Some pilots called it, "the perfect plane." The Pup was light, basic, and simply simple. "They were tiny little things," says a British pilot, "just big enough for one man and a machine gun." The machine gun was key -- a trusty Vickers gun equipped with a hydraulic synchronizing gear which allowed it to fire through the propeller. With a good weapon and not much else, it was said that, "a Pup could turn twice to an Albatros' once" -- an invaluable trait in a chaotic dogfight. At a time when other Allied aircraft were suffering terrible losses, German flyers would try to avoid getting into a scrap with a Pup.
The Museum's aircraft was built by Carl Swanson of Darien, Wisconsin and is considered to be a masterpiece of replication. It is virtually indistinguishable from the original aircraft -- right down to the Le Rhône 9D, 80-horsepower rotary engine and .303-inch Vickers machine gun.