SM Alexandre Suchey from NAS Corfou and his Sopwith 130 Clerget. (Poisson)
In 1916, the French Naval Aviation didn't own any fighter-seaplane able to escort patrol aircraft belonging to NAS Dunkerque during the WWI. That's why the French Admiralty called its British counterpart for help. The RNAS delivered two Sopwith "Baby" in April. Those two aircraft (No 8128 & 8129) were equipped with a Clerget engine of 100 hp. Later, five brand new planes built at Leeds were delivered at Dunkerque in January 1917. Contrary to the previous examples, those ones were equipped with a Clerget engine of 130 hp. In September, the Hanriot company took order of 7 examples, in fact 17 planes were finally built under license. In December 1916, one of those examples was sent to Hanriot's plants at Billancourt as a model. And on August 2nd 1917, the French Navy purchased 7 additional Sopwith and 17 examples built under license at Billancourt.
Mid-1917, the French Navy, took delivery of 4 examples sold by the British government. On January 3rd 1917, a new order of 10 planes was taken by the SACA company. The Sopwiths remained in service until the end of the war and surviving ones were discommissioned later. This seaplane was known as the "Sopwith 130 ch Clerget" in the Aviation Maritime Française (French Naval Aviation), its English designation - "Baby" had never been used by French sailors & pilots.
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