Sopwith Snipe

The Sopwith Snipe was the last important plane produced by Thomas Sopwith and his Sopwith Aviation Company during the First World War. Designed by Herbert Smith, the Snipe was an improved version of the Sopwith Camel. Developed in late 1917, the Snipe used a new engine, the 230hp Bentley rotary and this enabled it to fly faster and higher than its predecessor.

By 1918 the Sopwith Snipe was considered to be the best Allied fighter plane on the Western Front. Nearly 500 Snipes were built in 1918 and eventually 1,567 were delivered to the Royal Air Force. After the war remained the most important plane in the RAF. Until 1923 the Snipe constituted the only fighter defence of Britain. The Sopwith Snipe remained in service until 1927.

Performance Data of the Sopwith Snipe




230 hp Bentley

Wing Span

30 ft (9.14 m)


19 ft 10 in (6.05 m)


9 ft 6 in (2.9 m)

Maximum Speed

121 mph (195 kph)

Maximum Height

19,500 ft (5,944 m)


3 hours


2 machine-guns