More About WWI Pilots

Curious historian Wally Lamark asked if the Allied pilots of WWI struggled with flying upside down like the Germans did. Not a simple question to answer, but because we are The History Bluff we can because of our extensive archives.

During WWI the British did not understand the concept of weight and balance when it came to planes. After they heard of what Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron) did to come up with a makeshift oven in his plane, the British allowed their pilots to take whatever food and drink they needed on missions. Weight limits were not imposed so pilots began to take inordinate amounts of supplies with them.

A British bomber after its crew packed the cockpit with tea, crumpets, cups, and saucers.

Much like the Germans, the French also had problems with their pilots flying upside down. Unlike Germany, the French did something about it. Seatbelts were introduced to airplanes by French fighter ace Adolphe Pegoud, who was the first man to fly upside down. Because of the seatbelt, French pilots were given the freedom to fly as they pleased – upside down or right-side-up.

The United States entered the war three years after it began and were very well-versed with flight. They were not allowed to cook food in the planes like the Germans were, but the US pilots were allowed to perform aerial tactics such as loops and rolls.

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1 Response to “More About WWI Pilots”


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