Building replica Sopwith Triplanes is not run-of-the-mill. So, as you can imagine, meeting people that have been on the aircraft building journey and are willing to share learnings and experiences is invaluable. The people on this page have achieved great things and have been kind enough to shine their guiding lights our way. To all of them we say a heart felt 'Thank You'.
Jack is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a WW1 Aircraft builder of some reputation. His full scale SE5A of the Royal Aircraft Factory with an original Hispano-Suiza engine is incredible. The aircraft can be seen below. The picture on the right shows Paul Anderson meeting up with Jack at Stow-Maries, the WW1 Royal Flying Corps base in England (May 2014). Jack was there giving a talk on his Sopwith Pup build. At the time of writing, Jack is 83 and amazingly still planning projects for the future. A true inspiration to us all.
The 'Jack Kearby' Royal Aircraft Factory SE5A with 180hp hispano-suiza engine
Click any image to see a larger one.
Gordon Brander - Sopwith Triplane Prototype Replica G-BWRA
It was great to meet up with Gordon at Sywell and to see his wonderful Sopwith triplane close up. Gordon told us of the importance of getting a Triplane in trim and actually how difficult the process is. Gordon Brander was trained on Chipmunks by the RAF in the University Air Squadron and then he was selected for the BEA/BOAC Training scheme for graduates at Oxford and went on to fly professionally for 32 years as a commercial pilot with British Airways.
Gordon flew the Hawker Siddeley Trident, BAC 1-11, Boeing 757, 767 and retired off the 747-400 with in excess of 15,000 hrs. He has also flown lots of aerobatic aircraft and has been involved with the Bucker Jungmann and Jungmeister at White Waltham since mid 1980's. Gordon flies with The Great War Display Team which if you get the chance to see them in action you must. The pictures alongside and below were taken at the Sywell 'Pistons & Props' day 2014.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown
In March 2015 I was lucky enough and privileged to spend an evening with Eric' Winkle' Brown at the Dorchester in London. I had taken along a book which he kindly signed along with Alistair Stuart who interviewed him. His story is incredible and stands as true inspiration through courage, determination and fibre. The link to his obituary in the Telegraph is here. Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown died aged 97. He flew 487 different types of aircraft, made 2,407 deck landings at sea and 2,721 take-offs, world records unlikely ever to be broken. He was pleased to hear about our Triplane project and wished us well.
Bob Richardson (Robert E. Richardson)
I met Bob at Shuttleworth displaying the collections Sopwith Triplane. that had recently been rebuilt. Bob is an original member of the Northern Aeroplane Workshop that were group of volunteers that were funded by the Shuttleworth collection to build the Sopwith Triplane. The build took 17 years. Quite an amazing feat! Bob has agreed to pass on knowledge and point us in the right direction when we need it. Great to met you Bob and many thanks for the support!
If there is one man that has a vision it is Paul. His Spitfire squadron concept is in full swing. The MK26B is a new mark of Spitfire from Supermarine Using modern technology Mike O’Sullivan (Mk26 designer) has created an aircraft that not only looks, sounds and feels like the earlier marks but flies like one of them too. Groups of up to twenty owner-builders work together to complete each aircraft, so with twelve aircraft, there is a potential ‘builders’ cooperative’ at Enstone of over 200 people. You can visit Paul and his Spitfires here: Picture show Paul at his hangar at Enstone Flying Club - you really should visit.
It was great to meet Steve Slater the CEO and Director of the Light Aircraft Association at the LAA HQ in Turweston. Steve kindly gave me a few names and contact details to help or Sopwith triplane project on the way. Stephen Slater, took over as CEO of the LAA on 1st September 2015.
Stephen has been actively involved in the light aviation community for over a decade, including spells as Chairman of the Vintage Aircraft Club and Vice-Chairman of the General Aviation Awareness Council. Stephen owns and flies a Piper J-3 Cub based at Bicester, and is co-owner and co-restorer of the ‘Biggles Biplane’ replica 1914 BE-2c observation biplane.
Picture shows Steve Slater with Paul Anderson at the LLA HQ in Turweston