Sopwith F.1 Camel

This Sopwith F.1 Camel was on display at RAF London.

The Sopwith Camel is a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter aircraft that was introduced on the Western Front in 1917. It was developed by the Sopwith Aviation Company as a successor to the Sopwith Pup and became one of the best known fighter aircraft of the Great War.

The Camel was powered by a single rotary engine and was armed with twin synchronized Vickers machine guns. The Camel was the highest scoring British fighter of the First World War. It took its name from the hump over the breeches of the two machine guns.

It was challenging to fly well, it could kill an unwary pilot. Though difficult to handle, it was highly manoeuvrable in the hands of an experienced pilot. Camel pilots have been credited with downing 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied fighter of the conflict.  It was ideal for daylight combat but versatile enough to allow it to be used for night fighting and ground attack, especially towards the end of the war when newer aircraft had better dogfighting capabilities.

This aeroplane was probably built by Boulton & Paul at Norwich. Sold as war-surplus, it briefly flew re-engined with a 45hp Anzani engine in 1923 and was part of the renowned Nash Collection from 1936. Restored at Heathrow airport 1958-1962.

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