Dicta Ira

From the Pilots Perspective, the Sopwith Camel Scout

Captain Arthur "Harry" Cobby, Flight Commander, 4 Sqn AFC

"A chap named Longeton was responsible for my tuition and he was excellent. The manner in which he threw a Camel around was astonishing and after several flights on a Sopwith Pup, I was sent off in the rather frightening Camel. This machine had a bad name with many fellows, even experienced pilots, managed to get piled up in them. And you could not be trained by anyone else in theri tricks, only by word of mouth on the ground. ..... So I duly went off in one, and the experience was strange. It climbed unusually fast without my help. Not only that but I seemed to be going straight ahead and the ground passed by me slightly sideways, until some time later the aerodrome appeared infront of me again, so I glided in and landed. Longton told me I had just went slowly round in a large circle ina flat turn, and he also corrected the foot pressure that caused it. Next time I managed better and from then on I improved considerably."

Captain John "Jack" Wright, Flight Commander, 4 Sqn AFC

"Here, [Serny] 4th Sqdn. exchanged it's Camels for Sopwith "Snipes", then the latest word on the British side in Scout or Fighter design. It was really a larger edition of the Camel, but without the hump which gave the Camel it's name. Powered with a 200 Hp Bentley Rotary Engine, (which developed 260 Hp at 1400 revs ) they had a celing of 19000 feet and a top speed of 127 mph, flying level with a war load. This gave them a slight advantage in speed over the Fokker, but we still could not get as high as the Fokker's. They were of a slightly more robust construction the Camel, but were less manouvreable. However, their rate of climb was better than the Camel, a ceiling of 15000 feet could be reached in 30 minutes, a Camel took upwards of 45 minutes."