Author Topic: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd  (Read 5354 times)

Offline Jamo

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Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« on: December 06, 2015, 04:06:51 AM »
This Sopwith Camel is an original aircraft fitted with an original Clerget engine, restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd.



At the time of writing it has not yet been certified to fly but this expected very soon.

Photos taken 30th November 2015 at Hood Aerodrome, Masterton, NZ.



It is finished in the markings of B5663 of A Flight 10 Naval Squadron. Flt Lt Curtis used this aircraft to secure his 11th victory in late 1917. On 23 January 1918 it was in a collision with an Albatros Scout and lost, its pilot Flt Sub-Lt Blyth being killed. The German pilot was also killed, although he was credited with the victory. Although reported to have fallen locked together, they appear to have separated near the ground, and this Camel landed pretty well intact.Total Victories for Curtis 13.



Does this whet your appetite for the forthcoming WNW release early next year?

The following is from Air-Britainís The Camel File by Ray Sturtivant and Gordon Page, pub in 1993. Note that N6254 is a US civil registration, not an RFC or RAF serial number.

U.S.A. CIVIL

Captain M. R. James, a former No.45 Squadron pilot used an unidentified Camel for barnstorming in 1919 until he lost his life in it.

In December 1920, the Interallied Aircraft Corporation advertised for sale in "Aviation" magazine 6 Camels in need of minor repairs, also 33 Avros in need of general overhaul and some parts, as well as a number of Le Rhone engines and spares.

American civil aircraft were not required to carry registrations until 1926. Only the following are known, these being NC1163, NC3938 (ex C28) and N6254.

Of these, N6254 was a British Caudron-built [Camel] aircraft imported in 1920 by Clarence D. Chamberlin who used it for some years as as a two-seater hack. It was purchased in 1931 by Col George Burling Jarrett for $100 at Jersey City Airport for The Jarrett Museum of World War One History, which was founded in 1929 at Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Its true identity was lost soon afterwards when a schoolboy stole maker's plate, and it was variously marked "B-7301" and "A-1171". The museum's exhibits, including the Camel, were later moved to Jarrett's farm, near Moorestown, New Jersey. N6254 was stored during WW2. It went to Aberdeen, Maryland in 1948 and was loaned to the US Air Force. In 1950 it was sold to Frank Tallman and taken to Logan Airport, Boston. It then went to a New England school for extensive restoration, flying in 1955 marked "N6254". It was used for film work, then sold to the Aeroflex Corporation who exhibited it in New York. The aircraft was displayed in the US Marine Corps Museum, Quantico, Virginia.

It was sold from there to fund the restoration of remaining exhibits. It was acquired by Richard N Holbert (in 1982?) who is one of the guys behind the Aerospace Education Centre in Little Rock, AR. The Little Rock Aviation Education Center closed due to financial trouble and it was acquired by Peter Jackson maybe 2012.



Gene DeMarco said it was about 80% original. TVAL replaced the engine, the prop, undercarriage and tailskid as part of the restoration process. It is registered in NZ as ZK-SDL Sopwith Camel F.1 (Original Camel N6254) Here is a shot of it prior to being exported to NZ:



Photo taken by Rick McFarland, courtesy of Brett Mc Cusker

The Clerget engine looks in great condition





New decals added to struts and prop (which had been fitted originally to a Sopwith Camel)









Notice the shape of the 'square' shaped thingey coming out of the nose panel, and the way the panel partly wraps around it:















Bracing wires in the centre section opening are interesting

















The fittings where the control wires exit the fuselage are interesting:













The cockpit is very compact































































Thanks for looking in

Cheers
James
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 04:45:00 PM by Jamo »

Offline Nigel Jackson

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2015, 04:18:22 AM »
Great photos and so useful - thanks, James.

Best wishes
Nigel

Online lcarroll

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2015, 04:45:57 AM »
   Another incredible "Photofest", just wonderful Jamo, Thanks for your efforts! Bookmarked for the release of the Wingnut Wings Kit this coming week...... ???
Cheers,
Lance

Offline dr 1 ace

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2015, 05:13:31 AM »
Great Photos, Thanks !! Did you get a close up of the plate at the top of the cowl ??

And I can see what at least one of the markings in the WNW kit will be.

Ed
Life is short, enjoy it, nobody gets out alive.

Offline Flugzeugwerke

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2015, 05:22:04 AM »
Thanks as always, Jamo... great photos.

Offline Des

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2015, 06:18:45 AM »
Superb photos James, these will be excellent reference material for anyone building the Camel, thank you for posting the images.

Des.
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Offline coyotemagic

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2015, 06:32:21 AM »
Thanks for taking and posting such superb photos, Jamo!  That Camel is absolutely gorgeous. 
Cheers,
Bud
"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream in the dark recesses of the night awake in the day to find all was vanity. But the dreamers of day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, and make it possible." -T. E. Lawrence

Offline Jamo

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2015, 06:36:42 AM »
Great Photos, Thanks !! Did you get a close up of the plate at the top of the cowl ??

And I can see what at least one of the markings in the WNW kit will be.

Ed

You mean this one Ed?


Offline kornbeef

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2015, 06:38:16 AM »
Gorgeous pics will have those waiting for the WNW Camel salivating wildly. 

The *thingy* is the spent cartidge shute for the right hand MG isnt it?

Those interior shots and detail shots are just ace.

Keith
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Offline bobs_buckles

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2015, 07:12:32 AM »
Thanks, James  ;)

vB

Offline RAGIII

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2015, 07:28:37 AM »
Great photos Jamo! These will be extremely useful when WNW releases their Camel! Thanks for sharing,
RAGIII
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Offline Pgtaylorart

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2015, 07:58:45 AM »
Man, I really envy you, James! Thanks for all the great photos. I couldn't get better reference if I was there myself. Now I'm really looking forward to WnWs release, and I have no excuses for getting anything wrong! ;D

George

Offline Jim

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2015, 01:17:10 PM »
Yes, very nice photos James.

I was also interested in the photo of the plate on top of the cowl since this shows the gunsight cover closed...just wondering whether there was a pull-cord or some other actuator attached that would allow the pilot to open it only when required, since it seems it would be rather difficult to do so when seated and strapped in?
Woof!

Offline oldalbie

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2015, 02:42:51 PM »
Wonderful photos Jamo.  Thanks for posting them.  You can really see how dirty those rotaries were.

Offline Pgtaylorart

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Re: Sopwith Camel B5663 restored by The Vintage Aviator Ltd
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2015, 02:52:10 PM »
So what are everyone's opinions about possible markings in the new Wingnuts release? Will this version be represented? I hope so.

George