enter image description here This is a photo by the Real Photograph Co. (Liverpool) No.684.
I think it may be a crashed WW1 Biplane (lots of the photos with it were WW1 biplanes).

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The engine looks like it's 9-cylinder radial, and given the way the cylinders are seated on the body I suggest the engine is likely to be a Le Rhone 9J. There's a fairing behind the pilots head, not large, which has come away revealing possibly access to the tank. That's a big clue. Further, the position of the fairing makes it likely a small single seater. It's likely WW1 judging from the officer's uniform. Based on that, tentatively it could be an Airco DH5 or Nieuport 17. $\endgroup$
    – Party Ark
    Jan 28, 2019 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Party Ark Nice suggestion on the Le Rhone. I would however suggest that it is not an Airco DH5, I base this on the fact that the DH5 utilized a spinner, which is not in evidence here. The Newport 17 also does not fit, due to the fact that it had a metal seat, while this aircraft has a wicker seat, in addition the Newport did not have a tank behind the seat. I would suggest that this may be a Sopwith Camel, I base this on the fact that the Camel has both a wicker seat and a tank behind the cockpit. I cannot however identify that specific tank design, so this is not an answer just a guess. $\endgroup$
    – PlaneGuy
    Jan 29, 2019 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ Not all Aircos had spinners (and it might have come off in the crash), but you're right the seat looks wrong. Camel is a good one; I'd expect the tappet rods in front of the cylinders to be visible, but it's not very clear. Certainly the tank position fits, and there is a suggestion of a wing support by the cockpit (left side as you look) which would be a v positive indicator. However, my reading is that there's a fairing behind the pilot's head that's come away - Vickers F.B.19 might be another contender, just to muddy the water. airwar.ru/image/idop/fww1/fb19/fb19-3.jpg $\endgroup$
    – Party Ark
    Jan 29, 2019 at 11:42

2 Answers 2


This could be a Sopwith Camel without its guns. At least these details don't disagree:

  • cowling's shape and front opening
  • 9-cylinder radial engine (tappett rods lost when crushed by the cowling)
  • 8-bolt prop hub
  • wicker seat's weave spacing (many photos if you search "sopwith camel seat")
  • fuel tank's position and shape match that in the Haynes Manual
  • location of the remnants of the cabane struts.

Although some of these details are common to many aircraft of the period, it's noteworthy that this many details agree in one place. A statistical argument may be the best one can do with what's been given.


It definitely looks like the nose of a WW1 or pre-WW2 aircraft. You can clearly see the pilot seat with the fuel tank behind it. In addition you can see the engine with the rest of the two blade propeller.

I personally think that it is most likely a post WW1 but pre WW2 aircraft because it appears to have a NACA Cowling, like on this image from Wikipedia:

NACA Cowling, side, Wikipedia

NACA Cowling, front, Wikipedia

It was developed in 1927. As for the aircraft type, for me personally it's hard to tell what it could be.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NACA_cowling)


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