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unreasonable

Red Baron and the Damage Models

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Interesting discussion. :drinks:

 

I haven't a concrete explanation for increased flamers. It seems even MvR was surprised by it, or had no explanation, as this quote in Gibbons' book suggests: "'Queer,' he [Richthofen] began slowly, 'but the last ten I shot down all burned.'" "Queer" meaning odd, strange, unusual. BTW, his "last ten"--i.e., nos. 66-75 at the time of the quote--had not burned, but nos. 68, 69, 70, 72, 73, 74, 75 burned. Not ten, but the majority, 70%. And if you look at the ten before that, 56-65, Nos. 58, 59 (mid-air explosion), and 63 burned, which is 30%. Nos. 56-65 were downed between 25 June 1917 and 13 March 1918, or roughly nine months, for much of which MvR was absent the front lines. Nos. 66-75 were downed between 18 March and 2 April 1918, just over two weeks. So, three flamers over nine months, then seven flamers in a couple weeks. 

 

A bit OT, so read further at your own peril, but just want to (briefly) address MvR's wounding of 6 July 1917. Gibbons, Franks/Giblin/McCrery and others give credit to Woodbridge in FE2d A6512 (and for some reason usually not Cunnell, who was flying that airplane and also shooting at MvR) for shooting down MvR, but my research has shown that it was not and could not have been either. Neither was it "friendly fire" from the rear, as Ferko speculates in his book Richthofen. It could have been friendly fire, certainly, just not from behind. Who shot him then? The simple answer is we'll never know. But the evidence indicates the bullet arrived from neither directly ahead (i.e., from FE2d A6512, which MvR approached head-on) nor directly behind. 

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Absolutely fantastic work. This post is a credit to the community. Thanks for taking the time! Don't know how I missed this until now. 

With the current DM in effect, it's very interesting to see a meagre 24% of victories being due to structural break-up. Provided that's correct (and I don't see why it wouldn't be - MvR was keen-eyed, if that figure is off then it'll likely only be by a small margin) then that just doesn't add up to the current DM. 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/26/2018 at 7:10 AM, 1PL-Husar-1Esk said:

I would love to see all that ammunition type modeled and consequences of it use simulated in  Flying Circus some day.

 

 Husar, I don't know if you flew in Targetwares, "Richthofen Skies" but Lucas will recall I'm sure. We were able to load our own belts.

 

 You could have AP, AP, Tracer, Ball or Ball, Tracer, Ball, Tracer etc.  I wish we did have that ability.

 

 *edit*  Just realized after posting that this thread is almost 2 yrs old!!!

Edited by J5_Gamecock
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Old things are always best.... ;)   Probably best to take related discussion to AnP's DM Poll discussion thread now.   

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On 7/25/2018 at 12:13 PM, unreasonable said:

The last period however he is mostly fighting single seaters that go down or burn after a brief attack.

Not my experience...

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On 7/25/2018 at 7:13 PM, unreasonable said:

 

He never claimed a plane he did not think he had shot down, is how Franks sees it. The problem was on a couple of occasions when he was over the British side of the lines with poor visibility, and the only planes he could have been attacking were known to have returned safely.   I find Franks' assessments convincing.  Anyway, his estimate is 78 victories vs 80 officially confirmed: so it does not affect the overall outlook.

 

On your first point, although he undoubtedly got more cold as the war went on (who did not?),  even in his very first combat report he is attacking an FE, he had stopped the prop, the machine was gliding down on the German side, he continued the attack until the crash. There are a few like that, victims absolutely riddled with bullets long after there was any need, but which did not burn.  The last period however he is mostly fighting single seaters that go down or burn after a brief attack.  If you look at the ammunition expended the 1918 numbers are all much lower.  

 

So I am convinced that the main reason must be incendiary ammunition, but it would be good to find some other relevant information. There was a thread on the Aerodrome forum I will try to find again.

 

I remember reading an account (*maybe you have come across it @unreasonable?) when I was younger about MvR and his Jasta attacking a B.E.2 and they all poured all of their ammunition  into the plane without result and it just kept on flying. They even began to think it was some kind of ghost plane and apparently were quite freaked out by it. Eventually it ran out of fuel and landed itself in a field (a testament to the B.E.2's stability perhaps?) and it was discovered that both the pilot and observer were long dead, riddled with countless bullets, as was the plane, but it hadnt really caused any issue with flyability of the aircraft..

 

I dont have a source for this account anymore, but if true it lends weight to the argument that these early planes could potentially absorb massive amounts of combat damage and carry on flying quite happily..

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3 hours ago, Flashy said:

 

 

 

I dont have a source for this account anymore, but if true it lends weight to the argument that these early planes could potentially absorb massive amounts of combat damage and carry on flying quite happily..

 

BEs were very stable and in testing could be flown hands off for long distances, so that particular outcome is entirely possible, but it does not show what you are suggesting.  MvR shot down 20 BEs (in Frank's analysis) of which no less than 7 (37%) suffered from structural collapse. That is a much larger ratio than for the other types, (8 out of 60  = 13%). Far from being tough, the BE was exceptionally prone to wing shedding in a fight.

 

This is why you have to be so careful about drawing conclusions from anecdotes.  

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1 hour ago, unreasonable said:

 

BEs were very stable and in testing could be flown hands off for long distances, so that particular outcome is entirely possible, but it does not show what you are suggesting.  MvR shot down 20 BEs (in Frank's analysis) of which no less than 7 (37%) suffered from structural collapse. That is a much larger ratio than for the other types, (8 out of 60  = 13%). Far from being tough, the BE was exceptionally prone to wing shedding in a fight.

 

This is why you have to be so careful about drawing conclusions from anecdotes.  

True, but we also dont have the context or any details for those structural failures, or do we? It could be that the planes tried to dive away from MvR and overstressed the airframe (in which case it might have collapsed even if there was no damage) or the pilot could have been shot, leading to the plane falling out of control and resulting in a similar failure as above.. Does that book give detailed accounts of these engagements? I would be interested to know under what circumstances these failures occurred.. 

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Posted (edited)

If you want the details, I recommend you get the book if you can.  There is usually enough information in each report to tell if the plane's wings came off in an uncontrolled dive vs in the course of the fight, for instance. What is abundantly clear is that BE's were unusually prone to wing loss. 

 

It is usually the combination of damage and stress with which the DM must model.  From @US93_Larner 's MP data it looks as though the current version of the DM is not doing this at all well compared to MvR's reports,  (except for BEs  :) )  so we are probably in agreement that the DM needs some more adjustment to reduce wing shedding.  

 

 

 

 

Edited by unreasonable

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