The Thomas-Morse Scout became the favorite single-seat coaching plane for U.S. Pilots during World War I. The Scout first appeared with an order for one hundred S4Bs in the summertime of 1917. The U.S. Military Air Service later acquired just about five hundred of a barely changed version, the S4C. Dubbed the “Tommy” by its pilots, the airplane had a long and sundry career. Tommies flew at practically each pursuit flying faculty in the US during 1918. After the war stopped, the Air Service sold them as surplus to civilian flying faculties, athlete pilots and ex-Army fliers.
Some continued to be employed in the mid-1930s for WWI aviation pictures filmed in Hollywood. Continue reading
In 1916 the next generation of German wrestlers promised to win air supremacy over the Western Front. The French aircraft company, Socit pour l’Aviation et ses Drives (SPAD), answered by developing a replacement for its very successful SPAD VII. Fundamentally a bigger version of the SPAD VII with a more potent V-8 Hispano-Suiza engine, the prototype SPAD XIII C.1 ["C" designating Chasseur (fighter) and "1" indicating one aircrew] first flew in March 1917. With its 220-hp engine, the SPAD XIII reached a maximum speed of 135 miles per hour — about ten miles per hour quicker than the new German wrestlers. It carried 2 .303-cal. The machine guns are mounted above the engine and each gun had four hundred rounds of ammo, and the pilot could fire the guns separately or together. Continue reading
The legendary Yankee volunteers of the French Lafayette Escadrille were flying the SPAD VII in Feb 1918 at the time they moved to the U.S. Armed forces Air Service, turning into the 103rd Aero Squadron. Several U.S. Units also utilized the SPAD VII, although most Yankee Expeditionary Force (AEF) fighter squadrons were provided with a touch improved version, the SPAD XIII, by the point the war climaxed in Nov 1918. The SPAD VII made its first flight in July 1916. It showed such guarantee that it was put into production at once, and by the second part of that year it appeared on the Front in both French and UK squadrons.The plane was an instant success, basically because its structural ruggedness allowed it to dive at high speeds without disintegrating. About 189 of the marginally more than five thousand SPAD VIIs built went to the AEF. Continue reading
The English Sopwith Camel F-1 shot down more enemy aircraft than any other World War I fighter. It was highly maneuverable and terribly tough to defeat in a dogfight. Due to its hard handling traits more men were killed while learning to fly it than died while using it in combat. The Camel first went into action in June 1917 with seventy Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, and 4 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service. Two U.S. Armed forces Air Service squadrons, the 17th and 148th, flew the Camel in combat while allotted to Brit forces in the summer and fall of 1918. Such famous U.S. Pilots as George Vaughn (America’s second-ranking Air Service ace to survive the war), Elliot White Springs, Errol Zistel and Larry Callahan were members of the 17th and 148th. Continue reading