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Aircraft comparison - anecdotal evidence


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#121 Waxworks

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 15:27

'Our 110 hp Clerget-engined 11/2-Strutters' top speed in full war trim was 95 mph at 1325 rpm at low heights. With these low compression engines our speed fell rapidly as we climbed and at 10,000 to 12,000 feet (our usual operating height) it dropped to about 80 mph.' p76 Into The Blue Norman Macmillan

'The various types of this make with which the squadron was at different times equipped- 15, 16, 17, 21, 24 and 29- showed a continuous improvement in performance, though all had the same engine, 110 h.p. Le Rhone, which itself was modified slightly and convertyed into a 120 h.p. engine by the substitution of aluminium for cast-iron pistons… In conclusion, the Silver Nieuport was a good machine to fight in, but a bad one for running away of for catching a faint-hearted enemy, as its best speed, even near the ground, rarely exceeded ninety-six or ninety-seven miles per hour.' p38 Sixty Squadron R.A.F. A.J.L. Scott

'But there the similarities ended, for the "Dolphin" was more maneuverable than the old Spad and was generally a tougher aircraft; that is, it could sustain more combat damage and still hold together.' p63 Thats My Bloody Plane Cecil Montgomery-Moore

'Three days later I went solo in an Albatros D.V for half an hour and a Fokker D.VII for 20 minutes. I found the Albatros to be the most beautiful plane; you could just rest your finger on the joystick and you could do anything you wanted with it. The Albatros wasn't as powerful as the Fokker, but it was fine enough. The dreaded Fokker was in a class by itself.' p131 Thats My Bloody Plane Cecil Montgomery-Moore

'After lunch we all went to the Depot to examine a captured Albatros scout and witness its performance against a Camel and a Triplane. Casey flew the Albatros (160 hp Mercedes), Le Mesurier the Triplane and Allen the Camel. The Albatros was outclassed for speed and climb but manoeuvred well and doubtless in the hands of an Albatros expert would have shown up better.' p60 In The Teeth Of The Wind C P O Bartlett

'Laterally it was quite light, but when I steepened the turn and tried to pull the machine around with the elevator it seemed very heavy, putting up a resistance to the turn. I could see why the Albatros pilots kept out of the close duelling turns… Then I let the nose go down. The speed built up steadily, giving me the impression that the heavy Albatros would go on accelerating indefinitely, drawn on by the power of its engine, unopposed by the beautiful, streamlined fuselage. It was fast, and that was obvious. As far as I could judge, its maximum speed was about 125 mph; perhaps a little more.' Sopwith Scout 7309 Patrick Gordon Taylor
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#122 SYN_Vander

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 16:38

'Our 110 hp Clerget-engined 11/2-Strutters' top speed in full war trim was 95 mph at 1325 rpm at low heights. With these low compression engines our speed fell rapidly as we climbed and at 10,000 to 12,000 feet (our usual operating height) it dropped to about 80 mph.' p76 Into The Blue Norman Macmillan

'The various types of this make with which the squadron was at different times equipped- 15, 16, 17, 21, 24 and 29- showed a continuous improvement in performance, though all had the same engine, 110 h.p. Le Rhone, which itself was modified slightly and convertyed into a 120 h.p. engine by the substitution of aluminium for cast-iron pistons… In conclusion, the Silver Nieuport was a good machine to fight in, but a bad one for running away of for catching a faint-hearted enemy, as its best speed, even near the ground, rarely exceeded ninety-six or ninety-seven miles per hour.' p38 Sixty Squadron R.A.F. A.J.L. Scott

'But there the similarities ended, for the "Dolphin" was more maneuverable than the old Spad and was generally a tougher aircraft; that is, it could sustain more combat damage and still hold together.' p63 Thats My Bloody Plane Cecil Montgomery-Moore

'Three days later I went solo in an Albatros D.V for half an hour and a Fokker D.VII for 20 minutes. I found the Albatros to be the most beautiful plane; you could just rest your finger on the joystick and you could do anything you wanted with it. The Albatros wasn't as powerful as the Fokker, but it was fine enough. The dreaded Fokker was in a class by itself.' p131 Thats My Bloody Plane Cecil Montgomery-Moore

'After lunch we all went to the Depot to examine a captured Albatros scout and witness its performance against a Camel and a Triplane. Casey flew the Albatros (160 hp Mercedes), Le Mesurier the Triplane and Allen the Camel. The Albatros was outclassed for speed and climb but manoeuvred well and doubtless in the hands of an Albatros expert would have shown up better.' p60 In The Teeth Of The Wind C P O Bartlett

'Laterally it was quite light, but when I steepened the turn and tried to pull the machine around with the elevator it seemed very heavy, putting up a resistance to the turn. I could see why the Albatros pilots kept out of the close duelling turns… Then I let the nose go down. The speed built up steadily, giving me the impression that the heavy Albatros would go on accelerating indefinitely, drawn on by the power of its engine, unopposed by the beautiful, streamlined fuselage. It was fast, and that was obvious. As far as I could judge, its maximum speed was about 125 mph; perhaps a little more.' Sopwith Scout 7309 Patrick Gordon Taylor

Wow! Interesting new accounts, specially those last two, although they seem to contradict each other. What we may deduce from it at least is good roll rate (lateral control) for the Albatros.
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#123 ZachariasX

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 08:38

Yes, very interesting indeed, thank you for those references! But in first person accounts, I generally see a tendency of overly liking the flying qualities of the enemy plane and criticism with the own material. Like there is a kind of feeling that a newbie has on MP. No matter what the other guy is having as a ride, he's always "up there" and soon "behind oneself". There are fewer accounts where a pilot can fly types of both sides side by side.

In Cecil Lewis' account 'Sagittarius Rising' there is such a nice reference as well:

"It turned out that the Fokker had a rotary engine (the long black block of cylinder heads was the air- cooling barrel of the machine gun). Otherwise it was perfectly orthodox, and there remained only to put it up against a British scout to judge its performance. The Morane Bullet was chosen, and the two machines were run out on the aerodrome, side by side. All the General Staff assembled to watch the tests. Both machines took off together, and it was immediately clear that the Morane was all over the Fokker. It climbed quicker, it was faster on the level, and when the two machines began a mock fight over the aerodrome, the Morane had everything its own way. A cheer went up from the ground. The bogey was laid. A description of the machine, its size, power, capabilities, was circulated at once to every one in the Corps. It did a great deal to raise the morale and prepare the way for the Allied air supremacy later that year."

But one has to be careful always about who made such comparisons and for whom the report was intended. Few of those managing to fly different types were actually competent in knowing how to use it according to its strenghts. If they couldn't do that, a report concluded it was a crap plane. The russians were not impressed with the FW-190d (I should find that reference again..) the Americans thought the A variants of it being no good (about fairly the same speed and climb as the Hellcat and Corsair, but can't follow them in substained turns, so it's nothing to write home about. Eric Brown had a different view.

So I think the utterances of someone just back from combat have to be taken with a grain of salt. A lot of 'contradictions' might be arosen from such bias.

Z

Edit: The example of FW-190 performances I got from different reports on http://www.wwiiaircr...erformance.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.wwiiaircr...erformance.org/

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#124 Waxworks

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 16:53

I assume that the captured German machines must have been flown without their special petrol. However the account of flying the Albatros and Fokker is from after the war had finished, and not a report as such. RAF pilots had the opportunity to take up surrendered machines, though they had to beware acid-treated fuselages!

'Lt Oliver Stewart, fighting an Albatros with a Pup, reported: "I turned and turned and the Albatros turned with me, sometimes coming up to the Pup's tail so that I almost felt the gun in my back, but then falling behind as I held height. It was a terrifying circus…. All the time the turn had to be adjusted and matched to the indicated airspeed. I began to gain."
In despair, the Albatros pilot made the mistake of coming off bank in order to reverse his circle. A short straight section between circles was necessary and there he was caught and hammered.' p123 Gunning For The Red Baron Leon Bennett

What Bennett says about the Albatros is that the heavy engine meant that it was at an angle of attack disadvantage in a turning fight, whereas rotary fighters like the Nieuport held a turn better near stall and were also quicker into a turn. Why would heavy machines be good at prop hanging?

'A sense of the Sopwith 11/2 Strutter problem was offered by Captain Balfour. Carrying only 110hp., its performance was "vastly inferior to the Albatros in speed, climb and maneuverability." p109 The Fall of the Red Baron Leon Bennett

'Of course, German praise had its limits. Speed was still king and as pointed out by Leutnant Werner Voss the Pup was slower than the standard Albatros fighter, though superior in climb and "handling", i.e. maneuvrability. Lacking in speed, the Pup could not quite force an Albatros to fight on its own terms- the German fighter could always speed away if the odds seemed bad.' p127 The Fall of the Red Baron Leon Bennett- the Voss comment is referenced to Hunting With Richtofen by Karl Bodenschatz.

According to the figures Bennett presents, it might be the Strutter speed figures that are most out of line in Rise of Flight, because of the choice of the 130hp mid-1917 model? The Pup and Camel speeds according to Bennett are more or less as we have them. The 'standard Albatros' of early 1917 might then be between the Pup and the Camel? After early 1917 you encounter difficulties with Camel engine variations and improved German Mercedes engines not being present in the game.

I still wonder why the flight models cant adapt to slightly different engine variants, especially when some variation is already present. It leads to several issues with mid-1917 planesets, and the 1918 Viper SE5a doesn't help any!
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#125 gavagai

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 19:37

I still wonder why the flight models cant adapt to slightly different engine variants, especially when some variation is already present. It leads to several issues with mid-1917 planesets, and the 1918 Viper SE5a doesn't help any!

It can. Look at the Halberstadt D.II and Spad 7.

We've hoped for more aircraft variants to better represent the technological progression of WW1 many, many times. The answer is always "no" or "not yet." Heck, we even have a real Dr.I pilot in our midst now, and they're not interested in hearing his information.
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#126 Dressedwings

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 20:06

Halberstadt CL.II you mean? We have one engine for our DII :D
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#127 JoeCrow

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 20:49

Why would heavy machines be good at prop hanging?

That is a very good question!

Could it be that heavier machines, particularly inlines, are better at zoom-climbs and force = mass*acceleration? Aerodynamically, a prop-hang can be a zoom-climb held with a low angle-of-attack until the airspeed becomes zero (zooming 'to the wall'). An inline can actually slide backwards in this configuration but anything with a high lift-ratio (particularly a rotary) would be more inclined to pull 'over the top' or enter a high-speed stall.

A true prop-hang doesn't actually exist except in VTOL and helicopters. It is really a prolonged zoom-climb.

Just theory. Any thoughts?


Cheers.
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#128 hq_Reflected

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 20:58

•Firing range between 100 and 20 yards, and Aces like those above expend an entire drum of ammo (down to 10 yards range) without the enemy EA falling apart.

Z

And here we are in a game of 360 degree turret guns, where BnZ doesn't work at all, planes can prophang and cause serious damage/ wounds from up to 5-600m. They not only CAN, they do 7 out of 10 times. Biggest game changing bug currently in game…
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#129 gavagai

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 21:06

Halberstadt CL.II you mean? We have one engine for our DII :D

Err, yeah!

And here we are in a game of 360 degree turret guns, where BnZ doesn't work at all, planes can prophang and cause serious damage/ wounds from up to 5-600m.

Everyone likes more firepower!!! :x
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#130 JoeCrow

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 21:11

Cecil Lewis thought that prophanging was suicidal if other EA were in the vicinity, as was usually the case. It's not difficult to see his point. But that is real life v multiplayer.
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#131 hq_Reflected

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 21:26

And here we are in a game of 360 degree turret guns, where BnZ doesn't work at all, planes can prophang and cause serious damage/ wounds from up to 5-600m.

Everyone likes more firepower!!! :x

…said Luke Skywalker before he climbed back to his X-wing, and disappeared in the wormhole over Ypres. :xx:
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#132 ZachariasX

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 21:31

•Firing range between 100 and 20 yards, and Aces like those above expend an entire drum of ammo (down to 10 yards range) without the enemy EA falling apart.

Z

And here we are in a game of 360 degree turret guns, where BnZ doesn't work at all, planes can prophang and cause serious damage/ wounds from up to 5-600m. They not only CAN, they do 7 out of 10 times. Biggest game changing bug currently in game…

They could do lethal damage over that distance back then as well. Richthofen himself fell victim to a very improbable bullet. But if you try often enough… This doesn't alter however ones chances hitting anything over this distance. If I had to guess, the biggest problem of sighting the target are the visors. If you have to align your head in the slipsteam behind iron sights while also being exposed to g-forces is asking for a lot. In RoF the head remains fairly stable and the sights aligned in maneuvers. Also you don't have the problem of eye focussing over the different distances of visor and target. So better go close enough to make the target big enough to fill your enire view, as sighting then gets easy. In RoF I would think hits in a wing don't discriminate wether a spar is also hit and not only the canvas. Of all the parts you can hit on a real plane, many can take a lot of perforations. Few back then were marksmen like Fonck and Voss that could actually shoot the engine or the pilot, places where very few rounds were required. So even a reflector sight can't fully compensate for that kind of skill.

So I would think that the layout and quality of the hitboxes in RoF are also a decisive factor along with easier sighting that enables spray'n'pray. Few hits on a plane usually bring a decisive handicap in RoF. First blood usually wins the fight. Another temptation to really press for the headon attacks (that all too often are the end of both).

Z
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#133 gavagai

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 21:59

Meaningful head movement would do a lot to squash the easy gunnery in Rise of Flight. In the DCS warbirds the weapon systems are 25 years more advanced but aiming while maneuvering is a bitch because it is hard to keep your view steady.
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#134 SeaW0lf

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 02:55

They could do lethal damage over that distance back then as well. Richthofen himself fell victim to a very improbable bullet.

But it was so improbable that these incidents became historic. If I recall correctly, it was from 300m. Today I was being shot and hit from 700m at Syndicate. For the ones who question the distance, the other day I had no other alternative than turn around and face a Bristol that was hitting me heavily from beyond 700m (checked through the subtitles).

If algorithms for realistic bullets behavior is too complex and heavy for current CPUs, they should revise the bullet dispersion and simply don't allow hits after a certain distance and greatly reduce hits beyond 200m to the point to be very improbable to get a hit after 300m. Or at least discuss a historical range with the community.

Few hits on a plane usually bring a decisive handicap in RoF. First blood usually wins the fight. Another temptation to really press for the headon attacks (that all too often are the end of both).

This is perhaps the biggest unhistorical issue we have today in gameplay. Most of the times we don't even see that the engine started smoking because most of it comes from ghost shots, stray bullets, hail Mary attempts and head on spray from beyond 300m.

Who knows? They got plans for ROF. Maybe they will revise the hitboxes and dispersion.
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#135 SeaW0lf

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 04:42

Geez… I am so sorry Vander. It was just now that I realized the thread that I was posting in. It was not my intention to feed damage model and gameplay controversy.

Carry on :S!:
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#136 SeaW0lf

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 05:20

To make amends for, here it goes.

Tuesday, June 26th.

We had a good laugh at an article in one of today's newspapers about the way the Huns paint their machines all the colors of the rainbow. They do it, wrote some 'expert', 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. And their colourings sometimes help us to know who we're scrapping with. For example, every Albatros in the Richthofen Circus has some red paint on it, and the Baron himself has an all-red machine. That's what the chaps say, and if it's true, we've had several scraps with them.

Arthur Gould Lee - No Parachute: a Classic Account of War in the Air in WWI.

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#137 SeaW0lf

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 23:55

The RNAS were at this time converting their fighter squadrons from Triplanes to Bentley-engined Camels because their pilots had found that the latest mark of Albatros, the D-V, was slightly superior to the Triplane. This favoured treatment, so baffling to indignant RFC pilots flying obsolete and obsolescent aeroplanes, was one of the consequences of years of maladministration by the higher echelons of the RFC, and RNAS. The background to this far from creditable history is examined in Appendix A, The Failure in High Command.

No Parachute – Gould Lee.
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#138 SeaW0lf

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 00:14

Scott left us because he'd shot away half his propeller. The Sopwith-Kauper interrupter gear with which the Pup is fitted is complicated mechanically, and sometimes goes wrong, and then the bullets go through the prop. It's this gear which slows down the rate of fire of the Vickers. In the air, when you press the trigger, instead of getting the fast rattle of a ground gun, you have a frustrating pop! pop! pop! pop! The Huns have a much more efficient gear, for the Spandau fires very fast. In fact, when you hear the twin Spandaus of the Albatros opening up on your tail, they sound like some vast canvas being ripped by a giant. And your answer is pop! pop! pop!

No Parachute – Gould Lee.
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#139 hq_Reflected

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 07:05

They could do lethal damage over that distance back then as well. Richthofen himself fell victim to a very improbable bullet.

But it was so improbable that these incidents became historic. If I recall correctly, it was from 300m. Today I was being shot and hit from 700m at Syndicate. For the ones who question the distance, the other day I had no other alternative than turn around and face a Bristol that was hitting me heavily from beyond 700m (checked through the subtitles).

If algorithms for realistic bullets behavior is too complex and heavy for current CPUs, they should revise the bullet dispersion and simply don't allow hits after a certain distance and greatly reduce hits beyond 200m to the point to be very improbable to get a hit after 300m. Or at least discuss a historical range with the community.

Few hits on a plane usually bring a decisive handicap in RoF. First blood usually wins the fight. Another temptation to really press for the headon attacks (that all too often are the end of both).

This is perhaps the biggest unhistorical issue we have today in gameplay. Most of the times we don't even see that the engine started smoking because most of it comes from ghost shots, stray bullets, hail Mary attempts and head on spray from beyond 300m.

Who knows? They got plans for ROF. Maybe they will revise the hitboxes and dispersion.

Spot on, I couldn't agree more!

And thanks for the "No Parachute" quotes, now I'm really considering buying that book :S!:
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#140 WW1EAF_Paf

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 08:35

Its a great one indeed. :)
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#141 SeaW0lf

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 09:15

And thanks for the "No Parachute" quotes, now I'm really considering buying that book :S!:

If you have a chance, you won't regret. Gould Lee is a classic read. Open Cockpit as well :S!:
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#142 hq_Reflected

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 09:18

What is the difference between "Open cockpit" and "No Parachute"?
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#143 SeaW0lf

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 19:59

Open Cockpit is a book / memoir and No Parachute is a collection of his mails to his wife. Then No Parachute is not sequential, but the narrative is rich and technical as well, as you can see. I am currently only browsing the book with "Ctrl F" (I know, heresy), but they both complement each other. These new quotes you can't find in Open Cockpit and they are amazing.

Then I think it is best to start with Open Cockpit (my top of the list, together with Rudolph Stark), where he gives an overall picture of a Pup pilot in the Albatros era, with tons of dogfight narratives, and then get No Parachute to complement it. And Open Cockpit is half the price of No Parachute with the Kindle edition.

Either way you are well served :D
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#144 J2_Bidu

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 00:23

Read them both. Amazing stuff. :S!:
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#145 1PL-Sahaj-1Esk

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 20:20

No Parachute - Arhtur Gould Lee

Mark the date it is 6th July 1917 :

[…] No.8 Naval Squadron have Sopwith Triplanes, the only British scout the Huns avoid. […]

- Albis D.Vs were just arriving at the front.

- No.46 squadron was still on Pups at this time.
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#146 Ceowulf

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 13:33

Hi Vander,

I realize this is an old thread and I'm really late coming in but I thought I could at least ask if you're willing to make the lists from your OP available again.  The links don't work anymore, probably how google docs works, but I wish I could see them.  No worries if it's a pain though and thanks either way.

 

LP<><


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#147 SeaW0lf

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 18:04

We left the field together and sped quickly towards St. Mihiel. Our altimeters indicated l7,000 feet as we finished our first patrol and found ourselves over the city of Pont-à-Mousson. No enemy machines had been encountered.

 

(...) As we crossed the little town of Mars-la-Tour I detected a German two-seater making off towards Verdun almost directly ahead of us. It was an Albatros and was several thousand feet below us, and about two miles ahead. (...) I stuck down my Nieuport and began my dive. (...) I zoomed up again and got the upper berth. But this time I found it extremely difficult to get into a position for shooting. The pilot kicked around his tail so adroitly that every time I prepared to dive upon him I found the observer coolly sighting a brace of machine-guns full into my face. Moreover, I found that at this high altitude the Albatros could maneuver as well or just a little better than could my lighter Nieuport.

 

Fighting the Flying Circus, Eddie Rickenbacker.


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#148 SYN_Vander

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 18:59

Hi Vander,

I realize this is an old thread and I'm really late coming in but I thought I could at least ask if you're willing to make the lists from your OP available again.  The links don't work anymore, probably how google docs works, but I wish I could see them.  No worries if it's a pain though and thanks either way.

 

LP<><

 

Hi, I fixed the link in the first post!


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