The Sopwith F.1 Camel was -- by many standards -- the most successful fighter of World War One. Its speed in turning was matched only by its tendency to go out of control in inexperienced hands, and it was only with experience that pilots learned to use its strengths to great advantage. The first units made their way to France in summer of 1917, and by the end of the war nearly 1,300 enemy aircraft were shot down by Camels -- more than any other aircraft type.
|First flight||Feb 1917|
|Introduction||June 1917 |
|Primary users|| U.K. (RFC/RAF)|
|Number built||5,490 |
|Variants||Sopwith 2.F1 Naval Camel|
|Wingspan||8.53 m (28 ft) |
|Engine||130hp Clerget 9B rotary or others|
|Max Speed||see table|
|Service Ceiling||see table|
It was developed from the Sopwith Pup but everything was larger or heavier, and the plane was just two steps short of uncontrollable. It was the first British fighter to feature side-by-side synchronized guns, and it excelled at dogfighting due to its phenomenal maneuverability. British Camels were of course commonplace on the Western Front, but they also served in Italy, Macedonia, Mesopotamia, Russia, and on Home Defense. Night-fighter Camels frequently used twin-Foster-mounted Lewis guns.
In June 1918 the USA purchased 143 Camels and issued them to the 17th and 148th Aero Squadrons and the 41st for a time. US Camel squadrons were attached to the RAF until just before the war ended. Belgium used thirty-six Camels, though the pilots of 1st Escadrille preferred their Hanriot H.D.1s.
The Camel is perhaps best summarized as a plane that was not remembered with fondness but certainly with respect. 
|130hp Clerget rotary||185 km/h (115 mph)||2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 6:00
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 10:35
4,600 m (15,000 ft) in 20:40
|5,500 m (18,000 ft) - 5,800 m (19,000 ft)|
|150hp Bentley B.R.1 rotary [note 1]||195 km/h (121 mph)||2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 4:35
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 8:10
4,600 m (15,000 ft) in 15:55
|6,700 m (22,000 ft)|
For more information, see Wikipedia:Sopwith Camel.
|Maneuver||Damage||Dmg Points||Max Alt.||Climb|
Plane and Crew CardsEdit
- 28 Sqn - McEwan[note 2]
- 37(HD) Sqn - Murray
- RNAS Sqd 9[note 2]
- RNAS Sqd 9
- RNAS Sqd 9 - Fall
- RNAS Sqd 9 - Narbeth[note 2]
- RNAS Sqd 9 - Narbeth
- RNAS Sqd 9 - Stackard[note 2]
- RNAS Sqd 9 - Stackard
- RNAS Sqd 9 - Wood[note 2]
- RNAS Sqd 9 - Wood
- RNAS 10b Flight - Fitzgibbon[note 2]
- RNAS 10b Flight - Hall[note 2]
- RNAS 10b Flight - Maxwell[note 2]
- RNAS 10b Flight - Maund[note 2]
- RNAS 10b Flight - MacGregor[note 2]
- 358 Sqn - Collins
- 358 Sqn - Cornell
- 358 Sqn - Fielder
- Georgian AF
- Latvian AF
- Estonian AF
Miniatures and ModelsEdit
- Ares: WGF102A Barker; WGS102B Ellwood; WGS102C Stackard
- Shapeways: Kampflieger; Kampflieger (Comic); Reduced Aircraft Factory
- Metal kit: Red Eagle, Reviresco
- Wings of War Deluxe Set: Barker (1st Ed.); Brown (2nd Ed.)
- Wings of War: WW07D Barker; WW07E Ellwood; WW07F Olieslagers
- Metal Kit: Heroics & Ros GWA101
- Shapeways: Kampflieger
- Shapeways: Snafu Store
- Bentley-engined Camels were most common for the RNAS.
- Updated card
- Bruce'90, p.2.
- Bruce'69, p.573.
- Bruce'69, p.563.
- Lamberton, pp.214-215.
- Bruce'69, p.590.
- Munson, p.71.
- J.M. Bruce. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. Great Britain, Funk & Wagnalls, 1957, 1969. ISBN 0370000382
- J.M. Bruce, Windsock Datafile 26: Sopwith Camel. Great Britain, Albatros Publications Ltd., 1990/1995. ISBN 0-948414-30-8
- W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Limited, 1960.
- Kenneth Munson, Fighters 1914-19, Attack and Training Aircraft. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1976. ISBN 0713707607