Lincoln-built Sopwith Camel from the First World War is restored to its former glory
A FIRST World War fighter aircraft built in Lincoln is now on display in a museum after its restoration – in Poland.
The single-seater Sopwith Camel F1 biplane, serial number B7280, was made by city firm Clayton & Shuttleworth.
It was being flown by Captain Herbert Patey on September 5, 1918, when he was shot down behind German lines in Belgium.
Patey survived his crash-landing and was taken prisoner.
10% OFF the latest colours. Call us by the 24th June to book and mention this voucher when you call. All initial consulations are FREE.
Terms: Book by the 24th June to receive this offer can be taken until 30/9/2013. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. see in salon for further T's & C's
Contact: 01522 305497
Valid until: Monday, June 24 2013
The Germans then repaired his aircraft and flew it until the end of the war when it was taken to Berlin and exhibited in an air museum.
It was moved to Poland for safekeeping when Berlin suffered heavy bombing during the Second World War and put into storage.
In September 2007 the Echo learned the basic shell of B7280 was at the Polish Aviation Museum, in Krakow, where it was being restored.
Now, the transformation is almost complete, with only some minor work required, including on the wheels and windscreen.
Industrial historian and author Stephen Pullen, 43, of North Greetwell, said it was encouraging to see a piece of Lincoln's aviation industry preserved.
"It is nice that they have saved it and in years to come perhaps it could be made to fly," said Mr Pullen, who is the editor of Heritage Commercials Magazine.
"It's good that in this day and age and in a time of cut backs and recession the restoration has continued."
Captain Patey gained 11 victories and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
He was released by the Germans and returned home in December 1918, but died in the flu epidemic the following February.
Andy Kemp, a member of First World War aviation heritage charity Cross & Cockade International, said the group was delighted the museum had seen fit to restore such a historically significant aircraft.
He said: "We look forward to seeing the story of the restoration published, including all the original detail that will undoubtedly have come to light during the process."
Lincoln's biggest manufacturer of Sopwith Camels was Ruston Proctor & Co Ltd.
Ruston archivist Ray Hooley, who lives in North Hykeham, said: "Few Lincolnians know that Lincoln was a major aircraft production centre in the First World War.
"Clayton & Shuttleeworth also produced 46 of the war's largest aircraft – the Handley-Page 0/400 bomber.
"Other aircraft builders in Lincoln included Robeys – and Marshalls at Gainsborough."