Sopwith Camel Replica
Intended as a replacement for the Sopwith Pup, the Sopwith Camel prototype first flew in December 1916. It was armed with two .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns mounted in front of the cockpit, firing forward through the propeller disc. A fairing surrounding the gun installation created a hump that led to the aircraft acquiring the name Camel. The Camel entered squadron service in June 1917.
Approximately 5,500 Camels were produced. Unlike the preceding Pup and Triplane, the Camel was not considered pleasant to fly. Nevertheless, its agility in combat made the Sopwith Camel one of the best remembered Allied aircraft of World War I. The Camel was credited with shooting down 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied scout.
By mid-1918, the Camel was approaching obsolescence as a fighter, limited by its slow speed and comparatively poor performance over 12,000 feet. It found a new lease of life as a ground-attack aircraft and infantry support weapon, especially after the German Offensive of March 1918. The Camel remained in service until the Armistice (11 November 1918). The aircraft served with the Australian Flying Corp in 4 Sqn, 5 Sqn, 6 Sqn and 8 Sqn.