After last week's stunning artwork, we thought you might enjoy a glimpse of the content of one of our AVG books. As well as fantastic photographs, profiles and amazing cut-aways on double page fold-outs, Air Vanguard offers highly technical information on these iconic aircraft.
Sopwith Camel arrives in October, and here is a short extract entitled 'Trench Fighter'.
'Arguably the ‘dirtiest job’ for Camel pilots since the autumn of 1917 was low-level ground attack, and in February 1918 Sopwith unveiled a ‘trench fighter’ designated the TF 1. Converted from Camel F1 B9278 and powered by a 110-hp Le Rhône engine, the TF 1 replaced its forward firing Vickers with two stripped Lewis guns fixed at an angle to fire forward and down through the cockpit floor, which was armoured from the engine compartment to the rear of the cockpit. A third Lewis was mounted above the upper wing centre section similarly to the naval 2F1. After first flying at Brooklands on 15 February, the TF 1 was shipped to France on 7 March, but returned to Brooklands a week later and was promptly dismantled. Not only was the armoured aeroplane’s general performance inferior to the standard Camel’s – not surprisingly – but the downward-angled guns had already been proven less effective than the original forward-firing twin Vickers. In any case, Sopwith was working on a more specialised, higher-powered, armoured trench strafer, the Sopwith Salamander, whose prototype would arrive in France for service evaluation in May.'