Sunday, March 18, 2018

Canadian ace, Acheson Gosford Goulding

Goulding posing with members of the 17 Squadron RFC at Florina, Salonika, aerodrome, with a B.E.12a aeroplane. 

L to R; Captain Eliot Archibald de Pass, Lieutenant Alexander Maxwell, Captain Ernest Vincent Longinotto, Lieutenant Acheson Gosford Goulding and Lieutenant Alexander Noel David (kneeling).
Goulding would end the war with 9 victories and was awarded the Military Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross and the French Croix de Guerre.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

The German AEG G.IV bomber

The AEG G.IV bomber was developed from the AEG G.III, with refinements to power, bomb-load and dimensions. Coming into service in late 1916, it featured a bomb capacity twice as large as that of the AEG G.II, but was still considered inadequate in terms of offensive capacity and performance. Further improvements led to the development of the G.V, but the Armistice came before the replacement could become operational. Serving late in the war, the AEG G.IV managed to achieve some operational success in reconnaissance and combat roles.

Captured German AEG G.IV bomber
Bosta 19 at Boncourt, 1918 - in the background, one of their AEG G.IV

Saturday, March 10, 2018

German ace, Josef Carl Peter Jacobs

Josef Carl Peter Jacobs (15 May 1894 – 29 July 1978) was a German flying ace with 48 victories during the First World War. His total tied him with Werner Voss for fourth place among German aces.
Jacobs learned to fly before the war and when war broke out he joined the Imperial Air Service receiving his training at Darmstadt.
His first assignment on the front was flying observation planes but soon he received transfer to 
Fokker Staffel West and flying a Fokker E.III.
His first victory, although unconfirmed, came in February of 1916 when he downed a French Caudron, He achieved his first official victory on May 12th, when he shot down a two-seater Caudron crewed only by its pilot.

Fokker Staffel West was renamed Jasta 12 in October 1916. Shortly thereafter he requested a transfer to Jasta 22, which was at the time was under the command of his good friend, Oberleutnant Erich Hönemanns. 

At Jasta 22, due to his experence, he was primarily assigned an instructors role, although still flying combat. He remained at this assignment thru June of 1917 at which time he was given command of Jasta 7. (above picture, with Jacobs' black Fokker Dr.l)

Jacobs was awarded the prestigious "Pour le Merite" when he reached a score of 24 victories. At the close of the war he was the 2nd ranking surviving German ace (after Ernst Udet), an amazing accomplishment in itself as he had flown during the entire war without serious injury. His total tally for the war eventually reached 48 aircraft and balloons.

Jacobs' 30 victories in the Dr.l (Fokker triplane) exceeded all other German aces. Manfred von Richthofen's red Dr.l made the the plane famous and Werner Voss' heroic last battle added to it's mystique, but no other pilot matched Jacobs skill in handling the Fokker Dr.l triplane.

Related image
Members of Jasta 7 in front of that Staffel- Führer's Fokker Dr.I triplane. From left: Uffz Peisker, Fwbl Paul Hüttenrauch, Fwbl August Eigenbrodt, Fwbl Sicho, Ltn Willi Nebgen, Ltn Josef Jacobs (wearing his Pour le Mérite at the centre of his collar), Ltn Bannenberg, Uffz Jupp Böhne, Ltn Wirth, Ltn Rath and unidentified.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The German Gotha G.II heavy bomber.

This model Gotha bomber was an entirely new biplane designed by Hans Burkhard, who had previously reworked Oskar Ursinus's design for the G.I to make it suitable for mass-production. Burkhard abandoned the G.I's unorthodox configuration in favor of a more conventional design with the fuselage mounted on the bottom wing rather than the top.

The G.II carried a crew of three and a defensive armament of two 7.92 mm machine guns. The forward section of the fuselage was skinned in plywood, with the remainder covered in fabric. The fuselage and two very large nacelles were mounted on the lower wing. Each nacelle contained fuel and oil tanks beneath each of a pair of geared-output 160 KW (220 hp) Mercedes D.IV straight-eight engines, one per nacelle, driving pusher propellers. The entire aircraft was intended to be easily dismantled so that fuselage, engines, and wings would easily fit on three railway flatcars.

The G.II entered operational service in August 1916, with eight of the initial production batch of 10 deployed to the Balkan front. Nothing today is known about the type's performance in combat, but of the eight on active service, no more than four appear to have been operational at any one time (October 1916). By February 1917, this number had dwindled to one aircraft only, and from April none remained in service. Part of the problem no doubt lay with their engines. The Mercedes D.IV was plagued by severe crankshaft vibration that resulted in frequent crankshaft failures. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

German Ace, Hans Martin Pippart

Pippart was born in Mannheim, Baden, Germany, May 14th, 1888. Prior to the Great War , he was an accomplished pilot as well as a principal in the aeronautical firm of Pippart und Noll, which produced Eindekker airplanes.
He joined the German air forces at the start of the war and his initial assignment was that of a flight instructor. February 1916 saw him on the in Eastern Front where he served some time flying artillery coordination missions in two-seaters with FF(A) 220.

Pippart scored his first win on May 25th, 1917, after he had been assigned to Kasta 1. They were operating Roland D.IIs on the Eastern Front against the Russians.

By the end of 1917, despite flying on a quiet sector, he had six victories to his credit.
Early 1918 found him on the Western Front with Jasta 13 for a short time.
On April 18th, 1918, he was reassigned and given command of the Royal Prussian Jasta 19.

On May 2nd, he scored his first victory flying a Fokker D.VII for his new squadron. With four wins in May, one in June, and six in August, his score had soon grown to 21. Six observation balloons, eight fighter planes and seven reconnaissance aircraft.
August 11th after downing a balloon, for his 22 victory, Pippart was hit by anti-aircraft fire and found he had to abandon his damaged Fokker near Noyon, France. He was killed when his parachute failed to open.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The prototype Albatros C.II

Designed as a military pusher type reconnaissance aircraft and built by Albatros Flugzeugwerke around 1916. Only one aircraft (Idflieg no. C 27/16) was built and the type did not enter production.

The C.II used the wings and landing gear of the earlier C.I but was fitted with a short nacelle rather than a conventional fuselage.

The 150hp Benz Bz III engine was placed at the rear of the nacelle and powered a pusher two bladed propeller. The conventional fin and rudder tail was attached to the rest of the aircraft by an open lightweight frame (thus the German nickname of Gitterschwanz (ie: lattice tail), with the propeller inside the frame.
The crew was carried at the front of the nacelle, with the observer/ gunner in the nose and the pilot behind him.

It is thought, by some, that the C.II was an attempt to duplicate the successful British de Havilland DH.2.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Australian Ace, Arthur "Harry" Cobby

Cobby was born in the suburb of Prahran, Melbourne, Australia, August 26, 1894.
The young Cobby completed his senior-level education at University College, Armadale, before being commissioned into the 46th Infantry (Brighton Rifles), a militia unit, in 1912. He later transferred to the 47th Infantry.
He joined the Australian Imperial Force in 1916 and was posted to the Central Flying School, Australian Flying Corps, Point Cook, and completed his initial instruction in December.

He became a founding member of No. 4 Squadron AFC, and embarked for England aboard RMS Omrah on 17 January 1917.
No. 4 Squadron arrived in England in March 1917 to undergo training in preparation for service on the Western Front. Equipped with Sopwith Camels, the unit was sent to France in December. Cobby later admitted to being so nervous about the prospect of going into battle that "if anything could have been done by me to delay that hour, I would have left nothing undone to bring it about". When he did see combat for the first time, he had only twelve hours solo flying experience.
Cobby’s first confirmed victories came on March 21st, 1918 when he shot down two Albatros D.Vs. War correspondent Frederick Cutlack considered that 'Cobby was one of the most daring spirits in the Australian air service', and describes in detail his many encounters with enemy aircraft.

Having proved himself a talented and aggressive pilot, Cobby's leadership abilities were recognised with his appointment as a flight commander on 14 May 1918, and promotion to captain on 25 May.
By the end of his active service, Cobby was in charge of Allied formations numbering up to 80 aircraft. Fellow No. 4 Squadron ace, George Jones (later Chief of the Air Staff), described him as the unit's "natural leader in the air and in all off-duty activities"
Though Cobby's final tally for the war is often given as 29 aircraft and 13 observation balloons destroyed, claim-by-claim analyses of his victories credit him with 24 aircraft and five balloons, for a grand total of 29, making him the highest-scoring member of the AFC, as well as the service's only "balloon-busting" ace.

His proudest boast, however, was that as a flight commander "he never lost a pilot over enemy territory."

Cobby’s awards were; The Distinguished Service Order and The Distinguished Flying Cross with two bars.