Sopwith Camel

WWI Most Effective Fighter:

Our Sopwith Camel Kit, based on the original factory drawings,  contains period correct wood, metal fittings, cable and hardware, all ready-to-assemble. The Camel is a high performance and extremely maneuverable WWI aeroplane and should be flown by experienced pilots. There is a reason why the Camel was nicknamed the “widow-maker” as pilots of the day did not have enough training or flying hours in the Camel before flying in air combat. Despite this, the Camel was the most effective day and night fighter of WW1 with approximately 5,500 produced.

What’s Included in the Sopwith Camel Kit:Sopwith Camel side view blueprint

The Sopwith Camel is only available as a complete kit with components.

Complete Kit: All sub-kits listed below priced as one unit, instruction booklet, plus a photocopied set of original drawings and unlimited toll free support from our customer service department.

Fuselage Kit: Wooden longerons and cross-members, wire & cable, painted metal fittings and all required hardware.

Wing Kit: Spruce spars and pre-assembled wing ribs, riblets, metal fittings, wire & cable and hardware.

Tail Kit: Wooden structure, stabilizers, rudder, elevators, wire & cable and hardware. The vertical stabilizer, rudder, and elevator come pre-assembled – no welding necessary!

Undercarriage Kit: Left and right undercarriage struts, axle fairing, wheels, axle, tail skid, bungees and hardware.

Strut Kit: Cabane and interplane struts with socket assemblies and hardware.

Cowl & Panel Kit: Engine cowling, fuselage metal panels and access doors plus hardware.

Flight Control Kit: Pulleys, cables, joy stick, rudder bar, airbrake controls, elevator controls plus pilots seat.

Fuel Tank Kit: A 60 gallon metal tank with straps and mounting hardware.

Oil Tank Kit: A 10½ gallon metal tank with straps and mounting hardware.

Windscreen Kit: Pilots’ windscreen and mounting hardware.

What You Need:

At this time, the vintage aero enthusiast supplies the following items according to their preference.

  • Engine – we recommend a new production rotary engine by CAMS.
  • Instrumentation
  • Flying wires
  • Fabric covering  – originally, Irish linen was used as the covering. There are several FAA approved synthetic coverings available today.

Time Frame of Kit Assembly:

Approximately 1,500 man hours are required to assemble the kit depending on the power plant, configuration and covering material selected.

Time Frame of Kit Arrival:

Although we inventory many of the metal fittings for these kits, most wood and other components will not be fabricated until receipt of your order. Please allow 6-8 months depending on our production back-log and availability of raw materials.

Questions? Please give us a call at (888) 243-0440 or use our contact page.

Sopwith Camel Specifications:

The Camel outperformed all other flying machines.

Sopwith Camel Historical Summary:

The Most Famous Flying Machine of WWI

As a single-seater scout, the Sopwith Camel is probably the most famous machine of the period, destroying more enemy aircraft than any other single type during the Great War. Amazingly maneuverable and a deadly weapon in the hands of a skilled pilot well versed in its’ eccentricities, it was also the undoing of many a ‘rookie’ pilot. Novices regarded the Camel with horror, as such an alarming number of pupils were killed during their first flight in the machine.

Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel, a one-seater fighting scout with mounted twin Vickers .303 machine guns

Often referred to as “a fierce little rasper”, the Camel spun quickly, had extremely sensitive elevator control and was very fast on left-hand turns, owing to the gyroscopic force produced by the rotary engine in combination with its’ short fuselage. Arriving on the Western Front in July 1917, the Camel was used in gradually increasing intensity on offensive patrols, escort work and ground strafing. From this period to the end of the war, RFC Camels alone destroyed nine hundred and eight enemy aircraft.

The Sopwith Camel is easily identified by converging wingtips and the distinctive “hump” over the twin Vickers machine-guns from whence it derives it’s name.