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The Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
was a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter aircraft introduced on the Western Front in 1917. It was developed by the Sopwith Aviation Company
Sopwith Aviation Company
as a successor to the earlier Sopwith Pup
Sopwith Pup
and became one of the most iconic fighter aircraft of the First World War. The Camel was powered by a single rotary engine and was armed with twin synchronized machine guns. Though proving difficult to handle, it provided for a high level of manoeuvrability to an experienced pilot, an attribute which was highly valued in the type's principal use as a fighter aircraft. In total, Camel pilots have been credited with the shooting down of 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied fighter of the conflict. Towards the end of the Great War, the type had also seen use as a ground-attack aircraft, partially due to it having become increasingly outclassed as the capabilities of fighter aircraft on both sides were rapidly advancing at that time. The main variant of the Camel was designated as the F.1; several dedicated variants were built for a variety of roles, including the 2F.1 Ship's Camel, which was used for operating from the flight decks of aircraft carriers, the Comic night fighter variant, and the T.F.1, a dedicated 'trench fighter' that had been armoured for the purpose of conducting ground attacks upon heavily defended enemy lines. The Camel also saw use as a two-seat trainer aircraft. In January 1920, the last aircraft of the type were withdrawn from RAF service.

Contents

1 Development 2 Design

2.1 Overview 2.2 Flight characteristics

3 Operational history

3.1 Western front 3.2 Home defence and night fighting 3.3 Shipboard and parasite fighter 3.4 Ground attack 3.5 Postwar service

4 Variants

4.1 Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
F.1 4.2 Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
2F.1 4.3 Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
"Comic" Night fighter 4.4 F.1/1 4.5 T.F.1 4.6 Trainer

5 Operators 6 Survivors

6.1 Reproductions

7 Specifications (F.1 Camel) 8 Notable appearances in media 9 See also 10 References

10.1 Notes 10.2 Citations 10.3 Bibliography

11 External links

Development[edit]

Harry Cobby
Harry Cobby
sitting in the cockpit of a Sopwith Camel

The Camel's predecessor, the Sopwith Pup, was no longer competitive against newer German fighters such as the Albatros D.III; consequently the Camel was developed specifically to replace the Pup,[2] as well as the Nieuport 17s that had been purchased from the French as an interim measure. It was recognised that the new fighter needed to be faster and have a heavier armament. The design effort to produce this successor, initially designated as the Sopwith F.1, was headed by Sopwith's chief designer, Herbert Smith.[3][4] Early in its development, the new aircraft was simply referred to as the "Big Pup". A metal fairing over the gun breeches, intended to protect the guns from freezing at altitude, created a "hump" that led pilots to call the aircraft "Camel", although this name was never used officially.[2][5] On 22 December 1916, the prototype Camel was first flown by Harry Hawker
Harry Hawker
at Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey; it was powered by a 110 hp Clerget
Clerget
9Z.[4] In May 1917, the first production contract for an initial batch of 250 Camels was issued by the British War Office.[6] Throughout 1917, a total of 1,325 Camels were manufactured, almost entirely of the initial F.1 variant. By the time that production of the type came to an end, approximately 5,490 Camels of all types had been built.[7] In early 1918, production of the navalised "Ship's" Camel 2F.1 began.[8] Design[edit] Overview[edit]

Replica Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
showing internal structure

The Camel had a mostly conventional design for its era, featuring a wooden box-like fuselage structure, an aluminium engine cowling, plywood panels around the cockpit, and fabric-covered fuselage, wings and tail. While possessing some clear similarities with the Pup, it was furnished with a noticeably bulkier fuselage.[3] For the first time on an operational British-designed fighter, two 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns were mounted directly in front of the cockpit, synchronised to fire forwards through the propeller disc.[4][2] In addition to the machine guns, a total of four Cooper bombs could be carried for ground attack purposes.[4] The bottom wing was rigged with 3° dihedral while the top wing lacked any dihedral; this meant that the gap between the wings was less at the tips than at the roots; this change had been made at the suggestion of Fred Sigrist, the Sopwith works manager, as a measure to simplify the aircraft's construction. The upper wing featured a central cutout section for the purpose of providing improved upwards visibility for the pilot.[9] Production Camels were powered by various rotary engines, most commonly either the Clerget 9B
Clerget 9B
or the Bentley BR1.[10] In order to evade a potential manufacturing bottleneck being imposed upon the overall aircraft in the event of an engine shortage, several other engines were also adopted to power the type as well.[11] Flight characteristics[edit] Unlike the preceding Pup and Triplane, the Camel was considered to be difficult to fly.[12] The type owed both its extreme manoeuvrability and its difficult handling to the close placement of the engine, pilot, guns and fuel tank (some 90% of the aircraft's weight) within the front seven feet of the aircraft, and to the strong gyroscopic effect of the rotating mass of the cylinders common to rotary engines.[Note 1] Aviation author Robert Jackson notes that: "in the hands of a novice it displayed vicious characteristics that could make it a killer; but under the firm touch of a skilled pilot, who knew how to turn its vices to his own advantage, it was one of the most superb fighting machines ever built".[4] The Camel soon gained an unfortunate reputation with pilots.[13] Some inexperienced pilots crashed on take-off when the full fuel load pushed the aircraft's centre of gravity beyond the rearmost safe limits. When in level flight, the Camel was markedly tail-heavy. Unlike the Sopwith Triplane, the Camel lacked a variable incidence tailplane, so that the pilot had to apply constant forward pressure on the control stick to maintain a level attitude at low altitude. The aircraft could be rigged so that at higher altitudes it could be flown "hands off". A stall immediately resulted in a dangerous spin. A two-seat trainer version of the Camel was later built to ease the transition process:[14] in his Recollections of an Airman Lt Col L.A. Strange, who served with the central flying school, wrote: "In spite of the care we took, Camels continually spun down out of control when flew by pupils on their first solos. At length, with the assistance of Lieut Morgan, who managed our workshops, I took the main tank out of several Camels and replaced [them] with a smaller one, which enabled us to fit in dual control." Such conversions, and dual instruction, went some way to alleviating the previously unacceptable casualties incurred during the critical type-specific solo training stage.[13] Operational history[edit] Western front[edit]

Camels being prepared for a sortie.

In June 1917, the Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
entered service with No. 4 Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service, which was stationed near Dunkirk, France; this was the first squadron to operate the type.[15] Its first combat flight and reportedly its first victory claim were both made on 4 July 1917.[6] By the end of July 1917, the Camel also equipped No. 3 and No. 9 Naval Squadrons; and it had become operational with No. 70 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps.[8] By February 1918, 13 squadrons had Camels as their primary equipment.[citation needed] The Camel proved to have better manoeuvrability than the Albatros D.III and D.V and offered heavier armament and better performance than the Pup and Triplane. Its controls were light and sensitive. The Camel turned more slowly to the left, which resulted in a nose-up attitude due to the torque of the rotary engine, but the torque also resulted in being able to turn to the right quicker than other fighters,[16] although that resulted in a tendency towards a nose-down attitude from the turn. Because of the faster turning capability to the right, some pilots preferred to change heading 90° to the left by turning 270° to the right.[citation needed] Agility in combat made the Camel one of the best-remembered Allied aircraft of the First World War. RFC crew used to joke that it offered the choice between "a wooden cross, the Red Cross, or a Victoria Cross".[17] Together with the S.E.5a and the SPAD S.XIII, the Camel helped to re-establish the Allied aerial superiority that lasted well into 1918.[citation needed] Major William Barker's Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
(serial no. B6313, the aircraft in which he scored the majority of his victories)[18] was used to shoot down 46 aircraft and balloons from September 1917 to September 1918 in 404 operational flying hours, more than any other single RAF fighter. Home defence and night fighting[edit] An important role for the Camel was home defence. The RNAS flew Camels from Eastchurch and Manston airfields against daylight raids by German bombers, including Gothas, from July 1917.[14] The public outcry against the night raids and the poor response of London's defences resulted in the RFC deciding to divert Camels that had been heading to the frontlines in France
France
to Britain for the purposes of home defence; in July 1917, 44 Squadron RFC reformed and reequipped with the Camel to conduct the home defence mission.[19] By March 1918, the home defence squadrons had been widely equipped with the Camel; by August 1918, a total of seven home defence squadrons were operating Camels.[20] When the Germans switched to performing their attacks during nighttime, the Camel proved capable of being flown at night as well.[15] Accordingly, those aircraft assigned to home defence squadrons were quickly modified with navigation lights in order that they could serve as night fighters. A smaller number of Camels were more extensively reconfigured; on these aircraft, the Vickers machine guns were replaced by overwing Lewis guns
Lewis guns
and the cockpit was moved rearwards so the pilot could reload the guns. This modification, which became known as the "Sopwith Comic" allowed the guns to be fired without affecting the pilot's night vision, and allowed the use of new, more effective incendiary ammunition that was considered unsafe to fire from synchronised Vickers guns.[21][22][Note 2] The Camel was successfully used to intercept and shoot down German bombers on multiple occasions during 1918, serving in this capacity through to the final German bombing raid upon Britain on the night of the 20/21 May 1918.[24] During this final air raid, a combined force of 74 Camels and Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5s intercepted 28 Gothas and Zeppelin-Staaken R.VIs; three German bombers were shot down, while two more were downed by anti-aircraft fire from the ground and a further aircraft was lost to engine failure, the heaviest losses suffered by German bombers during a single night's operation over England.[25]

Navalised Camels on the aircraft carrier HMS Furious prior to raiding the Tondern airship hangars

The Camel night fighter was also operated by 151 Squadron to intercept German night bombers operating over the Western Front.[26] These aircraft were not only deployed defensively, but often carried out night intruder missions against German airstrips. After five months of operations, 151 Squadron had claimed responsibility for shooting down a total of 26 German aircraft.[26] Shipboard and parasite fighter[edit]

Sopwith 2F.1 Camel suspended from airship R 23 prior to a test flight

The RNAS operated a number of 2F.1 Camels that were suitable for launching from platforms mounted on the turrets of major warships as well as from some of the earliest aircraft carriers to be built. Furthermore, the Camel could be deployed from aircraft lighters, which were specially modified barges; these had to be towed fast enough that a Camel could successfully take off. The aircraft lighters served as means of launching interception sorties against incoming enemy air raids from a more advantageous position than had been possible when using shore bases alone. During the summer of 1918, a single 2F.1 Camel (N6814) participated in a series of trials as a parasite fighter. The aircraft used Airship R23 as a mothership.[27] Ground attack[edit] By mid-1918, the Camel had become obsolescent as a day fighter as its climb rate, level speed and performance at altitudes over 12,000 ft (3,650 m) were outclassed by the latest German fighters, such as the Fokker D.VII. However, it remained viable as a ground-attack and infantry support aircraft and instead was increasingly used in that capacity. The Camel inflicted high losses on German ground forces, albeit suffering from a high rate of losses itself in turn, through the dropping of 25 lb (11 kg) Cooper bombs and low-level strafing runs.[28] The protracted development of the Camel's replacement, the Sopwith Snipe, resulted in the Camel remaining in service in this capacity until well after the signing of the Armistice.[29] During the German Spring Offensive
Spring Offensive
of March 1918, squadrons of Camels participated in the defence of the Allied lines, harassing the advancing German Army from the skies.[28] Jackson observed that "some of the most intense air operations took place" during the retreat of the British Fifth Army, in which the Camel provided extensive aerial support. Camels flew at multiple altitudes, some as low as 500 feet for surprise strafing attacks upon ground forces, while being covered from attack by hostile fighters by the higher altitude aircraft.[29] Strafing
Strafing
attacks formed a major component of British efforts to contain the offensive, the attacks often having the result of producing confusion and panic amongst the advancing German forces. As the March offensive waned, the Camel was able to operate within and maintain aerial superiority for the remainder of the war.[29] Postwar service[edit] In the aftermath of the First World War, the Camel saw further combat action. Multiple British squadrons were deployed into Russia
Russia
as a part of the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War.[29] Between the Camel and the S.E.5, which were the two main types deployed to the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
area in order to bomb Bolshevik
Bolshevik
bases and to provide aerial support to the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
warships present, Allied control of the Caspian region had been achieved by May 1919. Starting in March 1919, direct support was also provided for White Russian forces, carrying out reconnaissance, ground attack, and escort operations.[30] During the summer of 1919, Camels of No. 47 Squadron conducted offensive operations in the vicinity of Tsaritsyn, primarily against Urbabk airfield; targets including enemy aircraft, cavalry formations, and river traffic. In September 1919, 47 Squadron was related to Kotluban, where its aircraft operations mainly focused on harassing enemy communication lines.[31] During late 1919 and early 1920, the RAF detachment operated in support of General Vladimir May-Mayevsky's counter-revolutionary volunteer army during intense fighting around Kharkov. In March 1920, the remainder of the force was evacuated and their remaining aircraft were deliberately destroyed to avoid them falling into enemy hands.[31] Variants[edit] Camels were powered by several rotary engines:

130 hp Clerget 9B
Clerget 9B
rotary (standard powerplant) 140 hp Clerget
Clerget
9Bf rotary 110 hp Le Rhône 9J
Le Rhône 9J
rotary 150 hp Bentley BR1
Bentley BR1
rotary (gave best performance – standard for R.N.A.S. machines) 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape
Gnome Monosoupape
9B-2 rotary 150 hp Gnome Monosoupape
Gnome Monosoupape
9N rotary

Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
F.1[edit] The F.1 was the main production version. It was armed with twin synchronised Vickers guns.

The Sopwith 2F.1 Camel used to shoot down Zeppelin
Zeppelin
L 53, at the Imperial War Museum, London. Note mounting of twin Lewis guns
Lewis guns
over the top wing

Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
2F.1[edit] The 2F.1 was a shipboard variant, flown from HMS Furious (47).[32] It had a slightly shorter wingspan and a Bentley BR1
Bentley BR1
as its standard engine. Additionally, one Vickers gun was replaced by an overwing Lewis gun. Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
"Comic" Night fighter[edit] The "Comic" was a Camel variant designed specifically for night-fighting duties. The twin Vickers guns were replaced by two Lewis guns
Lewis guns
on Foster mountings firing forward over the top wing, as the muzzle flash of the Vickers guns could blind the pilot. To allow reloading of the guns, the pilot was moved about 12 inches (30 cm) to the rear and to compensate the fuel tank was moved forward.[33] It served with Home Defence Squadrons against German air raids. The "Comic" nickname was unofficial, and was shared with the night fighter version of the Sopwith 1½ Strutter. F.1/1[edit] The F1/1 was a version with tapered wings. T.F.1[edit] The T.F.1 was an experimental trench fighter used for development work for the Sopwith Salamander. Its machine guns were angled downwards for efficient strafing, and it featured armour plating for protection. Trainer[edit] The trainer variant had a second cockpit behind the normal pilot's position. The weapons were removed, although the hump was sometimes kept. Operators[edit]

Belgian Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
flown by Adj. Léon Cremers with n° 11 Squadron "Cocotte" marking

Portrait of Major Wilfred Ashton McCloughry MC, the Commanding Officer of No. 4 Squadron AFC, and his Sopwith Camel, 6 June 1918

A downed Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
near Zillebeke, West Flanders, Belgium, 26 September 1917

 Australia

Australian Flying Corps

No. 4 Squadron AFC in France. No. 5 (Training) Squadron AFC in the United Kingdom. No. 6 (Training) Squadron AFC in the United Kingdom. No. 8 (Training) Squadron AFC in the United Kingdom.

 Belgium

Aviation Militaire Belge

1ère Escadrille de Chasse

Groupe de Chasse[19]

9ème Escadrille de Chasse 11ème Escadrille de Chasse

 Canada

Royal Canadian Air Force

 Estonia

Estonian Air Force

 France

French Government

Georgian Air Force
Georgian Air Force
- 3-4 aircraft, 1920

 Greece

Hellenic Navy[34]

 Latvia

Latvian Air Force

 Netherlands

Royal Netherlands
Netherlands
Air Force

 Poland

Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
operated 1 Camel post-war (1921)

 Russia

Imperial Russian Air Service

 Soviet Union

Soviet Air Force
Soviet Air Force
- Postwar.

 United Kingdom

Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
/ Royal Air Force

3 Squadron 17 Squadron 28 Squadron 37 Squadron 43 Squadron 44 Squadron 45 Squadron 46 Squadron 47 Squadron 50 Squadron 51 Squadron 54 Squadron 61 Squadron

65 Squadron 66 Squadron 70 Squadron 71 Squadron 73 Squadron 75 Squadron 78 Squadron 80 Squadron 81 Squadron 89 Squadron 94 Squadron 112 Squadron 139 Squadron

143 Squadron 150 Squadron 151 Squadron 152 Squadron 155 Squadron 187 Squadron 188 Squadron 189 Squadron 198 Squadron 201 Squadron 203 Squadron 204 Squadron 208 Squadron

209 Squadron 210 Squadron 212 Squadron 213 Squadron 219 Squadron 220 Squadron 222 Squadron 225 Squadron 230 Squadron 233 Squadron 273 Squadron

Royal Naval Air Service

No. 1 Squadron RNAS No. 3 Squadron RNAS No. 4 Squadron RNAS No. 6 Squadron RNAS No. 8 Squadron RNAS No. 9 Squadron RNAS No. 10 Squadron RNAS No. 12 Squadron RNAS No. 13 Squadron RNAS

USAS Sopwith Camel

 United States

American Expeditionary Force United States
United States
Army Air Service

9th Aero Squadron[35] 17th Aero Squadron[36] 27th Aero Squadron[37] 37th Aero Squadron[38] 148th Aero Squadron

United States
United States
Navy

Survivors[edit] Media related to Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
museum aircraft at Wikimedia Commons

Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
at the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
Museum

There are only eight known original Sopwith Camels left:[39]

B5747 – F.1 on static display at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History in Brussels.[40] B6291 – F.1 On display at NASM Udvar-Hazy Center, Washington. (Formerly[when?] airworthy with the Javier Arango Collection in Paso Robles, California). It was previously owned by Anthony John Edmund Ditheridge in the United Kingdom.[41] B7280 – F.1 on static display at the Polish Aviation Museum
Polish Aviation Museum
in Kraków, Lesser Poland. The aircraft was built in Lincoln by Clayton & Shuttleworth. On 5 September 1918, when being flown by Captain Herbert A. Patey of No. 210 Squadron RAF
No. 210 Squadron RAF
over Belgium, it was shot down by Ludwig Beckmann of Jasta 56. Patey survived and was taken prisoner. The Germans repaired the aircraft and flew it until the end of the war. It was then taken to Berlin and exhibited in an air museum. During World War II it was moved to Poland
Poland
for safekeeping, and put into storage. Restoration began in 2007 and was completed by 2010.[42][43] C8228 – F.1 on static display at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.[44][45] F6314 – F.1 on static display at the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
Museum London in London. It was built by Boulton & Paul and is painted to represent an aircraft coded B of No. 65 Squadron RAF.[46][47] N6812 – 2F.1 on static display at the Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum
in London. It was built by William Beardmore and was flown by Flight Sub-Lieutenant Stuart Culley on 11 August 1918 when he shot down Zeppelin
Zeppelin
LZ100.[48][49] N8156 – 2F.1 under restoration to static display at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. Manufactured in 1918 by Hooper and Company Limited, it was purchased by the RCAF in 1925 and last flew in 1967.[50] Unknown – Unknown airworthy in New Zealand. It was displayed in the Aerospace Education Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, until it closed in December 2010, and the aircraft was sold to help pay debts. The Camel was sold privately and moved to a museum in New Zealand and has been restored to flying condition.[51][not in citation given] It was previously registered as N6254.[52]

Reproductions[edit] Media related to Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
replicas at Wikimedia Commons

Replica of Camel F.1 flown by Lt. George Vaughn Jr., 17th Aero Squadron at the USAF Museum

Replica – Type T.57 on static display at the Fleet Air Arm Museum
Fleet Air Arm Museum
at RNAS Yeovilton
RNAS Yeovilton
near Yeovil, Somerset. It was built in 1969 Slingsby for use in a Biggles
Biggles
film. It has a Warner Scarab engine installed and is painted as B6401.[53][54] Replica – F.1 on static display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. This aircraft was built by museum personnel from original First World War factory drawings and was completed in 1974. It is painted and marked as the Camel flown by Lt. George A. Vaughn Jr. while flying with the 17th Aero Squadron.[55] Replica – F.1 airworthy at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, Texas. It was built by Dick Day from original factory drawings. The aircraft is fitted with original instruments, machine guns and an original Gnome rotary engine. It is painted in the scheme of the World War I flying ace Captain Arthur Roy Brown, a Canadian who flew with the Royal Air Force.[56][57] Replica – F.1 on display at the Brooklands
Brooklands
Museum in Weybridge, Surrey. It was built in 1977 by Viv Bellamy at Lands End, as a flyable reproduction for Leisure Sport Ltd. Painted to represent B7270 of 209 Squadron, RAF, the machine which Captain Roy Brown flew when officially credited with shooting down Baron Manfred von Richthofen, it has a Clerget
Clerget
rotary engine of 1916 and was registered as G-BFCZ until 2003. First displayed at the museum in January 1988 for Sir Thomas Sopwith’s 100th birthday celebrations, it was purchased by the museum later that year.[58][not in citation given][59][not in citation given] Replica – Unknown airworthy at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
in Red Hook, New York. It was completed in 1992 with a 160 hp Gnome Monosoupape model 9N rotary, built by Nathaniel deFlavia and Cole Palen.[60][61] It replaced one of the Dick Day-built and -flown Camel reproductions formerly flown at Old Rhinebeck by Mr. Day in their weekend vintage airshows, which had left the Aerodrome's collection some years earlier.[citation needed] Replica – F.1 airworthy with the Javier Arango Collection in Paso Robles, California. It was constructed by Dick Day, is powered by a 160 hp Gnome Monosoupape
Gnome Monosoupape
rotary, and is registered as N8343.[62][not in citation given] Replica – Unknown airworthy with the Vintage Aviator Collection in Masterton, New Zealand. It was originally built by Carl Swanson for Gerry Thornhill. It is powered by a 160 hp Gnome Monosoupape
Gnome Monosoupape
rotary engine and is painted as B3889.[citation needed] Replica – F.1 on static display at the Canadian Museum of Flight
Canadian Museum of Flight
in Langley, British Columbia. Lacking an engine, a full reproduction 130 hp rotary engine has been installed.[63] Replica – F.1 on static display at the Aviation Heritage Museum in Bull Creek, Western Australia. The engine is original and the propeller is suspected to also be genuine.[64] Replica – F.1 undergoing work to airworthy at the Shuttleworth Collection in Old Warden, Bedfordshire. It was built by the Northern Aeroplane Workshops.[65][66] Replica – F.1 under construction by Koz Aero in Comstock Park, Michigan. It is based on original factory drawings and using many original parts, including an original engine and instruments.[67][68] Replica – F.1 under construction by John S. Shaw. It has an original Le Clerget
Clerget
130 9B engine.[69][70] Replica – F.1 under construction by John S. Shaw. It has a new build Gnome Monosoupe 100 hp engine.[71][72] Replica – F.1 on static display at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre in Montrose, Angus. It is painted as B5577.[73][not in citation given] Replica - F.1 on static display at The Museum of Flight
Museum of Flight
near Seattle Washington. An airworthy reproduction acquired from Jim and Zona Appleby's Antique Aero Limited in 1979. This aircraft is powered by a Warner 185-horsepower radial engine and armed with two .303 Vickers machine guns.[74]

Specifications (F.1 Camel)[edit]

Sopwith F.1 Camel drawing

Pilot's view from the cockpit of a Camel, June 1918

Data from Quest for Performance,[75] Profile Publications[76] General characteristics

Crew: 1 Length: 18 ft 9 in (5.72 m) Wingspan: 28 ft 0 in (8.53 m) Height: 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) Wing area: 231 ft2 (21.46 m2) Empty weight: 930 lb (420 kg) Loaded weight: 1,453 lb (659 kg) Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0378 Drag area: 8.73 square feet (0.811 m2) Aspect ratio: 4.11 Powerplant: 1 × Clerget 9B
Clerget 9B
9-cylinder Rotary engine, 130 hp (97 kW)

Performance

Maximum speed: 113 mph (182 km/h) Stall speed: 48 mph (77 km/h) Range: 300 mi ferry (485 km) Service ceiling: 19,000 ft (5,791 m) Rate of climb: 1,085 ft/min (5.5 m/s) Wing loading: 6.3 lb/ft2 (30.8 kg/m2) Power/mass: 0.09 hp/lb (150 W/kg) Lift-to-drag ratio: 7.7

Armament

Guns: 2× 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns

Notable appearances in media[edit]

Snoopy piloting his "Sopwith Camel"

Biggles
Biggles
flies a Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
in the novels by W. E. Johns during Biggles's spell in 266 Squadron during the First World War. The first collection of Biggles
Biggles
stories, titled The Camels are Coming, was published in 1932.[77] The Camel is the "plane" of Snoopy
Snoopy
in the Peanuts
Peanuts
comic strip, when he imagines himself as a World War I
World War I
flying ace and the nemesis of the Red Baron.[78] See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Albatros D.V Fokker D.VI Fokker D.VII Hanriot HD.1 Nieuport 27 Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 SPAD S.XIII Vickers F.B.19

Related lists

List of aircraft of the Royal Air Force

References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ As compared with radial engines in which a conventional rotating crankshaft is driven by a fixed engine block. ^ The ammunition in question was the RTS (Richard Thelfall and Sons) round, a combined incendiary and explosive round with a nitroglycerin and phosphorus filling. While more effective than earlier incendiary bullets such as the phosphorus-filled Buckingham bullet, they required careful handling, and were initially banned from synchronised weapons, both because of fears about the consequences of bullets striking the propeller of the fighter, and to prevent cooking off of the sensitive ammunition in the chambers of the Vickers guns, which fired from a closed bolt—a required feature for guns used in synchronized mounts—where heat could build up much quicker than in the open bolted Lewis gun.[21][23]

Citations[edit]

^ Mason 1992, p. 89. ^ a b c Bruce Flight 22 April 1955, p. 527. ^ a b Bruce 1965, p. 3. ^ a b c d e Jackson 2007, p. 2. ^ Bruce 1965, pp. 4-5. ^ a b Bruce 1965, p. 5. ^ Bruce Flight 29 April 1955, p. 563. ^ a b Bruce 1965, p. 6. ^ Bruce 1965, pp. 3-5. ^ Bruce 1968, pp. 148-149. ^ Bruce 1965, pp. 7-8. ^ Bruce 1965, pp. 5-6. ^ a b Jackson 2005, pp.15–16. ^ a b Bruce 1965, p. 9. ^ a b Jackson 2007, p. 3. ^ Clark 1973, p. 134. ^ Leinburger 2008, p. 30. ^ Ralph 1999, p. 80. ^ a b Davis 1999, p. 96. ^ Davis 1999, p. 98. ^ a b Davis 1999, p. 97. ^ Bruce 1968, p. 151, 153. ^ Williams and Gustin 2003, pp. 11, 14. ^ Jackson 2007, pp. 3-6. ^ Jackson 2007, p. 6. ^ a b Davis 1999, pp. 98–99. ^ Fitzsimons, p.521. ^ a b Jackson 2007, pp. 7-8. ^ a b c d Jackson 2007, p. 8. ^ Jackson 2007, pp. 8-10. ^ a b Jackson 2007, p. 10. ^ "Sopwith 2F.1 Ship's Camel". Their Flying Machines. Retrieved 10 June 2016.  ^ Mason 1992, p. 91. ^ Davis 1999, p. 102. ^ "9 Bomb Squadron (ACC)." Archived 27 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved: 19 December 2010. ^ "17 Weapons Squadron (ACC)." Archived 25 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved: 19 December 2010. ^ "27 Fighters Squadron (ACC)." Archived 23 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved: 19 December 2010. ^ "37 Bomb Squadron (ACC)." Archived 25 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved: 19 December 2010. ^ "Sopwith Camel". Demobbed - Out of Service British Military Aircraft. 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.  ^ "Airframe Dossier - SopwithCamel, s/n B5747 RAF". Aerial Visuals. AerialVisuals.ca. Retrieved 12 May 2017.  ^ "GINFO Search Results [G-ASOP]". Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 12 May 2017.  ^ "Aeroplane: Sopwith F.1 Camel". Polish Aviation Museum. NeoServer. Retrieved 12 May 2017.  ^ "Lincoln-built Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
from the First World War is restored to its former glory". LincolnshireLive. Local World. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2017. [permanent dead link] ^ "SOPWITH CAMEL". National Naval Aviation Museum. Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. Retrieved 12 May 2017.  ^ "Aircraft A5658 Data". Airport-Data.com. Airport-Data.com. Retrieved 12 May 2017.  ^ "Sopwith F1 Camel". Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
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Aviation and Space Museum. Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation. Retrieved 12 May 2017.  ^ Oman, Noel (16 March 2011). "History Takes Flight: Vintage aircraft sold to pay center's bills". Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC. Retrieved 12 May 2017.  ^ "FAA REGISTRY [N6254]". Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved 12 May 2017.  ^ Jackson 1988, p. 349. ^ " Sopwith Camel
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Bibliography[edit]

Bowyer, Chaz. Sopwith Camel: King of Combat. Falmouth, Cornwall, UK: Glasney Press, 1978. ISBN 0-9502825-7-X. Bruce, J.M. "Sopwith Camel: Historic Military Aircraft No 10: Part I." Flight, 22 April 1955, pp. 527–532. Bruce, J.M. "Sopwith Camel: Historic Military Aircraft No 10: Part II." Flight, 29 April 1955. pp. 560–563. Bruce, J.M. "Aircraft Profile No. 31. The Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
F.1" Profile Publications, 1965. Bruce, J.M. War Planes of the First World War: Volume Two Fighters. London:Macdonald, 1968. ISBN 0-356-01473-8. Clark, Alan. Aces High: The War In The Air Over The Western Front 1914 - 1918. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1973. ISBN 0-297-99464-6. Davis, Mick. Sopwith Aircraft. Ramsbury, Malborough, UK: The Crowood Press, 1999. ISBN 1-86126-217-5. Ellis, Ken. Wrecks & Relics, 21st edition. Manchester, UK: Crecy Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-0-85979-134-2. Guttman, Jon: " Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
(Air Vanguard ; 3)". Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2012. ISBN 978-1-78096-176-7. Jackson, A.J. British Civil Aircraft 1919-1972: Volume III. London: Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-818-6. Jackson, Robert. Infamous Aircraft - Dangerous Designs and their Vices. Barnsley, UK:Pen and Sword, 2005. ISBN 978-1-84415-172-1. Jackson, Robert. Britain's Greatest Aircraft. Pen and Sword, 2007. ISBN 1-84415-600-1. Leinburger, Ralf. Fighter: Technology, Facts, History. London: Parragon Inc., 2008. ISBN 978-1-40549-575-2. Mason, Francis K. The British Fighter. London: Putnam, 1992. ISBN 0 85177 852 6 Murphy, Justin D. and Matthew A. McNiece. Military Aircraft, 1919-1945: An Illustrated History of their Impact. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2009. ISBN 1-85109-498-9. Ralph, Wayne. Barker VC: The Classic Story of a Legendary First World War Hero. London: Grub Street, 1999. ISBN 1-902304-31-4. Robertson, Bruce. Sopwith: The Man and His Aircraft. London: Harleyford, 1970. ISBN 0-900435-15-1. Sturtivant, Ray and Gordon Page. The Camel File. Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1993. ISBN 0-85130-212-2. United States
United States
Air Force Museum Guidebook. Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio: Air Force Museum Foundation, 1975. Williams, Anthony G. and Emmanuel Gustin. Flying Guns: World War I
World War I
and its Aftermath 1914–32. Ramsbury, Wiltshire: Airlife, 2003. ISBN 1-84037-396-2. Winchester, Jim, ed. "Sopwith Camel." Biplanes, Triplanes and Seaplanes (Aviation Factfile). London: Grange Books plc, 2004. ISBN 1-84013-641-3.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sopwith Camel.

Cole Palen/Nat deFlavia reproduction Camel at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Camel photos and links to museums with Camels Canadian Aviation Museum Camel Sopwith fighters in Russia Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
Replica Kit from Airdrome Aeroplanes

v t e

Aircraft designed by Sopwith Aviation Company
Sopwith Aviation Company
/ Sopwith Aviation & Engineering Company

By role

Fighters:

Buffalo Bulldog Camel Dolphin Dragon Gunbus Hippo Hispano-Suiza Triplane L.R.T.Tr. Pup Snail Snapper Snark Snipe Swallow Triplane

Bombers

B.1 Cobham Rhino

Scouts/Bombers:

Baby Sparrow 1½ Strutter Tabloid Two-Seat Scout

Seaplanes:

Bat-Boat Circuit of Britain floatplane Sopwith Pusher Seaplane/S PG N Admiralty Type 137 Admiralty Type 138 Admiralty Type C Special
Special
torpedo seaplane Type C Type 807 Type 860 Schneider (1914) Baby Schneider (1919)

Ground attack:

Salamander

Sports tourer:

Gnu

By name

Antelope Atlantic Baby Bat-Boat Bee Buffalo Bulldog Circuit of Britain floatplane Camel Cobham Cuckoo Dolphin Dove Dragon Gnu Grasshopper Gunbus Hippo Hispano-Suiza Triplane L.R.T.Tr. Pup Rainbow Rhino Salamander Scooter Snail Snapper Snark Snipe Sparrow Sociable Swallow 1½ Strutter Tabloid Tadpole Three-seater Triplane Special
Special
torpedo seaplane Type C Wallaby

Aviation in World War I

People and aircraft

Commanders Aces Aircraft of the Entente Powers Aircraft of the Central Powers Zeppelins

Campaigns and battles

Strategic bombing

German Cuxhaven

Bombing of cities Aerial reconnaissance Fokker Scourge Flight over Vienna Bloody April Battles

Entente Powers air services

British air services

Royal Flying Corps Royal Naval Air Service Royal Air Force

Australian Flying Corps Canadian Air Force (1918–20) French Air Service Imperial Russian Air Service Royal Italian Air Corps United States
United States
Army Air Service Greek air services

Army Air Service Naval Air Service

Central Powers air services

Imperial German Air Service Austro-Hungarian Imperial and Royal Aviation Troops Ottoman Aviation Squadrons Bulgarian Army

.