World War I Airplanes
BACK to MAIN
|Date Deployed: May 1917|
|Sopwith Aviation Company F.1 Camel|
|Model from Eduard of Czech Republic Kit # 8055 Built on 02-21-2005 1/48 scale|
Intended as a replacement for the Sopwith
Pup, the Sopwith Camel prototype first flew in December
1916. It was known as the "Big Pup" early on in its
development. It was armed with two .303
in (7.7 mm)
machine guns mounted in front of the cockpit, firing forward
through the propeller disc. A fairing surrounding the gun
installation created a hump that led to the aircraft acquiring
the name Camel. The Camel entered squadron service in June 1917.
Approximately 5,500 Camels were produced.
Unlike the preceding Pup
the Camel was not considered pleasant to fly. With the majority
of weight packed into first seven feet of the aircraft coupled
with the strong gyroscopic
effect of the rotary
engine the Camel exhibited several idiosyncrasies and soon
gained a dangerous reputation with student pilots. The Clerget
engine was particularly sensitive to fuel mixture control, and
incorrect settings often caused the engine to choke and cut-out
during take-off. Many crashed due to mishandling on takeoff when
a full fuel tank affected the center of gravity. In level
flight, the Camel was markedly tail-heavy. It turned sharply to
the right with a nose-down attitude, while it turned slowly to
the left with a nose-up attitude. Turns in either direction
required left rudder. A stall immediately resulted in a spin and
the Camel was particularly noted for its vicious spinning
characteristics. Controls were light and sensitive.
Nevertheless, its agility in combat made the Sopwith Camel one
of the best remembered Allied aircraft of World
War I. To its pilots, it was referred to as providing a
choice among a "wooden cross, red cross and Victoria
Cross." Together with the S.E.5a,
the Camel helped to wrest aerial superiority away from the
scouts. The Camel was credited with shooting down 1,294 enemy
aircraft, more than any other Allied scout.
Barker's Sopwith Camel (serial no. B6313) became the most
successful fighter aircraft in the history of the RAF, shooting
down 46 aircraft & balloons from September 1917 to September
1918 in 404 operational hours flying. It was dismantled in
October 1918. Barker kept the clock as a memento, although he
was asked to return it the following day.
© All images, character names and titles are registered and copyrighted by their respective companies or owners.
© 2000-2015. Plaza Studios, Plaza Studios
Creations, Plaza Studios RPG Worlds & Plaza Studios MSAOO. All