And here's the first flight for Oberleutnant Otto von Pranz, who hails from Tubingen, and is based at the 'drome north of Zerkegem, with "Bosta 2," flying the Fokker E.II(a) variant.
for the next missions, Von S will tinker with down-tuning flight congestion from "medium" to "light" in the in-sim menu, and will turn on minimal "coercion" with enemy flight paths - to see if these will result in greater chance of contact with the enemy, and also to see if this will minimize a slight drop in frame rates noticed during the Otto von Pranz flight, after about half an hour - possibly owing to flak or flight congestion around Bethune? - although no craft were observed in the vicinity. Also to be tested will be a smaller floating point value in the terrain file under /shaders30 - will test at 128 and 256, current value being used there is 512; as well to be tested will be BuckeyeBob's clouds in PE - and Jara's Multimod will be set for "no aircraft explosions," "no flak on landed planes," "bombs to drop singly," and winds will be set at "vertical low," "horizontal moderate," and "turbulence low" - for further immersion.)
Today's November flight was a lengthy one. I was rather surprised that our flight officer encouraged us (two Aviatiks were also to proceed) to fly all the way to the area around Bethune and the front lines there. I was somewhat apprehensive but was encouraged that, owing to my pre-war flight experience, I would do just fine - and besides, I was to fly the E.II variant of the Eindecker, nicely tuned-up by our field mechanic and occasional test pilot Kritter von Schnapps, affectionately known as Von S by those who have had the pleasure to fly his modified contraptions.
Starting the Eindecker was pesky business but it accelerated well and I was soon aloft - the overall theory was that I escort the two Aviatiks as far south as possible, although I was given freedom to roam silently and stealthily if the Aviatiks were faring well on their own. I decided to follow them down to about Aartrijke before bidding them farewell and cutting across the lines slightly north of Passchendale, then directly across Ypres, and floating further south - all this on their side of the lines (which was usually frowned upon) to be able to observe things more clearly.
I kept regular watch behind me, although at this alt. of about 2000 m I did not meet anyone. Solitary and singular was the entire flight. Eventually Bethune was spotted on the right side, and small skirmishes happening at the front lines there, on the left. Wrestling constantly with the winds in the slippery Eindecker, I only then noticed that my fuel was down to less than 60%. Erring on the side of caution, I cut across the lines, to land at a smaller aerodrome that was immediately north of Lens. The landing kept my hands full but I managed to taxi, still in one piece, towards a tent - and spun the engine down.
We telephoned my aerodrome at Zerkegen, and, to my relief, the flight officer recommended that I refuel and stay the night at Lens - since storms and even worse winds were building up north - it was already difficult to coax the Eindecker into any semblance of flight even in the somewhat decent weather conditions that had prevailed during my flight south. The two Aviatiks would complete their mission unmolested, I was assured, since they had by then attained the necessary altitude. I was encouraged by our globe-trotting flight officer, via telephone, to dine at Schmidt's in Lens - excellent sausages and sauerkraut there.