2 in stock
2 in stock
Corgi Aviation Archive 1/48 scale AA38101: Sopwith Camel of 208 Sqn RAF (formerly 8 Sqn RNAS), as flown by Henry Botterell. This Corgi range World War 1 biplanes is absolutely superb, with authentic looking wire rigging on the wings and tailplane. Limited edition of 2001 pieces.
Length 4.75 inches Wingspan 7 inches
Henry Botterell does not qualify as an air Ace – he had one accredited ‘kill’ whereas five are required for official recognition. However, he gained celebrity in his final years as the sole surviving Royal Naval Air Service pilot and the oldest FirstWorldWar fighter pilot of any nation. When he died in January 2003, aged 106, there were none left. Born in Ottowa, Canada in 1896, he applied to be a civilian pilot and was sent to England for training in 1916. He enlisted with the Royal Naval Air Service No.8 squadron in May 1917 but on only his second flight he crash landed and sustained multiple injuries. He was discharged from service on medical grounds but en-route back to Canada he met some old chums from No.8 squadron and was persuaded to re-enlist. His old squadron had become No.208 squadron of the newly formed RAF and Botterell flew a variety of aircraft including a staggering 91 sorties in a Sopwith Camel in just 60 days between July and August 1918.
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.