The Great War Flying Museum

To honour the pilots who served with gallantry and distinction during the Great War of 1914 – 1918.

Camel Description and Specifications

Sopwith F.1 Camel F6245
No. 46 Sqn RAF
Source: via LA Rogers
Image: © R. N. Pearson

Sopwith Camel

An agile, highly maneuverable biplane, the Sopwith Camel accounted for more aerial victories than any other Allied aircraft during World War I. Credited with destroying 1,294 enemy aircraft, it was called the Camel due to the humped fairing over its twin machine guns. Much like a real camel, this aircraft could turn and bite you. Noted for its tendency to kill inexperienced flyers, many pilots feared its vicious spin characteristics. Until sufficient speed was developed during takeoff, Camel pilots maintained full right rudder to counteract the torque the rotary engine. Failure to do so often resulted in a ground loop with the Camel crashing on its starboard wingtip. During World War I, 413 pilots died in combat and 385 pilots died from non-combat related causes while flying the Sopwith Camel.

Country: Great Britain
Manufacturer: Sopwith Aviation Company
Type: Fighter
First Service: May 1917
Number Built: 5,734
Engine(s): Bentley BR.1, 150 hp
Reciprocating Le Rhône Rotary x 1, 110 hp
Clerget 9B, 9 cylinder, air cooled rotary, 130 hp
Clerget 9Bf, 9 cylinder, air cooled rotary, 140 hp
Wing Span: 28 ft
Length: 18 ft 8 in
Height: 8 ft 6 in
Empty Weight: 889 lb
Gross Weight: 1,422 lb
Max Speed: 118 mph
Ceiling: 19,000 ft]
Endurance: 2.5 hours
Crew: 1
Armament: 2 Vickers .303 machine guns (F.1)
1 Vickers .303 and 1 Lewis .303 machine guns
or 2 Lewis .303 machine guns (2F.1)

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