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Sopwith Camel

Reproduction Sopwith Camel from Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck, New York.

Reproduction Sopwith Camel from Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck, New York. © 2015 John M. Shea

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The Sopwith Camel F.1 was produced by the Sopwith Aviation Company. Based on the Sopwith Pup, it was introduced with the Royal Flying Corps in June 1917. It was the first British fighter equipped with two fixed forward-firing machine guns. By the end of the ware, it was responsible for downing over 3,000 enemy aircraft

The rotary engine's torque made the plane difficult for an inexperienced pilot to handle. There were numerous versions with engines from 100 to 180hp by Bentley, Clerget, Gnome, and Le Rhône.

A night version with exhaust dampers and navigation lights was developed for home defense against German bombers like the Gotha bomber.

The 2F.1 Camel was produced for service at sea with the aircraft carriers HMS Furious and Pegasus.

Over 5,490 Sopwith Camels were produced.

Engine: 130hp Clerget rotary piston engine

Maximum speed: 185kph/115mph; ceiling: 5,790m/19,000ft; endurance: 2hrs 30min

Length: 5.72m/18ft 9in; wingspan: 8.53m/28ft

Armament: two fixed forward-firing 7.69mm/.303in Vickers machine guns; up to four 11.3kg/25lb bombs on fuselage side

Sopwith Camel is an aircraft: single-seat scout plane.

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