Sopwith Camel Wheels and Undercarriage

It is a struggle to find the right wheels and tyres for a Sopwith Camel.

Originally they used Palmer 700x75 treadless tyres. The wheels had 60 spokes so located that the external canvas cover of the wheels show a distinctive spoke mark on one in four spokes. The spokes are arranged around the hub and rim in such a way as to help offset side loadings on landing. There are no such wheels and tyres on the market today.

In the end we found wheels and tyres that are a very close match in style and size. We have had the hub and spokes specially constructed and fitted to the wheels.

Once we had solved the challenge of the wheels, we could construct the undercarriage. 14 Jan 2014 was a benchmark day when the Camel sat on its full undercarriage for the first time.

The tail skid is where we have incomplete plans and where our two main sources vary. There has had to be a certain amount of interpolation and experimentation.