Sopwith Camel 駱駝式戰鬥機
Many will remember the epic dogfights of“Snoopy and the Red Baron” From the Peanuts comic strip. While the great German Ace piloted his red Fokker Dr.I, Snoopy flew his dog house, which (in his mind), was the famed Sopwith Camel, an aircraft with its own rich history.
Entering service in the Summer of 1917, the Sopwith Camel came to be the most successful British fighter of World War I. The Camel got its moniker from the raised fairings built along the sides of the twin Vickers machine guns, giving the fuselage a “humped” profile. These guns were the first on a British fighter to be synchronised to fire through the propellor. Of fairly conventional design, the Camel utilised a bulky wooden fuselage and staggered wings covered with fabric. An alloy cowling wrapped around the radial engine.
Sharing some of its design with the earlier Sopwith Pup, the Camel was faster with improved armament, but was much harder to fly. The combined weight of engine, fuel tank, guns and pilot were concentrated towards the front of the plane giving it excellent manoeuvrability, but the inertia created by the rotary engine could cause the plane to “loop”wildly on take-off which caused the death of many novice pilots. By the war’s end, The Sopwith Camel’s seasoned pilots were credited for shooting down nearly 1,300 enemy aircraft.