Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Modern replica of a Sopwith Camel
|Entered service||July 1917|
|Manufacturer||Sopwith Aviation Company|
|Guns||two Vickers 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machine guns|
The Sopwith Camel was a British World War I single-seat fighter aircraft. 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.
- Crew: 1
- Length: 18 ft 9 in (5.7 mm)
- 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)
- Maximum speed: 115 mph (180 km/h)
- Stall speed: 50 knot (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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