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Aircraft comparison - anecdotal evidence


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#1 SYN_Vander

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:27

Hi all,

First, the purpose of this post is not to beat a dead horse (again! ), but to get a better understanding of relative performance of the aircraft in WW1. I have assembled a couple of quotes I came across from which we can derive at least relative performance.
If you have anything to add, please share and I will add it to the list. I'm also very interested in quotes from German pilots.

Please no FM discussions here. Moderators are free to remove such posts!

Here is the current list: https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing


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#2 Demon_

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 12:21

:S!:
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#3 huntertastic

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 12:26

Nice work Vander, thanks for posting :S!:
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#4 Gump

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 16:33

i haven't been here all that long, but i've noticed that most of the dogfighting in this game occurs at very low altitude. even when it starts higher, it often survives long enough to get low.
… i wonder how the relative performance of our game aircraft would change if most dogfights were higher? the sim doesn't incorporate the concerns that RL had about being low, so we do business there which, even in real life, would affect the relative performance of aircraft.
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#5 SYN_Vander

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:27

i haven't been here all that long, but i've noticed that most of the dogfighting in this game occurs at very low altitude. even when it starts higher, it often survives long enough to get low.
… i wonder how the relative performance of our game aircraft would change if most dogfights were higher? the sim doesn't incorporate the concerns that RL had about being low, so we do business there which, even in real life, would affect the relative performance of aircraft.

In Vintage Missions we see high altitude fights online regularly. Unfortunately, they do not always reflect the above statements. Anyway, we can use more data for now.
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#6 Thaatu

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 18:13

If someone wants to edit the list for me, here's one I found especially interesting. Leutnant Helmuth Dilthey's (of Jasta 27) account of Albatros D.V vs. Sopwith Triplane on 24 July 1917, describing BnZ tactics, prop hanging and plane disintegrating in mid-air:

"I was ordered, with two other machines, to keep enemy aeroplanes far from the frontlines and to protect our own flyers there. At the frontlines I encountered seven Sopwith (biplane) single-seaters that withdrew as I turned towards them at about the same altitude. After that, above them appeared three triplanes, [employing] … what was for them the usual and … relatively safe tactic of diving down on us from above, firing, but before coming close, pulling up … Thanks to their tremendous climbing ability, [they] were once again immediately several hundred meters above us. After this manoeuvre, one of them flew by us and off to the side. I also pulled right up and fired at him … until my machine side-slipped, which occurred after a short time as I had to put my machine into an extremely steep angle in order to get the higher flying triplane in my gun-sight.
Just as my machine went into a side-slip … I caught it again, I thought: "He was, of course, probably too high to hit and the time was too short." Then I saw individual pieces of the aeroplane falling by me … I recognised the British cockade. I made note of the place where the main piece fell, which took a relatively long time, and then gathered again … the other members of my swarm."

From Peter Kilduff's "Hermann Göring: Fighter Ace" (pp. 112), translated and quoted from Helmuth Dilthey's "In der Staffel Göring" (pp. 211-212).
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#7 ciki

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 04:10

Excellent post, Vader !
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#8 SYN_Vander

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 05:45

If someone wants to edit the list for me, here's one I found especially interesting. Leutnant Helmuth Dilthey's (of Jasta 27) account of Albatros D.V vs. Sopwith Triplane on 24 July 1917, describing BnZ tactics, prop hanging and plane disintegrating in mid-air:

"I was ordered, with two other machines, to keep enemy aeroplanes far from the frontlines and to protect our own flyers there. At the frontlines I encountered seven Sopwith (biplane) single-seaters that withdrew as I turned towards them at about the same altitude. After that, above them appeared three triplanes, [employing] … what was for them the usual and … relatively safe tactic of diving down on us from above, firing, but before coming close, pulling up … Thanks to their tremendous climbing ability, [they] were once again immediately several hundred meters above us. After this manoeuvre, one of them flew by us and off to the side. I also pulled right up and fired at him … until my machine side-slipped, which occurred after a short time as I had to put my machine into an extremely steep angle in order to get the higher flying triplane in my gun-sight.
Just as my machine went into a side-slip … I caught it again, I thought: "He was, of course, probably too high to hit and the time was too short." Then I saw individual pieces of the aeroplane falling by me … I recognised the British cockade. I made note of the place where the main piece fell, which took a relatively long time, and then gathered again … the other members of my swarm."

From Peter Kilduff's "Hermann Göring: Fighter Ace" (pp. 112), translated and quoted from Helmuth Dilthey's "In der Staffel Göring" (pp. 211-212).

This is a great piece, but I'm looking for direct comparisons of performance. What I can read from this text is that the Albatros pilot probably considered the Triplane to be the better climber, but that is not sure since it was "zooming" after a dive. Not sure if I can add this to the list.
It is great to read though, because this type of fight is exactly what often happens in mp!
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#9 SeaW0lf

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 06:19

Here is some interesting one, from McCudden:

At 17,000 feet, on looking west I saw a Hun very high over Péronne, and so I remained east of him, climbing steadily. After 15 minutes I got up to his level at 18,200 feet over Péronne. He now saw me and climbed for a little while trying to outclimb me, but he could not, for my machine was still going up well; but had we both been at 19,000 feet instead of 18,000 he could have outclimbed me, for the Rumplers at 20,000 are extremely efficient with their heavily-cambered wing, whereas the S.E. at that height, although it is fast, has not much climb on account of its flat wing section. However, I was now up at the Rumpler's height, and he tried to run for it.

I soon got into position but found that he was every bit as fast as I was, although I was able to keep up with him, because as he swerved to allow his gunner to fire at me, he lost a certain amount of speed. I fought him down from 18,000 to 8,000 feet and he tried hard to save his life, but after a final burst from both my machineguns his right-hand wings fell off and I very nearly flew into them.

The Rumpler's wreckage fell in our lines at Contescourt, west of St. Quentin.

(…) On returning to the aerodrome I was very pleased with things, so after having had lunch I led my patrol towards the lines at about 2pm. Whilst on the way at 14,000 feet over Fins, I saw a Rumpler coming towards us from the lines. He did not see us until too late, and then turned away. I caught up with him, got my firing position, and fired a good long burst from both guns, after which the Hun went down in a steep right-hand spiral, and crashed in our lines near Gouzaucourt.


(Flying Fury - James McCudden).
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#10 SeaW0lf

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 06:28

Which later on prompted him to tune his engine:

ALTERING A CHASER

In the Squadron workshops I was now having a Hispano engine fitted with high-compression pistons, for I wanted more power. Lately I had noticed that up over 16,000 feet the German Rumplers were every bit as fast as my machine and had a better climb, so I made enquiries and found that the Rumplers' increased performance during the last month or so was due to the fact that most of them were now fitted with 285hp. Maybach engines in place of the 260hp; Mercedes, and their performance had markedly increased.

Therefore I resolved that I should catch them some-how, and I very soon procured a set of high-compression pistons, such as are used in the newer sorts of engine. At this time my new high-compression engine was nearly ready, and I was very keen to get it going, and then go up and see the Rumpler pilots' hair stand on end as I climbed past them like a helicopter.

On January 28th my machine was ready, having been fitted with my special high-compression pistons, and as the engine gave many more revolutions on the test bench than did the standard 200hp. Hispano, my hopes of surpassing the Maybach-Rumpler looked like materializing.

(…) The morning was pleasant and I left the ground at 9.30 a.m. As soon as I opened the throttle I could feel the increase in power as the fuselage at my back pressed me forward hard in its endeavor to go ahead quickly. After I had left the ground, the increase of my machine's climb was very apparent, and although I will not mention exact figures, I was up to 10,000 feet in a little more in minutes than there are days in the week. After that morning's patrol, during which I had several indecisive fights, I knew that my machine was now a good deal superior to anything the enemy had in the air, and I was very pleased that my experiment, of which I had entirely taken the responsibility, had proved an absolute success.


(Flying Fury - James McCudden).
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#11 JoeCrow

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 17:45

DH2 v Fokker E1.

1.The Fokkers tried to keep away from us because they knew that we outmanoeuvre them. We put them out of business. The excitement of a dogfight was very considerable. The odds were that you would be killed, or you would kill the other chap, and those were pretty big odds to deal with, but as a rule, the Germans would try to disappear. Gwilym Lewis, 32 squadron, 1916.

2.We could take on the Fokker singly in the DH2, because we had better manoeuverability and better diving power. I could always get a good height, being lighter than some others. And that, of course, was the whole secret - to be above the other bloke. Because you could always translate height into speed if you were coming down. The fact that it was faster on the level didn't really matter, as long as you could shove your nose down, which you could with the old DH2…The one thing a DH2 could do was dive like a brick. It fell out of the sky!: John Andrew, 24 squadron.


Love the comment about pilot weight influencing climbing ability…watch those donuts!
Cheers.
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#12 SYN_Vander

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 18:30

Do you have a source for the above citations?

Keep m coming by the way!
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#13 JoeCrow

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 18:34

Do you have a source for the above citations?

Keep m coming by the way!

I should have mentioned it - sorry.

'On a Wing and a Prayer'; Joshua Levine. (Collins).

(Excellent with shocking chapters on the mental health of airmen during WW1).
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#14 SeaW0lf

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 19:02

I just copyed my post from another thread, but you can edit, since some parts you posted already.

(…) But I still had over half an hour's patrol to do and I decided to try to join a Line Patrol. I was now at 7,000, much too low for a Pup, and I climbed northwards to 13,000, where I ran into a formation of five S.E.5s, but when I attempted to ease into position behind them, I found that they flew as fast as Albatroses, and soon left me behind.

It was copnfirmed as an SE5, not SE5a, about 205km/h at sea level and around 172km/h at 13.000ft: http://riseofflight....46225&mode=view" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">download/file.php?id=46225&mode=view

(…) and Pups get the top patrols because at these heights their light wing-loading confers the advantage over every other fighter, including the Albatros. And so, despite the cold and rare air, I admit I prefer to meet Huns at 17,000 feet upwards, for then we no longer fight at a disadvantage.

(…) We fire our guns to make sure they are warm. Mine isn't. Once more I have to load and re-load. Once more this slight exertion sets my heart thumping, and I can't say I feel ready for a fight. But Pratt is in no hurry to attack. He has worked out our tactics for just such a situation as this, to exploit the virtues of the lightly loaded Pup against the heavier Albatros, and he lets them go on climbing —the higher they are the better for us. At 20,000 the Pup can still fly, but the Albatros, when it gets there, can only wallow.

So although even at their present height we should still have the advantage in a dogfight, they are five to three, and we are at a better advantage if we use our height and lightness to shoot without being shot at. Thus Pratt does not intend to become embroiled in a dogfight, which is what they are seeking.

Now 1,000 feet below us, they are close enough to be identified as D-IIIs, all gaily painted as usual. But at 19,000 they have reached their useful ceiling. Two of them are a hundred feet higher than the rest, but all are hanging on their props, getting no higher, and looking absurdly like poodles sitting up for tit-bits. Pratt rocks his wings, the signal for attack, for there is no point in waiting longer.

They are watching us, and as we drop into a dive, they scatter. We slide down steeply towards them, and I fire a preliminary burst to make sure the gun is in action (…).


(Gould Lee - Open Cockpit)

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#15 SeaW0lf

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 19:59

A post from Husar in another thread:

Jasta 18 - The Red Noses. Paul Strahle (flying D V 4594/17)

Strahle wrote;
'In a tough dogfight lasting more than a quarter-of-an-hour, sometimes only a few feet off the ground, I fought the enemy scout as far as Ichteghem, where unfortunately I had to break off because my guns had jammed. For me this fight was the hottest and most exciting that I had in my whole fighting career. Apart from the good pilot, his machine was faster and more manoeuvrable (camel) than mine, to which must be added the low altitude, showers and rain. But for this I might have got him. Once I thought he would have to land, as he had a long trail of smoke, but it was not to be. I landed on the aerodrome at Ichteghem, where it was raining heavily.

'For the whole of the fight I had used full throttle (airspeed 200 km per hour), 1600 rpm. Three times we were down to ground level! His machine had a "5" next to the cockade on the left upper wing.' Strahle failed to receive confirmation for a victory in this contest, but in actuality he had wounded his opponent.

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#16 SeaW0lf

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 20:00

Another from Husar:

[Gould lee] "May 20th (Diary)

The gloom merchants in the Mess say that even the Pup is obsolescent. It’s been in service in France since October, and hasn’t a chance against the new Albatros D-III, except at 17,000 feet up. The gloomers also say that the average life of a scout pilot on the Arras Front is still under three weeks. A lot of bally hot air, they’re just trying to put the wind up us new boys."

"But six of us had amazingly outfought eight Albatri. Once more it was the height that enabled us to do it, the D-III just can’t turn as tightly as a Pup at 18,000"

"We had a good laugh at an article in one of today’s newspapers about the way the Huns paint their machines all the colours of the rainbow. They do it, wrote some Иexpert’, in order to give each other confidence. What drivel! They don’t need war-paint to give themselves confidence, they’ve got too much already, with their Albatros D-IIIs outclassing us on almost every count. The fact that nearly all Huns are coloured, while we’re chocolate-brown, is very useful in dog-fights, when your shooting is in split-second bursts, because you know instantly who is who…"

"Towards the end of 1916 this advantage was lost to the Halberstadt and the Albatros D-II, both with two guns firing through the propeller arc. Early in 1917 the even better Albatros D-III arrived, and this outclassed all British fighters except the Sopwith Triplane and, at very high altitudes only, the Sopwith Pup. But both these planes had only one gun. Newer, better-armed British fighters now arriving, potentially equal to the D-III, such as the S.E.5 and the Bristol F.2a two-seater, were at first ineffective because of technical shortcomings and tactical mishandling. Later, reinforced by the Sopwith two-gun Camel, whichwas to come into service in July, they were to bring the odds level"

"I’ve had to try the Camel’s tight right turn in combat, and it worked amazingly, I was on his tail almost at once. But he’d obviously met Camels previously, and before I’d fired twenty shots he’d reared up, done a half-roll, and vanished behind me. When I came to, the Huns were going east, and we chased after them. I fired 400 rounds, in a succession of bursts, but they drew out of range. The Camel isn’t as fast as it feels. It certainly slices through the air like a knife, but the D-V slices quicker"

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#17 SeaW0lf

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 20:10

Two posts from Panthera:

From Fokker DVII aces of WW1, Part one, Page 23 & 24.

[1]"Not only have we been operating in the "over-gas" throttle position almost constantly throughout aerial engagements, but also at low altitude, and without any damage to the engine."

[2]"Recently, a pilot, after being pressed down near a captive balloon, was attacked by some SPADs. He flew for over half an hour with the throttle in the "over gas" position and the motor at full revs (1500-1600 rpm) at a height of 100 metres, pursued by the SPADs. It was superior in rate to the SPADs. The engine ran smoothly and had not suffered in the slightest."

Also from French pilots:

"The triplane Fokker is disappearing little by little. The Fokker D VII (biplane) is reported by our pursuit pilots to be encountered frequently. It is an excellent machine, being better than the 180hp SPAD and equal to the 220hp SPAD in horizontal speed, and it is apparently able to climb faster, is extremely maneuverable and able to continue acrobacy at high altitudes of 5000 to 5500 metres."

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#18 JoeCrow

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 22:49

Rudolph Stark's first impression on exchanging his Albatros DVa for a Fokker Dr1:

At last we too are to get better machines - Fokker Triplanes. It is true that they are discarded machines of Jadgeschwader and therefore contain quite a lot of hidden snags, but that does not diminish our joy. Three of them have already turned up. There is great competition as to who is to fly them, and finally we let the dice decide.
At first we find these new machines a bit strange to fly. But they are extremely sensitive to the controls and rise up like a lift. You climb a few hundred metres in the twinkling of a second and can then go round and round one spot like a top. The rotary engine takes some learning before you can manage it, and it is rather a difficult business at first. But it is not long before we are all at home in them, and everyone wants to be flying a 'Tripe' when an English bombing squadron comes across.


Wings of War: Rudolph Stark.
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#19 SeaW0lf

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 00:05

Rudolph Stark's first impression on exchanging his Albatros DVa for a Fokker Dr1:

At last we too are to get better machines - Fokker Triplanes. It is true that they are discarded machines of Jadgeschwader and therefore contain quite a lot of hidden snags, but that does not diminish our joy. Three of them have already turned up. There is great competition as to who is to fly them, and finally we let the dice decide.
At first we find these new machines a bit strange to fly. But they are extremely sensitive to the controls and rise up like a lift. You climb a few hundred metres in the twinkling of a second and can then go round and round one spot like a top. The rotary engine takes some learning before you can manage it, and it is rather a difficult business at first. But it is not long before we are all at home in them, and everyone wants to be flying a 'Tripe' when an English bombing squadron comes across.


Wings of War: Rudolph Stark.

Cool, JoeCrow.

—–edit—–
I looked for the book and they are not for sale. I mean, there is a couple copies for a thousand pounds :o
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#20 SYN_Vander

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 09:51

Two posts from Panthera:

From Fokker DVII aces of WW1, Part one, Page 23 & 24.

[1]"Not only have we been operating in the "over-gas" throttle position almost constantly throughout aerial engagements, but also at low altitude, and without any damage to the engine."

[2]"Recently, a pilot, after being pressed down near a captive balloon, was attacked by some SPADs. He flew for over half an hour with the throttle in the "over gas" position and the motor at full revs (1500-1600 rpm) at a height of 100 metres, pursued by the SPADs. It was superior in rate to the SPADs. The engine ran smoothly and had not suffered in the slightest."

Also from French pilots:

"The triplane Fokker is disappearing little by little. The Fokker D VII (biplane) is reported by our pursuit pilots to be encountered frequently. It is an excellent machine, being better than the 180hp SPAD and equal to the 220hp SPAD in horizontal speed, and it is apparently able to climb faster, is extremely maneuverable and able to continue acrobacy at high altitudes of 5000 to 5500 metres."

That last quote, where is it from?
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#21 actionjoe

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 12:59

It is from Osprey Aviation Elite USAS 1st Pursuit Group.
It is a report sent to the Group on 3rd July 1918, by the VI (french) Armée.
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#22 SYN_Vander

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 13:56

It is from Osprey Aviation Elite USAS 1st Pursuit Group.
It is a report sent to the Group on 3rd July 1918, by the VI (french) Armée.

Thanks!

Most of the previous quotes have been added to the list. I try to use only quotes that say something specific about performance (figures).

https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">https://docs.google....spreadsheets/d/ … sp=sharing
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#23 SeaW0lf

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 15:31

Two posts from Panthera:

From Fokker DVII aces of WW1, Part one, Page 23 & 24.

[1]"Not only have we been operating in the "over-gas" throttle position almost constantly throughout aerial engagements, but also at low altitude, and without any damage to the engine."

[2]"Recently, a pilot, after being pressed down near a captive balloon, was attacked by some SPADs. He flew for over half an hour with the throttle in the "over gas" position and the motor at full revs (1500-1600 rpm) at a height of 100 metres, pursued by the SPADs. It was superior in rate to the SPADs. The engine ran smoothly and had not suffered in the slightest."

Also from French pilots:

"The triplane Fokker is disappearing little by little. The Fokker D VII (biplane) is reported by our pursuit pilots to be encountered frequently. It is an excellent machine, being better than the 180hp SPAD and equal to the 220hp SPAD in horizontal speed, and it is apparently able to climb faster, is extremely maneuverable and able to continue acrobacy at high altitudes of 5000 to 5500 metres."

That last quote, where is it from?

I'll PM him to ask, but it seems to be from the same From Fokker DVII aces of WW1. But it is in the following post.
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#24 J.j.

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 17:38

Also from French pilots:

"The triplane Fokker is disappearing little by little. The Fokker D VII (biplane) is reported by our pursuit pilots to be encountered frequently. It is an excellent machine, being better than the 180hp SPAD and equal to the 220hp SPAD in horizontal speed, and it is apparently able to climb faster, is extremely maneuverable and able to continue acrobacy at high altitudes of 5000 to 5500 metres."

Well, regarding this, I've never seen anywhere informations about which type of Fokker DVII the report is refering too… It might refer to a Fokker DVIIF, not a "simple" Fokker DVII Mercedes.
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#25 actionjoe

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 18:19

There were already Fokker DVIIf in June 1918?
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#26 LukeFF

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 18:47

There were already Fokker DVIIf in June 1918?

There were a small number of them, yes.
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#27 ciki

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 22:16

James Norman Hall on SPAD VII:

In chasse, unless you are sent out on a definite mission, protecting photographic machines or avions de bombardement, you are absolutely on your own. Your job is to patrol the lines. If a man is built that way, he can loaf on the job. He need never have a fight. At two hundred kilometres an hour, it won't take him very long to get out of danger. He stays out his two hours and comes in with some framed-up tale to account for his disappearance: 'Got lost. Went off by himself into Germany. Had motor trouble; gun jammed, and went back to arm it.' He may even spray a few bullets toward Germany and call it a combat. Oh, he can find plenty of excuses, and he can get away with them
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#28 SeaW0lf

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 07:09

Fokker DVII vs three Bristols

These British two-seat fighters were frequently assigned to attack our frontline positions. The trio that carne before my muzzle this day were a "line patrol", in which inexperienced aircrews were familiarized with the make-up and peculiarities of the Front. When breaking in a new crew over enemy lines, two or more experienced pilots would take a third in their midst and with this novice, known as a Häschen [young hare] in our flying circles, make their way carefully over the Front. In attacking the three British "tourists", I needed to catch the Häschen by surprise.

So I used the intervening time to climb to a more advantageous altitude, away from the approaching British aircraft. Three single-seat fighters would have been a good day's work, but three two-seaters each equipped with an able gunner in the rear cockpit - required special effort.

I waited for the trio to turn and then, from my higher position and with the rising sun at my back, I pounced on one machine that carne out of the turn slightly out of formation and a bit behind the others. It seemed to be the most favorable target.


Carl Degelow (Black Fokker Leader)
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#29 SeaW0lf

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 07:17

Peter Kilduff – The following day, 3 October [1918], brought Jasta 40 face-to-face with French Spad S.VII fighters. Degelow recalled:

At this point in the war, our encounters were almost exclusively with British aeroplanes, as they were largely responsible for contending with us on the Flanders Sector. That was quite a change from a year earlier, when the celebrated French ace Capitaine Georges Guynemer and his "Stork" Escadrille were part of the Allied air effort. At that time, French aircraft appeared in great numbers all along the Front. In 1918 we did not see the abundance of French aircraft that we had previously and so we tended to look down on the Frenchies. We felt they simply "lurked" along the frontlines, while their cousins from across the Channel took the leading part in the attempt to achieve mastery of the air. As may be imagined, we were anxious to test our fine Fokkers against their vaunted Spads. Our opportunity carne soon enough.

Dark black shell bursts at about 1,000 metres altitude announced that our antiaircraft batteries had sighted a pack of enemy fighters out hunting in the vicinity of the Belgian town of Roulers. At the time we spotted the enemy, our Staffel had reached an altitude of about 3,500 metres. Therefore, we had a good overview of the enemy situation and could calmly prepare the appropriate attack strategy. The man up high always had the advantage, as he could cut off the opponents escape route. Right off, I took aim at the enemy formation leader, who, having spotted us, headed as quickly as possible for his own lines. But I was soon right on his heels and I clearly recognized the red, white and blue cockades of France on the wings of his Spad.

The pilot suddenly turned around in his seat. Yet I still did not fire, remembering the rule: "You can never be too close." At this moment, his Spad and my Fokker D.VII were travelling at the same speed, quickly approaching the lines, where he might find salvation. The target filled my gun-sight. I fired both machine guns – tak-tak-tak-tak – and in an instant the Spad caught fire. It quickly broke up along the way and crashed on the edge of Roulers.

The next knight of the air tried to take his leave through aerial artistry, which did not work. He was sent spinning down out of control. One of my Staffel comrades, my left wingman, let the third one slip away. It was now left to the last man of the Spad formation to bring home the bad news about the ill-fated fight.


Carl Degelow (Black Fokker Leader)
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#30 SeaW0lf

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 07:43

When we got as far as Cambrai [november 1917, after Cambrai offensive], we dived down on a formation of Albatroses whom I had just seen going down on Mayberry's formation, who were very low over Cambrai, and for the next few minutes we had a regular dog-fight, in which Mayberry lost a good fellow named Dodds. We eventually had to run for it, and again the S.E.s' wonderful good speed stood us in good stead and enabled us to get clear. After this, we flew home.

James McCudden (Flying Fury)
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#31 SeaW0lf

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:05

At this period up on the Ypres sector [september 1917], the German Scout pilots as a rule were undoubtedly good, and one met a larger proportion of skilful pilots up there than I have ever come across elsewhere on the front from La Fere to the sea. Of course, the Albatros Scout, type D.5, was undoubtedly good, but at the same time prisoners said that the German pilots considered the S.E.5 a most formidable fighting machine.

James McCudden (Flying Fury)

***

[september 1917] I now had a look round, and could see no sign of an Allied machine anywhere, so I went down into the clouds, and on coming out of the clouds at about 9,000 feet saw another layer of cloud below me and an Albatros Scout flying south in between two large banks of clouds.

"By Jove!" I thought, "here's a sitter!" so down I went. I had almost fired when "cack, cack, cack, cack," carne from behind, and I looked over my shoulder and saw three red noses coming for me. I at once dived through the clouds and saw I was just east of Menin, and a very strong west wind was blowing. I very quickly got free from close range, and by the time I crossed our lines over Frelinghien, near Armentières, at 3,000 feet, the Huns were a good mile behind, so in about eight miles straight j flight I had increased my lead from one hundred yards to a mile.


James McCudden (Flying Fury)

***

On November 5th [1917] I went to Hendon with Captain Clive Collett to fly a V-strutter Albatros which he had for demonstration purposes, and I had a nice ride in it, but I could not think how the German pilots could maneuver them so well, for they were certainly not easy to handle. The Albatros which Collett flew was the one that was flown by the Hun Sergeant-Major when he was driven down in our lines by three Spads of another squadron.

James McCudden (Flying Fury)
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#32 SeaW0lf

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:24

I forgot how many good data McCudden's memoirs have… Later on I'll post his impressions over the Pup / Albatros.
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#33 SYN_Vander

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:42

Yes, that part about outdistancing the albies is very interesting. If I calculate correctly, his S.E.5a was 13% faster than those Albatroses at 3000ft. I assume he flew a S.E.5a and the Germans DVs given the date.
Using the store page numbers for the S.E.5a (210 km/hr) would produce a topspeed of 186 km/hr at 1000 m for the Albatros DV. I say top speed since the Mercedes engine's pre-set mixture setting would normally give max (relative) power at that altitude? Numbers are not very accurate since they depend on how well McCudden could estimate distance. Perhaps the Albies were not flying 1 mile behind him, but 800 yards? Or 1 mile 200 yards? Still, an interesting ball-park figure.


Just had a look at the RoF store page numbers for the Albatros DVa. 170 km/h top speed is just crazy!
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#34 Waxworks

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 11:29

Kurt Jentsch related in Fliers Under Fire how he joined Jasta Boelcke in August 1918 and was able to test their captured SPAD, which had no starter and had to be swung on:

'The Spad sat in the air wonderfully and responded to the slightest touch of the controls. In addition, the engine ran without knocking because of its fine 'V' form. This is why these craft sit quietly in the air, there is not any swinging back and forth as with our aircraft, which is caused by the type of construction of the stationary German motors.'

'In wing performance, the Spad towers over our aircraft. The loops and banks flown by me confirmed my assumptions in the end. A light went on in my head, why the first attack by a Spad is always so dangerous: they can hardly miss with the smooth conditions of the aircraft and the marvellous field of fire. Our combat pilots at the controls of their Spads would virtually mean the end of the enemy air forces.'

'As a result of the landing skid which stands vertically, I had to make a landing by wheel. The Spad requires a comparatively long taxi; however the Chambry airfield offered no difficulties in this regard.'

[quoted in the Franks history of Jasta 2]
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#35 JoeCrow

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 13:35

Yes, that part about outdistancing the albies is very interesting. If I calculate correctly, his S.E.5a was 13% faster than those Albatroses at 3000ft. I assume he flew a S.E.5a and the Germans DVs given the date.
Using the store page numbers for the S.E.5a (210 km/hr) would produce a topspeed of 186 km/hr at 1000 m for the Albatros DV. I say top speed since the Mercedes engine's pre-set mixture setting would normally give max (relative) power at that altitude? Numbers are not very accurate since they depend on how well McCudden could estimate distance. Perhaps the Albies were not flying 1 mile behind him, but 800 yards? Or 1 mile 200 yards? Still, an interesting ball-park figure.


Just had a look at the RoF store page numbers for the Albatros DVa. 170 km/h top speed is just crazy!

The problem is often compounded by the fact that speed is just another form of energy, so we would also have to assume, for comparison purposes, that the aircraft are all at co-energy, co-altitude and in level-flight throughout, which is a configuration that very rarely happens in combat. It is probably better to take these reports at face value and not try to read too much into them.

Great thread!
Cheers.
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#36 SeaW0lf

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 16:17

Yes, that part about outdistancing the albies is very interesting. If I calculate correctly, his S.E.5a was 13% faster than those Albatroses at 3000ft. I assume he flew a S.E.5a and the Germans DVs given the date.
Using the store page numbers for the S.E.5a (210 km/hr) would produce a topspeed of 186 km/hr at 1000 m for the Albatros DV. I say top speed since the Mercedes engine's pre-set mixture setting would normally give max (relative) power at that altitude? Numbers are not very accurate since they depend on how well McCudden could estimate distance. Perhaps the Albies were not flying 1 mile behind him, but 800 yards? Or 1 mile 200 yards? Still, an interesting ball-park figure.


Just had a look at the RoF store page numbers for the Albatros DVa. 170 km/h top speed is just crazy!

In a way, McCudden's estimate matches the speed given to the Albatros by Gould Lee, when he encountered the early SE5 and tried to follow them in a Pup (page 2 of the thread). In Gould Lee numbers, the Albatros would fly around 196km/h at sea level. In anecdotal terms, I consider it a technical draw, which reinforces the data of both pilots.

We should at least have a more powerful DVa than the DIII. But they both should have a significant speed bump, which also makes sense with Udet's classic dogfight with a Spad VII (?), perhaps with a 150hp engine? Otherwise, if the Albatros was the slime we have in the game, Georges Guynemer, or whoever it was, would boom and zoom him to death and not turn fight in a classical match.

It all makes sense.
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#37 Thaatu

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 11:34

D.III's speed is at least in the ball park, so if the current D.Va was re-designated as the original D.V and a D.Va with the upgraded engine was produced, the whole Albatros family would be a lot more coherent. The more I think about it, the better the current Fokker D.VII attributes fit D.Va. And apparently there's a magic trick with which FM's can be switched from plane to plane, so…

Yup, no FM talk. :|
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#38 SYN_Vander

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:00

D.III's speed is at least in the ball park, so if the current D.Va was re-designated as the original D.V and a D.Va with the upgraded engine was produced, the whole Albatros family would be a lot more coherent. The more I think about it, the better the current Fokker D.VII attributes fit D.Va. And apparently there's a magic trick with which FM's can be switched from plane to plane, so…

Yup, no FM talk. :|

Yes, well I started it myself I'm afraid! :oops:

Back to " data" gathering!
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#39 JoeCrow

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 16:55

D.III's speed is at least in the ball park, so if the current D.Va was re-designated as the original D.V and a D.Va with the upgraded engine was produced, the whole Albatros family would be a lot more coherent. The more I think about it, the better the current Fokker D.VII attributes fit D.Va. And apparently there's a magic trick with which FM's can be switched from plane to plane, so…

Yup, no FM talk. :|

Yes, well I started it myself I'm afraid! :oops:

Back to " data" gathering!

:D
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#40 SeaW0lf

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 04:40

I must say that the Albatros [D.I] scout, when climbing steeply, is a very comic sight, for normally it flies rather tail low, and when it is up about 12,000 feet climbing at 6o m.p.h., at which speed they do climb efficiently, it always gives me the impression of a small dog begging.

(James McCudden - december 27th 1916)
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