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Sopwith Camel

From Academic Kids

This article describes the fighter plane. For the 1960s psychedelic rock music band, see Sopwith Camel (band).
Sopwith Camel
Missing image
Sopwith_Camel.jpg
image:Sopwith_Camel.jpg


Modern replica of a Sopwith Camel
Description
Rolefighter
Entered serviceJuly 1917
ManufacturerSopwith Aviation Company
Performance
Armament
GunsTwo 0.303 in (7.7 mm)Vickers machine guns

The Sopwith Camel was a British World War I single-seat fighter aircraft that was famous for its manoeuvrability.

Contents

History

The Sopwith Camel was first built in 1916 by the Sopwith Aviation Company. Approximately 6,000 Camels were produced. It was armed with two Vickers .303-in (7.7 mm) machine guns mounted in front of the cockpit, firing forward through the propeller disc. There was a fairing surrounding the gun installation which created a hump. It was this hump that led to the aircraft acquiring the name Camel.

The strong gyroscopic effect of the rotary engine resulted in strange handling, and the Camel was notoriously difficult to fly in the hands of a novice (many were crashed due to mishandling on landing approach). The plane was intentionally built unstable to make it easier to change direction in combat. To keep it flying straight the pilot had to compensate all the time. This made the plane more difficult to fly, but it also made it more agile. Agility in combat made the Sopwith Camel one of the best remembered Allied aircraft of World War I.

It shot down 1294 enemy aircraft.

The Sopwith Camel was frequently referenced as the "plane" of Snoopy in the Peanuts comic strip, when he imagined himself as a WWI flying ace and the nemesis of the Red Baron.

Variants

Trench Fighter 1

  • Downward angled machine guns
  • Armour plating for protection

Characteristics

Dimensions

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 18 ft 9 in (5.7 m)
  • Wingspan:28 ft (8.5 m)
  • Height:8 ft 6 in (2.5 m)
  • Wing area: m² ( ft²)
  • Empty: 950 lb (430 kg)
  • Loaded: 1482 lb (672 kg)
  • Maximum takeoff: kg ( lb)
  • Powerplant: Gnome 9 cylinder rotary engine, 150 hp (110 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 115 mph (180 km/h)
  • Stall speed: 50 knots (92.6 km/h)
  • Ferry range: 300 miles (483 km)
  • Service ceiling: 21,000 ft (6,400 m)
  • Rate of climb: m/min ( ft/min)


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