Sopwith Camel

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The Sopwith Camel was the Entente plane that shot down the highest number of enemy machines. But it was also a tricky plane to fly, taking its toll among rookie pilots too.

"Flying Camels was not everyone's work. They were by far the most difficult of service machines to handle. Many pilots killed themselves by crashing in a right hand spin when learning to fly them. A Camel hated an inexperienced hand, and flopped into a frantic spin at the least opportunity. They were unlike ordinary aeroplanes, being quite unstable, immoderately tail-heavy, so light on the controls that the slightest jerk or inaccuracy would hurl them all over the sky, difficult to land, deadly to crash: a list of vices to emasculate the stoutest courage, and the first flight on a Camel was always a terrible ordeal."

(Victor Maslin Yeates, "Winged Victory", 1934)

Called "Camel" for the hump that hosted the machineguns over the fuselage, it had a rotary engine and tended to turn right: according to some pilots, it was easier to turn 270° to the right than 90° to the left.

The Camel appeared in May 1917 and was used by the air services of United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Greece, Russia and USA.


Miniatures

Belgium

Sk7 Lieutenant Jan Olieslagers 9me Escadrille de Chasse Aviation Militaire


United Kingdom

B3781 Flight Sub-Lieutenant Aubrey Beauclerk Ellwood 3 Naval Royal Naval Air Service

B6313 Major William George Barker 66 Squadron Royal Flying Corps

B6327 Flight Sub Lieutenant Harold Francis Stackard 9 Naval Royal Naval Air Service

B7270 Captain Arthur Roy Brown & Captain Oliver William Redgate 209 Squadron Royal Air Force

Cards

Belgium

Sk7 Lieutenant Jan Olieslagers 9me Escadrille de Chasse Aviation Militaire


Germany

Unknown serial Oberleutnant Otto Kissenberth Jasta 23 Luftstreitkräfte


Soviet Russia

Unknown serial - - Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily Raboche-Krest'yanskoi Krasnoi Armii


United Kingdom

B3781 Flight Sub-Lieutenant Aubrey Beauclerk Ellwood 3 Naval Royal Naval Air Service

B6313 Major William George Barker 66 Squadron Royal Flying Corps

N6812 Lieutenant Stuart Douglas Culley Experimental Centre of Martlesham Heath Royal Air Force