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About the properties of a good pursuit plane

Event ID: 538

11 April 1917

50.367639, 3.03435
Near Douai
La Brayelle

Source ID: 43

The Red Knight of Germany, the story of Baron von Richthofen, Floyd Gibbons, 1927, 1959 Bantam Books

Among the chief properties of a good pursuit plane (he wrote in a secret opinion to the technical staff) are the following: a good plane must not lose altitude even when curving and after flying and turning several times on its back, provided, of course, the motor is doing full speed.

It would be ideal if a plane could even gain in altitude while performing these manoeuvers, but this is not the case with the Albatross DIII, and that is its chief drawback. When moving the side or altitude rudders, even the slightest change must effect a big movement. With the Albatross, the ailerons are not quite sufficient, and this is a most important factor with a pursuit plane.

Great speed and great altitude are both necessary. To be able to fly slowly by regulating the motor is very essential.

A pursuit plane must be able to stand the strain of diving down 3.000 feet. The Albatross does not do this always.

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