Corgi Aviation Archive 1/48 Scale AA38106: Sopwith Camel of 20 Sqn RAF, Clifford McEwen, Italy, January 1919. Limited Edition of 1000 Pieces.
Length 4.75 inches Wingspan 7 inches
28 Squadron RAF was formed as a Royal Flying Corps unit at Gosport on the 7th November 1915. For eighteen months it was a training unit before moving to Yatesbury in July 1917 where it was re-equipped with Sopwith Camels before moving to France in October. The Squadron had barely settled when it was moved to Italy, along with the British Expeditionary Force. 28 Squadron remained in Italy until February 1919 before returning home to be disbanded on 20th January 1920. Clifford MacKay McEwen joined the Canadian Army in 1916. By April 1917 he was seconded to the RFC, becoming a member of 28 Squadron. He served in Italy as a Sopwith Camel pilot, scoring twenty-seven victories, four of which are believed to have been whilst flying 8239D. In 1919 McEwen otherwise known as “Black Mike” returned to Canada where he served as an instructor with the RCAF. During World War Two, he commanded two bomber group bases, assuming command of 6 Bomber Group in England in 1944. He attained the rank of Air Vice-Marshal and later retired in 1946.
Designed as a heavier, more powerful refinement of the Sopwith Pup, the Camel was first flown in 1917. Earning its name from the distinctive humped fairing surrounding its twin .303 Vickers machine guns, the Camel’s unforgiving flight characteristics claimed the lives of many students in flight training. In the hands of a skilled pilot though, it was an extreme dogfighter that could out-maneuver any contemporary with the possible exception of the Fokker Dr.I. Common for airplanes of that era, a fixed crankshaft configuration allowed the entire engine to spin with the propeller, creating strong gyroscopic forces that adversely affected the airplane’s handling under power. Together with the S.E.5a, the Camel helped gain superiority over the German Albatros and is credited with shooting down 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied fighter.