The Thomas-Morse Scout became the favorite single-seat training airplane for U.S. pilots during World War I. The Scout first appeared with an order for 100 S4Bs in the summer of 1917. The U.S. Army Air Service later purchased nearly 500 of a slightly modified version, the S4C. Dubbed the "Tommy" by its pilots, the plane had a long and varied career.
Tommies flew at practically every pursuit flying school in the United States during 1918. After the war ended, the Air Service sold them as surplus to civilian flying schools, sportsman pilots and ex-Army fliers. Some were still being used in the mid-1930s for WWI aviation movies filmed in Hollywood.
The Tommy on display was donated to the museum in March 1965 by Capt. R.W. Duff, Miami, Fla., and restored by Aero Mechanics High School, Detroit, Mich.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: One .30-cal Marlin machine gun Engine:LeRhone C-9 rotary of 80 hp Maximum speed: 95 mph Range: 250 miles Ceiling: 16,000 ft. Span: 26 ft. 6 in. Length: 19 ft. 10 in. Height: 8 ft. 1 in. Weight: 1,330 lbs.