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Germany's Giant Machine- Gunned Biplane: The Enemy "Battle Airman" in Action

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This 'web version' uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR), to interpret the original printed copy and convert it to computer-readable text. This technology can result in text errors.

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In a recent despatch, the official “Eye-Witness ” stated that two officers of the Royal Flying Corps had a most exciting experience while reconnoitring over Poelcappelle at a height of about 4000 feet. “They engaged a large German biplane having a double fuselage, two engines, and a pair of propellers. The German machine at first circled round ours, shooting at it with a machine-gun, but, so far as is known, not inflicting any damage. Then our observer fired about fifty rounds in return at under two hundred yards’ range. This had some effect, for the hostile biplane was seen to waver. After some more shots, its engines stopped, and it nose-dived to a level of 2ooo feet, where it flattened out its course, flying slowly and erratically.” The correspondent from whose material our drawing was made states that the new German “battle airman “-as the enemy call their giant biplane-is not quite the Dreadnought of


the air one would expect. The Allies’ ordinary fighting aeroplane still maintains its superiority, and can beat off its huge opponent. The whole affair suggests a great Spanish galleon of the Armada having rings made round it by a little ship of a Drake or a Hawkins, the cumbersome and complicated machine being more vulnerable than its simpler antagonist. The German machine is a biplane; and the top wing covers about do to 7o feet. It is a dual-tractor. The engine and propellers are fitted on two bodies of the monoplane type. A large biplane tail, with double rudders, is fitted to the rear. Centrally, between the fuselages, is placed the car, which holds three or more men, including pilot and machine-guns. Control is from here the double fuselage contains only the petrol-tank and engines. The car is fitted with several m:.chine-guns, which are placed to fire in all directions. There is a very strong landing-chassis, witt big, enclosed springs.



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