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The obligatory shot of a Sopwith Dolphin from the RAF Museum at Hendon, outside London. Why is a shot of the Dolphin "obligatory?" Because I first read the Donald Jack book It's Me Again when I was quite young, and have re-read it and Three Cheers for Me countless times since. The protagonist, Canadian pilot Bartholomew Bandy, spends a fair bit of time flying a Dolphin, and Jack's choice of this relatively obscure and unusual plane had a significant impact on me - it was probably those books that led to my life-long obsession with World War I planes. Note the unusual back-staggered wings, the pilot's positioning with his head well above the wings, the upward-firing guns (that the pilots routinely removed), and the radiators extending from the sides of the plane. The Dolphin was also in possession of the notoriously unreliable geared Hispano-Suiza engine. But if you could get the engine running it was one hell of a plane. My timing was good: this plane, assembled from parts of three planes, went on display in March 2012 (I was there in May).

Image 20120512.2416.GO.CanonSX10.web.jpg, size 292849 b
Image #20120512.2416.GO.CanonSX10
Photo © 2012, Giles Orr 
Last modified: 2012-05-25 by giles