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2001 Closed threads from 2001 (read only)

 
 
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Old 8 December 2001, 04:25 AM   #11
rammjaeger
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What did the German training of pilots/fighter pilots demand?

At first training flights with the flying teacher, ca. 60-65 before the soloing reported Potempa.
After some flights as passenger, the candidate was advised to “feel the controls working” if the teacher is flying (there was a double control existing), then the candidate was flying himself and the teacher supported only in critical situations.

Solo-flights were following until the teacher is allowing the I. Examination. The number of solo flights before the I. Examination was depending on the ability of the candidate and the patience and convictions of the flying teacher.

Examina for pilots of C- (double seater) and G-Flugzeuge since 1. January 1916 and supplements from Februar 1916 (The text is too long, I summarised all and made hopefully no bigger mistakes. I am also not able to describe all demands in detail here.).

I. Examina
The pilot had to fly 5 times a lieing “8” and to land on a demanded position.
After a new start he had to fly a second series of “8” and landed in the same way.
Finally he had to makea gliding flight from a determind altitude (100 m) and land next to the position of the starter or teacher.

Demanded duty exercises between I. and II. Examina:
(Sitting in the first or second position (hole) of the plane but flying without observer.)

25 landings in 4 different categories. Demanded were different altitudes (before the gliding), weight of load and weight of fuel and distance from the expected point of landing.

II. Examina:
Climbing to 2000 meters, ½ hours flight in this altitude. Gliding down from at least 1000 m and soft landing. Load 75 kg, fuell fuel tanks. It was forbidden to crash, to give new power to the engine after the cut-down tomax 800 rotations/min after the start of the gliding.

Demanded duty exercises between II. and III. Examina:
(Partly flying in the front position, partly sitting in the second position but without observer.)

20 landings in 4 different categories and 2 “over-land-flights” (min 100 km) to unknown airfields with one landing in the middle of the flight.
Demanded were landings from different altitudes (gliding down). It was forbidden to switch on the ignition again and to give power again after cut-down of engine.
All flights with 75 kg load, no crash allowed, 50 m distance from the landing arrow allowed, landings from at least 500 m.

Additional duty exercises between II. and III. Examina:
(Sitting in front position, flying with observer.)

2 “over-land-flights” (min 100 km) with one landing on the way, photographing demanded installations on the ground from 2000 m.
1 examination exercise against another plane in aircombat. The crew of the other plane should be a flying teacher and observer teacher.
4 successful aircombats. Beginning of the combat in 2000 m altitude, duration 15 minutes. Flying teacher should be in the other airplane. Prove for succes: Photographing each other.
The observer teacher should sit in the plane of the trainee.
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Old 8 December 2001, 04:26 AM   #12
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III. Examination:
(Pilot in front or second position but in every case with observer.)

Over-land-flight (min 250 km) in the time from surise until sundown with one landing between.
An high altitude flight (min 3500 m) with a stay of ½ hour in 3000 m altitude.

For the Pilot badge the pilot had to do a number of combat flights (did not find the number, maybe 20) but an especially bolt act or good missing could earn him the award faster.

In general the pilot came to the front after his II.Examina but sometimes a pilot could go after II. Examina to a Park near the front. For a comparison: Immelmann, being a Feldpilot (2nd Examina already done) messed up his 131. own landing and was therefore not allowed to go directly to a front unit (an exception of the rule that an officer was looking for his own replacement pilots and intending to take him to the front). Max made some other flights, was ordered to a Park and was still in danger to be send back because his landing s were too often resulting in crashs.

Pilots had also to show the following knowledge and abilities in examinations:
construction and use of motors, theory of airplanes, theory of flying, montage and demontage of planes, use of maps/navigations and compass, instrument board, healthiness therory, laws, police and service instructions, gunnery, construction, use and repair of MG and other things. Exercises in night flights were demanded in 1916 as well. The latter was often done in the Parks and not in Germany.


After some business with the double seaters the pilot did volunteer for the Kampfeinsitzer either on private initiative or after a call for fighter pilots by the Fliegertruppe/Luftstreitkräfte.

Additional exercises and examina for pilots of D- and E-airplanes (fighter pilots) since January 1916:
35 landings in 5 categories with different demands. Similar to double seater examina.
2 high altitude flights.
2 “over-land-flights of (only 60 km) with one landing.

These flights had to be made in the Kampfeinsitzerschule and after April 1917 – when the KeSch Großenhain and Paderborn were dissolved – the JastaSch took over these tasks too. As well the new pilot would do some more flights than the mentioned 35+2+2 because new tactics were trained, flying in close formation, special ways of combat.

That sounds all very good but we have to consider that the increasing strength of the fighter arm and the high losses demanded more and more pilots. So pilots were also more rushed through the training in critical periods of war in 1917/18. It was possible to find also fighter pilots without an earlier double seater career at the end of the war. Also not all fighter pilots came to a JastaSch in the last time of the war.
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Old 8 December 2001, 04:33 AM   #13
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Michael,

until now I did not find and did also not search for such a questionair but Iwill see what I can find about the tests which could indicate the psychological background in my sources.
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Old 8 December 2001, 06:55 AM   #14
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Michael,

the German Skawran, profesor at the University of Pretoria, finished in 1939 his book “Psychologie des Jagdfliegers”. His racist approach to the topic and other weaknesses prevented a scientific breakthrough but some of his short remarks about the psychologist studies in and especially after WWI are possibly interesting for you.

Skawran reports that theoretical studies in the beginning tried to divide the personality of the pilot in different parts/functions. The intend was to find the characteristica which are making a good pilot. Skawran says nobody of these old authors (psychologists) described details of the methods in the articles. As well these authors were often not familiar with aviation and flying and did not consider reports of pilots at first. In practice mostly doctors but not trained psychologists examined the candidates to select the aviators. Skawran claims all personality checks with the intend to quantify and to measure the psychology and characteristica of test persons failed. The results improved with a more practice-oriented work of psychologists, with the view to the human being as a complex human being and not a collection of single features.

Skawran himself tries to follow this line too and researches the personality of famous fighter pilots, genetics/inheritage (he looks at the family history, the characteristica of the parents), body constitution, mental features and racial features. The latter approach makes him fail in his research because he invents the “Richthofen-type” and the “Repressing or compensating type” (both with subtypes like “Desperado”) of fighter pilots. The interesting thing is: He used ca. 400 sources of all main nations of aviation until 1939.

The view on the few titles of his sources for 1918-1920 results in following assumptions by me. It seems German psychologists and physiologists in and after WWI were interested in following topics:

Orientation of the pilots in the 3D-space and the impact of other factors on this ability and the training of this ability with the intend of improvement; the sense of balance of fliers; the impact of big altitudes and lack of oxygen on flying pilots; the analisys of flight accidents (psychological causes); the search for well-suited test methods for pilots; impact of body moves (in flight maneuvres) on time of human reaction; disturbed vision of flying officers, combat fatigue.

Some biographies and early articles in temporarly books indicate the use of rather dubios methods of the German doctors if they were examing candidates for aviation. To test the shock resistance of the candidates the young man were suddenly poured with buckets full of cold water, the doctors were yelling suddenly in their ears or the candidates were even kicked …. from the backside. One source says the doctors were very innovative and found always new methods to torture the young aviators. I guess it was a lot of enjoyment for the doctors.
Later the situation seems the improve and a lot serious research work was done too.

I guess that is enough food for the beginning. J

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Old 8 December 2001, 08:34 AM   #15
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Hallo Rammjäger!

It would be nice to add your contribution to the "ACES" section in a new chapter called "GERMAN PILOT TRAINING".

I´ve already read the article about the "RFC PILOT TRAINING" but now I can see all the differences between the two systems!

The only thing we now need is an article concerning the "FRENCH PILOT TRAINING".

BTW, which system was chosen by the Americans?

I think that your "article" would be a good thing to be constantly seen in the AERODROME. It would fill another gap.


Hals- und Beinbruch! *
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Old 9 December 2001, 01:13 AM   #16
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Volker and Barrett,

thanks for the great interest but the above written lines about the German training can not pass my own quality check. An article is a different thing, enriched with reports of eye witnesses, examples and pictures for the further illumination of the topic.

I digged in my older sources and discovered a 2 year-old *manuscript of 22 pages about the German training which I did never finish. It sounds maybe dubios but I had already forgotten that this piece was resting on a Zip-disk.

Not today but in the Christmas time I could re-work and shorten this manuscript for an article for "The Aerodrome" but there is still a translation of my Pidgin-English into correct English necessary. Amy did a great job for the correction of my English for a future article some month ago but I can not always exploit her for this kind of jobs.

VBR
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Old 9 December 2001, 01:30 AM   #17
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I made an error when hammering the text in PC. I wrote:
>>In general the pilot came to the front after his II.Examina but sometimes a pilot could go after II. Examina to a Park near the front.<<

Please read "... after his III. Examina but sometimes ..."!
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Old 11 December 2001, 08:05 AM   #18
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Assuming that it happens after Christmas (serious deadline pressure right now; I shouldn't even be reading The Aerodrome) I'd be more than happy to work with you, RJ, on prepping an article on German pilot training.
 
Old 11 December 2001, 08:47 PM   #19
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O.K. Michael,

I will sent you my rough translation into English after Christmas.

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Old 12 December 2001, 03:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
For more information about the German training I advice the relevant chapters in Neumann: “Die deutschen Luftstreitkräfte im Weltkriege” and Potempa: „Die Königlich-Bayerische Fliegertruppe 1914-1918”.
Speaking of which, I believe that you were the person who sent to me a few pages from that book. I had a friend translate that for me. It took a couple of months, but he did it. The translation needs to be cleaned up a bit, but it reads well and is very informative!

VBR,

John
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