SOPWITH F-1 "CAMEL"
The Sopwith Camel, well-known to readers of the famous "Peanuts" cartoon strip, was the most successful fighter plane of WWI. Here's a bit of tongue-in-cheek concerning Snoopy's never ending dog fights...THE BEAGLE HAS LANDED
by Michele Eatough
to the tune of "Hope Aerie"
The night moon glows; up Snoopy goes.
Here stands a doghouse no more.
The mighty plane of a flying ace,
The Sopwith Camel, stands in its place
To fight in the first World war.
For the beagle has landed
To drink root beer again.
Now he'll fly, his country to defend.
Engines churn while machine guns burn;
The enemy falls from the sky.
Shot down, the mighty flying ace,
But another plane comes to fill the place.
The Red Baron swears he'll die.
For the beagle is branded.
Red Baron plans to rend
Snoopy's Sopwith Camel, end to end.
In pale moonlight, the two planes fight;
Soon both are riddled with holes.
But the Baron hits some vital spot,
And the Sopwith Camel, smoking and hot,
Falls to the Earth below.
And the beagle crash-landed.
Let the Baron beware when
Snoopy climbs his doghouse once again.
Prophets and prisms and planets in motion,
Pebbles I gather in front of Truth's Ocean.
Fluxions that help me in my measurings --
These are a few of my favorite things.
To continue on with our Aircraft Of the Month: It shot down more enemy aircraft than any other fighter of any of the warring nations. However, because of its tricky handling characteristics, more men lost their lives while learning to fly it than died while using it in combat. The Camel was produced in Great Britain and went into action in June 1917 with the 70 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps and 4 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service. In the hands of an experienced pilot, it was highly maneuverable and at its best combat altitude of 12,000 feet, it was very difficult to defeat in a dogfight.
Two U.S. Air Service squadrons, the 17th and 148th, used the Camel in combat while assigned to British forces during the summer and fall of 1918. Such famous U.S. pilots as George Vaughn (our nation's second-ranking Air Service ace to survive the war). Elliot White Springs, Errol Zistel and Larry Callahan were members of the 17th and 148th. A third U.S. unit, the 185th Aero Squadron, used the Camel as a night fighter on the American Front during the last month of the war.
Another American "driver" of the Camel:
Name: Field Eugene Kindley
Country: United States
Services: United States Air Service
Units: 65 (RAF)
148th Aero (USAS)
Born: 13 March 1896
Place of Birth: Pea Ridge, Arkansas
Killed In Flying Accident: 1 February 1920
Place of Death: Texas
Although 5,490 Camels were produced, very few remain in existence today. The Camel on display was built by U.S. Air Force personnel from the original WWI factory drawings and was completed in 1974. It is painted and marked as the Camel flown by Lt. George A. Vaughn, Jr., 17th Aero Squadron.
Span: 28 ft.
Length: 18 ft. 9 in.
Height: 8 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 1,482 lbs. maximum
Armament: Two Vickers .303-cal. machine guns
Engine: Clerget rotary of 130 hp.
Maximum speed: 112 mph.
Range: 300 miles
Service Ceiling: 19,000 ft.As the successor to the Pup, the Sopwith Aviation Company produced a fiery, temperamental little biplane, in the famous, and notorious, Sopwith F.1 Camel.
In the hands of an experienced pilot the Camel could out maneuver any contemporary airplane, with the possible exception of the Fokker Triplane. From July 1917, when it reached the Front, until the
Armistice, the Camel accounted for no less than 1,294 enemy machines.
It was the first British type to carry twin Vickers guns; their breeches were enclosed in a 'hump', which gave the Camel its name.
Note: The Ol'Kunnel is especially grateful to Remmel Wilson for giving him the "heads up" on this aircraft. It was in an article in the Style page of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette for Tuesday, February 16, 1999. "Grounded In History" concerns a recently donated "Camel" to the Aerospace Education Center.
The Ol'Kunnel now has a forum setup to allow us almost the same opportunity for the camaraderie we had on the old network. I trust it will offer you the same fun and companionship that IRBFlying once had on the GT Power Network. If you agree with me, you'll prove it by leaving a few words on the "I'd Rather Be Flying!" forum by clicking on the forum button.
Let the flying chatter begin!