The Snipe was specifically built around the newly developed 230-horsepower Bentley rotary engine. Used as a replacement to the legendary Sopwith Camel, the Snipe had mighty big shoes to fill.
Arriving for combat in late in the conflict, only two Royal Air Force and one Australian Flying Corps squadrons were equipped with Snipes by November, 1918. Flyers who got the rare chance to pilot a Snipe in combat said it was an amazing plane. British pilot H.A. Van Ryneveld called it, "vastly superior to any scout at the front."
On October 27, 1918, Canadian ace Major W. G. Barker got the chance to back up all the talk with action. He was at the controls of a Snipe when he suddenly found himself alone and cornered by 15 German Fokkers. In the ensuing epic air battle, Barker amazingly managed to shoot down four of his attackers and, though badly wounded, use the Snipes exceptional traits to escape the balance of his angry foes.
The Museum of Flight's example of the Snipe was built by Richard Day of Colonia, New Jersey. Completed in 1982 and powered by a Continental 220-horsepower radial engine and armed with two .303-inch Vickers machine guns it represents a Snipe in postwar Royal Air Force service.