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Remembered Today:

Info wanted on Plane/pilot 1916?


gerd.deboeck
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A colleague from work his grandfather was stationed with the Belgium TSF (wireless service) at Calais in 1916. Among his documents are several copies the picture below. The college would like to know more about the pilot. Any suggestion?. Is the symbol the side a clue? Does it refer to an ace? Any help is appreciated because I must confess that the war in the air is a big unknown for me.

Thanks,

Gerd

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OK I should have checked the www first:

Sorry to get you going.

Gerd

The Knight of Deathnungesser.jpg__800x0_q85_crop-640x430.jp (NASM)

Frenchman Charles Nungesser was the archetypal ace. His flamboyant personality, taste for fast cars, danger, and women made him appear larger than life, and he finished the war with 43 official victories. Nungesser marked all of his airplanes with his trademark “Knight of Death” symbol: a black heart containing a skull and crossed bones, coffin and candles.

After the war, he and Francois Coli were in a race with Charles Lindbergh to make the first transatlantic flight. Before their attempt, Nungesser had a smaller version of his lucky war emblem painted on the fuselage of their Levasseur PL.8 biplane, L’Oiseau Blanc. On May 8, 1927, the pair of French aviators took off from Paris, but disappeared shortly afterward over the North Atlantic. After Lindbergh made his successful crossing less than two weeks later, he commented to the French people at Le Bourget field that he was saddened by their loss.

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The plane in the first pic appears to have British markings,

I thought so too, that's why I posted it here, but I guess it's a trick of the light because it's definitely Nungesser's symbol on the plane. A explanation could be that they sometimes used a lighter blue for the centre

Lafayette escadrille:

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its not the light -- at least not on it's own. Its the effect of orthochromatic film,which unlike modern panchromatic film only responds to part of the light spectrum.

Reds/Yellows were rendered dark, Blues light - there are a couple of threads on the forum that show this. Search orthochromatic.

Chris

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The plane in the first pic appears to have British markings,

In the orthochromatic film commonly used during the war, red appears very dark, rather like black, and blue appears light. Nungesser's Nieuport 25 (N1985 - the same number as several of his aeroplanes) is definitely in French markings.

Gareth

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its not the light -- at least not on it's own. Its the effect of orthochromatic film,which unlike modern panchromatic film only responds to part of the light spectrum.

Reds/Yellows were rendered dark, Blues light - there are a couple of threads on the forum that show this. Search orthochromatic.

Chris

Thanks Chris for the info, I will look for the threads. Especially interesting because the company we work for was making this orthochromatic film in 1916!

Gerd

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Willy Coppens de Houthulst (Belgian Ace of Aces with 36 victories: 26 Ballons, 10 airplanes) his Hanriot HD.1

Sopwith F.1 Camel from the 9eme Escadrille

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The aeroplane has the thistle marking of Coppens' 9eme Escadrille, but it's a Sopwith F.1 Camel, not a Hanriot HD 1.

Gareth

9eme Escadrille, but not Willy then, too bad.

Thanks for the correction

Gerd

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