Art Showcase: Sopwith Camel - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
This is the first plane I built. It is a full size replica of a 1916 Sopwith Camel, and this is Snoopy's plane, or supposedly the one that shot down the Red Baron. It is a little bit of a dilemma there whether it was the Australians that shot down the Red Baron or the Sopwith Camel, but we will stick with the Sopwith Camel for now. I just want to go through some of the parts that it is made out of. The propeller I was able to carve from a cedar fence post. It is eight feet. For an engine I used a 28-29 Ford, Model A Ford wheel. It just worked out that way. It was a rotary engine they had in these airplanes. I went with the Model A Ford wheel. I used the end off a twenty pound propane cylinder, like for your barbecue, and then it has nine apple juice cans bolted on, so these were the nine cylinders.
With this engine being a rotary engine, the crankshaft was bolted to the firewall, and the cylinders turned so you had a whole mass out front turning. So if you made a right turn it wanted to screw you in the ground with the gyroscopic effect. The left turn was a big climbing, sweeping radius. So thats what was killing the pilots, was the right turn. Moving on here, actually underneath the engine cowl is the rims from horse-drawn buggy wheels, the steel rims. So I think its forty six and a half inches, the cowl, the wheels were about forty eight, and that worked. So then there is hydro-pole cross-iron bracing welded together so it worked out perfect for the engine the engine cowl. These are twin Vickers machine guns. I made them out of pipe, and it is really ironic because last year a dove come along a built a nest in between the machine guns, so you have got a symbol of war, a symbol of peace altogether there.
This is television aerial, concrete rebar, turn buckles, and the wings of the Sopwith Camel I made from farmer's gates. So it is a twenty eight foot wing-span, and the ailerons work, as well as the rudder and the elevator. All the bulkheads along the way of the fuselage tee-iron fence posts, and I skinned it with the sheet metal from above-ground swimming pools. The metal is very forgiving, the price was right, and it is very easy to work with.