The Winter 2015 issue will follow closely upon the heels of Autumn 2015. It opens with Issue Editor Jack Herris’ “Friedrichshafen Torpedo Bombers,” a comprehensive review of the Friedrichshafen Company’s conversion of land airplanes into floatplane aircraft for torpedo bombing. The principal types were the FF35, FF41A, FF41AT and FF53 and Herris provides all the details of their development histories and final specifications as well as scale drawings and numerous photos of the types. This article adds to our knowledge of some of the more obscure aircraft developed in Germany that nevertheless played a role in World War aviation.
Ron Kinter tells us how the aircraft above were employed during the war in “An Operational History of the Friedrichshafen Torpedo Bombers.” Drawing from original sources, Kintner describes how they were sometimes put to very imaginative uses – including an attack on the Russian torpedo boat, Stroini – in the Baltic during the closing months of the war. A detailed listing of each torpedo bomber in frontline service and the stations and crews that employed them is given along with supplemental photographs, all of which helps complete the story of the Friedrichshafen torpedo bombers.
“Night Fighters,” by Jack Herris, takes a look at another lesser-known chapter of World War I aviation and traces Great Britain’s development and use of fighter aircraft to hunt German airships. Many aircraft types were modified and tried against German raiders, sometimes with spectacular success. As usual, Herris supplies numerous photographs of the unique aircraft which sported a wide array of armament in their effort to bring down the high-flying airships. Among the highlights are triplane and quadraplane (!) designs as well as a SPAD 11 that mounted a large spotlight in front of its propeller.
“You’re The Boss!,” assembled by Aaron Weaver, is the transcript of an informal discussion between the late Howard Nickel and German aviator Rudolf Hunze, who was a combat pilot with Feldflieger-Abteilung 8 and Flieger-Abteilung (Artillerie) 278 from 1916 until the end of the war. Hunze reminisced about his wartime experiences and offered information that only those who manned the cockpit in those days would have known.
Peter Fedders, PhD, examines the validity of certain aircraft claims in “An Assessment of American Air Combat Victory Claims in 1918.” Fedders provides a detailed list of some of the American claims in the closing months of the war, including latitude and longitude identifications, and compares them against German records that noted lost or missing aircraft. The study’s conclusions appear to be highly supportable and may surprise some of our readers.
League President Michael O’Neal brings us up to date on the League’s membership in “Between The Lines” and offers suggestions on how those members can help increase their number.
“Mentioned in Despatches” displays some additional photographs of the Albatros C.XV that were provided by German historian Volker Koos right after the Autumn 2015 issue’s article on the type went to press.
As part of our continuing service to our readers,“Between the Bookends” gives detailed publication reviews (by Peter Kilduff, Dick Bennett, Carl Bobrow, Jon Guttman, David Layton, Steve Ruffin, Jim Streckfuss and Dan Turner) of 18 recent publications centered on World War I aviation.