Diversions of flight and dogfight
While trying to avoid talking about a non event for the weekends flying
(unusual for us, that one) which will be expounded on in a later post,
I came across xplanes.com site once more.
They are running a nice set of posts on the Battle of Britain and some great articles
as well as pictures on the nature of the dogfights, battles and the men involved.
One of the more interesting points for me is the story of Pilot Officer Alan Berry,
who survived the war, having flown 412 Spitfire missions without being shot down.
He retired in 1969 as Air Commodore and died in 2000.
The mind boggles as to how you get to survive 412
missions during the war and the effect that must have had
on the human being involved.
Interestingly these are the 10 points that Adolf “Sailor” Malan
applied and taught in respect to aerial combat.
1. Wait until you see the whites of his eyes.
Fire short bursts of one to two seconds only when your sights are definitely “ON”
2. Whilst shooting think of nothing else, brace the whole of your body:
have both hands on the stick: concentrate on your ring sight.
3. Always keep a sharp lookout. “Keep your finger out”.
4. Height gives you the initiative.
5. Always turn and face the attack.
6. Make your decisions promptly. It is better to act quickly
even though your tactics are not the best.
7. Never fly straight and level for more than 30 seconds in the combat area.
8. When diving to attack always leave a proportion of your
formation above to act as a top guard.
9. Initiative, aggression, air discipline, and teamwork
are words that mean something in Air Fighting.
10. Go in quickly – Punch hard – Get out!
Sounds like our combat zone could do with a bit of improvement!
and a few lessons learnt…
and lastly, the experience of a German pilot who
had a mishap during training and had to bail out of his plane,
but learned of the beauty of these magnificent machines…
from the outside, rather than being inside them.
“As I floated down, the squadron came back and flew around me
in steep banking turns. It was a beautiful sight, but more than this,
I became aware of a sound which I had never experienced before.
Within the confines of my cockpit I’d often seen the squadron airborne
in full strength but, blotted out by the noise of the aircraft and
masked by my helmet and phones, I’d never heard it like this.
To be suspended in there in the air on such a wonderful spring day
and have those beautiful aircraft curving around,
their powerful engines growling, was something I’ll never forget.”
Try and visit the x-planes site as they post some really nice
stories on the go.