Thursday, January 21, 2010

Corporal Bullard's Airplane

The Lafayette Flying Corps used the S.P.A.D. VII during WWI. Here are some of the technical specs...

Armament: One Vickers .303-cal. machine guns
Engine: Hispano-Suiza 8-Aa of 180 hp
Maximum speed:
127 mph
Ceiling: 17,500 ft.
Span: 25 ft. 8 in.
Length: 20 ft. 3 in.
Height: 7 ft.
Weight: 1,550 lbs. maximum

Source: The National Museum of the Air Force

The S.P.A.D. VII was the most widely produced airplane during WWI. There were also other versions of this airplane that had slightly different technical specs.

The early days of air combat were up close and personal. There was no firing a missle at a target beyond visual range as today's F-22 pilots have the luxury to do. WWI fighter pilots had to fly in close to their targets and shoot a considerable amount of ammunition to bring their opponents down.

Pilots had to become skilled at Air Combat Manuvering, or "dogfighting."

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