In The News

KipAero Events & Activities

Langley Flight Foundation Awards Contract for Aerodrome No. 5

On December 28, 2022, the Langley Flight Foundation awarded KipAero the contract to fabricate Aerodrome No. 5, the first heavier-than-air mechanical contraption to take flight on May 6, 1986. Utilizing the photographs and documentation provided by Samuel Pierpoint Langley’s team and the Wright Experience, KipAero will construct the exact Aerodrome No. 5 powered by steam by May 6, 2024. For further information contact the Langley Flight Foundation or KipAero.

Dawn Patrol Rendezvous 2022

KipAero will be exhibiting at the National Museum of the United States Air Force celebrating the WW1 aeroplanes and pilots that took to the skies at Dawn Patrol Rendezvous, Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio. October 7 & 8, 2022. Aerial events, WWI living history reenactors in a war encampment area, radio-controlled model aircraft, antique cars, educational activities, workshops and a speaker series frame an exciting weekend of fly-ins from replica WWI aircraft.

EAA AirVenture 2022

At EAA AirVenture 2022, KipAero is honoring the 88th Aero Squadron, one of a number of US Air Service units which flew Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutters in combat over the Western Front, beginning in May, 1918. A Corps Observation Squadron, the unit operated Strutter’s until they were replaced by the Dorand AR-1, and eventually the Salmson 2A2, which they were operating up to and after the Armistice.

88th Aero Squandron

You’ll experience what a typical aero encampment might have looked like in 1918 complete with US Army Squadron HQ tent, officers canvas tent and encampment defenses at the Main Aircraft, Booth 310. Daily Gnome Monosoupape engine runs at Vintage Red Barn and early aero presentations at EAA Museum.



NTSB Aviation Accident Final Report

May 6, 2022 NTSB released their final report determining the probable cause of the incident, July 3, 2020, as an inflight loss of aileron control due to movement of a control connector. Click here to read the entire final report.

EAA AirVenture 2021

KipAero will be returning to Oshkosh, WI for EAA AirVenture 2021 exhibiting Sopwith WWI authentic airplane kits in booth # 310. Located in the Main Aircraft Display, KipAero’s recognizable canvas covered Bessonneau will feature hands-on display on assembling a Sopwith Pup kit. More information here.

KipAero Discovers Flaw in Strutter’s Original Plans

Specific only to Dual Control Sopwith 1½ Strutter

On July 3rd, 2020 during the 23rd test flight of the WWI Sopwith 1½ Strutter, the pilot conducted a left turn and moved the control stick to the right to bring the wings level. There was no noticeable resistance and the control stick continued until it had reached its maximum travel. The pilot recognized this as a failure in the lower aileron circuit. The pilot elected to perform an emergency landing in the cornfield in front of the airplane. The pilot cut power to the engine during approach, and after cutting the engine power he was unable to clear trees during the emergency descent. The airplane brushed a tree and descended into the ground nose down and in a turn. The pilot received minor injuries and the passenger was not injured. Read the pilot’s FAA Incident Report here. See Kathryn’s Report here.

The KipAero Sopwith Strutter – Why This is a Great-War Game Changer

Classic Wings, Volume 25 Issue 116

The 1½ Sopwith Strutter Flies

The latest newsletter has just gone out to The Australian Vintage Aviation Society members with a comprehensive article written about this magnificent project, available as a kit.

The Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter Flies

If you would like to receive the newsletters, but not yet a member of TAVAS, you can join by clicking on –

Guest Speaker at EAA Chapter 226 Annual Banquet

Kip Lankenau will be providing the entertainment for EAA Chapter 226 Annual Banquet on November 23, 2019. Impersonating a WWI pilot, Lankenau will present “Flying on the Western Front” giving the audience first hand accounts of what it was really like to fight and fly in the Great War. For more information go to the Anderson/Muncie Aces here.

Sopwith 1½ Strutter Returns to EAA AirVenture 2019

KipAero announces their authentic reproduction Sopwith 1½ Strutter will be returning to EAA AirVenture – this time fully covered and operational. Fitted with a new production Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine, this Great War two-seater fighter will be on exhibit in the Main Aircraft Display, Booth #310. Engine starts with the Gnome rotary engine will be held daily at the Vintage Red Barn. For more information visit

Side view of Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter
Side view of Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter

EAA Chapter 983 Brazos Valley Guest Speaker

January 12 monthly meeting and pancake breakfast with guest speaker, Kip Lankenau, telling us about his Sopwith 1 1/2 project. Pecan Plantation, Granbury,  Texas.

The League of WW1 Historians DFW Chapter

December 15th, 2018 at KipAero 10:am – noon

The DFW Chapter of The League of WW1 Historians will have their monthly meeting hosted by KipAero. First, members will tour the facility and the Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter under construction. Afterwards, principal Kip Lankenau will give presentation “Why Sopwith”. Light lunch and drinks will be served to those in attendance.

Texas Antique Airplane Association Annual Fly-In

October 12-13 at Gainesville Municipal Airport (KGLE)

Come join us at the 56th Annual TAAA Fly-In! Airplanes participating include: Antiques, Classics, Warbirds, Replicas and Homebuilt airplanes that will be on display throughout the event. All aircraft are welcome. Gainesville, Texas, considered the northern “Gateway to Texas” is located on I-35, six miles south of the Oklahoma border.

There will be static displays, group fly-bys and good food, plenty of flying activities, fun and educational seminars for kids. A fly-mart where you might find that special part you’ve been looking for and aircraft judging as well as exhibits, forums and vendors. Discounts on fuel and Door Prizes are also planned. For more information go to

Dawn Patrol Rendezvous – 100th Anniversary WWI

September 22-23 at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio

KipAero will be present at the National Museum of the United States Air Force to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Great War. Enjoy the sights and sounds of vintage original and reproduction WWI aircraft along with radio-controlled model aircraft, vintage automobiles, educational encounters, authors and lecturers and living history reenactments. KipAero crew will be demonstrating engine runs of the new production Gnome Monosoupape Rotary engine – a site not too miss! Free admission; for more information go to

KipAero HQ and Gnome rotary engine at Dawn Patrol Rendezvous
KipAero HQ and Gnome rotary engine demonstration unit at Dawn Patrol Rendezvous, NMUSAF, Dayton, Ohio.

Live Interviews from EAA AirVenture 2018 with Kip Lankenau

NBC Live Interview July 24th, 2018

Reproduction Sopwith 1½ Strutter Commemorates Royal Air Force Centenary

At EAA Adventure 2018, a new production, full-scale, fully functional Sopwith 1½ Strutter fitted with a new production Gnome Monosoupape 100hp rotary engine will be on display.

The Sopwith 1½ Strutter was commonly referred to as the ‘workhorse’ of the Great War due to its versatility. It was used extensively by the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) as a scout (fighter), for artillery observation and photo reconnaissance, and as a bomber. With the Army’s Royal Flying Corps (RFC) covetous of the RNAS’ Sopwiths, an Advisory Air Board was eventually created to better allocate resources and reduce inter-service rivalries.  Eventually, the RNAS and RFC were merged in April 1918, becoming the Royal Air Force (RAF). During this time, the Sopwith Pup, 1½ Strutter, Triplane and Camel were used extensively by both services to gain air superiority and ultimately win the war. In celebration of the Centennial of the Royal Air Force, any RAF airman attending AirVenture is invited to climb aboard the 1½ Strutter and experience first-hand the cockpits and controls of an early aeroplane.

For more information on EAA AirVenture 2018 Oshkosh, please click here.

KipAero at EAA AirVenture 2018
KipAero with Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter fitted with a Gnome rotary engine inside a WW1 Bessonneau hangar. Authentic reproductions.

KipAero Exhibits Full-Size Sopwith 1½ Strutter Fuselage with Gnome 100hp Rotary Engine at Oshkosh 2017

At EAA Adventure Oshkosh 2017, KipAero will exhibit a new production, Sopwith 1½ Strutter fuselage fitted with a new Gnome Monosoupape 100hp rotary engine manufactured by Classic Aero Machining Service. Produced using the original Sopwith factory drawings, this two-seater fighter/trainer will be uncovered allowing the enthusiast to see how early aeroplanes were constructed. For those who want to experience exactly what it was like to fly an aeroplane from the Great War era, four Sopwith models are offered in fully assembled or kit form; 1½ Strutter, Pup, Triplane and Camel. Booth #310, main aircraft display area.

Sopwith 1&frac12 Strutter
The KipAero Crew and display at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017

KipAero Principle Speaks at Oshkosh 2017

Due to the popularity of his presentation in 2016, Kip Lankenau, President of KipAero, a division of Kip Motor Company, has been asked to update and present “Flying on the Western Front 1917″, on Wednesday, July 26 at 11:30am, Workshop Classroom A. Lankenau will also be delivering “Building Aeroplanes of the Great War”; Monday, July 24 at 11:30am, Workshop. In addition on a subject not commonly discussed is “Lighter-than-Air in the Great War”, July 27 at 2:30pm, Hilton Theater.

KipAero Principle Speaks at Aircraft Engine Historical Society – October 2016

KipAero President Kip Lankenau and AEHS President Kim McCutcheon present “Aircraft Engines Before WWI” at AEHS annual conference, Dayton, OH  October 2016. [pdf file] Aircraft Engines Before WWI

KipAero’s Sopwith 1½ Strutter with Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine


KipAero Exhibits at NMUSAF WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous

A longtime supporter of the National Museum of the USAF and its’ WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous, KipAero, a division of Kip Motor Company, is exhibiting the Sopwith family of full-size, authentic kits along with ignition and electrical components for early aero engines October 1st – 2nd, 2016.

KipAero Principle Selected to Speak at EAA AirVenture 2016

WWI Pilot with Sopwith fuselage

Kip Lankenau, President of KipAero, a Division of Kip Motor Company, will be presenting at EAA AirVenture, “Flying on the Western Front 1916” on Saturday, July 30th at 11:30 am in Workshop Classroom A. This presentation will encompass the history of early flying machines, their evolution in the Great War, the struggles and tribulations of a pilot flying on the western front in 1916, and why anyone would want to be a pilot when the life expectancy on the front was only a matter of weeks. This presentation will be informative as well as entertaining as this time period is Kip’s passion.

KipAero Resumes Sopwith Strutter Production After 100 Years

KipAero Sopwith Crew @Oshkosh2016
The KipAero crew at Oshkosh2016

July 15, 2016 – Dallas, Texas – In recognition of the First World War Centennial, KipAero, a division of Kip Motor Company, announces the introduction of accurate reproduction, full-size airplane kits at Oshkosh 2016. Focusing on the Sopwith family of aeroplanes – 1½ Strutter, Pup, Triplane and Camel – KipAero’s goal is to provide the vintage aviation enthusiast an authentic Great War flying experience. Read more here…IntroductionSopwithKits