Tuesday 8th October 2013. ‘Building and Flying a 1/3 scale Sopwith Pup’. By Mr Stephen Wessel.
This talk covered the background to a project which was the idea of Charles Morgan and Stephen Wessel, when they were looking around the Old Warden museum.
Stephen took on the making of a 1/3rd scale Mono rotary engine and Charles built a 1/3rd scale radio controlled Sopwith Pup to fly with the engine.
Stephen’s talk covered in detail the production of CAD drawings and the building of the engine. He showed many pictures of the build and gave details of materials and methods used, pointing out many difficulties that had to be overcome. The only significant deviations from true scale was the use of a modern electronic ignition system as opposed to a magneto, but the delivery of the HT current to the sparking plugs was to scale via a distribution ring and non insulated distribution wires. Here there was a very difficult problem of interference that had to be overcome
A DVD was shown of the first flight and the wonderful scale sound of the rotary engine was demonstrated. The flying was very exciting and mirrored all the characteristics of the full size aircraft.
The whole idea was developed from the fact that Charles’ father flew aircraft in the Royal Flying Corps and a particular favourite of his was the Sopwith Pup. He was also nick named Mono Morgan as he had a reputation for being particularly good at handling the Mono engine. The aircraft was decorated in the same scheme as the aircraft that Charles’ father flew and bore the same identification mark.
All in all Stephen’s talk was a fascinating adventure into the idea of and the building and flying of a one third scale Sopwith Pup. At the time it was believed that such a complete scale project of the combination of the aircraft and Mono engine had never before been achieved.