Whoever said that northern Flanders is a beautiful place has never been here in late November. If the past week is any indication of what we have to look forward to, weather wise, then this will be a dismal place to spend a winter. In spite of the constant rain, I was able to fly a number of missions so the week wasn't a total loss. It is my ambition, quest if you will, to build a working set of tactics that will enable our pilots to successfully engage the enemy's machines whenever they might chance upon them. I believe that I have achieved that in regards to the Aviatik, so this week I've turned my attention to the Fokker monoplane. It is my intention to seek out this aeroplane and engage it to learn it's strengths and weaknesses. This week I had the good fortune to successfully engage four of the Fokker monoplanes, and even though the pencil pushers back at Wing saw fit to only confirm one of them, I still learned a great deal. So far, it appears that our Nieuports have the advantage in speed, climbing ability, maneuverability, and robustness. In all four engagements, I was never at a disadvantage unless the enemy dove. In diving, the monoplane does have the advantage because it doesn't have the tendency to shed a wing, but even then, if the Nieuport pilot is attentive then he can turn that disadvantage into his advantage. In regards to robustness, it is becoming more apparent to me that the Fokker is very sensitive to any damage to it's tail planes. In fact, in two of my engagements I'm sure that I didn't hit the enemies tail planes with more than a half a dozen bullets and yet the enemy lost control and crashed. I will continue my research for a few more engagements and then I'll present my findings to the rest of the squadron.
Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC