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Something not often heard about


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6 hours ago, TrustMe said:

During WW1 were British or German pilots allowed to shoot enemy pilots if they were descending to the ground in a parachute? I know by WW2 they weren't.

The air war was very gentleman-like, except where Anglo-Saxons fought. The most successful Hungarian ace, Kiss József was most proud of his victories where he was able to force the enemy plane to land (9 out of 20 victories) Over Italy sometimes the fighters disengaged when one suffered a weapon malfunction. Guess the nation of the pilot who shot him in the belly after ten minutes of trying to escape with jammed mgs.

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20 minutes ago, Adam Peter said:

Guess the nation of the pilot who shot him in the belly after ten minutes of trying to escape with jammed mgs.

Canada

Lieutenant Gerald Alfred Birks MC & Bar (30 October 1894 – 26 May 1991)

Edited by MiloMorai
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Lt. Birks may well have saved several Allied lives by shooting down a dangerous enemy combatant and destroying a valuable enemy weapons system.  Nice guys finish last, after all, and fair fights are for suckers.  Had a Hungarian pilot shot down an RAF/CAF one who had jammed guns, then it would have been just that guy's bad luck.

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18 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

As far as Im aware, like the UK, they were not allowed to use them. It was believed that having a parachute would 'Impair a pilots nerve', when of course as it turned out, the reverse was true.

OTOH, you wonder what the performance issues would result from carrying an early parachute would have been. And judging by orders to shoot balloon observers in their parachutes and the general flamability of WW1 combat aircraft, it was hardly a guaranteed life saver anyway.

https://www.historynet.com/heinecke-parachute-a-leap-of-faith-for-wwi-german-airmen.htm

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Jeez,no wonder nobody wanted to use them. Imagine using that in a spin with the aircraft on fire.

Once again it says they were issued to the RAF, making it sound like they were actually used. There are multiple threads and sources online that suggest the RAF was buying them near the end of the war, but they had real problems with training and supply and they did not issue them to pilots. I still cannot find any source that says they got them before the mid 20's, which considering procurement in the UK Government is still remarkably fast. 😄

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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10 hours ago, R011 said:

Lt. Birks may well have saved several Allied lives by shooting down a dangerous enemy combatant and destroying a valuable enemy weapons system.  Nice guys finish last, after all, and fair fights are for suckers.  Had a Hungarian pilot shot down an RAF/CAF one who had jammed guns, then it would have been just that guy's bad luck.

In Alan Clarks Aces High book, I seem to recall that part of the training was to aim between the pilots shoulder blades. It was the quickest and easiest way to kill.

And looked at from a humaine point of view, better to got that way than wet or dry, as the language of the time called it. Wet as in covered in gasoline, or dry, as in jumping out without a chute to your death. In a burning airframe it was the only 2 choices you had left, if you were not carrying a pistol.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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IIRC all observation balloons, even on the allied side, were hydrogen filled and not especially difficult to shoot down once incendiary ammunition was introduced. It didn't particularly require a specialized weapon. Helium was extremely rare. I think I read once that when the USS Akron was commissioned, she represented half the known helium in the world.

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On 6/10/2021 at 10:49 PM, R011 said:

Lt. Birks may well have saved several Allied lives by shooting down a dangerous enemy combatant and destroying a valuable enemy weapons system.  Nice guys finish last, after all, and fair fights are for suckers.  Had a Hungarian pilot shot down an RAF/CAF one who had jammed guns, then it would have been just that guy's bad luck.

Yeah, the Germans were fast learners, hence at Guernica, Rotterdam and Liverpool they aimed at them in their mothers' belly, speaking of suckers. Somehow they ended up on your bad guy list; some people is hard to statisfy.

 

On 6/10/2021 at 7:58 PM, MiloMorai said:

Canada

Lieutenant Gerald Alfred Birks MC & Bar (30 October 1894 – 26 May 1991)

Mathew Frew, Scotland.

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1 hour ago, Adam Peter said:

Yeah, the Germans were fast learners, hence at Guernica, Rotterdam and Liverpool they aimed at them in their mothers' belly, speaking of suckers. Somehow they ended up on your bad guy list; some people is hard to statisfy.

 

Mathew Frew, Scotland.

The Germans learned quicker than that.  Indeed, they were the teachers.  Most of Richtofens's victories, for instance, were not knightly duels, but clumsy two seaters surprised and shot down without being given a chance.  Guernica was also anticipated at Hartlepool and over London.  Note too that while some gentlemen and wannabe gentlemen were pretending this was an extreme sport, millions of guys on the ground were actually fighting and dying in a rather brutal war under no illusions this was some glorious game.

Edited by R011
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5 hours ago, Adam Peter said:

Mathew Frew, Scotland.

Nope.

After his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 15 January 1918, Frew suffered from neck pains and was eventually invalided back to England the following month, to serve as a flying instructor at the Central Flying School for the rest of the war.

Kiss was shot down and killed May 24 1918 so would be rather hard for Frew to shoot him down as he was in England at the time.

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3 hours ago, R011 said:

The Germans learned quicker than that.  Indeed, they were the teachers.  Most of Richtofens's victories, for instance, were not knightly duels, but clumsy two seaters surprised and shot down without being given a chance.  Guernica was also anticipated at Hartlepool and over London.  Note too that while some gentlemen and wannabe gentlemen were pretending this was an extreme sport, millions of guys on the ground were actually fighting and dying in a rather brutal war under no illusions this was some glorious game.

Richthofen was not a great dogfighter, he took ages to shoot down Lanoe Hawker, a much better pilot. Hawker was in a DH2, Von Richthofen was in an albatross. Kind of like dogfighting a Hurricane in an Me262.

He was a cracking shot though, which jumping some poor bugger who doesn't know you are there is all you need.

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29 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Richthofen was not a great dogfighter, he took ages to shoot down Lanoe Hawker, a much better pilot. Hawker was in a DH2, Von Richthofen was in an albatross. Kind of like dogfighting a Hurricane in an Me262.

He was a cracking shot though, which jumping some poor bugger who doesn't know you are there is all you need.

Situational awareness, getting the first shot, and hitting is more important than how skillfully you can throw your kite around.  

 

As for Kiss' death - he was a combatant soldier on a combat operation, in uniform, and not obviously hors de combat until fatally wounded.  Bad luck his guns jammed, but there was a war on and he was a legitimate target.  If he cleared the stoppages, then Birk might have been the one who died.  That he was gut-shot rather than an instant kill was happenstance.  It's a machine gun on a cloth and wood biplane, not a sniper rifle.

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3 hours ago, MiloMorai said:

Nope.

After his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 15 January 1918, Frew suffered from neck pains and was eventually invalided back to England the following month, to serve as a flying instructor at the Central Flying School for the rest of the war.

Kiss was shot down and killed May 24 1918 so would be rather hard for Frew to shoot him down as he was in England at the time.

 

Quote
Utolsó légi győzelmét követő napon 1918. január 27-én egy magányos repülőgép üldözése közben egy háromgépes kötelék rátámadt, majd hosszú légiharcot követően elakadt géppuskákkal repülve haslövést kapott. Gépét még le tudta tenni Perginében, de rögtön földet érés után elájult. Ellenfele ekkor a 23 győzelmet elért skót ász, Mathew Frew volt. Kisst sikerült megmenteni, majd felépülése után újra szolgálatba állt.
1918. május 24-én vívta Kiss József utolsó légiharcát. Ekkor a kanadai Gerald Birks-szel került szembe, aki 12 győzelmet jegyzett. Kiss Phönix D.IIa típusú gépét a kanadai pilótának sikerült kilőnie és az irányíthatatlan gép hegyoldalnak csapódott fedélzetén a magyar ász pilótával.

Source

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After his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 15 January 1918, Frew suffered from neck pains and was eventually invalided back to England the following month

Does not like a single shot KO.

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8 minutes ago, Tim Sielbeck said:

No.  

Yep. In that the DH2 was a throwback to a previous generation of aircraft (The Wright Flyer actually) and the Albatross heralded a generation of aircraft that continued up to the brink of WW2.

Or you can compare the Mig21 to the F16, it's much the same kind of advance.

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3 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

In that the DH2 was a throwback to a previous generation of aircraft (The Wright Flyer actually) and the Albatross heralded a generation of aircraft that continued up to the brink of WW2.

You need to study your early aircraft more.  The Dh2 was as far advanced over a Wright Flyer as you claim the Albatross was over the DH2.  The DH2 was configured as it was to give a clear frontal arc of fire because interrupter devices had yet to become widely used in the RFC when it was designed, not because they were following some design aesthetic from the past.  The major advantage of the Albatross DII was that it had two interrupted, belt-fed machine guns and a slightly higher top speed.  If it overmatched the DH2 as much as you implied von Richthofen would have been booming and zooming rather than in the tight turning dogfight that happened.  Neither one of them could turn tight enough to get inside the other's turn and it appears that lack of fuel was the primary reason for Hawker to broke off the fight and allowed von Richthofen to catch him and shoot him down.

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It was of course more advanced, but it was still a pusher, just as the Wright Flyer was. It was also called the spinning incinerator, which says something about its propensity to spin, possibly due to the engine being at the rear.

The French had uninterrupted fire in 1915 using armoured reflectors on the blades. The Focker Eindecker, developed from said French deflectors, had an interupter gear. Both of those predated the DH2 by some months.

 

 

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It's propensity to spin was caused by gyroscopic forces at low airspeeds, same problem the Sopwith Camel had with its engine at the front.  It mostly involved inexperienced pilots.  Once flying time went up, accident rates went down.  

Fokker developed his interrupter mechanism after realizing that German steel bullets would just smash the defector plates, and then the propeller.  And development of the DH2 preceded the fielding Of the armed Eindeckers to the front.

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DH2 First flight July 1915

The first squadron equipped with the DH.2, and the first RFC squadron completely equipped with single-seat fighters, No. 24 Squadron RFC, arrived in France early February 1916.

Eindecker First flight 23 May 1915

The first Eindecker victory, though unconfirmed, was achieved by Leutnant Wintgens in the late afternoon of 1 July 1915

 

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12 hours ago, Tim Sielbeck said:

It's propensity to spin was caused by gyroscopic forces at low airspeeds, same problem the Sopwith Camel had with its engine at the front.  It mostly involved inexperienced pilots.  Once flying time went up, accident rates went down.  

Fokker developed his interrupter mechanism after realizing that German steel bullets would just smash the defector plates, and then the propeller.  And development of the DH2 preceded the fielding Of the armed Eindeckers to the front.

From the Aces High book it is suggested the Germans used the French deflectors to develop the interrupter gear. And once again, neither of these systems made it onto British aircraft. We didnt even have a Synchronization gear until December 1915 on a British aircraft AFAIK, which yes, makes the DH2 very important, but that still doesnt mean it wasnt obsolete. It was fine against an Eindecker, against an Albatross it was past it. if that wasnt the case, Hawker, a better flier than von Richthofen, would have likely walked it.

11 hours ago, Tim Sielbeck said:

So are every jet aircraft, past and present.

Which I think was precisely the point I was trying to make at the start with the Hurricane and the Me262. 

11 hours ago, MiloMorai said:

DH2 First flight July 1915

The first squadron equipped with the DH.2, and the first RFC squadron completely equipped with single-seat fighters, No. 24 Squadron RFC, arrived in France early February 1916.

Eindecker First flight 23 May 1915

The first Eindecker victory, though unconfirmed, was achieved by Leutnant Wintgens in the late afternoon of 1 July 1915

 

Exactly.

They basically sent one of our best aces out in a fairly mediocre (if classy looking) aeroplane, and lost him to a mediocre flyer in a far more manoeuvrable machine.  Even the 1 1/2 Strutter was a more advanced aeroplane than a DH2.

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