How good was the Sopwith Camel in battle?

Sopwith’s most famous fighter earned its reputation in hard fought aerial combats. Andrew Thomas documents the wartime use of the legendary biplane

First flown in 1916, the potential of Sopwith’s new F1 scout was quickly recognised by the Admiralty, which placed its first orders in January 1917. With its distinctive ‘hump’ fairing housing two Vickers machine-guns, the type soon acquired the name ‘Camel’.

At th

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