The Sopwith Buffalo was a British armoured fighter/reconnaissance aircraft of the First World War. A single-engined biplane, two examples of the Buffalo were built by Sopwith to carry out reconnaissance missions low over the trenches while protected against machine-gun fire from the ground, but no production followed, with the end of the war removing the need for such an aircraft.
Development and design
In July 1918, the British Air Ministry requested Sopwith, who were already building the Sopwith Salamander armoured single-seat ground attack fighter, to build an armoured two-seat aircraft to carry out the dangerous contact patrol mission. This mission involved flying at low altitude over the battlefield to locate and keep in contact with attacking forces, therefore keeping commanders in touch with the progress of the battle. This exposed aircraft carrying out such missions to heavy small arms fire from enemy trenches, resulting in heavy casualties.
Sopwith's design, the