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Sopwith Camel FI – Capt. M. B. Frew, 45 Sqn RFC, 1918 1/48


Corgi Aviation Archive 1/48 scale AA38107: Sopwith Camel FI B6372 Capt. M. B. Frew, 45 Squadron RFC, Istrana, 1918. Limited edition of 1,100 pieces.

Length 4.75 inches Wingspan 7 inches

The Sopwith Camel is one of the most famous fighter planes of the First World War. An agile and powerful biplane it found fame in the hands of many famous Allied aces such as Major William Barker as well as the pilot of this Camel, Capt. M. B. Frew.

Based in Italy by early 1918, 45 squadron was tasked mainly with ground attack and offensive patrols against the Axis forces in the theatre. From his total tally of 23 aerial victories, 12 were claimed in this very machine along with a further 5 claimed by fellow squadron mates C. N. Jones and J. Cottle, making this a highly successful example of the Sopwith biplane.

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.

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