Aerial Combat in WWI

Discuss air warfare, doctrine, air forces, historic campaigns, etc.
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Prinz_Eugn

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Unread post19 Apr 2009, 20:30

thegreekness wrote:smarta$$...
BTW - favorite aces anyone? Mine are Chuck Yeager, for obvious reasons (dude's basically the ultimate bad@$$), and Frank Luke Jr (WWI).


Erich Hartmann, not only for the absolute ridiculousness of his score (352), but because he then managed to survive in Soviet prison for 10 1/2 years without breaking down and then went back to flying for the Luftwaffe... and was proven to be correct in his opposition to the F-104.
"A visitor from Mars could easily pick out the civilized nations. They have the best implements of war."
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skyhigh

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Unread post13 May 2009, 10:04

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thegreekness

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Unread post14 May 2009, 03:00

good call on hartmann. I think most of those kills were against Russian pilots, some of them female (?), but still, 352...
"You wanna get out of the way? We're trying to land here..." - Hot Shots
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skyhigh

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Unread post14 May 2009, 08:57

A disproportionate number of kills!

No jet ace can ever break Erich Hartmann's record, but possibly Eddie Rickenbacker's (26 kills) or Giora Epstein's (17 kills).
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thegreekness

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Unread post14 May 2009, 13:57

Records are made to be broken. Think about what 352 planes would cost today - that would bankrupt smaller countries...
heard one of epstein's kills was a chopper - still, he qualifies as "bad@ss"
"You wanna get out of the way? We're trying to land here..." - Hot Shots
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StolichnayaStrafer

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Unread post14 May 2009, 15:02

I thought we were discussing aerial combat of WWI here...

:offtopic:
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thegreekness

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Unread post14 May 2009, 15:52

oh right.
So how many rounds of ammo did, say, SE-5 pilots go out with?
"You wanna get out of the way? We're trying to land here..." - Hot Shots
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StolichnayaStrafer

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Unread post14 May 2009, 17:50

Good question...

the overwing Lewis gun had the larger drums usually- I believe they held 97 rounds. Pilots supposedly could carry spares in the cockpit for reloading purposes- a difficult undertaking, especially during combat. Doubtful if they would carry more than 1 or 2 extra since they would be pretty heavy. The Vickers on the left fuselage had an ammo bay like most other aircraft. Not sure what they would carry, perhaps 150 to 250 rounds? I will have to check back in some of my books, maybe I can come up with more conclusive info.
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thegreekness

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Unread post15 May 2009, 02:05

thats...not a lot of bullets. I've been reading a book called "Fighter pilots" - basically a collection of pilots' journals from every war. It didnt give any aircraft specs, but it did say that the WWI guys tended to run out of ammo at the worst times. A LOT.
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StolichnayaStrafer

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Unread post15 May 2009, 04:04

Well, think about this:

Look at where a planes engine is first. After that, the machine gun(s) are mounted either on top or semi-recessed into the forward fuselage. Then you have the pilot right behind- close enough to charge or clear (hopefully) the machine guns. Those ammo bins are in front of him- maybe over his legs if that close, since he must work the rudder pedals. That being said, a bin for 1 MG would probably be only a little bigger than a standard ammo box. Add to that it had to be loaded externally down into the bin- not exactly precision munitions loading, eh? I haven't found anything specific yet, but I think one book of mine has an exploded/skeletal schematic of a Dr.1 triplane or a Sopwith Camel- maybe that might shed some light on internal capacity!
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skyhigh

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Unread post15 May 2009, 13:44

My favorite WWI fighter is the SPAD S.XIII.

Best fighter on the Western Front!

What's your favorite?
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SPAD S.XIII
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thegreekness

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Unread post15 May 2009, 14:14

SE-5a - aside from being a good fighter, it just looks sweet. I also liked the Albatross DIII
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StolichnayaStrafer

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Unread post16 May 2009, 00:17

I always loved the Albatros series of fighters, especially the D.III model. Their smooth, plywood fuselages and inline engines made them look very sleek and sharp. They were nice to fly even though they were a little heavy on the controls. Despite having recurring problems with their lower wings, the Albatros series were a major workhorse for German and Austrian aviators.
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