Sopwith Camel - Wings Details

Construction of the Camel was of staggered wire braced wing bays with a straight upper wing and a very pronounced dihedral on the lower wing. The prototype upper wing panel was designed to be a single unit in order to simplify construction.
However, the production wing was three panels with an aft cutout between the spars and a center window for increased upper visibility, but the upper wing remained without dihedral. To compensate, the lower wing dihedral was doubled. Ailerons were fitted on both the upper and lower wings with a slightly greater span on the production models.
Wingspan: 28 ft 0" (8.53 m)  -  Total wing area: 231 sq.ft - (21.46 m²)

It was a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter introduced on the Western Front in 1917. Manufactured by Sopwith Aviation Company, it had a short-coupled fuselage, heavy, powerful rotary engine, and concentrated fire from twin synchronized machine guns. Though difficult to handle, to an experienced pilot it provided unmatched maneuverability.

A superlative fighter, the Camel was credited with shooting down 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied fighter of the war. It also served as a ground-attack aircraft, especially near the end of the conflict, when it was outclassed in the air-to-air role by newer fighters.

The fuselage had a rounded top conventional wire braced wooden frame, typical of the period. Aluminum panels covered the first bay behind the engine, and plywood was installed to the end of the cockpit, with the remainder of the fuselage covered in fabric.

With the engine, guns, pilot, cockpit and fuel all concentrated in a length of seven feet, this became one of the main contributing factors of the Camel's excellent maneuverability. For the pilot, a small windscreen was fitted behind the guns. The landing gear had short steel tube vees with a split axle, with rather large wheels.

I've started the project from the drawings (6 large sheets) I'd ordered from Replicraft ( The plans sets are created from the original factory drawing, construction and rigging materials.

The next thing to do was to obtain the required Gauge tables for sheet metals, wires etc. for the various materials used. Next all the parts were created in 3D and assembled into the various main structures e.g. fuselage, empennage, wings, under carriage, engine etc. This includes all the washers, nuts and bolts. In order to do this I had to consult the huge library of photo's that I collected. Creating parts and assemblies in 3-D is great, but you have to compare the results with the "real thing".

The plans from Replicraft for the Sopwith Camel contain all details of all the parts required to build a full scale replica. The plans are printed on 33" x 80" (84cm x 203cm) sheets.
Most of the plan sets are 100% from original factory drawings, construction and rigging manuals. Missing information was reverse-engineered from inspection and measurement of authentic WW1 aircraft.
These sets are the equivalent of having a full set of factory drawings.

The Empennage.

This images gives an overview of the tail plane and fin construction, the ribs, control arms and bracing wires.

Besides British pilots, the Sopwith Camel was also piloted by four American squadrons of the US Air Service, and by some Belgian pilots. The Sopwith Camel took part in battles over both the Western and the Eastern fronts; in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Palestine, Macedonia and Italy.

These images show the Empennage construction details, the center drift strut, aluminum tubes, the MSP steel rudder and elevator hinges as well as the elevator and rudder control arms.

The Empennage & rudder dedails.

Another image showing more details of the fin construction, the A&P No 121 profiled curved tube, the vertical A&P No 5 vertical tube as well as the main spar and ribs.
Bottom left shows the Empennage spar clip (A2016). In the center right, the tail plane attachment fitting (A2481) through wich the tail plane was bolted onto the fuselage.

Sopwith Camel in 3-D

All these images have been generated from the "virtually" built Camel in 3-D.
They show various details e.g. the instrument panel, the fuel system, controls, the Clerget 130HP rotary engine and internal/external structures.

There are only seven authentic Sopwith Camels preserved ....

  Don't forget to watch the video of  The Last Flying Sopwith Camel

Europe's only remaining (flying) Sopwith Camel which came to Stow Maries.

    Camel F.1 - Specifications

Height (mm):


Length (mm):


Wing span (mm):


Wing surface (sq.m):


Empty weight (kg):


Take-off weight (kg):


Fuel capacity (ltr):


Oil capacity (ltr):


1.000 m. —    3 min.   7 sec.

2.000 m. —    6 min. 35 sec.

Climb rate

3.000 m. —  11 min.   5 sec.

4.000 m. — 17 min.  39 sec.

5.000 m. — 27 min.  56 sec.


Clerget 9B Rotary 9 cylinders



Sea level  —   190.

1.000 m. —   178.

Maximum airspeed

2.000 m. —   168.

(LAS: Km/h)

3.000 m. —   154.

4.000 m. —   142.

5.000 m. —   128.

Service ceiling (m):



combat  —   2h. 30

(hrs. min.) at

1.000 m.

cruise  —    5 hrs.


2 Vickers Mk1 — 7.69mm.


500 rounds — per barrel

Firing rate:

450 - 600 rounds/min

Bomb load:

36 kg.