Fairey Hamble Baby

The Fairey Hamble Baby was a British single-seat naval patrol floatplane designed and built by Fairey Aviation for the Royal Naval Air Service.

Fairey Hamble Baby
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Fairey Aviation Company
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1917
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Greece View
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Fairey Aviation Company 180 View

Fairey Aviation built a number of Sopwith Baby floatplanes at its Hamble works. A variant of the Sopwith Baby was built by the Fairey Aviation Co., Ltd. On 23 October 1916, Sopwith Baby No.8134 was sent to the Fairey works for repair, and the opportunity was taken to rebuild the aircraft to incorporate a number of modifications. The most significant was the Fairey Patent Camber Gear, which was a form of trailing edge flap used to increase lift. On the Fairey-built aircraft, the entire trailing edge of each wing was hinged along the rear spar, lowered by rotating a handwheel in the cockpit. A differential device ensured that the flaps could still be actuated as ailerons; thus, lateral control was maintained. In this modified form, the aircraft was known as the Fairey Hamble Baby. Production Hamble Babies differed in appearance from those built by Sopwith and Blackburn. The planform of wings and tailplane were changed: the wings had increased span and reduced chord, had rounded tips, and the tailplane had a characteristic shape different from the semi-circular outline of the Sopwith original. A new and angular fin, Fairey-designed main floats of new form, and an enlarged tail float were fitted, and the engine cowling was modified. Parnall also produced Hamble Babies, which had some detail differences from the Fairey produced aircraft. The last 74 aircraft were produced by Parnall as landplanes and known as the Hamble Baby Convert.

Role Floatplane scout
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Fairey Aviation
Introduction 1917
Status Retired
Primary users Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Air Force
Number built 180
Unit cost £2,100
Developed from Sopwith Baby

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 23 ft 4 in (7.11 m)
  • Wingspan: 27 ft 9¼ in (8.47 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 6 in (2.90 m)
  • Wing area: 246 ft² (23.5 m²)
  • Empty weight: 1,386 lb (630 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 1,946 lb (885 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Clerget rotary engine, 110 hp (82 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 80 kn (92 mph, 148 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 7,500 ft (2,290 m)
  • Wing loading: lb/ft² (kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: hp/lb (W/kg)
  • Endurance: 2 hr
  • Climb to 2,000 ft (610 m): 5 min 30 sec


  • Guns: 1 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis Gun
  • Bombs: 2 × 65 lb (30 kg) bombs

End notes