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Flight Plans Newsletter

Sopwith Camel F.1 Reproduction

The Museum's Sopwith Camel F.1 Reproduction (Photo by Heath Moffatt)
Manufacturer: Antique Aero Limited based on a design by Sopwith Aviation Company Ltd.
Model: Camel F.1
Year: 1917
Span: 8.53m / 28ft
Length: 5.71m / 19ft
Height: 2.59m / 9ft
Wing Area: 21.46m² / 231ft²
Empty Weight: 421.39kg / 929lbs
Gross Weight: 659.08kg / 1,453lbs
Maximum Speed: 188.25km/h
Power Plant: Commonly one Clerget 9B or Z, 110 or 130 h.p. rotary engine (This one has a Warner 185 h.p. radial engine)
Range: 470.63km / 293miles
Registration: NX6330



Sopwith Camel F.1 Reproduction

With a Camel, a pilot would become an esteemed and experienced combat flyer, or he'd die trying. Built as a successor to the Pup, the little fighter was the first to carry two Vickers machine guns enclosed in a "hump" near the front of the cockpit -- that's where the Camel got its nickname.

The agile featherweight could run rings around many German fighters and was murder in the hands of a flyer who knew how to handle it.

Casualties among those learning to fly this notorious fighter were very high. The torque effect from the Camel's rotary engine could cause the plane to snap into an uncontrollable spin and then crash during a tight turn. If the fuel/air mixture was not adjusted after takeoff, the Camel often dropped into a stall, followed by a spin.

Despite the quirks, the Camel was one of the best fighters of World War One, destroying more enemy aircraft then any other type.

The Museum's flyable reproduction was 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.