Wednesday, January 24, 2018

One Soldier's Experience: Wrecked Planes Everywhere

They say the easier part about flying is taking off because it is optional. Landing is hard because it is mandatory. That said, these pictures in this post are all about the hard part of flying. I don't know how many of these were repairable but I suspect many were since planes and materials were in such tight supply.

Just a reminder from my previous post, most of these planes were used in the flight school to train incoming pilots for duty on the front lines. My great grandfather's squadron was tasked with assembling and maintaining these planes for the flight school.

I suspect this picture is one of the hangars used to store parts of aircrafts

I think this picture is similar to the one above and shows where the airplane parts were stored


Susan said...

Yikes! Fragile looking things, aren't they?

Kelly said...

Geez. And from what you said, I have to wonder how many of these were reassembled and flown (and crashed?!) again.

During my stint as a pilot, I always found take-offs to be the more worrisome since a plane can often be brought down in a glide from great height, whereas failure to get aloft doesn't offer as much room for error. Then again, I was flying planes that were much sturdier than these look to be!

Gives me all the more respect for those who flew them during the war.

Ed said...

Susan - At the time, I think a lot of the planes were still mostly made from wood and cloth. Very fragile compared to the aluminum of the modern era.

Kelly - Whenever I ride in an airplane, the takeoff is always what makes me the most nervous as well.

Vince said...

#5 is upsidedown.

You'll find when you research, that the deaths were caused more by mechanical failure than enemy fire. The concept of seals while understood in steam, petrol and diesel in cars trucks and trains wasn't really home with high revving rotary engines. And when they did use castor oil and if the engine was actually hit would ensure the pilot was burnt to death even at low altitudes when you'd expect him to get in down.
But mostly it was insufficient training on experimental craft. And oddly enough on landing, not in the air. They would come in too slow, stall, try to recover, flip, and kill themselves by meeting the ground head first. Of course it -the craft- had the advantage of being instantly recovered.

Ed said...

Vince - It is upside down! Amazingly in my great grandfather's squadron history book, they only recorded one death due to a flying accident on one of the trainer planes. There was mention by my great grandfather though that several of the graduates went on to die on the front lines but no mention of causes.

Leigh said...

Impressive photos. Reminds me of why I don't like to fly. :)

Bob said...

These are incredible. Like Kelly, I have to wonder how many were repaired and were put in the air again. To Kelly's point, I think the world has two kinds of people: those who want to fly a plane and those who don't. Count me among the latter!

Ed said...

Leigh - I never have either though I've done a fair share of it.

Bob - I think quite a number of them were repaired. They had large buildings in camp full of workbenches and tools and the history talks a lot of the men repairing airplanes.