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Camel operational service dates

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David Seymour View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 Feb 2010 at 19:43
The NT2B is also described in Owen Thetford, British Naval Aircraft since 1912.
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Adrian Roberts View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adrian Roberts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2010 at 01:06
Thanks Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeMeech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 10:14
Adrian
The N.T.2b was a single engine pusher flying boat from the Norman Thompson company.  Also built by Supermarine and Saunders.  It was designed as a training aircraft and although over 150 (probably) were built, it appears not to have been widely used.  Books containing details include; 'The Norman Thompson File', page 59, by Michael H. Goodall, Air-Britain 1995, 'British Aeroplanes 1914-18', page  655, by Jack Bruce, Putnam 1957 and 'Marine Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War' , page 118,by Heinz J. Nowarra, Harleyford 1966.
I hope this is of use.
Mike
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Adrian Roberts View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adrian Roberts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 01:36
Interesting that in the list, the 1-1/2 Strutter is considered non-obsolete in 1919.
I'm going sound thick here, but what do they mean by the NT2B? I'm sure it must be obvious...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Seymour Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2010 at 18:57
Nick,
Fascinating material.  Many thanks.  Is your source for all of this RAF Serials J1-J9999 & WW1 Survivors, Air-Britain or is there something else I should be reading?
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David
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2010 at 08:58
Overseas, the last Camel seems to have been struck from the US Navy list on 2.8.1922.
 
A 2F1 was in service in Latvia as late as 7.8.1921.
 
A F1 was flying in Poland in 1922.
 
IV Fighter Group operated CF1 Camels in Belgium 1920-1923.
 
Canada had 2F1 Camels at least until 1925, and some were shipped out as a source of spares later than this, suggesting that Canada was the last operator.
Nick 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2010 at 08:55
The last operational use of the Camel by the RAF would appear to be in 1919 against the Bolseviks. HMS Vindictive sailed with 12 aircraft on board, which included 2F1 Camels, Strutters, Short 184s and Grain Griffins, despite the fact that the design complement was 4 aircraft, and the operational establishment was 2 fighters and four spotters. Vindictive had been used for trials of the Griffin, which explains why it/they were included.
 
Vindictive left Russia in late December 1919. It then went to Portsmouth for a £200,000 refit, largely to repair damage resulting from running aground on 6 July 1919. Work was not completed until 1921. In 1923-25 Vindictive was reconverted to a cruiser, but retained its forward hangar.
 
Vindictive's aircraft were operated mostly from land in Russia, except for the 30 July 1919 raid on Kronstadt.
 
Stuart Culley is noted as flying Camel N6612 (bombing Petrograd 6.10.1919) and N7106 (bombing a Bolshevik destroyer 16.10.1919).
 
RAF use of the 2F1 Camel after the Russian intervention seems to have been limited to 203 Squadron. This reformed at Leuchars on 1.3.1920 with Camels. These remained in service until August 1922 when they were replaced with Nightjars. Aircraft involved included N6757, N7355, N7361, N7366 (which appears to have been in service until 6.10.1922 - the latest service date found) and N8191 (though the Camel File has the latter as 205 Squadron, which I believe is a typo).
Nick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2010 at 08:27
Non-Obsolete (Naval) Aircraft on RAF Charge 31.12.1919
(source RAF Serials J1-J9999 & WW1 Survivors, Air-Britain)
Aircraft based in UK, unless noted otherwise
 
Fairey IIIC - 24
Felixstowe F2A - 128
Felixstowe F3 - 99 (+ 21 on Malta)
Felixstowe F5 - 38
NT2B - 103
Parnall Panther - 27
Short 184 - 220 (+ 11 in Middle East, + 30 in Malta)
Sopwith 2F1 Camel - 179
Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter - 39
Sopwith Cuckoo - 176
Misc - 3
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2010 at 09:03
There is a noted lack of investment in naval aviation in the first few years of the RAF, probably because most of the Admiralty initiatives did not directly support the role of the RAF on the Western Front. The lower priority of naval aviation can be seen in 1918 with the development of the Sopwith Cuckoo.
 
Arguably the priority for the RAF in the 1920s was colonial policing (aeroplanes were cheaper than battalions of infantry), and so 'Army Co-op' aircraft were the favoured type (Brisfit, Ninak, Wapiti, Wallace etc).
 
There was a lack of fighters inthe RAF generally in the 1920s. 111 Squadron, reformed in 1923, was not up to strength as a unit with a standard type until the end of 1925. The squadron's Grebe II flight seems to have consisted of no more than two 2-seaters, and the Snipe flight had only three aircraft !
 
In this context, the navy was doing very well to get any new aircraft at all, let alone Nightjars and Plovers, and then Flycatchers. One must remember, also, that the seaborne naval air arm at the end of WW1 was not confined to fixed wing and seaplane carriers, as major warships had flying off platforms fitted to gun turrets. As they had no 'flying on' platforms this does indicate a commitment to a high level of wastage...
 
My understanding is that the Snipe was considered rather 'sedate' compared to the Camel, and did not offer the improvement of performance hoped for. Whether it was the right type to choose for production is an interesting point to consider, though the emphasis at this point was more volume than the further development of new types, and in this context the Snipe was probably the best contender.
 
Other Snipe competitors were presented as possible naval scouts, but none were considered to offer such an increase in performance to switch production away from the 2F1.
 Nick 
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Adrian Roberts View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adrian Roberts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2010 at 01:07
Well, we know some Camel pilots had reservations about the Snipe, so perhaps its not so surprising.
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