Sopwith Camel Replica
A highly maneuverable biplane, the Sopwith F.1 Camel accounted for more aerial victories than any other Allied aircraft during World War I and was credited with destroying 1,294 enemy aircraft. Approximately 5,600 Camels were built in 1917-1918, by 8 different U.K. companies, including the British Caudron Company.
There are only seven authentic Sopwith Camels left, including those at the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa, the Imperial War Museum in London, the Brussels Air Museum, the Aerospace Education Center in Little Rock, Arkansas and the Polish Aviation Museum.
The Museum’s example is a full size static display replica of the famous single seat fighter, built from original plans. It was built in 1985 in the Museum’s workshop employing aircraft mechanic apprentices under an Employment Development grant. Original construction methods were duplicated wherever possible, with exception of non-aircraft grade wood, Dacron fabric finish, and the fibreglass engine cowling. The engine is a clever mockup of a rotary engine.
This Camel is frequently seen at Museum displays in shopping centres in the Fraser Valley. It provides viewers with several interesting technical points; the rotary engine where the cylinders rotate with the propeller, and machine guns that fire through the propeller.
This is the aircraft featured in Charles Schulz's comic strip Peanuts, where Snoopy is shown in combat with the Red Baron.
For more on the Sopwith Camel and the workings of its rotary engine see the Kids Section tab and click on Sopwith Camel.
Technical details (F.1 Camel):
Engine: 130 hp Clerget 9-cylinder rotary engine
Max. Speed: 117 mph (188 km/h)
Ceiling: 19,000 ft (5790 m)
Climb Rate: 10 minutes to reach 10,000 ft (3048 m)
Weight: 929 lb (421 kg) empty, 1453 lb (659 kg) fully loaded
Span: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Length: 18 ft 9 in (5.7 m)
Height: 8 ft 6 in (2.6 m)
Wing area: 231 sq ft (21.5 sq m)
Guns: Two .303 inch Vickers machine guns synchronized to fire through the propeller.
Bombs: Four 20-lb Cooper bombs
The Camel under construction.
A close up view of the nose and Vickers machine guns.
The simple cockpit of the Camel with the cocking levers for the guns.