These early fighter aircraft had two two seats, with a man sitting in the rear controlling the guns. Dogfights were extremely difficult because the pilot would have to dodge other enemy aircraft while listening to the commands of the gunner as to where to fly to get the enemy into his sights.
The first dog-fight is believed to have taken place on 28th August 1914, when Lieutenant Norman Spratt, flying a Sopwith Tabloid, forced down a German two-seater. This was an amazing achievement as his Sopwith was not armed.
One of Britain's first star pilots was Louis Strange. He devised a safety strap system in his Avro 504 so that it was possible for his gunner to "stand up and fire all round over the top of the plane and behind". Strange's gunner, Rabagliati, used a Lewis Gun and was soon bring down German aircraft over the Western Front. By October 1915 the Royal Flying Corps decided to fit this safety harness to all their aircraft. As well as using guns, some crews carried grenades which they tried to drop onto enemy fliers below them.
The first Victoria Cross for air combat was won by Captain Lanoe Hawker on 25th June, 1915. Flying a single-seater Bristol Scout and armed with a single-shot cavalry carbine mounted on the starboard side of the fuselage, Hawker attacked an enemy two-seater over Ypres. After forcing it to land he brought down two more enemy planes. What made the achievement so remarkable was that all three German aircraft were armed with machine-guns.
In 1915 the French pilot, Roland Garros, added deflector plates to the blades of his propeller. These small wedges of toughened steel diverted the passage of those bullets which struck the blades. It was now possible for a pilot in a single-seater aircraft to successfully fire a machine-gun.
Anton Fokker, a Dutch designer who had set up an aircraft factory in Schwerin, German, was also trying to develop a machine-gun that could fire through revolving propeller blades. By the autumn of 1915 Fokker was fitting his Eindecker monoplanes with interrupter gear, therefore producing the first true fighter aircraft. Also called a synchronising gear, the propeller was linked by a shaft to the trigger to block fire whenever they were in line.
German pilots such as Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke began destroying large numbers of British aircraft using their synchronised machine-guns. Immelmann destroyed seventeen Allied aircraft in his Eindecker before being shot down and killed on 15 June 1916. Boelcke went on to claim forty victims before he was also killed in October 1916. Pilots such as Immelmann and Boelcke, who had more than eight 'kills', became known as Flying Aces. It was not long before Britain and France began fitting synchronised machine-guns to their aircraft and pilots such as Rene Fonck and William Bishop developed reputations as flying aces.
By the spring of 1916 the British had produced the Avro DH2 fighter plane. The DH2 was a single-seater biplane with the engine behind the pilot. It carried a forward-firing Lewis machine-gun and the absence of an engine in front gave the pilot and uninterupted view of his target.
Another important innovation was the development of tracer ammunition. The Royal Flying Corps began using it in July 1916 and its pilots found it very useful. With every seventh round a tracer was fired so the gunner-pilot could see his stream of fire and adjust his aim accordingly.
Organisation and tactics changed with the introduction of the synchronized machine-gun. At first flying aces adopted "lone wolf" tactics. However, by 1917 British pilots tended to seek out enemy aircraft in groups of six. The flight commander would be in front, with an aircraft on either side forming a V shape. To the rear and above were two other planes and at the back was the sub-leader. However, when in combat, the pilots operated in pairs, one to attack, and the other to defend. German pilots preferred larger formations and these were later known as circuses.
The Start and Progression of the DOG FIGHTFound online ref at bottom
Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:37 AM
Fly it , like ya Stole it
I am a PILOT-------I pile it here ,and I pile it there.
R.I.P Cat0200 6/15/1970 - 9/23/2012.
Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:16 AM
Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:11 PM
Edited by Superterminator, 18 June 2012 - 01:12 PM.
If you are reading this then you know that this post exists.
"This is your captain speaking. We have some problems, being that about 15 warplanes have attacked us. Thank you for not panicking."
Posted 18 June 2012 - 02:00 PM
Altitude, speed, and positioning are your greatest assets in the skies...www.checksixgaming.com
Posted 18 June 2012 - 02:07 PM
However, if I may ask: is the web-link a connection to the rest of your article or an expanded read on the topic (sorry, but I didn't have the time to check). I ask cos your post was good but only a blip on the subject.