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Those Magnificent Men . . .

1 June 2002

by Andrzej Cierpicki

 

After several years in the hangar gathering dust and cobwebs, the HKSW Flying Circus took to the air at the meeting, hosted by Andrzej, but this time using fast play Aerodrome rules.  

 

The intrepid fliers comprised Dan, Dick, Elliot, Jeff, Paul, Philippe and, after the first scenario, Andrzej.  The first encounter pitted 3 Sopwith Camels piloted by Dick, Jeff and Paul versus Dan Elliot and Philippe each mounted in the ubiquitous Fokker Triplane.  The dogfight was fast and furious with the first casualty, to the guns of Elliot's Dridecker being Paul, whose Camel was seen to go down in flames over enemy lines; RIP.  Paul was soon to be avenged by Jeff who, by some handy manoeuvring, shot down Elliot, who luckily walked away unscathed from his wrecked plane.  Lucky too was Jeff who, brought down by Phil, survived a crash landing and was back at the mess in time for dinner.  Dick, finding himself heavily outnumbered, and damaged to boot, decided discretion was the better part of valour, and headed home.   First result 2:1 to the Central Powers.

 

The next scenario had 2 Junkers J1's (Phil and Elliot) on a photo reconnaissance mission, just behind the Allied lines, escorted by an Albatros DIII flown by Andrzej.  Out to stop them were a mixed bag of Allied planes: an SE5a (Jeff), a Spad VII (Dick), a Sopwith Snipe (Dan) and Sopwith Triplane (Paul).  Adding to the confusion, the object of the photo recon (a crossroads) was not known to the Allied players.  First to be brought down was Andrzej's Albatros, which, while manoeuvring to catch Paul's Tripe, went into a spin thus becoming easy pickings to Dan's Snipe.  Philippe took the next kill, sending Paul to oblivion soon thereafter.  Elliot succeeded in photographing the objective, only to be brought down by Jeff's SE5a.  Phil was left alone and was easy prey to the simultaneous fire of Jeff's and Dick's planes.  Miraculously, both Phil and Andrzej managed to crash land their planes behind friendly lines, and lived to fight another day.  Paul and Elliot . . . RIP.  Second result 3:1 to the Allies.

 

Next up was an encounter between a Siemens Schuckert DIII (Elliot) a Siemens Schuckert DIV (Phil) a Fokker DVII (Andrzej) versus a Spad XIII (Dick), an SE5a (Jeff), a Sopwith Snipe (Dan) and a Sopwith Camel (Paul).  After the dust settled, the final score was 2:0 to the Central Powers, Phil and Andrzej each bagging one Allied plane each (Jeff again surviving his crash landing) .

 

The final encounter was an early war outing: 2 Fokker Eindeckers (Elliot and Phil) versus a motley assortment of a DH2 (Jeff), an FE2b (Andrzej), a BE2c (Dan) and a Bristol Scout (Dick).   First blood was to Andrzej's Fee, although Phil's plane gamely kept on flying.  Elliot despatched Andrzej shortly thereafter with a well aimed burst only to fall to Jeff's guns a moment later.  Jeff's guns jammed early in the dogfight and Jeff turned towards the British lines in a wide circle.  After much hammering and swearing the guns were unjammed.  Looking back across the lines Jeff saw that Dan in the Be2c was in serious trouble.   Jeff gunned his engine and waved at Dan as he passed him, the Germans swung to the new threat.   Dan nursed his Be2c back across the lines, looking back in the distance he saw a lone DH2 hurtling towards the earth; Phil had avenged Elliot's untimely demise.  Dan landed, his mission a success, but as he came to a halt his upper wing crumpled and fell forward, nearly every strut had been shot away.  Jubilant to be alive, Dan went to the Mess and with a shot of whisky toasted the brave pilot of the DH2 who had sacrificed himself so that he could live.  RIP Elliot, Jeff and Andrzej.  Score 2:1 to the Central Powers.

 

The man of the match was undoubtedly Philippe, who survived being shot down and ended the day with 4 confirmed kills.  Jeff's tally stood at 3 when he unfortunately went to meet his maker.

 

A campaign will soon  be started where pilots will be given the opportunity of showing their true mettle.  Details will be posted shortly.  In the meantime, check out a brief overview of the Aerodrome rules and whilst your at it, check out the pilots hall of fame.

 

Dakka, Dakka, Dakka . . . 

 

 

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