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This model represents the 80 horsepower Le Rhône 9C motor fit to many Sopwith Camel fighters of World War I. Le Rhône 9C engines were built by Société des Moteurs Le Rhône, "Gnome et Rhône", in France and produced under license in Great Britain by W.H. Allen Son & Company of Bedford.
The Le Rhône 9C was succeeded by the slightly more pwerful Le Rhône 9J which will be made available separately. From Wikipedia: "The main visual difference between the 9J and the earlier, less powerful Le Rhône 9C engine is that the copper intake manifold tubing (with round section lower ends) on the 110 hp 9J is attached to the crankcase behind the cylinders, whereas on the 9C (80 hp) the intake manifolds (with rectangular lower ends) are fully visible from the front."
From the National Air and Space Museum (USA): "The Societe des Moteurs Gnome et Rhône built the Le Rhône Model I to power a variety of combat aircraft during World War 1, including the Nieuport 23, Hanriot HD.1 , SPAD A.2, Nieuport Triplane, [Sopwith Pup, Sopwith Camel] and Sopwith Triplane. The Model J is most famous for its connection to the Nieuport 17, the French fighter ﬂown by aces Rene Fonck, William Bishop, Charles Nungesser, Albert Ball, and Georges Guynemer. The engine’s success prompted the Germans to try to salvage and duplicate Le Rhônes from downed French and British ﬁghters. Many salvaged Le Rhônes and their German-built copies saw service in such fighters as the Fokker Dr.1 Triplane..."
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