Vital Statistics

The Camel was first flown by Harry Hawker at Brooklands on 22 December 1916. It was powered by a 110 hp Clerget 9Z rotary engine.

The Sopwith Camel was a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter introduced on the Western Front in 1917. Designed as a replacement for the Sopwith Pup, it had a short-coupled fuselage, a heavy, powerful rotary engine, and concentrated fire from twin synchronised machine guns.

Despite being a formidable warplane in the hands of an experienced pilot, the Sopwith Camel was difficult to fly and many novice pilots came to grief at its controls. It quickly gained an unfortunate reputation with student pilots.

It had unmatched manoeuvrability and was credited with shooting down 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied fighter of the war. It also served as a ground-attack aircraft, especially near the end of the conflict, when it was outclassed in the air-to-air role by newer fighters.

These unique flying characteristics arose for a number of reasons;

Camels were powered by several rotary engines.

Adapted from various sources including Wikipeadia.

Sopwith Camel