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#4353590 - 04/26/17 11:28 AM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
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12,000 feet is high for a Fokker E.II.

At 12,000 feet the engine struggles to breathe, the wings run out of lift. The rudder sags and responds sulkily, requiring more and more boot to keep the aircraft pointed in a straight line. The Caudron G.4 however handles the air at high altitude with comparative ease, it's two large engines huddled in their acorn shaped nacelles provide enough thrust to take the seemingly ungainly bomber with it's crew of two to over 13,000ft. Kolb was not long into his patrol when he spotted the Caudrons, they were about 4,000ft above him and coming from the direction of Saint Quentin, presumably returning from a dawn bombing raid in the area. It was a long and slow chase, not an exhilarating rush of adrenaline but a wearing test of endurance, would Kolb be able to coax the machine high enough with his current fuel load, would he close to within firing range before the machines reached the relative safety their side of the lines and put their noses down in order to outrun him.

Minutes ticked by and the shapes of the two G.4's slowly drew nearer, Kolb began to pick out details on the hindmost machine, the lattice like tail, the head of the observer who was watching Kolb approach, waiting, as Kolb was, for the moment to fire. When he was within 300 yards Kolb began firing short bursts in an attempt to get the Caudron to turn and lose speed, he didn't expect to hit at this range but both Kobes and Laack had told him that enemy aircraft would often respond in such a way, despite not being in any particular danger, out of sheer reflex. This French pilot was made of sterner stuff however and it wasn't until Kolb had closed to 200 yards and his rounds began striking the bomber that the pilot veered into a graceful right hand turn, carrying the two merging aircraft East. They were over the lines now, Kolb could not keep up the pursuit much longer for fear of ending up stranded behind enemy lines again or having his line of retreat potentially cut off by enemy scouts. He urged his machine on, closing steadily and firing bursts as the opportunities presented themselves.

At 100 yards the enemy observer began to return fire, Kolb jinked, careful not to lose speed but needing to maneuver behind and under the tail of the G.4 in order to stay out of the observer's fire. The duel went on this way, a game of cat and mouse which the observer eventually won with an accurate burst that holed Kolb's fuel tank and forced him to turn away to the north. Kolb swore, his fuel was running out fast and he was over the wrong side of the lines. At least he had plenty of height, he would make it home. Provided nothing else went wrong. Laack's words came to him subconsciously.

"There's no problem in flying that you can't make worse Kolb."

Mindful of this advice from his departed friend Kolb considered the foolhardiness of his pursuit and the inept manner in which he had engaged the enemy. Of course Kolb didn't have many options given the circumstances but he identified his major mistake in this instance as having been too keen, too hot headed in his pursuit. The problem was that, given the relative parity of his aircraft with the Caudron, Kolb was left with precious few options so far as engaging advantageously. He would have to talk to Kobes and the others about tactics, using the sun, patrolling the right places at the right times.

"Live and learn, but live first." Kolb mused to himself as he descended. He picked a field from the myriad below and landed on it safely.


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Wenn ihr sieg im deine Kampf selbst gegen, wirst stark wie Stahl sein.
#4353642 - 04/26/17 02:26 PM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
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So...Kolb preaches to himself to re-enforcing the things he should not repeat. biggrin


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#4353674 - 04/26/17 04:09 PM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
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He's dodged the headman's axe twice within a week. I'll have to sneak in a few sorties with him over the next couple of days.


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#4354537 - 04/30/17 05:38 AM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
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Weiss was from the Baltic coast, he has white blonde hair and extremely fair skin. They called him "Moonbeam" because it was jokingly stated that he could sunbathe and get a tan by the light of the full moon. Fatigue and the weather killed Weiss, windshear to be exact. He had been coming in to Vivaise after a long patrol, been careless on his approach when a gust picked up and he flew slap into a tree on the edge of the field. His comrades buried him in the cemetery at Bruyeres et Montberault. The next day Kolb went up before dawn. A warm front had moved into the area overnight and the air was turbulent and gusty. Towering stacks of cumulus and the occasional cumulonimbus cloud dotted the air as far as the eye could see and Kolb's machine bucked and thrashed about wildly. He had intended to test the rigging and perhaps catch a French night raider on his way back down south but Kolb had to cut his flight short due to the extremity of the weather and the uneasiness of his stomach. They had given Weiss a fitting send-off, the four of them that remained, even Meinecke's stiff Prussian manners had been loosened enough for him to participate in the mess games.

Werner and Klaus eyed Kolb's machine proprietarily as he taxied to the canvas hangar where he customarily parked, they could see that the rigging was already loose again in places and that their morning's work was already cut out for them.

"Bit rought up there this morning Kolb?" Asked Klaus who saw to the rigging.

"Rough? Even the ducks are landing with scrambled eggs." Stated Kolb and strode off to the mess for breakfast since he'd left a good deal of his dinner somewhere between Vivaise and Sissone.

Kolb took a quick breakfast in the mess, which was empty. No serviceable machines except for his own and only four pilots meant that the rest of the squadron got to sleep off their hangovers while Kolb, being the neophyte, had been assigned the morning's flight. After eating he returned to his quarters and slept until a Gefreiter awakened him at lunch time with the news that his machine was ready for the afternoon patrol. Feeling much more chipper now Kolb had a quick sandwich and coffee in the mess before walking out to his machine where Klaus and Werner awaited him.

"All ready?" He asked

Werner nodded. "Yes and please try to bring her back in the condition you found her."

"Of course dear Werner!" exclaimed Kolb, heaving himself aboard.

The weather had settled a little and Kolb took off from Vivaise with a minimum of fuss, the wind was still strong but nowhere near as extreme as it had been that morning and Kolb was able to climb to 6,000ft whereupon he set off towards the juncture of the Oise and the Aisne rivers where he would be patrolling today. He'd hardly made it 10 miles from Vivaise when he spotted two large, dun coloured aircraft below him making the same heading at about 4,000ft. Kolb blinked, he couldn't believe his eyes. Two Caudrons lower than him and in perfect position to attack! Kolb switched the ignition of the Oberursel engine back to the half position where it would only fire on every second stroke so that he would not gain too much speed in his attack and then he dove after the French machines. Their observers were competent as they saw him attacking and the lower of the two aircraft seemed to panic, veering out of formation, Kolb selected this machine as his target. He made several passed but the turbulence interfered with his aim, it also prevented the observer on the Caudron from bringing his gun to bear and, so, overall Kolb had the advantage as his gun was easier to aim. He made several passes at the French machine, Machine gun hammering Tak-tak-tak-tak on each pass like an absurdly grateful Pole. Pieces flew from the lumbering French machine which staggered and lurched through the rough air but, by sheer skill and the willpower of its' crew, the machine stayed aloft. Kolb would attack, break away, climb then dive to attack again but the stubborn Caudron refused to go down under the hail of his bullets. Finally, both Kolb and the Caudron crew noticed a bank of cumulus approaching. The Caudron plunged towards it with Kolb in hot pursuit. Kolb made it within range and hammered a final burst at the Caudron before the cloud swallowed them both whole.

It only took a few seconds for Kolb to lose his bearings inside the cloud entirely. he cut the engine to idle and watched his RPM gauge like a hawk, easing back on the stick if it climbed even slightly. Eventually he came out of the cloud left wing down and in a slight descending spiral. He glanced frantically around for the Caudron which was above him by about 500 ft and heading towards Vivaise. Seeing Kolb the French pilot plunged his machine back into the cloud once more, preferring the uncertainties within to the inevitable fate that would befall him before Kolb's gun. Kolb decided not to follow but to wait, circling in the area and searching for his quarry. The Caudron did not emerge again, it somehow eluded Kolb and, after waiting for some time, Kolb gave up and decided to make for the front where the French machines would have to cross in order to remain home. Kolb was exhilarated, he'd seen his rounds striking the French machine, the splinters of wood flying, canvas flapping, neat rows of holes. He'd seen the terrified faces of the two Frenchmen staring at him aghast as he bore in. This was Kolb's second taste of blood and he wanted the kill but he also knew that he had made a mistake in following the Caudron into the cloud. A cooler head would have climbed away and waited for the machine to emerge but Kolb had pursued it like a fool into the murky fog and he could very well have been killed as a result. These thoughts occupied Kolb's mind as he flew to the front along with other thoughts about which route the French would choose to take home. Kolb guessed that they would climb above the clouds, ready to duck back into their safe embrace should Kolb reappear.

Kolb made it to the lines and wheeled about at 7,000 ft, waiting for the French machines to come into sight, he circled and circled but they did not appear. 'This is hopeless' thought Kolb after some time and he decided to try looking under the clouds incase the French machines were skulking underneath. There was nothing under the clouds either, this time the mice had escaped.

Or had they?

In the distance to the north kolb spotted an observation balloon and this gave him an idea, perhaps the observer had seen or heard the French machines, perhaps he could point out to him the direction of their passage. Kolb opened his throttle wide and roared off in the direction of the balloon which he arrived at in good time to find the observer, bobbing up and down in his basket and waving lazily at him in the most frustratingly casual fashion, like one would brush away a fly. Kolb circled, gesticulation to the observer in a futile attempt to convey his inquiry about the French aircraft while the observer watched him, bemused at the peculiar spectacle.

"Obviously a complete moron." Kolb muttered under his breath and he was about to fly away home when the observer suddenly became very animated, thrusting his arm outward and pointing to the North. Kolb wheeled his machine around and, sure enough, there above the clouds was a single Caudron G.4 with flak bursting all around. Kolb climbed hard to maneuver into position for a shot. It wasn't long before he was in range, the French machine turned hard to the left but Kolb easily matched its' turn and hammered off a burst which smacked into the Caudron, sending chunks of wood and canvas flying. Kolb squeezed the trigger for a second burst but his guns were silent. No ammunition. By now the French observer was furiously firing back and Kolb broke off the attack, muttering to himself about his poor aim and watching the Caudron wing its' way south towards home.

[Linked Image]

Kolb and the Caudrons

[Linked Image]

Kolb attempts to communicate with the observation balloon.


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Wenn ihr sieg im deine Kampf selbst gegen, wirst stark wie Stahl sein.
#4354575 - 04/30/17 02:05 PM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
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Ace

Very compelling story. I was totally immersed in it. Nice touch adding the tech stuff about the Oberusal ignition. I really enjoy the accurate details along with the emotional content. It's a shame to see the carrot always dangling just out of Kolb's reach!


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#4354579 - 04/30/17 02:18 PM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
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Thanks Rob, I try to fly the E.II according to the rules of how the engine is supposed to work. Blipping and limiting myself to full on, half on and idle settings.


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Wenn ihr sieg im deine Kampf selbst gegen, wirst stark wie Stahl sein.
#4354659 - 04/30/17 11:34 PM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
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Kolb awoke to see Kobes standing over him.

"Wake up sleepy head, it's time to go flying"

"Mein gott." Muttered Kolb. "Why can't you people understand that I'm not a bat."

It was still dark outside, Cauldrons had been making regular early morning raids and the Fokker Eindeckers of KEK West were the only aircraft available int he region to intercept them. There were some Aviatiks based at Sissonne but their aircraft were busy on other duties so KEK West got the unenviable chore of ascending to 10,000ft each morning to hunt the French. Kolb went through the motions and it wasn't until he was standing before his machine with Klaus and Werner fussing over his flying kit that he truly woke up, it was a feeling of mingled fear and excitement building in his stomach.

'Perhaps today would be the day!' he mused, or 'Perhaps today would be the day...'

Kolb briefly thought of Marie, it had been a while now since he had written to her. A pang of guilt teased at him but was soon overrun by nervous excitement as the sound of a siren cut through the morning air and reached his ears. This morning he would do hid damndest to bring down one of the cursed French monstrosities.

*****

5,000ft over the trenches, the sky was full of cloud and the red glow of dawn began to peep through the gaps in the clouds from the east. Kolb had made good time to get to the lines, the air was relatively calm and a wind from the SSW gave his wings a little more bite as he climbed on his way to the Aisne where he would begin his hunt. Kolb didn't have long to wait. Ahead of him anti aircraft fire burst into the air, picking out Kolb's target for him.

"One, no two of them."

It was a long chase, the Frenchmen spotted Kolb and opened the throttles on their machines, climbing with all the power they could muster, Kolb climbed in pursuit, keeping pace with them until they reached 10,000ft where the lumbering French machines lost the climbing race and Kolb began to catch them when suddenly they turned toward the northeast. Kolb was surprised, these men were very confident in their machines. He had expected them to remain over their own lines until or to flee but these men meant to go about their business despite Kolb's presence, they were brave men. This was Kolb's first clue that he had a fight ahead of him. Kolb managed to maneuver underneath the French machines after they made their turn and he continued ahead of them, looking back over his shoulder to make sure that they had not changed course. Soon enough he was a mile or so ahead and at the same level. He turned as tightly as he dared for this height and aimed his cowling at the rearmost machine, hoping to cause such consternation in the French formation as to cause them to break up and thus allow him to attack one machine without needing to concern himself with return fire from the other. The tactic was a dangerous one, his closure speed would be high but Kolb had lost some height in his turn and it was all he could do to bring his gun to bear in time. He managed a brief burst into the number two machine before they merged and then he made a wide, climbing turn that positioned him above the pair, poised, like a hawk preparing to swoop.

Kolb focused all of his with on the second machine, allowing nothing to distract him. He watched as it grew in his gunsight, an ungainly lattice of struts, canvas, engines and men. When it seemed as though he could reach out and touch the rudder of the French machine he opened fire. Kolb's burst hit the crew compartment, a sort of bathtub type arrangement suspended between the wings and engines. The Caudron lurched, staggered through the air sideways for a bit and finally fell out of control. Kolb, watching in disbelief was aghast, what had he done? Had he killed them? He, Kolb, who calculated business earnings in a small Cologne firm? Was this a trick? Surely they must pull out! Arcs of tracer from the first machine sped over Kolb's machine, a ranging burst, Kolb ducked instinctively and veered away while attempting to see what had become of the second machine but ultimately losing sight of it. Kolb didn't know but there would be empty chairs in the French mess at Rosnay that night, his burst had killed the pilot, and wounded the observer, almost severing his arm. The observer sat, looking at the blood that was pouring from an artery sloshing in the cockpit around his feet to the ground that was spinning up to smash him to pieces. Mercifully he fainted before things got any worse for him.

There was still one French machine in the air and Kolb was confident that he could force them both down, he had plenty of ammunition and fuel and he had a better machine. The French pilot on the other hand was equally confident, he was a veteran and he'd dealt with Fokkers before. Kolb had lost a little height in evading the gunfire aimed at him after he had shot down the first G.4 and the pilot of the lead machine knew his aircraft well, leading Kolb in a climbing left hand turn that Kolb found almost impossible to follow due to the gyroscopic forces generated by his rotary engine, the thin grip his monoplane's wings had on the air at this altitude and the tiny rudder of the Fokker. The Caudron seemed to hang in the air above Kolb, ahead of his turn and just out of reach, try as he might he simply could not bring his gun to bear without nearing a stall. The only thing to do was to gain speed in order to be able to cut across the turn of the French machine, Kolb eased the nose down and let the rudder bar feel the full force of his left boot, struggling to balance the angle of bank as his aircraft plunged into a sharp turn that first descended and then ended in an ascent that placed the Caudron within reach of his Spandau machine gun. Tak-tak-tak-tak-tak-tak-tak-tak-tak the gun roared as Kolb fired a long burst into the Frenchman, seeing his hits strike all over the starboard engine and wing. Kolbs maneuver had brought him dangerously close to the machine and he cut his engine back to half, blipping to stay in position and fighting the Fokker's tendency to stall in the thin air. Kolb closed again, fired. No Tak-tak, his gun had jammed. Kolb's long burst had overheated the barrel and now the Spandau refused to chamber another round. Kolb leaned forward and struck the cocking lever, thumping the gun with his gloved fist, struggling to stay behind the French machine all the while. He inadvertently climbed while struggling with the gun, placing himself in the line of the observer's fire and a hail of lead spattered across the cowling, starring his windscreen which sent a few razor sharp fragments into Kolb's cheek. Kolb wouldn't notice until after he landed.

For minutes Kolb struggled with the gun, the Caudron, his Fokker until the reluctant Spandau finally accepted another round. Kolb felt the cocking lever slide home and he pointed his aircraft once again at the enemy. Tak-tak-tak-SPANG. Return fire smacked into his Oberursel which began making an alarming metallic clanking to accompany its' usual disharmonious buzz. Kolb fired a final defian burst and broke away to the Northeast, heading for Bruyeres, checking his fuel, RPM and the general state of his machine. The Caudron, now much the worse for wear also, was in a wide descending spiral over the front. Kolb glanced at it, hateful and pitying at the same time, conflicted between being denied his victory and the feeling of respect he couldn't suppress, they had put up a good fight. Kolb couldn't spare anymore time for the Frenchmen however, more pressing matters required his attention. The clanking racket his engine was making alerted Kolb to the fact that he had probably lost a cylinder from his engine. It was no problem, provided the leaking fuel didn't catch fire, or providing bits of connecting rod didn't find their way into another cylinder or providing the fuel and oil lines weren't completely destroyed. Apart from those factors, losing a cylinder wasn't as bad as it sounded, the engine could run one or even two cylinders short provided the others weren't compromised. Kolb would just have to be extra careful.

He nursed his machine home, switching back to half ignition when he could to give the strained Oberursel what respite he could and taking care to stick to terrain which afforded him a safe landing ground should worst come to worse. When Kolb finally arrived back at Vivaise he made a quick check of his height, picked a clear patch on the field, switched off his engine to avoid the possibility of a fire and landed heavily just past the stand of trees that still bore the scars of their encounter with Weiss. Werner and Klaus had heard the hesitant spluttering of Kolb's machine approaching and they ran to his machine to help him from the cockpit. Kolb was deathly pale, exhausted, his face spattered with blood from his superficial wound and, despite it all, he grinned at them.

He'd put a score on the board.

[Linked Image]

Kolb discovered that he was reasonably safe from return fire beneath the tail of the Caudron


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Wenn ihr sieg im deine Kampf selbst gegen, wirst stark wie Stahl sein.
#4354660 - 04/30/17 11:42 PM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
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You're a fantastic writer, Ace. I'm loving these reports.


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#4354664 - 04/30/17 11:54 PM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
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Hehe, thanks Ace. It's the game that does half the work for me though to be honest.


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Wenn ihr sieg im deine Kampf selbst gegen, wirst stark wie Stahl sein.
#4354732 - 05/01/17 01:10 PM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
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Thanks for that GR8 read over my morning coffee and biscotti at my fav cofee house.


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#4361544 - 06/02/17 10:12 AM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
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10th April, 1916.

Meinecke knew that there was something wrong the moment he heard Kolb's aircraft approaching the field.

It was a rough day, warm air was flowing in from the NNW and meeting cold air in the South from the Alps, the result was gusty conditions, scurrying cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds and severe turbulence. Meinecke knew that Kolb was an experienced pilot with almost 20 front hours but experience is not a hand to trump fate, as was well known to all who flew from Vivaise. Meinecke could tell that tt wasn't just the engine. Kolb wasn't flying with his usual relaxed ease, he was struggling. Fighting the aircraft, fighting the air, and he was losing.

"Power on you bloody fool!" Shouted Meinecke, his face taut as though he were struggling with the controls himself.

Kolb was coming down too quickly, not trusting his ragged engine Kolb had pulled back the power, thinking he had enough height to make the field but Freya had other plans for him downdrafts and gusts toyed with Kolb's Eindecker as he struggled to manhandle the machine in for landing, the trees ahead of him that had seemed far below a moment ago now loomed ahead, grasping. Kolb almost made it, he side slipped deftly between two trees but Freya reached out and plucked him from the air, sending his Fokker spinning into the ground with a sound like a giant beating his fist into the earth. Meinecke winced, poised like a watchful hawk for the first sign of fire, thankfully it never came. Meinecke shook his head and turned his back on the scene. There was no hope, Kolb was certainly dead judging by the wreckage strewn across the field and Meinecke had other things to do in order to retain what remained of his squadron.

When Werner and Klaus examined the Kolb's machine they found it riddled with bullet holes, Kolb wasn't though, Freya had mercifully snapped his neck on impact like a farmer kills a chicken.

*****

Several miles South a severely damaged Caudron met a similar fate. Two other members of the formation had seen what transpired. A lone Eindecker had attacked them, singling out the left side machine of the trio since it was struggling to maintain formation. The Fokker has isolated the Caudron and the two had fought each other but the rough weather had mastered both combatants, sparing both the Caudron and the Fokker for a few more minutes of existence. A young, square jawed and olive complexioned pilot named Hector Magnier listened to the old hands chatter about the combat. The Fokker had been very unlucky, having to fight the air currents to maintain position. On a calmer day he'd have made short work of the Caudron, the German's shooting had been precise and the French machine was badly hit in the encounter, trailing smoke and losing height all the way home but the weather had doomed the German flyer, causing him to lose position and stray into the path of the observer's machine gun which was used to good effect, driving off the German machine and bringing the French crew a temporary reprieve. The observed died in the crash, the pilot was badly injured.

Magnier's stomach felt hollow, his turn to face the Fokker scourge was growing nearer.

*****

P.S. The Story now continues with Hector Magnier who will be flying the Caudron for C.21.

P.P.S Thanks JJJ, your bloody mod got Kolb killed. Bugger you and your incredibly realistic bloody gusts and turbulence. ~S Outstanding work pal.

P.P.P.S Thanks to all of you who are following the tale, sorry for the long wait.


Last edited by Ace_Pilto; 06/02/17 10:21 AM.

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#4361556 - 06/02/17 11:19 AM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
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Ace, it was well worth the wait. an excellent report. I felt as though I were there listening to the tale.


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MB: Asus Maximus VI Extreme
Mem: Corsair Vengeance (2x 8GB), PC3-12800, DDR3-1600MHz, Unbuffered
CPU: Intel i7-4770K, OC to 4.427Ghz
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 240M Liquid CPU Cooler
Vid Card: ASUS GTX 980Ti STRIX 6GB
OS and Games on separate: Samsung 840 Series 250GB SSD
Monitor: Primary ASUS PG27AQ 4k; Secondary Samsung SyncMaster BX2450L
Periphs: MS Sidewinder FFB2 Pro, TrackIR 4

#4361559 - 06/02/17 11:25 AM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 729
Ace_Pilto Offline
Livestreamer/YouTuber
Ace_Pilto  Offline
Livestreamer/YouTuber
Member

Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 729
Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Thanks RW, I'm planning to cede my mortality to the enemy unit nearest or directly involved in my previous pilots' final moments. (If you hadn't guessed already) So this should carry on until the armistice.

So it's going to be Caudrons for me until I get Fokkered or whatever else might befall me.


Let's pretend I got the BWOC badge to embed here.

Wenn ihr sieg im deine Kampf selbst gegen, wirst stark wie Stahl sein.
#4361566 - 06/02/17 11:41 AM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,983
JJJ65 Online cool
Member
JJJ65  Online Cool
Member

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,983
Czech Rep.
Sorry to hear that, Ace_Pilto sigh .
I swear I did not have on mind to do any harm to your belowed pilot(s).

#4361624 - 06/02/17 03:32 PM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 729
Ace_Pilto Offline
Livestreamer/YouTuber
Ace_Pilto  Offline
Livestreamer/YouTuber
Member

Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 729
Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Hey, I'm just glad someone knows how air moves in this game (sims in general) at long last. Keep up the good work mate.

Last edited by Ace_Pilto; 06/02/17 03:32 PM.

Let's pretend I got the BWOC badge to embed here.

Wenn ihr sieg im deine Kampf selbst gegen, wirst stark wie Stahl sein.
#4365798 - 06/24/17 03:00 AM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 244
stljeffbb Offline
Member
stljeffbb  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 244
Wisconsin USA
(Writer's Note: Hello everyone! I am continuing my British career [see main forum for "Geoff Williams" thread detailing my last flyer] in the Dead-is-Dead style of playing with a new pilot. Here are my rules of engagement:

1) Dead - is - Dead! I believe this can be modded, however, I'm not running the mission editor for this one, and therefore I have no backup pilots, so Dead is truly Dead for any reason. If I do die, I will be starting one day after death with a fresh, new, different named (but still British for now) pilot.

2) Flying rules set to (mostly) "historical"...the only "non-historical" setting I have is I have reduced the accuracy of rear gunners...I have read many posts that suggest this is a good idea. Also, I am going to use Bucksnort's Reduce Rear Gunnery Accuracy mod on Moderate...in my previous career (Geoff Williams) I noticed Pfalz A.I craft opening up on me (and hitting) at about 200 yards.

3) All aces included, and historical weather. I actually tend to prefer games that allow you to change history (think Hearts of Iron or Victoria series), however, based on posts, and my own experiments, I feel it will be best to go ahead and play into history as opposed to changing something I cannot (within the framework of this sim). Yes, I might shoot down Boelke six times, and in flames even, but it is more the challenge of facing pilots like him that make this fun, interesting, and challenging.

4) Controls. I will not use labels, I will not use the "z" button for stats, I will use in-flight maps for now, but I hope that I can abandon them one day, or at least clear out the green airplane cursor that tells me exactly where I am at. I will turn off the text display (shift-D) ...you know, those messages at the top of the screen when bad stuff and other stuff happens (low fuel, health, stall, etc.), but use it for bombing. Now, because of how some planes are set up, I might feel compelled to use F5 just to see the compass to get an idea of my direction, however, when I have the time, I can also use mouse-tracking to look down, or even fidget with eyepoints, to find my compass. But, with all of this said, it really doesn't matter too much, as I am not going for DiD points, but survival. I am going to do my best to survive to November 11, 1918! Flame-outs especially scare me (see poor Geoff Williams), and so do structural defects, but otherwise I feel OK about the possibilities...

5) Controls, part deux. I have an old Logitech Wingman with a left throttle control slider, and except for a trigger and top joystick button, no other programmable buttons exist! It is from another era. I may use the slider throttle in either all up or all down to simulate a blip button on rotary engines...a bit gamey, but I must admit I prefer it to trying to find the "b" button on my keyboard! duh

6) Transfers. I have found one source of an obscure pilot (Lt. Daniel Joseph Sheehan) who original flew for the RNAS in at least 1915 and perhaps 1916 before being injured. He was then allowed to transfer to the RFC and he became a trainer until being let back into combat. He became part of 66 Sqn RFC and was killed on 10 May 1917. If our WOFF:UE squadrons are accurate, it looks like he may have been flying a Pup...either way, it shows that transfers between the air services did occasionally happen, so, I am willing to judicially transfer between services if the opportunity arises. Not terribly historical, but I found one instance, so hey!

7) Game speed...I will use time compression, especially in situations that seem "safe" or "dull"....if I am going to get through a career, I feel it will be necessary to do this

OK, this is pretty much the framework, now to some background biographical information about my second British pilot, George Lyons!)...

George Lyons

[Linked Image]

From York, North Yorkshire

5 December 1883 (31 years old at time of enlistment as a pilot with the RFC)

Bit of a troublemaker in school, more of a prankster, and things had transitioned to compulsory schooling in England around the time of Lyons' childhood.

[Linked Image]

Came from a lower class family, went to school until age 13 (thanks to recent compulsory school act in England), and then did odd jobs for a few years as a teenager to help his family including selling food in the streets...

[Linked Image]

catching rats...

[Linked Image]

and for a while, a chimney sweep, although he was a bit too large for this...

[Linked Image]

Was fortunate enough to meet some young people who took an interest in billiards, and he learned how to play...very well. He became a decent professional billiards player, being able to live well enough off of his proceeds, and this took him around many parts of England and Wales.

[Linked Image]

Lyons enjoyed tinkering with things that were fast like motorcycles, and taught himself how they worked and how engines worked as well. Being a “happy bachelor” he also enjoyed a bit of drink and also women, but he balanced that with his continued passion for billiards and continued to do fairly well for himself. He eventually made his way to Southend-on-Sea was able to purchase a flat on Heygate Avenue...

[Linked Image]

and Lyons spent considerable time at the billiards tables at the Kursaal Southend amusement park (by the way, this actually came before Coney Island in the USA and is considered to be the very first theme park in the world) in the later part of the first decade of the 20th century,

[Linked Image]


...and this is where he first became acquainted with aeroplanes, seeing some of the first craft at the Rochford aerodrome in 1914, but also coming into acquaintance, by chance a few years before, with Victor Forbes and Arthur Arnold who had been testing a homemade aeroplane in the vicinity (Westbarrow Hall Farm to be exact, abutted to the place where Rochford aerodrome eventually went up).

[Linked Image]

In addition, Lyons noticed the work then being done by the “Colony of British Aircraft” just up the way in South Fambridge run by Noel Pemberton-Billing and had folks such as Frederick Handley-Page and others testing out new designs.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Even though the “Colony” turned out to be a bit of a failure, Lyons became keenly interested in flight. Of course, this tied in well with his enjoyment of motorcycles, having owned a few including a Trusty Triumph (1912 Triumph model)

[Linked Image]

...and a 1907 Norton.

[Linked Image]

Lyons taught himself about motors and became very good at it, eventually on occasion having the chance to work with aviation motors and other aeroplane parts. Lyons' reputation spread as some one who was good with mechanics in the Southend area. In addition, Lyons had made some flights in Farman and then Blériot aircraft, part of his daring but collected nature.

[Linked Image]

Eventually, war clouds came on the horizon, and whilst not particularly inclined to join the armed services, some acquaintances convinced Lyons to join the Royal Flying Corps at their new Rochford aerodrome, where he was directly entered at the rank Air Mechanic 2nd Class (after passing the trade test) in the late summer of 1914. Excellent work helped Lyons develop a great reputation, and although he had now suspended his professional billiards career, he had banked enough quid to maintain his flat, making him someone who was unusual in the ranks, being a bit older and more world seasoned. His hand-eye coordination and natural aiming abilities (seasoned in billiards play) made him an excellent candidate for becoming a pilot, and he was encouraged to obtain his Royal Aero Club certificate 1051 which he earned in January 1915.

[Linked Image]

He then encouraged relatives take care and live in his Southend flat as he headed first to Sutton's Farm to complete his training, and then to Flanders as a part of RFC 3!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]



(and thus, another saga begins!)

Regards,

Jeff


Last edited by stljeffbb; 07/09/17 04:33 PM. Reason: Converted from photobucket to imgur!

WOFF:UE Computer Specs and set-up:
Homebuilt Computer!
Intel i5-3570k mildly overclocked to 3.8ghz
AsRock Z75 mobo
Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB (EVGA one fan version)
16 GB RAM
42 inch Sharp Aquos LCD TV with 120hz refresh
Very old (over 20 years now) Aiwa Receiver/Amplifier
Very old giant stereo speakers with newer sub-woofer
Very old Logitech Wingman joystick with two buttons and a throttle slider
Very old CH Thurstmaster analog footpedals
Manhattan analog/USB converter
W10
#4365928 - 06/25/17 04:21 AM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 244
stljeffbb Offline
Member
stljeffbb  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 244
Wisconsin USA
George Lyons

Training at Sutton's Farm, 19 April 1915.

Training flights...mostly uneventful, however, on my first navigation flight, I had engine failure! The thing just would not rev beyond idle, and while I did have an aerodrome in sight, I could not make it and had to glide to rest in a farm just beyond some railroad tracks (NW of London).

For my first solo flight, I took a spin above Southend to once more see the sights of where I most recently lived. There is my flat...can't you see it?

[Linked Image]

Still not too far away from where I am now, but soon, it will be just a bit harder to get back once I'm across the Channel.

[Linked Image]

I finished with 7.72 flying hours:

[Linked Image]

Got to meet some of the blokes in the squadron (Writer's Note: these amount of kills look much more reasonable than those of RNAS in March 1915 wink ):

[Linked Image]

Housed at Chocques field in Flanders flying the Morane Saulnier type L, also called the Morane Parasol...

[Linked Image]

Ready for my first mission as a pilot!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Regards,

Jeff





Last edited by stljeffbb; 07/09/17 04:38 PM. Reason: Added a y, and converted from photobucket to imgur!

WOFF:UE Computer Specs and set-up:
Homebuilt Computer!
Intel i5-3570k mildly overclocked to 3.8ghz
AsRock Z75 mobo
Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB (EVGA one fan version)
16 GB RAM
42 inch Sharp Aquos LCD TV with 120hz refresh
Very old (over 20 years now) Aiwa Receiver/Amplifier
Very old giant stereo speakers with newer sub-woofer
Very old Logitech Wingman joystick with two buttons and a throttle slider
Very old CH Thurstmaster analog footpedals
Manhattan analog/USB converter
W10
#4365957 - 06/25/17 12:59 PM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,682
Robert_Wiggins Online smile
BWOC Survivor!...So Far!!
Robert_Wiggins  Online Smile
BWOC Survivor!...So Far!!
Hotshot

Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,682
Lindsay, Ontario, Canada
Very well researched story Jeff and really very interesting background on your pilot. I look forward to continued reading of his exploits


(System_Specs)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper
PSU: Ultra X3,1000-Watt
MB: Asus Maximus VI Extreme
Mem: Corsair Vengeance (2x 8GB), PC3-12800, DDR3-1600MHz, Unbuffered
CPU: Intel i7-4770K, OC to 4.427Ghz
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 240M Liquid CPU Cooler
Vid Card: ASUS GTX 980Ti STRIX 6GB
OS and Games on separate: Samsung 840 Series 250GB SSD
Monitor: Primary ASUS PG27AQ 4k; Secondary Samsung SyncMaster BX2450L
Periphs: MS Sidewinder FFB2 Pro, TrackIR 4

#4365970 - 06/25/17 02:30 PM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Robert_Wiggins]  
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 244
stljeffbb Offline
Member
stljeffbb  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 244
Wisconsin USA
Originally Posted by Robert_Wiggins
Very well researched story Jeff and really very interesting background on your pilot. I look forward to continued reading of his exploits


Thanks Robert_Wiggins! For a while I wore a goatee, and this is my best attempt at representing an Edwardian beard hahaha

Regards,

Jeff


WOFF:UE Computer Specs and set-up:
Homebuilt Computer!
Intel i5-3570k mildly overclocked to 3.8ghz
AsRock Z75 mobo
Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB (EVGA one fan version)
16 GB RAM
42 inch Sharp Aquos LCD TV with 120hz refresh
Very old (over 20 years now) Aiwa Receiver/Amplifier
Very old giant stereo speakers with newer sub-woofer
Very old Logitech Wingman joystick with two buttons and a throttle slider
Very old CH Thurstmaster analog footpedals
Manhattan analog/USB converter
W10
#4366834 - 06/29/17 09:54 PM Re: REPORTS FROM THE FRONT [Re: Olham]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 7,529
DukeIronHand Offline
Hotshot
DukeIronHand  Offline
Hotshot

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 7,529
High over the Front
Whew!
Was gonna post in here with some weak arse screenshots and text but you have set the narrative bar rather high sir!
Better get a gang-buster mission.

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