In August 1917 the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney commenced a three month refit at Chatham, during which she was fitted with the first revolving aircraft-launching platform to be installed in a warship. On arrival at Scapa Flow in December 1917, her commanding officer borrowed a Sopwith Pup then being operated from a fixed platform on the cruiser Dublin. On 8 December 1917, the aircraft was launched successfully from Sydney’s platform in the fixed position. It was the first aircraft to take off from an Australian warship. Nine days later the Pup flew off the platform turned into the wind – the first time any aircraft had been launched from such a platform in the revolved position. Early in 1918 Sydney took on board a Sopwith Camel, the standard fighter plane superseding the Pup.
Manufacturer: Sopwith Aviation Co Ltd, UK
Type: fighter and scout aircraft
Engine: one 80hp Le Rhone
Speed: 103 mph
Range: 3 hrs