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-   -   WWI planes (https://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259)

dbcisco 07-16-2009 07:06 AM

I will have to agree with Murphy that Udet was the best pilot of WWI and "one of the" best air commanders in WWII. I'm not up to snuff on his WWII career though.

degreen60 07-16-2009 11:39 AM

Which has a better chance of being an Ace, a good pilot or a great marksman?

I saw in interview a long time ago with a WW1 vet that had flew in the war. He did not tell what airplane he flew and I don't remember what country. He said the plane was so unstable that if he let go of the stick he did not know what the plane would do. He guesses that the emeny did not either cause the only 2 times he had an emeny on his tail he just let go of the stick and lost them.

WWI Ace 07-16-2009 01:45 PM

Yeah Udet was a good pilot but I still choose Voss. No he didn't survive the war but in the short time he flew his kill ratio was outstanding. Had he just flown back home and lived to fight another day many historians believe he would have easily beaten MvRs record. He fought singlehandedly against 6 great pilots from the No.56 squadron and managed to put a bullethole in every one of there planes!! His flying actually took Allied ace McCudden by surprise to the point of scaring him out of the fight for a minute because of superior flying. It was said that Voss kept "flat skidding" his triplane left and right and shooting the planes on both sides of him. Voss even "zoomed" up above the No.56's attacking planes several times "in which he could have easily flown away" but dropped back down into the enemy planes to attack again!! We all know that back then altitude was what gave you the advantage. After Rhys-David was back at his base and his buddies were celebrating the death of Voss and Rhys-Davids victory (he was credited with the victory) they asked him what was wrong because he seemed sad. He said he wished he could have brought him down alive so he could speak to this incredible pilot!! Steve

WWI Ace 07-16-2009 03:28 PM

Ordered a couple new 4.3g servos and Y-connector from Hobbycity. A couple of rolls of Microlite covering from Towerhobbies. And a Vickers machine gun kit from Wrightbrothersrc. Now I have to finish my Nieuport 11. I'm going with the plain doped fabric look instead of the silver. When my orders come in I should have everything to finish it up. Guess I'd better get the landing gear wire bent and the top of the fuse sheeted so I can finish sanding!!! Steve

dbcisco 07-16-2009 04:39 PM

Death in combat is because you are either a hero, unlucky or stupid. Either way, your dead, the dead stink as pilots. Still going with Udet.

cocobear 07-16-2009 05:02 PM

Udet was lucky. By the time he really started to mix it up the Germans had parachutes. he was shot down several times but saved his neck using one.

dbcisco 07-16-2009 06:15 PM

Parachuting to safety is different from being riddle with bullets because you are too stubborn to know when to turn around (MVR). BTW, It was only the British who had a ban on parachutes. By the end of the war parachutes were readily available to all pilots except the British. Yet, many considered it bad form to carry one (chivalry always makes for stupid military decisions) . The Balloonists' chute was considered unsuitable for a variety of reasons/excuses. Many pilots carried a handgun to use when the inevitable became obvious rather than burning to death or watch the ground come at you at 100+ MPH.
Back to Udet, I would say that his using a parachute made him a smart pilot so I give him extra credit for doing so. Planes can be replaced easier than pilots.

dbcisco 07-16-2009 06:20 PM

Another thought on parachutes. MVR had enough clout that he could have gotten parachutes for the Germans in 1917. I think it was his "chivalric" ideals that kept him from doing so. So, I take points away from MVR...again.

Deothoricus 07-16-2009 06:51 PM

Major Mick Mannock
I vote for Mannock even though he died. Highest scoring Ally at 73 confirmed. Reknowned for teaching new pilots how to kill (note, not how to fight). Also known for softning up two seats by killing the gunner then leaving the kill to his fledgling.

The first pilot to advocate and use aircraft in teamed pairs, Lead and Wingman. Advocate of zoom and boom, minimize the risk and improve longevity. The SE5a was significantly faster than anything in mass production by Germany, so the perfect tactic. Chenault would become a legend for reinventing this a war later.

Mannock never got much recognition even in Britain. He was not a Gentleman. He was a killer, not a fighter.

dbcisco 07-16-2009 07:13 PM

I thought we were voting on German aces.:confused:

Deothoricus 07-16-2009 07:21 PM

Originally Posted by dbcisco (Post 622435)
I thought we were voting on German aces.:confused:

We were until you wrote:

"have to agree with Murphy that Udet was the best pilot of WWI"



dbcisco 07-16-2009 07:24 PM

It seems there are a few different characteristics of good fighter pilots:

Hunters: Ability to not only find the enemy, but to get the upper hand.
Marksmen: Rarely misses a shot.
Killers: Driven to take out the enemy any way possible. No chivalry allowed.
Fliers: Dazzling control of his aircraft.
Thinkers: Able to quickly figure out the best tactic in any situation.
Lucky: Able to do amazing things despite odds to the contrary or lack of ability.

Combine as many characteristics as possible to make a "greatest".

dbcisco 07-16-2009 07:27 PM

Originally Posted by Deothoricus (Post 622436)
We were until you wrote:

"have to agree with Murphy that Udet was the best pilot of WWI"



Let me restate then. "best German pilot of WWI". Thought that was a given, my error. I have little interest in other than AXIS powers. My heritage is German (back to 1096) so I am a little biased I guess.

degreen60 07-16-2009 08:26 PM

Originally Posted by dbcisco (Post 622438)
I have little interest in other than AXIS powers. My heritage is German (back to 1096) so I am a little biased I guess.

I knew there was a reason my Camel always want to shoot you out of the sky. LOL My heritage is British. But then my forefathers told the English King bye.

dbcisco 07-16-2009 09:03 PM

My ancestors came to Philadelphia in 1742, so we have a long history with these fine colonies ( I think we were Tories). Until 1900 most of the family still spoke German. We got suckered into WWI and WWII just so the French didn't have to learn German.:D I still don't get why the British, who seem to be anti-French, always come to France's rescue.:confused:

WWI Ace 07-17-2009 02:30 AM

I don't think it matters as far as whether you think the greatest is a Allied or Axis pilot. I just enjoy the conversation!! It's great to have people to talk to who are knowledgable about WWI aviation. Now back to Udet!! He wasn't that great because he let that "fat, sorry excuse for a superior officer Goering make him make the stupid choice of committing suicide!! That's a chickens way out!! I have a picture in a book of Udet standing next to his Albatros and the serial numbers on the tail are the same year he committed suicide. Ironic? At least Voss died like a warrior just like Mannock!! Not like a sniveling crybaby!! LOL Just messing guys, I like Udet too he just isn't my favorite. Steve

dbcisco 07-17-2009 02:54 AM

Suicide is not a cowards way out. In most cultures it is an honorable ending. Also, unless you have ever attempted suicide don't ever say it doesn't take courage. Most people don't have the courage to hold their breath until they safely pass-out and start breathing again, let alone put a bullet through their skull. Udet took the way out that left his family's honor intact. I suppose that the pilots who shot themselves in their burning planes because they didn't have 'chutes were cowards?
Sorry to go on like that but you hit a very personal issue with me.

WWI Ace 07-17-2009 03:15 AM

Sorry dbcisco!! Didn't mean to upset you I was just making conversation. And come to think of it I guess the kamikazee pilots were dying with honor. They did what they thought was right for their cause. Steve

dbcisco 07-17-2009 03:23 AM

Originally Posted by WWI Ace (Post 622634)
Sorry dbcisco!! Didn't mean to upset you I was just making conversation. And come to think of it I guess the kamikazee pilots were dying with honor. They did what they thought was right for their cause. Steve

I wasn't so much offended as saddened. I know people who have accomplished and attempted suicide. These we very strong people who thought that such an act would make things better for others, not selfish acts. I only managed to talk one person out of it. I told them they had no right to "murder my friend".

WWI Ace 07-17-2009 03:49 AM

Point well taken!! I had a friend just this past year that had the SWAT Team surrounding his house. He wanted them to do it at first but then he put the gun to his head and did it himself. Left behind kids and a wife. To be totally honest with you I still have mixed emotions about the whole thing. Steve

dbcisco 07-17-2009 03:56 AM

Until you can understand the why, the how makes no sense. I think that I would do it if it was in the best interest of my family (IE: unpayable medical bills versus life insurance). I think an overdose of morphine would my "cowardly" way out though. I have looked at the wrong end of too many guns to do that to myself. "Clean up" isn't something I would want them to deal with either. Let them remember me "going to sleep forever". Less trauma for loved ones.

TVCasualty 07-17-2009 07:49 AM

In the case of Udet, when faced with a tyrannical rule, to which he apparently disagreed, he because a political casualty. The how is less important, but it should be noted it wasn't in the air. Udet has always been one of my favorite for that reason.

In the case of Voss, I believe the history channel has omitted one small detail... While it would be possible for the tripe to zoom climb ahead of the SE5As, I don't believe he could have kept it up. They also didn't mention the fight occuring overhead, in which a group of SPADs were engaged with another flight. Not to down play a truely amazing fighter, only I don't believe escape was so easy.

But if we are talking the best of any nation, I'm surprised to not have read Fonck yet!

dbcisco 07-17-2009 07:58 AM

René Paul Fonck (27 March 1894–18 June 1953) "On 17 March 1917, Fonck scored the second time". Late to the air war, survived and had 70 confirmed victories and possibly over 100 if you count unconfirmed victories ( he claimed 140 total).
Pretty darn good! OK! He has my vote for best of all sides!

WWI Ace 07-17-2009 06:17 PM

I'd agree that Fonck was good. And if you want to dicuss some unusual pilots how about Frank Luke? Steve

4everEngland 07-17-2009 06:58 PM

I'm glad someone mentioned Frank Luke! Being from Phoenix myself, I'm glad to see my homeboy get some recognition! (Luke was from Phoenix, too). Luke's entire combat flying career only lasted something like three weeks if I am not mistaken, and look what he accomplished in that time. Rickenbacker said that not even MVR could match Luke for what the Arizona Balloon Buster was able to get done in such a short time. As for the Germans, I wonder what Boelke might have accomplished had he not been accidentally killed in a mid-air collision with one of his own pilots? He is probably the "granddaddy" of all fighter pilots, but his name rarely comes up due to his early death.

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