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A bad landing.
standing before the machine, took the accident as a great joke and was absolutely unhurt.
PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN AT THE CHAMPAGNE FRONT
By Carroll Dana Winslow
Author of "With the French Flying Corps".
T the front every aviator carries a camera in his pocket. Things happen so
fast and so often that one needs a record of snap-shots to remember them
by. These pictures were taken during the Champagne offensive in April, 1917, where the French were taking the ground near Reims.
Accidents similar to that shown above occur several times a day, and the results are important in the study of aeroplane building and instruction.
The pitfalls and dangers which an aviator must avoid at the front are becoming more numerous every day. These anti-aircraft guns, mounted on fast motorcars, chase around the country behind the lines and prevent the enemy aeroplanes and Zeppelins from remaining over our territory. This type of battery was responsible for the Zeppelins brought down at Compiègne in April, 1917, and Revigny in April, 1916. In fact this invention was one of the immediate causes of the Germans giving up their “strafeing” with Zeppelins. In the photograph above a German aeroplane has just been sighted. The gun is in position and the gunners are just about to put a shell into the barrel. The record for distance and height in hitting an aeroplane with this type of cannon is 15,000 feet in the air at 9,000 yards' distance across country. A very large crew is required to man one of these cannon. The sergeant may be seen standing, giving the orders. Beside the cannon the telephonist is getting the report of the position over which the German machine is flying. The man with his hand on the barrel is the chief gunner. He is listening for the range from the man who is working it out, but who is not seen in the photograph.
The tendency in aeroplanes has been to run to two extremes—for fighting, as small and fast as possible; and for bombing, as large and powerful as possible. Above is a three-seater; one passenger sits out in front mounted in a machine-gun turret. The pilot comes next, immediately behind the motor, while the second passenger sits behind him mounted in another machine-gun turret. This aeroplane is capable of carrying many hundred pounds of explosives and, being very fast and heavily armed, generally accomplishes its mission.
The “Albatross” (page 223) is capable of a horizontal speed of 300 kilometres (about 187 miles) an hour. It is a single-seater and carries three machine guns which, being controlled by the motor, shoot automatically and simultaneously through the propeller. The sight of these weapons converges at approximately 50 yards in front of the aeroplane, making the chance of hitting the opponent three times as sure. The motor is equipped with an electric self-starter. It has also electrical devices for keeping the water warm in the radiator while flying at great heights. The wing surface is less than 20 square yards. It is probably the finest fighting-machine that
A squad of French fighting-machines. I very morning the mechanics of cachi escauriile place the machines in long lines, face to the wind. Above may be seen a squad of the latest type alsout to leave to make a Artrouille (patrol) over the lines.
Their mission is to prevent " Fritz" from coming over and seeing too much.
has ever been developed in the world, being capable of climbing to 15,000 feet in less than twelve minutes. This particular machine in the photograph was captured intact. The pilot was lost in the fog and flew about until his last drop of petrol was exhausted. He landed in the middle of the aerodrome at which the author was stationed.
Morane “Monocoque." This is the only inonoplane used in France. It is the fastest machine in the world, but is so tricky and dangerous that only the most experienced and best aviators are permitted to mount it. The "Fokker," of German fame, was copied from this model.