21 December 1916 – New Sopwith Camel

Since Autumn 1916, British fighters old and new have been distinctly outgunned as the new German fighters all have twin machine guns.

Various designers have been working away to remedy this. The Royal Aircraft Factory has already come up with the SE5 and now the Sopwith Company has tested a new design, the Camel, which is the first British design with two forward firing Vickers guns.

The design, intended as a replacement for the popular but undergunned Sopwith Pup was test flown today at Brooklands.

Despite being a Pup replacement, the two aircraft could not be more different. Unlike the docile Pup, the Camel is front heavy due to the engine, guns and pilot all being within seven feet of the front. This coupled with the torque of the rotary engine makes this an inherently unstable aircraft that is difficult to master.

The Camel prototype

The Camel prototype

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One thought on “21 December 1916 – New Sopwith Camel

  1. Pingback: 17 May 1917 – Camels on the way | airwar19141918

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