Sopwith F.1 Camel British Fighter
—Air Force Museum replica,

The Camel was one of the two best fighter planes of World War I. The other was the RAF S.E.5a with a liquid cooled engine that was slightly faster than the Camel but less maneuverable. The Camel was first used in July 1917 and 5,490 were produced.

The Camel had a rotary engine, whose cylinders were attached to the propeller and the crankshaft to the aircraft, so the cylinders rotated so they were cooled by air. That rotation caused torque, so advancing the throttle too fast on the ground would flip it fatally, while in a dogfight could flip the craft out of an enemy's sites. The Camel killed more pilots in training than in combat; Camel pilots shot down 1,294 enemy craft — the highest score of any fighter. Some of its success was due to the design that placed engine, pilot, armament, and controls into a seven foot space.

Empty it weighed 929 lbs. Max speed was 117 mph at sea level. It climbed to 10,000 ft in 10 min 35 sec. It was called the Camel because of the hump in front of the pilot for the two side-by-side machine guns synchronized to shoot between the propellers. It was most effective above 11,000 feet.