Skip to content

The Tommy

27 April 2018


Thomas Morse S-4C Scout “Tommy” looking much like an S-5—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

The Thomas Morse S-4C Scout, nicknamed “Tommy”, was the fighter aircraft trainer made in Ithaca NY and used by the US Army and well as the US Navy during World War I. Looking much like a Sopwith aircraft, which was likely due to the designer Benjamin Thomas (coincidental last name only) who was previously from the Sopwith Aviation Co. This fine example resides within the National Naval Aviation Museum. T-M S-4 expert Jim Rundle of Tommy Come Home notes that the aircraft is an S-4C Scout with added floats to resemble an S-5 (which served in the US Navy). He observes the rotary engine is a LeRhone (80 hp) and not the Gnome (100 hp) as well as aileron and elevator shape differences. This aircraft type is a century old and the museum has done quite a fine piece of work with this exhibit, we agree. Jim’s observations also underscore just how rapidly aircraft designs change—noting that the S-4B used cables to control the ailerons while the S-4C used torque tubes.

Tommy Come Home is the project wrangled by the Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation which exhibits and caretakes the region’s rich aviation roots.

Our thanks to Jim and to the National Naval Aviation Museum.

Thomas Morse S-4 Scout “Tommy”—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Thomas Morse S-4 Scout “Tommy” tail float—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

3 Comments leave one →
  1. shortfinals permalink
    27 April 2018 13:22

    A most worthy restoration!

  2. Bruce Kay permalink
    28 April 2018 09:40

    Great WW1 seaplane trainer. I never heard of it and the tie to Sopwith is another interesting piece of history you dug up Joe.


  3. Nick Veronico permalink
    14 May 2018 11:20

    Very interesting post, and appreciate the link to the Tommy Come Home website. Keep ’em coming.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: