In view of its intended function adoption of the name Snail for the new single-seater was bizarre, this being approved on February 16, 1918. Powered by a 170 hp Wasp I, the first prototype Snail Mk.I was completed in April 1918, this having negative wing stagger and fabric skinning for its circular-section fuselage. Intended armament comprised two synchronized 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machineguns, a third weapon of similar caliber being mounted above the wing centre section, to starboard of the cut-out.
The remaining three prototypes of conventional construction were not completed, the next to fly being the first of the two Snail Mk.IIs with plywood monocoque fuselages and positive wing stagger. On May 9, the C4288 was sent to Martlesham Heath for official trials, the reports being less than complimentary about its maneuverability and low-speed control. When, in October 1918, it was decided to abandon the Wasp engine, further work on the Snail was terminated, the second Snail Mk.II prototype being discontinued before completion. The following data relate to the Snail Mk.II.
Span: 25 ft 4 in (7.72 m)
Length: 19 ft 0 in (5.79 m)
Height: 7 ft 10 in (2.39 m)
Wing area: 228.6 sq.ft (21.24 sq.m)
Empty weight: 1,390 lb (630 kg)
Loaded weight: 1,920 lb (871 kg)
Max speed: 115 mph (185 kmh) at sea level
Climb: to 6,000 ft (1,830 m) 6 min 15 sec."