes were seemingly unnumbered, with none visible in the photos in the above book.

Edited by pete-c
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Thank you, once again as I tune into this forum I learn something 

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As per the Cross and Cockade book on the Dolphin, the first three prototypes remained in England for testing and were not given military serial numbers.  The fourth prototype was flown to France in November 1917 and went to No 19 Squadron on the 15th of that month.  It received the serial number B6871 early in 1918 and on 26 February was reported missing from a reserve patrol, being last seen gliding south-west from Comines after combat with a Fokker Triplane.  The pilot, Lieut John Lawrie McLintock, was killed and although the victory is usually credited to Ltn Richard Plange of Jasta 2 (Boelcke) as his third victory, the German pilot actually claimed a Spad, so we cannot be certain of the match.

Graeme

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Hello,

Thank you everyone for the informative replies.Its good to have the correct location for the photo.While totally accepting the information kindly provided, I'm still surprised that a bureaucracy,like the RFC could send the first prototype to France without granting a serial number (que the gambling speech from Louis Renault in Casablanca at this point...).Still live and learn.

Thanks Again,

Clint

 

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