Sunday, 26 October 2014

Patching up Aircraft?

Everyone has heard of the Luftwaffe, the German air force of World War Two, but what about 1914?
The correct term is a bit of a mouthful - "die Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches" Рthough often the word "Luftstreitkräfte" was used, which is hardly much better.

It's not obvious to a casual observer what early aircraft were made from. The rough answer is a wooden framework with a fabric of some kind stretched over it.  When these planes were shot at, many of the bullets and lumps of shrapnel that scored hits actually did little damage - they passed through the fabric and, so long as they didn't hit the wooden skeleton inside, passed out again.

When aircraft came back from patrol, there was a morbid fascination in the game of going over the fabric to look for holes. Repairs were then effected by gluing on patches and sewing round the patch.

The chaps in the picture are doing just that.

Interested in finding out more?  Click on this link to get a copy of my latest novel - The Deadly Playground, 1914

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