After recovering from the attack, we watch as the injured Camel continues to fly eastward in a straight line, evidently its controls were damaged. We followed it almost to Becelaere before it drives itself into the ground, bursting into flames.*
So, Berthold’s lucky streak continues. This makes his twenty-fifth.
*Lt. Walter Harvey Russell Gould, a twenty-four year old Canadian from Number 70 Squadron RFC, flying B. 2358, killed near Becelaere. Berthold’s 25th.
Caption – This is the WOFF Skin Pack default for FAA 250s.
Caption – Another skin from the Two-Seater Skins by jerbear Mod. The skin was made for Justus Kaiser of Schusta 30b.
This arm and hammer marking belonged to Schlasta Y, according to “Schalchtflieger” by Rick Duiven and Dan Dan-San Abbot. WOFF used it for Schalsta 35, but this Schlasta is only equipped with Halberstadt CLIIs, which do not exist in the WOFF universe and possibly never will.
I took the marking for Kaiser and put him in an LVG built DFW. He flies it from 22 March to sometime in September 1917.
This morning’s Patrouillenflüg was without even one sighting of an enemy machine.
The dull, low clouds persist, though they are somewhat higher now, perhaps 1,500 meters.
The British Flakartillerie is particularly accurate today so Berthold takes us up above the clouds into the sunshine several times. After we change direction and cover some distance, we descend again until the white bursts get too bothersome again.
Back at Harlebeke now, we are training again. Veltjens and Keller are doing mock combat.
In level flight, the nose wants to rise quite persistently. Perhaps a little rigging work will help this, I’ll have to see. Except for this tendency to want to rise, she seems very stable, a good gun platform.
I have good all-around view except for straight ahead. I don’t feel quite as boxed in as with the SPAD but it’s still a problem.
I try her out at low speed and then with the power completely cut. She’s very sluggish and the nose wants to drop off to the right in a shallow dive. Not a brick, but not a glider either.
Taking her through several turns, I find that she can turn very tightly indeed. I think I could possibly out turn a Camel, but only as long as I can keep her speed up, which isn’t long, then she slips. She bleeds speed very quickly both turning and climbing.
Caption – this is OvStachel’s new Pfalz default skin which will not be available until these skins are completed and released in a future update.
You will note that the silver finish is much more metallic looking than they grayer look of the old skins.
It’s in a dive that I see her best traits. The airframe is very strong. Bender was quite correct when he said she would “dive like hell.”
I try several dives, progressively steeper and faster. I can nose her over, almost straight down, at voll gas, and there’s no vibration in the wings at all.
Wonderful after the nervous tension one always has with the Albatros DV.
She’s very easy to land as well, very smooth. I made a wheel landing with the skid only touching the ground when I was near the end of my run.
It’s definitely an attackers aeroplane, you won’t outrun anyone with it. But, despite her faults and lack of power, some of which I hope will be corrected in the next production batches, I like her very much and feel as though I’m being unfaithful to Beomia.
I hope we’ll be equipped with them, and I think we will if der Eiserne has anything to say about it.*
*The Pfalz began to arrive in Jasta 18 in October but they were not fully equipped with them until sometime in February 1918.
The WOFF Campaign gives the Pfalz to all pilots, except a few lower rank wingmen, on 10 October 1917. The story will diverge from this and follow a more historical, mixed makeup of the Staffel, increasing the use of the Albatros DV and adding in a few Pfalz until February.
Der Meister’s Camel of yesterday has been confirmed. He has his SPAD from Friday which is still not determined but we call this his 25th.
While he’s busy with paperwork, we pilots, Bart, and Eiserne’s ground crew pretty up his Albatros.
The number 25 is painted in white paint on the spinner and we put a wreath of Oak leaves around it.
We have Spiess watching for us, so that we don’t interrupt any important business.
At his signal we burst into the office, Seppl at the head of the mob, picking him up bodily out of his chair, careful not to cause him too much pain.
We carry him out to the hangars to toast and cheer him, pushing schnapps into his hand.
I snap a good picture of him standing in front of his bird, with his Schwarzer Mann on either side.
He responds to our high spirits with good humor and enthusiasm and gives us an impromptu speech.
“ Among you, my blue birds, there are no pilots who would hesitate to shoot down an opponent in aerial combat and we have had great success.”
“This was not my doing, I have merely trained and properly led you against the opposition. Your splendid performance shows what a spirit there is in this entire Staffel and in each individual flyer.”
“When it said in the army orders a few days ago “The battle-tested Jasta 18,” it showed that people generally see what an important factor this Staffel, which once stood so far in the background, has become in this horrible struggle!”
More cheering, a few more toasts and we let him get back to the paperwork war.