royal naval air service

Formation flight Sunday. “A Firefly T1 trainer destined for the Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service in the company of an Royal Navy example.

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The mighty Sopwith Camel debuted in 1917 with No. 4 Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service over Dunkirk. 

Max speed -115 mph

Conventional for its time, the biplane had a box-like fuselage, aluminum cowling, plywood panels around the cockpit, and fabric-covered fuselage, wings and tail. It featured the first cockpit-mounted, propeller synchronized machine guns.

She turned slowly to the left but could turn right in roughly half the time of other fighters and -although difficult to fly- proved highly maneuverable in the right hands.

Though out-classed by 1918 and performing poorly at altitudes over 11,000 ft, the Sopwith Camel was credited with shooting down 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied fighter of the war.

Around 5,500 were built.