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WW1 Military Motors - 1916 set x 50 cards


Lancashire Fusilier

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Lancashire Fusilier

In addition to being fitted to the Handley Page 0/100 Bomber, the Rolls-Royce ' Eagle ' engine was also fitted to other aircraft, including a 250 hp version powering the Royal Aircraft Factory's F.E.2d ( Farman Experimental ) aircraft.

The F.E.2d was a Farman ' Pusher ' type aircraft with a rear-mounted propeller, with the 250 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle engine giving the F.E.2d a top speed of some 97/100 mph.

Attached, is a nicely detailed photograph of a Rolls-Royce 250 hp ' Eagle ' engine powering a F.E.2d aircraft.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2d ' Pusher ' type aircraft, powered by a rear-mounted Rolls-Royce 250 hp Eagle engine.

This particular F.E.2d is from No. 20 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, and was based at the RFC's Sainte-Marie-Cappel Aerodrome, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of Northern France.

Crew: Pilot Captain Stevens, Observer Lieutenant W. C. Cambray.

This F.E.2d is a presentation aircraft with the inscription painted on the fuselage ' Presented by the Colony of Mauritius No. 13 '.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

With reference to the previous post, here is a nicely detailed photograph showing the armaments aboard the F.E.2d from No. 20 Squadron, based at the RFC's Sainte-Marie-Cappel Aerodrome, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of Northern France.


The Pilot, Captain Stevens has a forward firing Lewis Gun, and the Observer, Lieutenant W. C. Cambray, has two multi-directional firing Lewis Guns.


Also, in this photograph, Lt. Cambray is seen checking his ' A-Type ' aerial reconnaissance camera mounted on the left-side of his cockpit.



LF




IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.


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Lancashire Fusilier

In this photograph, the F.E.2d's Observer, Lieutenant W. C. Cambray, shows just how dangerous it was being a WW1 airman, as he demonstrates firing the pole mounted .303 Lewis Gun to the rear of his aircraft, which looks bad enough standing in the cockpit while still on the ground, let alone when firing at an enemy aircraft while travelling at 90 mph at 6/10,000 feet.


Also of note, are the various bomb racks fitted below the front of the fuselage and under the wings, the wooden chocks under the wheels, and the wooden box supporting the rear of the fuselage.



LF




IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.


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Lancashire Fusilier

Unfortunately, not all F.E.2d flights ended successfully, here we see German officers inspecting a wrecked F.E.2d aircraft, note the spare ammunition drum magazines in the Observer's cockpit.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

As we have seen, part of the important work carried out at the RAF's repair and maintenance depot at Rang-du-Fliers, was the salvaging, repair and restoration of aircraft and aircraft engines, and in the following two photographs, we see RAF mechanics preparing to test repaired and restored aero engines fitted back into restored Airco DH 4 aircraft.


The restored Rolls-Royce 250 hp ' Eagle ' engines have been fitted back into the wingless fuselages of several DH ( De Havilland ) 4's, and now 2-man teams of airman are preparing to rotate the propellers to start the engines for testing.


Once the engines have been successfully tested and approved, the aircraft's restoration will be fully completed and the aircraft returned back into service as soon as possible.


Note the Airman's tents in the background, located on the perimeter of the airfield.



LF





IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.



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Lancashire Fusilier

2.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A DH 4, designed by Geoffrey de Havilland for the American ' Airco ' aircraft manufacturer, the DH 4 entered service with the Royal Flying Corps in March 1917.

Whilst the majority of the DH 4s were built by Airco, British manufacturers also included the commercial vehicle manufacturer Palladium Autocars Ltd. ( previously featured on this Thread ).

Powered by a Rolls-Royce 250 hp ' Eagle ' engine, the DH 4 had a top speed of 143 mph, with a service ceiling of 22,000 feet, and could carry a bomb load of up to 460 lbs.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

For some reason, a returning DH 4 failed to make a safe runway landing, and instead crashlanded on the roof of one of the airfield's hangers. Fortunately, it appears that the crew were able to make it out of the wrecked DH 4.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Looking somewhat like a scene from ' Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines ', an RAF Pilot/Captain at the Rang-du-Fliers Aerodrome is using a 4-draw telescope fitted to a bicycle wheel mounted on the tripod supporting the bicycle's front fork.

The un-named Pilot/Captain is still wearing his original Army Captain's cuff rank jacket complete with his pilot's wings, and interestingly, also his Military Cross ribbon.

Also of note, is his leather flying-helmet, and the ' Maternity ' style officer's jacket complete with Sam Browne belt being worn by the officer shown to his left in this photograph.

In the left background, is a wheeled portable oil/lubrication pump cart.

This interesting photograph is dated 12th July, 1918.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A detailed view of the rotary engine, engine compartment and pilot's cockpit on a WW1 Sopwith ' Snipe ' aircraft, which also gives a nice view of the pilot's twin Vickers machine guns.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

With reference to post #4110 and the aircraft shown immediately behind the two officers, that aircraft's registration number shown on the tail fin, looks to have had the final number erased, possibly by the Censor, however, it still looks readable and is possibly D 1728.

If that is correct, that aircraft registration number belonged to a DH 9, which while being flown by Lt. T.C. Story on August 16th, 1918, made a bad landing and although the Pilot was uninjured, the aircraft was badly damaged.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

The Constantinesco & Colley hydraulic ' C.C. Gear ' hydraulic synchronised aircraft Vickers machine gun system.


The idea and plans for a forward firing machine gun fitted in a fixed position to the front of an aircraft, with the machine gun ' synchronized ' with the aircraft's propeller blades, thereby enabling the machine gun to be fired through the aircraft's rotating propeller blades in the same direction as the aircraft was being flown, without the machine gun's bullets hitting and damaging the propeller, was first patented in 1910 by the German Aviator and aircraft designer August Euler, who interestingly was also the holder of the first German Pilot's Licence.


Several other German and French ' synchronised ' aircraft machine gun designs soon followed, with the Germans having a one of their designs in service by mid-1915.


Although there were several British ' synchronised ' aircraft machine gun systems developed at the start of WW1, including the December 1915 ' Vickers-Challenger ' system developed by a Vickers' engineer, George Challenger, the 1916 ' Scarff-Dibovski ' system, the 1916 ' Ross ' system, and the 1917 ' Sopwith-Kauper ' system, none of these ' mechanical ' systems which relied on metal push rods, cams and gears, proved to be particularly practical or successful.




At the start of WW1, the initial aircraft machine gun of choice had been the American Lewis Gun, invented by U.S. Army Colonel Isaac Newton Lewis in 1911, and subsequently made in Britain under licence by Birmingham Small Arms ( BSA ).


The Lewis Gun at 26 lbs, being much lighter than the heavier 40 lb Vickers Machine Gun, and although the Lewis Gun had a somewhat bulky set of cooling fins surrounding the barrel encased in an outer sleeve cylinder casing, RFC Pilots and Observers soon found that when using the Lewis Gun at a high altitude, it was actually possible to strip away both the cooling fins and the outer casing leaving just the bare barrel, which further reduced the Lewis Gun's weight down to just 17 lbs. Additionally, the Lewis Gun's 38 round pan magazine attached directly to the gun, was far more practical to use in an aircraft than the fabric ammunition belt on the Vickers.



In late 1915, a much more sophisticated British ' hydraulic ' aircraft ' synchronised ' machine gun system, known as the ' C.C. Gear ' system, named after the system's inventors ' Constantinesco & Colley ', was being developed, with the patent for the ' C.C. Gear ' being filed on 14th July, 1916.


Constantinesco & Colley's hydraulic ' C.C. Gear ' system used sonic impulses transmitted by a column of liquid instead of a mechanical system of linkages using metal rods, cams and gears. This was not only inherently more reliable, but delivered firing impulses at a much higher rate, so that a synchronised aerial machine gun now fired at more or less the same rate as a normal machine gun, regardless of engine revolutions. Also, the ' C.C. Gear ' system could also be easily fitted to any type of aircraft instead of having to have type-specific linkages designed.



With the development of the ' C.C. Gear ' system, it was realized the Lewis Gun, with it's ' open bolt ' would be completely unsuitable for synchronising with the aircraft's propeller, whereas, the Vickers machine gun with it's ' closed bolt ' would be highly suitable for adaptation with the ' C.C. Gear ' synchronisation system.

With a ' closed bolt ' such as that on the Vickers machine gun, the synchronised aerial machine gun when ready to be fired, already had a round in the breech, the breech was closed and the action cocked. Whereas with the ' open bolt ' as on the Lewis Gun, there was a variable time delay between the gun being triggered and actually firing, making ' synchronisation ' that much more difficult.


A further advantage when synchronising the Vickers machine gun was the introduction of ' Prideaux's ' steel disintegrating-link ammunition belts, replacing the previous fabric ammunition belts, which at high altitude could have easily gotten wet and or become frozen. Several other modifications were also made to the ' aerial ' Vickers machine gun's design which further reduced it's weight down to some 28 lbs.


Constantinesco & Colley's ' C.C. Gear ' aircraft synchronised Vickers machine gun system was introduced into RFC service on 6th March 1917, and by the end of WW1 some 30,000 ' C.C. Gear ' synchronised Vickers machine gun systems were in service with the RAF.

The ' C.C. Gear ' system remained in service with the RAF until 1937, with the Gloster Gladiator being the last British aircraft to be fitted with the system.


The first photograph shows the Constantinesco & Colley ' C.C. Gear ' hydraulic aircraft synchronised Vickers machine gun system on display at the IWM, with the following description :-


" Aircraft control column consisting of a wooden shaft on which is mounted a silver-coloured metal circular handle with string-wrapped grip. In the centre of the handle are two brass-coloured levers, while on top is a white button surrounded by a brass disk. Leading from the neck of the handle are two cables leading to a sectioned brass-coloured pipe, showing two spring mechanisms attached to a central rod with winged top emerging from the top of the pipe. Also emerging from the base of the brass pipe mechanism are two thin brass wires which connect to two sets of two sectioned terminals, each linked by further wires. The two top terminals also contain spring mechanisms, leading to firing pins. "


LF





IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.


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Lancashire Fusilier

A series of 3 photographs, showing different views of an interesting RFC machine used in the testing of a Vickers machine gun synchronised with a simulated aircraft propeller blade.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

2.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

3.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Fascinating images LF.

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David,

Many thanks, pleased to hear you found them interesting.

Regards,

LF

Great images, fascinating thread as always.

Keep up the good work.

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Lancashire Fusilier

This next photograph, is packed full of interesting details, it shows the Duty Officer of the Aircraft Armoury at the RFC/RAF Aerodrome at Vert Galant, supervising the issuing of aircraft machine guns to Pilots and Observers from No.22 Squadron based at Vert Galant, on 1st April 1918, which was also the day on which the Royal Air Force was formed.

The Duty Officer of the Armoury, is wearing the Army Uniform of one of the Scottish Regiments, and from the badge on his Glengarry, he could be from the Royal Scots ? Hopefully, someone will be able to confirm his Glengarry's badge.

The Pilots and Observers are wearing the late war ' Sidcot ' Flying Suit, invented by Flight Sub-Lieutenant Sidney Cotton of the Royal Naval Air Service ( RNAS ).

The ' Sidcot ' was made of an outer layer of proofed khaki twill material, over a rubberised muslin inner lining with a mohair liner and a large mohair collar. The ' Sidcot ' also had a handy chest map pocket, and two knee pockets.

For extra leg warmth, the ' Sidcot ' flying suit could be worn with sheepskin lined ' Fug ' Flying Boots.

The ' Sidcot ' Flying suit came into service in December, 1917.

The aircraft machine guns being issued, were stripped-down Lewis and Vickers Guns.

The interesting sign attached to the Armoury Hut, reads :-

A.O. Office

ARMOURY

& C.C. Gear

The ' A.O. ' I understand refers to ' Aircraft Ordnance ' ? and the ' C.C. Gear ' refers to the Constantinesco & Colley hydraulic synchronised aircraft Vickers machine gun system. This sign shows that the ' C.C. Gear ' system had an important stand alone section within the Aircraft Armoury.

The Vert Galant RFC/RAF Aerodrome was located on both sides of the road South of the village of Doullens, and 12 miles North of Amiens in the Somme Picardy Region of Northern France, and was in operation from 1915 to 1919.

Interestingly, it was from the Aerodrome at Vert Galant that Albert Ball, V.C., took off on his fatal final flight on 7th May, 1917.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Great images, fascinating thread as always.

Keep up the good work.

Many thanks, I am pleased you are enjoying this Thread.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

This photograph shows a group of RAF Pilots and Observers from No.22 Squadron based at Vert Galant, discussing their upcoming mission, whilst RAF Aircraft Mechanics prepare one of their Bristol F.2 Fighters for take off.

The Aircraft Mechanics at the front left of the aircraft, are working on the Bristol's fixed Vickers machine gun mounted inside the cowling, which was synchronised to fire through the Bristol's propeller using the ' C.C. Gear ' system.

All the the Pilots and Observers in this photograph are wearing the ' Sidcot ' flying suit, apart from the Airman in the centre, who is wearing a ' fur ' flying coat.

This photograph, was taken at Vert Galant on 1st April, 1918.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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in post 4120 there seem to be 3 different barrel shrouds on what all seem to be guns for a mobile mounting is this normal or are some partially striped guns and a posed image.

Dave

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Lancashire Fusilier

in post 4120 there seem to be 3 different barrel shrouds on what all seem to be guns for a mobile mounting is this normal or are some partially striped guns and a posed image.

Dave

Dave,

Many thanks for posting the question.

With reference the photograph in post #4120, as that is the Armourer's workbench, some of the machine guns are stripped whilst undergoing servicing, others like the stripped Lewis Gun on the shoulder of the Airman ( left ) are ready for taking on board the aircraft, and in the case of No.22 Squadron based at Vert Galant, they were equipped with the Bristol F.2 aircraft, and that Lewis Gun would have been fitted to the Observer's cockpit ' Scarff Ring ' machine gun mount. Although the late war Bristol F.2s would have also been fitted with a synchronised fixed Vickers machine gun using the ' C.C. Gear ' system, the Observer was still using the Lewis Gun.

As to the photograph being specially posed, most probably not. Typically, we see a series of photographs all taken by the same War Photographer on the same day, as was the case with official War Photographer 2nd Lieutenant David McLellan's visit to the Aerodrome at Vert Galant on 1st April 1918, where he wandered around taking numerous photographs of daily life at the Aerodrome, with the photograph in post 4120 being such an example of one of his many photographs taken at the Aerodrome on that day.

Attached is another of 2nd Lieutenant McLellan's photographs also taken at Vert Galant on 1st April 1918, which shows one of the stripped-down Lewis Guns as seen in post 4120, mounted on the ' Scarff Ring ' machine gun mount in the Observer's cockpit on a Bristol F.2 of No.22 Squadron, with an Air Mechanic handing the Observer a Lewis Gun ammunition magazine.

The Pilot of that particular Bristol F.2 was Lieutenant Davidson, and the Observer was Lieutenant Morgan, and between them, they had 11 victories in just 2 weeks, both the Pilot and the Observer are wearing ' Sidcot ' flying suits.

As an aside, the multi-directional ' Scarff Ring ' machine gun mount, was invented by Warrant Officer ( Gunner ) F.W. Scarff of the Admiralty Air Department.

Regards,

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

With reference to the previous post, although this photograph was taken on 1st April 1918, the day the Royal Air Force was formed, the Airman ( an RFC Flight Sergeant ) seen handing the Lewis Gun magazine to the Observer, still has his RFC sleeve insignia consisting of his cloth ' ROYAL FLYING CORPS ' shoulder title, and below that his cloth ' Flight Sergeant ' insignia consisting of a twin aircraft propeller with a ' star ' at it's centre above his triple Sergeant's chevrons.

LF

These images are reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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