Hail the minor powers! Their aces probably achieved less than von Richthoffen (or Ball, or Guynemer, or "Billy" Bishop) but their bravery should be remembered.Continue
It never dropped a single pound of incentives in anger. Actually, it never flew. Designed too late to be ready for her maiden flight before the Armistice, it remains a dark enigma even today, 95 years after the Great War.Continue
I always wondered why the word Wunderwaffe is applied only to the late-WWII German projects.
In the history of WWI there is a whole lot of weird and scary "wonderweapons". And if you think that the DFW giant bomber was the only one with Mercedes inside,…Continue
The guy at the controls was a businessman, a writer and a socialite. First and foremost, he was an aviator.
"Owned one of the first petrol-driven cars in England; toured South Africa;…
Added by lord_k on February 23, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments
Among all WWI bomber designs, German DFW biplanes earn a special mention, thanks to their unusual powertrain.
The first was the R.I (don't forget that "R" index is for Riesenflugzeug, i.e. giant airplane). Developed as a private venture by DFW, it was a…Continue
In wartime, even of the most brilliant technical innovation can lead to a failure.
This is exactly what happened to a talented French engineer, his story told by Gary Warne (Warnepieces blog):
Variable Incidence, the mechanical…Continue
Meet Oberleutnant Max (Maximilian Karl) Hesse.
Here he is, holding a dog, with Leutnant Rudolf Stanger. Hesse was not an ace but he had an illustrious war career, crash-landing in the enemy territory in 1914 and being the pilot of the first plane in history which corrected artillery fire through wireless messages (Jan. 12, 1915). Promoted to Hauptmann, he was…Continue
In the Misty Skies of WWI France, History is written with flaming guns.
Yank airman Hugh McQuillen had smashed his way into those history books as “The Iron Ace.” Flying his deadly war plane adorned with the Laughing Skull, he was a grim and unrelenting instrument of war who killed Germans with such ruthless efficiency that he became known on both sides of the line as “The…Continue
American chapter of the multiplane saga is surprisingly "meaty". During the Great War, Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company designed numerous triplanes.
Here is an artist's impression of the Curtiss Triplane flying boat, published in the Flight magazine (UK) in 1916. The real thing was even more impressive. In 1915, the American businessman Rodman Wanamaker commissioned Curtiss to…Continue
The most exotic flying machines built during the Great War, they never saw combat.
Five year before the start of hostilities, from ca. 1909, the American inventor Matthew Sellers made a series of flights in the Sellers 1909 Quadruplane, progressively fitted with powerplants of decreasing power, in order to investigate low-powered flight. He eventually achieved flight on only 5…Continue
Just a few images of the Escadrille, its pilots, aircraft and lions.
The Escadrille Lafayette in July 1917. Standing, left to right are Soubiron, Doolittle, Campbell, Persons, Bridgman, Dugan, MacMonagle, Lowell, Willis, Jones, Peterson and de Maison-Rouge (French Deputy Commander). Seated, left to right are Hill, Masson with "Soda" lion cub; Thaw, Thenault (the…
Added by lord_k on November 3, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments
Volumes are written on the Lafayette Escadrille, a French fighter unit composed largely of American volunteers.Continue
The Caudron R.11 (aka R XI) was the last bomber the French built during the Great War.
Evolved by Paul Deville from the R.IV reconnaissance bomber designed by Rene Caudron, the R.11 three-seat biplane was originally intended as a Corps d'Armee aircraft, but was destined to find its forte as a three-seat escort fighter. Its design was similar to the Caudron R.4, but with a more…Continue
Most decorated Canadian WWI hero, William G. Barker was a person of outstanding bravery and skill.
The son of Mrs. George Barker, of Rathwell, Manitoba, William George Barker left high school in Dauphin to enlist in the Canadian Mounted Rifles in December 1914. He spent eight months in the trenches before he received a commission in the Royal Flying Corps in April 1916. After starting out as a mechanic, he qualified as an observer in August 1916 and…Continue
Added by lord_k on October 13, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments
First really successful British heavy bombers were no less impressive than their German counterparts.
As early as December 1914 during the First World War the Royal Navy's Director of the Air Department, Captain Murray Sueter requested "a bloody paralyser" of an aircraft from Frederick Handley Page for long-range bombing. The phrase had originated from Commander Charles Rumney…
Another forgotten chapter of the air war history:
The Lohner company Series 111 aircraft was an Austria-Hungarian prototype single seat biplane built in 1917 by Lohnerwerke GmbH. The fuselage was a laminated wood construction. The wing struts were an "I" requiring no wires tor structural stability. Power was provided by an Austro-Daimler engine generating 185…Continue
The greatest WWI ace and his friend:
The most beautiful being in all creation is the genuine Danish hound, my little lap-dog, my Moritz. I bought him in Ostend from a brave Belgian for five marks. His mother was a beautiful animal and one…Continue
This Thursday, to celebrate our founder's birthday together with the French national holiday - a stylish fighter:
The Morane-Saulnier Type N, not the most successful WWI warplane (you can read about it here), this aircraft with a racing pedigree is an ultimate example of early…Continue
Everybody knows who was America's WWI Ace Number One. But can you name Number Two?
Born Francis Warrington Gillet, he was a student at the University of Virginia when he joined the U.S. Air Service on April 1, 1917. Like many, he did not adjust to…Continue
Added by lord_k on July 7, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments
This Thursday, our hero is a pilot who hadn't much luck fighting enemy planes but scored a respectable number of victories downing enemy lighter-than-air aircraft.
Coppens, who was born on 6 July 1892 in Watermaal-Bosvoorde,…Continue