Sopwith F.1 Camel

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    Sopwith F.1 Camel

    The Sopwith Camel is among the most significant and famous World War I aircraft. During World War I, Camels downed 1,294 enemy aircraft, which was more than any other Allied fighter. The cowling over the two Vickers machine guns created a distinctive "hump," making the name Camel a natural choice.

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    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Sopwith F.1 Camel

    The Sopwith Camel is among the most significant and famous World War I aircraft. During World War I, Camels downed 1,294 enemy aircraft, which was more than any other Allied fighter. The cowling over the two Vickers machine guns created a distinctive “hump,” making the name Camel a natural choice. Highlighted in this image are the propellers and engine of the Sopwith F.1 Camel.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Sopwith F.1 Camel

    The Sopwith Camel is among the most significant and famous World War I aircraft. During World War I, Camels downed 1,294 enemy aircraft, which was more than any other Allied fighter. The cowling over the two Vickers machine guns created a distinctive “hump,” making the name Camel a natural choice. Highlighted in this image is the fuel tank port marked "Gravity Petrol.”

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Sopwith F.1 Camel

    The Sopwith Camel is among the most significant and famous World War I aircraft. During World War I, Camels downed 1,294 enemy aircraft, which was more than any other Allied fighter. The cowling over the two Vickers machine guns created a distinctive “hump,” making the name Camel a natural choice. Highlighted in this image is the instrument panel of the Sopwith Camel.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Sopwith F.1 Camel

    The Sopwith Camel is among the most significant and famous World War I aircraft. During World War I, Camels downed 1,294 enemy aircraft, which was more than any other Allied fighter. The cowling over the two Vickers machine guns created a distinctive "hump," making the name Camel a natural choice. Highlighted in this image is the propeller of the Sopwith Camel.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Sopwith F.1 Camel

    The Sopwith Camel is among the most significant and famous World War I aircraft. During World War I, Camels downed 1,294 enemy aircraft, which was more than any other Allied fighter. The cowling over the two Vickers machine guns created a distinctive “hump,” making the name Camel a natural choice. Highlighted in this image is the British roundel insignia located on the fuselage of the Sopwith Camel.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Sopwith F.1 Camel

    The Sopwith Camel is among the most significant and famous World War I aircraft. During World War I, Camels downed 1,294 enemy aircraft, which was more than any other Allied fighter. The cowling over the two Vickers machine guns created a distinctive “hump,” making the name Camel a natural choice. Highlighted in this image is the fuselage of the Sopwith Camel. Painted on the fuselage is the aircraft serial number "B6291".

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Sopwith F.1 Camel

    The Sopwith Camel is among the most significant and famous World War I aircraft. During World War I, Camels downed 1,294 enemy aircraft, which was more than any other Allied fighter. The cowling over the two Vickers machine guns created a distinctive “hump,” making the name Camel a natural choice. Highlighted in this image is the tail of the Sopwith Camel.

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    Sopwith F.1 Camel

    The Sopwith Camel is among the most significant and famous World War I aircraft. During World War I, Camels downed 1,294 enemy aircraft, which was more than any other Allied fighter. The cowling over the two Vickers machine guns created a distinctive hump, making the name Camel a natural choice. Highlighted in this image are the propellers and engine of the Sopwith F.1 Camel.

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    Sopwith F.1 Camel Panorama

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Display Status:

This object is on display in the Pre-1920 Aviation at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Pre-1920 Aviation

The Sopwith Camel is among the most significant and famous of all WWI aircraft. Camels downed 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied fighter in WWI. The cowling over the two Vickers machine guns ahead of the cockpit created a distinctive “hump,” making the name Camel a natural choice, although it was never an official military designation.

Unlike the earlier Sopwith Pup and Sopwith Triplane, which were docile to fly and well-liked by pilots, the Camel was unstable, requiring constant input from the pilot. The gyroscopic effects of its powerful rotary engine made it dangerous for novice pilots, and almost as many were killed in accidents as died in combat. But its instability also contributed to it being agile and maneuverable, and once its tricky characteristics were mastered, the Camel was a superior fighting airplane.

The Camel entered operational service in July 1917 and remained a front-line fighter until the end of the war, with approximately 5,490 built. This example, B6291, served with No. 10 Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service.