Footage of the Red Baron from 9/17/17

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An evening pause: No music this time, only some history. Hat tip Tim Biggar, who notes “Couple of interesting things: The Fokker used a 9 cyl radial (clearly seen when they prime the cyls before takeoff). Unlike most modern designs, the crankshaft was bolted to the frame and did not rotate. The prop was bolted to the engine case and the entire engine case rotated. Lots of gyroscopic force made it hard to maneuver.

“The ‘flight suit’ and the gauntlets are worth noting.

“I think that may be Goering on the left (plain uniform with Iron Cross) at the 3:05 mark.

“At the end we see a Sopwith he shot down and the Brit pilot who lived.”

I note the sense of comradarie between these pilots at the end. In World War I there still was a sense of behaving civilly (as in civilization) even during war.


  • tps

    This is wonderful.

    We are in the final design stages of a WWI book about a German officer who served on the Russian Front as a cavalry officer, and a reconnaissance pilot on the Western Theater (he flew with many aces, including the Red Baron), and about 120 of his remarkable photos from both theaters. It it all remarkable.

    What we often skip over, though, is that these pilots had it horrible–it was often freezing, they had bowel and bladder issues on long flights, many did not have parachutes (higher ups thought they would be more likely to jump rather than land the planes, and thought–wrongly–it was the planes that were irreplaceable, rather than the experienced trained pilots. As a result many burned to death in the air, or jumped to their death to escape the flames (think Towers 1 and 2 on 9-11.)

    In the end, like all war, there was little glory in it.

  • tps

    PS. I agree, that is Goering on the left at 3:05.

  • Dale V Martin

    “Rotary” engine, not Radial. They did it to keep the cylinders cool….in hindsight, not a good idea..

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