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1998 Closed threads from 1998 (read only)

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Old 29 December 1998, 11:06 AM   #11
Dave Watts
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My thought originally was, which German aircraft brought down the most enemy aircraft?
That is why the first aircraft to come to mind were the Fokker D.VII and the Albatros D.V/Va, simply by the fact that they were produced in such large numbers, and they had dominant roles in frontline utilization. My original inclination was the Albatros, by the fact of such a long active service life. I have a feeling that the allied loses, in actual planes lost, was greater in 1918 than in 1917, does anyone have those numbers of total losses for the allies in 1916, 1917, and 1918? If there was a great increase allied losses in 1918 versus 1917, then the D.VII may get the edge.
Another interesting angle of the "most successful" would be, (as I mentioned before), kill ratio; number of aircraft built to number of aircraft brought down, again I think the Dr.I would take the cake.
If someone has a list of downs to aircraft, (as earlier posted), I would certainly appreciate a copy to be e-mailed to me.
The comment of the eindecker is well taken, at certain times, certain aircraft were the "most successful". In their moment they were "the" airplane. It's not the same as pitting Joe Louis against Mike Tyson, airplane development gets better with time. Which leads to a much more open field of what would be the most superior German fighter aircraft of the war. Siemens D.IV, Fokker D.VIIF, and Fokker D.VIII come to mind.
Old 29 December 1998, 11:15 AM   #12
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Forumites: good topic with lotsa educated comments. Am glad to see that Dr. Frank will pitch in, because when it comes to air combat stats, he be da man.
Most successful? As noted, we require a definition of terms. I quarrel with some well-regarded European aviation writers who claim the MiG-21 is the most successful jet fighter just because so damn many were built. That's fine if you're from marketing: if you're in the cockpit looking back at your 5 to 7 o'clock and can't see the bogey, it ain't worth a damn. Personally, I abhor the concept that any fighter with a negative kill ratio is somehow "successful."
As for Albatri, consider MvR's 1918 comments: "a tired old bus" or somesuch. The type was kept in combat well beyond its prime but was available in numbers--despite well-known structural faults. Those who attend our CFM event in February will see the common field mod: an extrnal brace running from the V strut to the leading edge of the wing to reduce flutter and vibration. I suspect but cannot prove that the sesquiplane design of the Pfalz, while externally similar to the Albatros, was better constructed. That might be one reason that some well-regarded folks like Berthold preferred the Pfalz.
BTW: I have it on good authority that Billy Bishop never flew a Pfalz, and MvR never shot down an Albatros. "Can we just get along?"
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Old 30 December 1998, 06:38 AM   #13
Michael Skeet
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Barrett: you're right about the Pfalz being more structurally sound than the various v-strut Albatri. The Pfalz D-III, despite its appearance, actually had a two-spar lower wing, which of course made it much stronger. The v-strut Albatros reminds me a lot of the Bf-/Me-109 of WWII: a successful design kept in service long past its best-by date.

As for the other comment: Maybe we could just ask people to flag their subject lines with a rating code, like JPDT (for juvenile, personality-driven thread) so that the rest of us would know which items to just ignore. I find myself getting tired, not just of the sniping, but of the whole ace-as-movie-star content of far too many of the threads lately.
Old 30 December 1998, 07:02 AM   #14
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Please tell me, what is the "CFM event" in February you alluded to in your past reply?

Old 30 December 1998, 07:51 AM   #15
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According to my file of aircraft types from my German WW1 Victory List, the Fokker D.VII had 2572 claims, plus (see below, somewhere). I tried to include the entire file in this message, but it was too long. So now I will try it in pieces:
983.5/0/0 ?
1/0/0 AEG C.I
1/0/0 AEG G
1/0/0 Albatros
2/0/0 Albatros C.I
1/0/0 Albatros C.II
1/0/0 Albatros C.X
57/0/0 Albatros D.I
66/0/0 Albatros D.I or D.II
1/0/0 Albatros D.I or D.II or Fokker D.3 or Halberstadt D.III
54/0/0 Albatros D.II
33/0/0 Albatros D.II or D.III
2/0/0 Albatros D.II or Halberstadt D.II
7/0/0 Albatros D.II or Halberstadt D.II/III
19/0/0 Albatros D.II or Roland D.I
891/0/0 Albatros D.III
4/0/0 Albatros D.III, D.V or Pfalz D.3
2/0/0 Albatros D.III (OAW)
115/0/0 Albatros D.III or D.V
4/0/0 Albatros D.III or D.Va
1071/0/0 Albatros D.V
21/0/0 Albatros D.V or D.Va
1/0/0 Albatros D.V or D.Va or Pfalz
20/0/0 Albatros D.V or Fokker Dr.I
10/0/0 Albatros D.V or Pfalz D.III
5/0/0 Albatros D.V or Pfalz D.IIIa
546/0/0 Albatros D.Va
23/0/0 Albatros D.Va or Fokker D.VII
8/0/0 Albatros D.Va/Pfalz D.III/IIIa
25/0/0 Albatros D.Va or Pfalz D.IIIa
1/0/0 Albatros W4
2/0/0 Aviatik C.I

End of Part One, the Letter A. Join me in Part Two, for the Letter F.

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Old 30 December 1998, 07:53 AM   #16
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Barrett, (Part Two)

Letter B through F.
7/0/0 DFW C.V
5/0/0 Fokker D.
3/0/0 Fokker D or Halberstadt D.II or D.III
1/0/0 Fokker D.I or D.II or D.III
8/0/0 Fokker D.I or D.II or D.III or Halberstadt D.III
7/0/0 Fokker D.III
6/0/0 Fokker D.III or Halberstadt D.II/D.III/Roland D.II
5/0/0 Fokker D.III or Halberstadt D.II or Roland D.I
2572/0/0 Fokker D.VII
1/0/0 Fokker D.VII (OAW)
2/0/0 Fokker D.VII or Fokker Dr.I
237/0/0 Fokker Dr.I
5/0/0 Fokker Dr.I or Albatros D.V
3/0/0 Fokker Dr.I or Albatros D.Va
17/0/0 Fokker Dr.I or D.VII
142/0/0 Fokker E.
6/0/0 Fokker E.I
1/0/0 Fokker E.II
20/0/0 Fokker E.III
2/0/0 Fokker E.III/D.III/Halberstadt D.II/Roland D.I
3/0/0 Fokker E.IV
6/0/0 Fokker F.I
5/0/0 Friedrichshafen FF 33H
3/0/0 Friedrichshafen FF33L
1/0/0 Friedrichshafen FF43

Now we will see if the rest will fit in a message.

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Old 30 December 1998, 07:57 AM   #17
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Barrett, (Part Three)

Letters G through Z.

13/0/0 Gotha
3/0/0 Halberstadt CL.II
1/0/0 Halberstadt D.
3/0/0 Halberstadt D.II
58/0/0 Halberstadt D.II or D.III
16/0/0 Halberstadt D.II/D.III/Fokker D.III/Roland D.I
1/0/0 Halberstadt D.II or D.III or Roland D.III
8/0/0 Halberstadt D.II or Fokker D.3
13/0/0 Halberstadt D.III
7/0/0 Halberstadt D.III or Fokker D.III
2/0/0 Halberstadt D.III or Roland D.II or Albatros D.III
9/0/0 Halberstadt D.III or Roland D.II
15/0/0 Halberstadt D.V
2/0/0 Hannover CL.II
1/0/0 Hannover CL.IIa
1/0/0 Hansa-Brandenburg LW
9/0/0 Hansa-Brandenburg W12
5/0/0 Hansa-Brandenburg W29
2/0/0 LVG C.I
43/0/0 Pfalz D.III
5/0/0 Pfalz D.III or Albatros D.Va
191/0/0 Pfalz D.IIIa
1/0/0 Pfalz D.IIIa or Albatros D.Va or Roland
5/0/0 Pfalz D.IIIa or Fokker D.VII
5/0/0 Pfalz D.IIIa or Fokker Dr.I
35/0/0 Pfalx D.XII
1/0/0 Pfalz E.I
1/0/0 Roland C.II
17/0/0 Roland D.II
2/0/0 Roland D.IIa
4.5/0/0 Rumpler 6B1
14/0/0 Rumpler C.I
4/0/0 Rumpler C.IV
2/0/0 Siemens-Schuckert W D.III
1/0/0 Siemens-Schuckert W D.IV

That's all, there ain't no more, folks!

This is based on material sent me by Winfried Bock, the son of Gustav Bock. He based this on the (monthly?) returns of aircraft held by each unit, which I assume Gustav copied. We concentrated on the Jastas, because the FliegerAbteilungen usually had too many different types onhand at the same time. Almost all of them would have ended up as x or y or z, or worse. So they get lumped into the ? category.


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Old 30 December 1998, 08:32 AM   #18
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Based on the numbers provided by Frank, it's close but the Albatros D series were the most destructive German bird. There are 2856 credits for the Alb D's attributed to them alone, with another 143 victories that were gained by either an Alb D plane or by something else in the same squadron at the time. Of these 143, only 23 might have been done in by a D7. 2573 kills are listed for the Fokker D7. Only 243 with 8 additional possibles by the Dr1/F1. Weren't 320 of these built? Of course if we were to consider individual numbers for the D1, D2, D3, D5, D5A (why no D4 ?)..........
Old 30 December 1998, 09:27 AM   #19
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Barrett was referring to the Champlin Fighter Museum event he scheduled for next February. See the Champlin Museum Tour thread for more info.
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Old 30 December 1998, 09:07 PM   #20
Dave Watts
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Fantastic info Frank! Thank you! Thank you to Mark also for doing the math. If we go for the kill ratio of number of type of aircraft built to number of accredited victories, it goes something like this.
Dr.I 320 built 243 victories .76 aircraft downed to number built.
D.VII 2539 built 2573 victories 1.01 aircraft downed to number built.
These are +/- numbers, but even so conclusions can be drawn. The D.VII certainly seems to have scored well.
I don't have knowledge of detailed particulars on Albatros or O.A.W. built D.VIIs, with regards to exactly what type of motor went into exactly which particular aircraft such as the Fokker army acceptance sheets, but with the Fokker built D.VIIs, there were few BMW powered D.VIIs compared to Mercedes powered. If desired, I could pull numbers and start a new thread. Later in the war early Mercedes motors, that for example had originally been used in a Pfalz D.IIIa, were rebuilt and reinstalled in D.VIIs at Fokker. They would have been "supped up" with higher compression domed pistons.


most, quotsuccessfulquot, german, fighter

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