This is a subject transferred from AB-IX on November 20th 2018 (message 183455)
The write up in the sales leaflet for Sopwith Dove – a sporting biplane says said to be based on the much loved Pup fighter of 1916 but having more in common with the later Snipe. Looking at images from 2006/7 G-EBKY has the empennage shown for the Pup in Jack Bruce’s British Aeroplanes 1914-18 and on page 561 he writes the design provided the basis for the little Sopwith Dove sporting two seater. In AJJ’s British Civil Aircraft 1919-59 he has a picture of G-EBKY on page 432, still as a Dove and much as it is now. In the table on page 570 he quotes Work Order numbers, rather than former identities which suggests they may have been built from unused spares. As the Snipe had two sets of struts per side, a Bentley BR 2 engine and a different empennage why does the write up say it had Snipe connections ? Also G-EAGA and E-AHP were sold abroad in September 1919 but he does not say where two, is there destination now known ?
It appears that you have only scanned my book superficially before embarking on your criticisms.
I note that the books to which you refer are very dated. Jack Bruce’s big book is now over 60 years old, and although it is still a mine of information, a great deal of research has been carried out since then, much of it by Jack himself. This has shed new light and changed our knowledge of the histories of just about all of the aeroplanes featured in that book. Jack was always the first to state that the volume had become dated, and he was constantly updating his writings over the years as new information came to light.
Likewise, you appear to have been using the earlier edition of Jackson’s volume, which has also undergone some changes. Even then, much of the information in the later 3-volume edition (1974, now 44 years old!) is now known to be questionable. For example, Peter Amos has found it necessary to correct much of the information relating to the Miles aircraft.
Jack never claimed to be an authority on post-WW1 aircraft, and both he and Jackson simply accepted Sopwith’s assertion that the Dove was a peacetime ‘adaptation’ of the Pup. No one had bothered to research the history of the Dove until I decided to do so, and my researches led me to question this assertion. It quickly became very obvious that this was certainly not the case. I have explained my reasons for saying this in my book; please read it. It is an undeniable fact that the Snipe and the Dove share the same company drawings for many components. The fact that the Snipe had two-bay wings is of no great significance; in fact the first Snipe prototype had single-bay wings! It should also be borne in mind that the Pup of 1916 was a very outdated design by 1918, having been succeeded by several later designs incorporating improved structural techniques. Sopwith evidently elected to market the Dove as Pup-derived to exploit the Pup’s famous reputation as a ‘pilot’s aeroplane’ with fine handling qualities, but the Pup had been out of production well before the war’s end.
There is not one ounce of evidence to support your argument that the Doves were built from ‘unused spares’. In fact there is no doubt that it was a new design and that all of the Doves were new airframes.
Again, you are utterly wrong to state that I do not give the histories of G-EAGA and G-EAHP. If you take the trouble to read my book properly, you will find the full known histories of (the original) G-EAGA (ex-K157) and G-EAHP (ex-K168) on pages 52 to 59.
Your assertion that the picture of Dove G-EBKY in Jackson’s book shows the aircraft ‘still as a Dove, and much as it is now’, is nonsense. In that picture it has Snipe tail surfaces. When Shuttleworth turned their Dove into a ‘Pup’ a great deal of alteration and replacement of major parts was required. (See pp.66-68 of my book.) In fact some of the replaced components were incorporated in a Snipe recently built for the RAF Museum.