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VonS

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VonS last won the day on September 14 2016

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  1. Eighth DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 Rules for DiD --- September 27, 1918 "We spent only five nights near Megiddo before moving further to a makeshift camp north of Damascus - where we are currently situated. In the meantime both the aerodromes at Megiddo and Amman had fallen, on the 25th. Our supply trains could also no longer operate since the tracks were sabotaged by some of the Englishers who had pushed further north of Amman during the chaotic fighting of the 25th. Also on that day we lost the young but competent pilot Vzfw. Schnitzel, who, with Logan-Ritzer, had been previously transferred to Megiddo to gain more experience, ironically in a more quite corner. My Pfalz had trouble starting that day, as it did at Jenin on the morning of the 20th. We were surprised by three of those stub-nosed fellows circling the field near Megiddo. I attempted to intercept but my engine rattled for a bit and went silent next to a hangar. Schnitzel, wishing to seize on the opportunity to display his bravery, went up in an older Albatros, to great protestations by Wincklermann who considered the act suicidal. Oh, he fought brilliantly; I had rarely seen such natural flying. He evaded his three foes for many minutes but was eventually shot up by a fourth Scout Experimental that had joined the fray. Schnitzel's Albatros was then spotted, on fire, and gliding northwesterly of the aerodrome. It was only the next day that his charred remains and remnants of the aeroplane were found by some of our retreating soldiers. To complicate things, Steinmann my good friend had gone up in his rickety D.V to attempt evening out the score. He flew wonderfully and managed to bag his seventh victory that was confirmed by his fellow officers observing events from below, but he was wounded in the left leg during his daring duel with another of the stub-nosed fellows; he crash-landed near our base and was already that night being transported by camel, and truck, to the field hospital at Aleppo. This had reduced our flying capabilities to Nowotny, Von Wincklermann, me, and Logan-Ritzer, and had left us with four aircraft - two engined-up Albatroses, my weather-beaten Pfalz, and the Rumpler that Wincklermann had flown from Jenin. There were also two obsolete Albatros D.II types at the aerodrome near Megiddo, with tattered and faded linen, and so we considered these useless against the enemy's fast aircraft. We did not even bother setting fire to these two relics of happier times when our airmen had reigned supreme in these regions. In this state our motley crew had arrived at a small, makeshift base set up for us some 10 kilometers or so north of Damascus. We had a few canvas hangars erected that were a nice beige color and blended well with the sand hills that separated us from much of the noise and artillery of the fighting now going on all around. Today however was a tipping point that brought a decision to Von Wincklermann, rather than having Wincklermann make the decision as to our next move. Awful inclement weather had rolled in during the previous night and there was no break in the clouds today. We were to do a morning intercept, indicated Wincklermann, of British aircraft seen buzzing overhead over the last couple of days. Up we went into the cold wind and mist that morning, rain splashing against my goggles. Nowotny was in one of the improved Albatroses, our flight officer in the other, and I in my Pfalz. Logan-Ritzer would keep watch, with our fitter and rigger, at the camp, although he was advised not to bother taking the Rumpler up in case English flyers were spotted nearby. We had ascended no higher than about 1500 meters and were being pushed slightly northwest by the wind when we spotted four Camels passing high above. They were heading south, most likely after doing a bombing and strafing run on the remnants of our Asia Corps that were bravely retreating northward. All three of us attempted to meet our foes on the level but there was no way we could climb that quickly or overtake them in any practical manner. Our officer signaled that we abandon the idea and instead we did an ascending turn southwards towards our camp. No sooner had we completed the turn than we were ambushed by three Scout Experimentals that dropped out of some low-hanging clouds. I managed to do a sharp head-on pass on one of the fellows and broke his bottom wing off with carefully aimed shots. He spiraled into the fog below with a thin stream of gray smoke trailing behind him. In the meantime, Wincklermann and Nowotny had been busy with their two airmen. Neither of those fellows was shot down but my officers managed to cripple them enough that the foes opened their throttles and escaped across their own lines. We now continued towards our camp when, much to our disappointment, three Voisans with cannons were seen doing wide circles in front of us. Perhaps they were looking for our encampment? Without answering this question to myself I jumped into the middle of this flight, with my officer and Nowotny following. I had heard about these types but had not seen them until now in the theater. We all began circling one another: Nowotny, a Voisan, the flight officer, another Voisan, me, and yet another Voisan. These fellows were very slow, so much in fact that I had to throttle down by half, but they were very maneuverable, using their large ailerons to advantage, to flutter about like butterflies, always swinging away from my shots. Notowny eventually was chased by two of the Voisans, with Winckermann following behind and pushing them off of his tail. I was busy with the third fellow and could not help them. We were involved in a dizzying fight that I ended by puncturing his fuel tank; he then glided down onto the sand but rolled over onto his back and caught fire, after which a small explosion was heard, likely from grenades that they had on board. Now another one of the Voisans that was chased off from Nowotny by my flight officer, seeing what had just happened, began to harass me with cannon bursts. I was in no mood however to receive one of these bursts that would surely mark my end. Instead, another wild fight ensued, lasting several minutes, before I was able to get underneath my opponent and spray his underside with several rounds. I then saw his whole tail section come off and float away in the wind, while his front half with engine and wings still intact hurtled towards the ground, to become embedded in the wet sand with a loud thud. I now had no rounds left and it was pointless to pursue the third Voisan that was slowly flying away. Fortunately, Nowotny caught up with this character and sent him tumbling into the ground, with his engine enveloped by a ball of fire. Somehow all three of us managed to join up in the horrible weather and returned to our makeshift camp. My engine rumbled and stopped near the encampment, and I had to glide in dead-stick, into the mud, tipping over onto my nose. I clambered down from the cockpit and was about to straighten the crate, with the help of the mechanic, when Wincklermann rushed over from his Albatros and said, 'Don't bother, let it be Lieutenant. That Pfalz has served you well but we are now in no condition to repair its engine; and besides, with its tail now up in the air, it is a kind of strange monument to your achievements.' 'But what will I now fly, sir?,' I asked. 'You will fly one of the improved Albatroses from now on; Nowotny will fly the other. I will take the Rumpler again and Logan-Ritzer will fly as observer for a while. It has become too dangerous to stay here and we will make a run for Aleppo tomorrow afternoon once there is a break in this weather. The encampment may be discovered any day now. The tipping point in this war has been reached.' 'I'd say we tipped over back at Jenin on the 20th,' said the mechanic who now peered at us from behind the Pfalz, but this received no comment from us. We were all in a state of denial of the obvious.* 'I take it that we should turn out all the lights tonight Herr. Wincklermann?,' asked Nowotny, who was now also listening to our conversation next to the upturned Pfalz. 'Yes, all lights off, no exceptions; and also help me to roll our functional aircraft into their tents. It will soon be time for lunch, and we all need nourishment. I will have no half-pilots under my command.' We complied and were also helped by the mechanic and rigger. Although our faces were tired and glum, the flight officer congratulated Nowotny on his victory over one of the Voisans, bringing his total to four (Nowotny had previously downed two balloons in late June, before my entrance into the theater, and the Martinsyde at Jenin on the 20th of September). I was as well commended on my victories over the Scout Experimental and two Voisans, bringing my total to twenty - although I was now so anxious over the loss of my trusty Pfalz that I did not pay too much attention to my rising tally." --- * Von S enjoys writing these reports since, unlike the role of a typical author who creates events and controls what happens, he lets the events in FE2 decide how these field reports develop, which maintains an air of randomness and risk, as would have been expected on the front - since there is no telling what will happen to Ltn. Fritz Müller on his next mission.
  2. Seventh DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 Rules for DiD --- September 20, 1918 "Today we were awakened by what I thought was thunder but instead turned out to be exploding grenades and some bombs, hurled at us by two of those lumbering types and a Scout Experimental that had surprised us very early in the morning. Jenin aerodrome had quickly turned into an inferno, with two older Albatroses destroyed, an extra Pfalz incinerated that we had previously also cobbled together from parts, and three hangars completely wrecked. Nowotny tried to intercept these rude fellows with his D.V but they got away in low cloud cover. I had also attempted to go up but my engine would not start. Consoling at least was that Nowotny spotted another lumbering type to the southwest of us and managed to gain the upper hand, with the wandering Martinsyde side-slipping into the ground and bursting into flames. Not less than an hour and a half later, after a quick breakfast, Nowotny and I were off again on a defensive patrol, ascending into some broken clouds and windy conditions. We were however not more than a kilometer or two away from our still ravaged aerodrome when we were jumped by two Camels that emerged from a cloud. A grueling kurvenkampf then ensued, with both Camels initially latching onto Nowotny's Albatros. One of these fellows then transferred his attention to me and we went round and round in several circles before I was able to send some shots in his direction. He quickly began to emit flames and disappeared towards the ground. I then managed to distract the other Camel long enough so that this fellow became irritated and began chasing me. The next several minutes turned into a very slippery fight, this character evidently being a veteran of the war or perhaps even an ace. Up and down he went, with excellent tight turns, easily evading my less maneuverable Pfalz. After several unsuccessful passes, I found myself underneath him and with a few shots destroyed his engine. His propeller spun down and he glided off, crash-landing into some sand dunes further away. When we returned to the aerodrome, it now looked even more shabby than before we went on our patrol. 'What is now the matter?,' asked Nowotny of one of the mechanics. 'Horrible!, we were attacked with more bombs by a couple of Scout Experimentals that escaped quickly while you were being kept busy by your mission,' was the response. I rushed over to Von Wincklermann's tent - to find him packing some smaller items for transport. He informed me with a sad face that the latest orders, wired to us from Damascus, were to evacuate Jenin as soon as possible. 'Let us try to salvage at least some of our remaining aircraft, Lieutenant; fly your Pfalz towards Megiddo and continue northwards for some time; I will take the Rumpler. And tell Nowotny to fly the engined-up Albatros and to follow you. Leave the older Albatroses here, including the one Nowotny was in today - they are useless now. Don't waste time refueling since British soldiers are less than a dozen kilometers away. One mechanic will fly with me in the Rumpler, in the observer's seat; the other fellows are already being transported northwards by train. Steinmann has already left for Megiddo in a D.V that was unharmed.' I rushed off to execute orders with lightning speed. Could it really be that we were leaving our beloved aerodrome at Jenin? These and other questions I would meditate upon more thoroughly much later in the day when our flight officer informed me that my sixteenth and seventeenth victories had been confirmed by some remnants of the Asia Corps that were nearby, and that I would be awarded the Merit Cross Second Class for my continued perseverance in what was quickly becoming a losing battle for our men."
  3. Sixth DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 Rules for DiD --- September 15, 1918 "The German front lines south of us were being tested more and more by the English over the last several days. It was Von Wincklermann's opinion that a large offensive would soon be launched, and so we were all apprehensive. Our offensive patrols had been cut down drastically in the last week, and fuel rations were also not helping with flying. Nowotny had finally returned with the two Mercedes engines and the mechanics were looking them over, to see if any in-field modifications could be made. Together with the few Pfalzes that we had acquired in July, and the Albatros D.V airframes that we received later, the general idea was to install these two engines and also to carry over necessary upgrades to the current batch of the standard 160hp Mercedes mounts that we already had. This was of course all theory, and the commotion of the war was making such modifications difficult to implement. We hoped that soon at least two or three of our crates could be fitted with stronger engines - although we would still be no match for the speedy, stub-nosed scouts that our enemy was wielding in small numbers. Word had in the meantime reached Jenin from Amman, a bit before Nowotny's arrival, that Weihs and another fellow from that aerodrome had been shot down while doing an offensive patrol across the British lines further south. I remembered Weihs from my stay at Amman: a good pilot but his turns were somewhat sloppy and I had encouraged him to practice further. He had bagged a Martinsyde while I was still there, and in the fight that was his last, he had managed to down a Nieuport. The odds were against him in that mission however since he and his flight companion were surprised by two Camels and two Nieuports - this at any rate was the report. I was however surprised to hear that the British were still using Nieuports in the area. Possibly it was four Camels that had jumped them. Oh, they fought valiantly, Wincklermann said, but they were outflown by the opposition - at least poor Weihs went down with two victories under his belt. More and more of our brave flyers were being shot out of the sky this way by the numerically superior foe. Schnitzel and Logan-Ritzer had been transferred to Megiddo on Wincklermann's orders. They were good characters but still required more flight hours before being thrown into heavier combat duties, although Schnitzel was a natural airman. And so, our flight officer, ever the careful and supportive fellow, sent them to the sleepier northern corner of the map. They would return to us in a fortnight if all turned out well. Steinmann's tally of kills was rising quickly, I was pleased to see. On his previous long reconnaissance flight with Logan-Ritzer he had managed to bag his third balloon and a Martynside that was carelessly wandering about, on their return flight to Jenin. This had brought his total victories to five. Logan-Ritzer also downed a balloon on that flight but it remained unconfirmed. Nowotny was today looking over the new engines with the mechanics. Steinmann and I were on the other hand to undertake an afternoon defensive patrol around Jenin aerodrome and slightly southeast to Gan Dafna. The weather was at least pleasant, with hardly any wind and only one or two small clouds in the sky. 'Your missions for the next few days, and most unfortunately gentlemen,' said Wincklermann that morning, 'will be of the defensive variety until we get more shipments of fuel, and benzene too. We particularly need the benzene, to mix with the limited fuel already present. This will extend your flight opportunities.' 'I have heard,' uttered Steinmann, 'that this benzene extends the potency of the regular fuel, acting as a kind of enhancement shall we say; it is most noticeable in advanced engines used on the western front by our flyers, but it certainly cannot hurt to pour this liquid into our own engines too.' 'Yes indeed,' I commented, 'you are the resident chemist here with your diploma from Baden-Baden, and perhaps you will be able to concoct something even more magical than benzene for our engines.' Laughter ensued, even from the mechanics this time who were often flat-faced but now overheard our musings. But our little mission awaited. Steinmann took one of the Albatroses; I was again in my trusty Pfalz with its lovely colors. I had nicknamed my crate 'The Blue Ritter,' much to the amusement of my fitter and rigger - the only thing left was to emblazon the letters on the fuselage, but now there was no time for such trivialities. 'Oh but you should write something on it,' muttered Steinmann over the rumble of his engine, 'for here in our exotic theater everything and everyone has an original name, like that English Lawrence who goes by the moniker of Lawrence of Arabia would you believe.' 'This English Lawrence,' I yelled over my mechanic's gesticulations to prime my engine, 'no matter how extravagant his name, has already heaped praise on our brave men of the Asia Corps* - that they fight to the last man and efficiently too.' And we were on our way, hopping into the air, ascending gradually to about 1500 meters, and doing a wide circle around Jenin before heading south and easterly. The day was beautiful and if it wasn't for the war going on, one might mistake this for two flyers out on a leisurely adventure. We flew from waypoint to waypoint, guided by our maps and the little villages and encampments scattered to and fro. Nothing of any value was spotted until we were close to the emerging hillsides visible farther south of our aerodrome. Rumblings and monotonous thuds were heard slightly below. I looked over the edge of my cockpit - and there they were, two Martinsydes floating away slightly to the east, and two snub-nosed scouts, already having noticed us, and engaged in a wide, fast and ascending turn to face us. All this was made more exciting by the little flak bursts from one of our anti-aeroplane guns stationed in the vicinity and that had opened up on the dashing Englishers. Steinmann was already engaged in a series of tight turns with his opponent while the other stub-nosed fellow was bearing down on me at a great rate. I dove to gain speed, with the wind roaring alongside the cockpit and through the wing wires - and I executed my loop carefully, being gentle with the stick since the Pfalz has thin wings and often slips out of loops. Up and over I went, to find myself behind this fellow who had overshot and was too fast now to come back at me in time to avoid my Spandaus. I opened up, tracers riddling the area around his fuselage. There was no fire, but his engine ground down to a low rumble and I saw him side-slipping into the sand below, to break into several pieces. Grimly, I had also noticed the pilot slumped over as his crate descended. I now turned my attention to the other stub-nosed character, only to see this one following closely behind Steinmann and with his guns firing. My flight companion could not get away since the Albatros was much slower than the Scout Experimental. Desperately I dove about 500 meters and sent a few shots in this fellow's direction. He immediately broke off the attack and made a wide turn, fast and low, and was directly heading towards me. Here was a worthy nemesis, an expert at the slashing attack - one joust, and then another, and then a third and a fourth followed - we repeated the attacks, and it was relentless. Finally, on our seventh charge, I hit his engine with a few shots. It was a very close head-on pass. When I next spotted him, after completing a wide turn, he was already burning profusely and hurtling towards the earth in proximity of the hills. While I was busy with this fellow, my companion had managed to latch onto the tail of one of the Martynsides and sent him down spinning, and with the wings breaking off. The other lumbering type was already too far south and so we did not bother pursuing him. I signalled to the Albatros and off we went back to Jenin. A short roll to our hangars later, while I was still unfastening my harness, our flight officer strolled over to the fuselage of my Pfalz and congratulated me on my 15th victory, and Steinmann on his sixth. We were pleased, although Wincklermann looked somewhat glum. 'What is the matter sir?,' I asked - 'we decided it was unwise to follow the solitary Martinsyde that got away since he was too far south already, close to the British lines.' 'Oh that's no trouble gentlemen; it was wise of you, and I need as many flyers surviving as possible; no, rather I am disappointed that I had to discipline two mechanics while you were on duty today.' 'Discipline?,' asked Steinmann. 'Yes, you see I caught two of them behind one of the tents singing silly lyrics in dubious honor of Logan-Ritzer, nasty work accompanied by the sound of a concertina and flute. I will have no such nonsense and lack of discipline here; we are not a circus side-show act. They are now to clean the latrines for one week. I hope you two enjoy mechanical work on your engines since those rascals won't be of much help for a time.' Wincklerman uttered these words sternly, saluted us again, and went back to his office. He did however hand me a piece of paper with the crude song that the two fellows had been singing. Steinmann and I could not stop laughing while we walked back to our tents after reading what was scribbled there. Logan-Ritzer had a spritzer and dreamt a dream in fizz and bubbles. Up he looked now tipsy drunk and saw a flyer with much spunk, prancing about with no care on little clouds in the air. Was it Schnitzel with his Rumpler or Herr. Fritz's grand Blue Ritter of azure hue - Logan had no clue. But oh those wings, they were nicely ribbed and with a color as fine as on the patterned under-pants of scrumptious bar maid Hegeline." --- * The Asia Corps was a detachment of the German Army sent to help the Ottoman Army, as early as December of 1914. They were admired by T.E. Lawrence. Most were not able to avoid death or capture after the Battle of Megiddo in late September of 1918, although they fought valiantly northwards towards Damascus, amid the remnants of the destroyed Ottoman Army.
  4. New Aircraft

    Hello fellow flyers of FE2, Please find attached below Geezer's nearly complete Nieuport 21 series. Several variants have now been made: a Vickers and Lewis armed N.21, also two variants by the DUX plant. These are nimble and enjoyable planes to fly. Also included is a Lewis-only variant of the Nieu. 24bis (used in small numbers by the RFC, with several manufactured by the British). You will find included a two-gun version of the Nieu. 27 (Vickers and Lewis). The data inis are not interchangeable - subtle differences are included across the sub-variants, as historical. To get the Lewis gun to show up on the relevant types, please download Stephen's Lewis Mk.II from the following link (https://combatace.com/files/file/15059-lewis-gun-mk2/) and install the gun into the "Pilot" folder of your FE2 user directory, not into the Guns folder. (Thank you Crawford for this interesting trick - works well especially if you don't like tinkering with load-out files. The other way of installing the Lewis is by load-out files and different changes in the data inis - the data inis included in this package work only with the gun-as-pilot trick.) Also you will find included a new sound to fit the 90 hp Le Rhone 9ca engine on the Nieup. 21 variants modeled, and a new sounds file for your Flight folder. These aircraft, as others posted previously, may also work in FE/FEgold with the correct tweaks applied. As always, many thanks to Geezer for the beautiful models, and to Crawford, Jeanba, Coupi and Mike Dora for their input. Happy flying, Von S N27Lewis24bisLewisAndN21Variants.zip
  5. Fifth DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 Rules for DiD --- September 7, 1918 "At least once or twice in a man's life he goes through what can be described a rite by fire. Today was that fated day for me. Nowotny had telephoned yesterday that, together with a shipment of only two Mercedes engines, uprated to 170 horses, he would return in five days. 'We will see,' said one of the fitters here at Jenin, 'what we can do to improve performance further, but our supplies of tooling equipment are dwindling, as are other things, and we can't make promises until we see the engines.' Steinmann and Logan-Ritzer, a half Irish and half German fellow who had arrived while I was at Amman, were on a long reconnaissance flight today, in their Albatroses, to Port Said. This left me as one of only two pilots at our aerodrome; the other was a new fellow, Vzfw. Jonas Schnitzel, a small character with spectacles but a good flyer, who was to do a flight to Amman and back in the Rumpler later in the day. My mission was to fly offensive patrol to the industrial area of Jaffa, to the southwest of us. With a slight breeze and only scattered cloud, I assumed the flight would be pleasant. 'And you are my wingmen this morning Herr Schnitzel, yes?' - I asked. The reply came from our flight officer: 'No lieutenant, you shall fly solo this morning in your Pfalz, while I and Schnitzel go over some maps since he is very new here.' 'But I was under the impression Herr Wincklermann that lone wolf missions have not been flown for more than a year, neither here nor on the busy front back home,' I uttered. 'You are indeed correct,' was my flight officer's reply - 'you see, not since the days of the great Buddecke* have solo missions been typical here; granted, this is no longer the summer of '16, but I trust in your abilities as a skilled marksman and pilot - if anyone can handle such a mission it is you - Steinmann and Nowotny still need more experience, as does Logan-Ritzer. Good luck to you.' I thanked our flight officer for the reassuring words, although I was hesitant to fly solo when the British were also in the area in greater numbers. But orders were waiting for me and I clambered into the cockpit of my trusty Pfalz - soon the engine was running and I was off, ascending gradually to a height of 2500 meters and flying south and slightly west, towards Jaffa. As I neared the destination, I cut my throttle down by half and began a gentle dive towards a balloon, spotted not too far from Jaffa's industrial district. The balloon was suspiciously high, nearly at 1500 meters, so I did not get too close (the British would sometimes hoist explosive-laden balloons very high up as a decoy; one of our flying men was brought down this way on the Balkan front last year).** Instead, I opened fire at a distance of about half a kilometer, with short bursts. The gasbag was soon covered in flames, rolling away in the breeze and with the observer rather quickly parachuting down, no doubt to get away from the inferno that the balloon had become. But no sooner had I completed the task when I was jumped by two Englishmen in maneuverable Camels, and round and round we went. A flight companion in a Pfalz or Albatros would be very handy, I thought - but this was no time to speculate. A couple of more turns and I was on one of the fellow's tails. With his engine punctured by a few well-placed shots, he began to vibrate and glided away into the morning haze below. I was now busy with the other fellow, a stubborn one, when another two Camels dove towards me, and one of those lumbering Martinsydes too! The worst possible situation had now come true - with the odds very quickly stacking against me. We were now rather low over a factory in Jaffa's industrial district and I could make out the smoke-stacks clearly. Also visible was an improvised anti-aeroplane gun that was sending rounds in my direction while I was being chased by a Camel, with the other two dancing above, and sometimes below me. Every man was now flying to the limits of his skill and his crate. I was whenever possible using the Pfalz's slipperiness and sharp stalls to avoid my foes' bullets that were whizzing by in several directions. Up and down we went, with me positioning the Pfalz in such a way that I would always be more parallel than perpendicular to these brave flyers. Ten minutes into this maddening dance the very stubborn Camel lit up from my rounds, rolled over, and plummeted into a field next to the factory. Another five minutes later I managed to avoid one of the airmen for long enough to pierce the other Camel's engine since it had mistakenly flown across my nose. This flyer's propeller came to a stop and he crash-landed next to one of the smoke-stacks, no more than a few meters away it. The last few minutes of this adventure were split between me and the remaining talented fellow - this one being very skilled in avoiding tight turns that would slow him down. We measured one another up, flew across each other's paths, circled and circled some more. He then came at me from my back, closing the distance. I was numb with fear but in control; I now as if by habit idled my engine and swung my rudder fully to the right. A snap spin then brought me under him, with my guns chattering before the second spin was complete. When I next spotted him he had already crashed into a field below and was broken into several pieces that were emitting black smoke. I now had time to gather my wits and realized that the ponderous Martinsyde was still in the vicinity, rumbling away merrily and expecting me to be exhausted enough so that he could finish me off. He was however hardly maneuverable - I smiled at him, my face black from the engine exhaust. He waved at me, as if to greet me for my wonderful dance with the four English fellows. And then he attempted to turn into me to get a shot in, but I was already behind him. I closed on his rudder and fins - closer and even closer - just a few meters away. And then there was the sound of the empty click of my guns (both were empty now). I now flew up beside the lumbering flyer again, waved to him pleasantly, and did a wide ascending turn over and above the factory at Jaffa, for the return flight to Jenin. I heard the Martinsyde grunting behind me for a minute or two but it was useless - he was too heavy to reach me as I disappeared overhead. The flight back was uneventful, thankfully so. I did however notice several bullet holes in my wings, something that had escaped my notice during the waltz above Jaffa. My rigger would not be too impressed, but such thoughts were trifles, no doubt to help me forget about the ordeal and that I had nearly had it on this solo mission. Approaching our aerodrome, I cut the engine as on my previous flight, slid in quietly over the tents, side-slipping, and plopped down in front of my hangar. This time there were two mechanics there but, unlike my fitter and rigger, there was no laughter. Instead, they looked at me with my face covered with grime, the bullet holes in the wings, and some fabric that had torn off - likely from desperate maneuvers during the fight - and their jaws seemed to reach the sand. I barely pulled myself out of the Pfalz and dragged my legs to my tent. Soon after, with a fresh face and composed, I went to tell Wincklermann about the flight and its details but he was already waiting for me. 'Hello Fritz, spectacular flying today; we just received word by wire that you became entangled in a flight of several Englishmen near Jaffa, yes?' - he asked. 'Well sir, 'entanglement' is the polite way of putting it - really it was more of a free-for-all - with every man at his wit's end; I'm thankful to the Pfalz most of all for holding together, and the slipstream for keeping me concentrated in the cockpit.' 'Ha, indeed!,' was the flight officer's response, 'always the modest fellow - also wired to us is confirmation of your victories, three Camels and a Martinsyde - fascinating!' 'Four Camels sir,' I replied - 'the Martinsyde got away; I had no rounds left by then.' 'Ho, even more wonderful, four pesky Camels! - never mind the Martinsyde, those are always buzzing around and frequently they end up at our doorstep with engine failure, most convenient way of giving us prisoner pilots - also, there are conflicting reports that a balloon came down but no confirmation for that I'm sorry to say. And how will you celebrate this little adventure?' 'Well sir, if you don't mind, I will try to sleep it off and will then write up some notes about the flight,' I replied. 'Nonsense! - tonight you dine in the officer's tent, and no more lone wolf missions. Tomorrow, weather permitting, you will fly with Steinmann or Logan-Ritzer.' This was very pleasant to hear, even though I did not admit it; but even more pleasant was the flight officer's congratulating me on my 13th confirmed victory, and that I would be receiving the Iron Cross 1st Class for today's flight of flights!" --- * Hans-Joachim Buddecke dominated the skies over the Palestine front in his Fokker Eindeckers during the first half of 1916; he flew again in that theater for some time in 1917; he was shot down by Camels over France in March of 1918. ** Rudolf von Eschwege was brought down this way in Macedonia in November of 1917 while attacking a high-alt. British observation balloon; the balloon was fitted with explosives, a dummy observer, and was detonated from the ground, knocking Eschwege's Albatros D.III out of the sky.
  6. Fourth DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 rules for DiD --- September 5, 1918 "I was back from Amman and the sleepy pace of its flights. We had already joked with Wincklermann that the mission he was sending me and Steinmann on today in the afternoon - to bust balloons west of Jericho - indicated that he was likely transforming into the leisurely officer at Amman with his beloved afternoon patrols. For this flight my good friend would fly an Albatros D.V; a few had reached Jenin aerodrome while I was at Amman. Much to my pleasant surprise, however, my fellow officers had surprised me with a lovely Pfalz, bolted together from a spare Pfalz fuselage we had in one of our tents, and new wings and elevator that had arrived by train from Istanbul, while I was away. The final product was somewhat motley, with blue wings and new crosses, and the grayish fuselage with our old, flared cross markings that had been standard issue until this summer. I was at any rate pleased with the final product and was sure that my foes would remember the colors. I had always preferred the Pfalz to the Albatroses since their slipperiness could count as an advantage during difficult kurvenkampfs. Steinmann was also becoming a better shot and had during my absence bagged a balloon and one of those lumbering types the English call the Martinsyde. Nowotny was in Istanbul, trying to procure improved Mercedes engines for our mounts - the latest engines of 180 horses - and we would not see him for another week. Our flight was initially uneventful. We ascended through broken cloud cover and some winds to an altitude of 2500 meters and flew to our destination unimpeded. We considered it prudent to fly slightly higher than usual since there were reports of English soldiers creeping steadily northwards towards our lines, over the last weeks. Near Jericho we idled our engines and descended gradually southwest of the town, until we spotted our balloon. Both of us opened our guns at it at the same time; I was surprised to see it go up in flames so quickly - was it hit by flak perhaps? Doubtful. Most likely Steinmann had proved an excellent marksman and the balloon rolled away below, in smoke and a cloud of steam. Soon the observer was spotted dangling from his parachute, only to disappear into the mist. We now began a turn towards Jericho when a buzzing was heard overhead. I immediately looked up, only to see a lumbering type bearing down on me, followed by one of those stubbed-nose Scout Experimentals that the Englishers have brought into the theater recently. Round and round we went, with Steinmann above me and surveying the situation. Soon I was above Steinmann, looking at the situation unfolding below as if I was an eagle on a cliff, with my companion now twirling and dancing between the Martinsyde and stub-nosed scout. I took advantage of the situation and made my ingress into this grim dance - first the scout became a torch and whistled off into the ground; then the lumbering type burst into flames, only to break up further below me. Exhausted but pleased, I looked around. Where was Steinmann? There was no cloud cover in the vicinity. Left, right I looked, but he was nowhere to be seen. I then spotted, above my top wing and to the right, that another Englishman was following very closely behind my companion's Albatros, with guns chattering. To my horror, the Albatros' engine then began to burn and black smoke poured out in a thin stream. Was this the final flight for Steinmann, the good marksman with a balloon and plane already to his credit? These thoughts built up in my mind and multiplied, but now was no time for philosophy - I opened my throttle, went after the English scout, and sent some shots his way. He soon began to tremble and disappeared below; it was one of those pesky maneuverable types again, Camels as they call them. With no sign of my companion and disappointed, I did a wide ascending turn above Jericho and disappeared into the clouds above, and kept climbing to about 3000 meters - to avoid further Camels in the area. Still full of sad and contemplative thoughts a half hour later, I idled my engine and descended gradually towards the base at Jenin. My speed was too high so I cut my engine and glided in with a still propeller, side-slipping across the tents and onto our airfield, and rolling to an abrupt stop in front of my hangar. This all greatly amused the fitter and rigger. 'Well done with your dead-stick hop!; I just did one too.' These words came, not from the fitter - but - from Steinmann! - who had now rolled up to his tent with a silent engine as well! 'I managed to put the fire out in a dive,' he said, 'but that Mercedes kept rumbling and rumbling; had no choice but to do a very wide turn into the clouds, kept climbing and climbing - lost sight of you too Fritz and thought that English jockey had bagged you. Seems we were flying roughly the same path back to Jenin but didn't spot you in the high clouds. Oh well, better luck next time.' I congratulated him on his spectacular return and explained that I went after his nemesis, that we got rather low, and that I thought he too was done in today. The fitter was however less than impressed with our tales of adventure and escape - muttering something about how engines were in short supply already, even without holes in them that we seem to have gotten in the habit of collecting. We laughed his comments off and met with Wincklermann soon. Steinmann was credited with his second balloon and third victory. I was credited with the lumbering type, maneuverable Camel, and snub-nosed scout. This now gave me nine victories and, contrary to typical protocol, a second honor goblet - but now in silver instead of steel."
  7. New Aircraft

    Hello fellow FE2 flyers, Please find included below the latest data ini file for the Nieu. 23 Lewis - the rotary engine now spins correctly with the prop. This data ini replaces the previous data ini for the N.23 Lewis included in the post immediately above this one. A big thanks to Crawford for this excellent discovery and fix! Von S LatestN23LewisDataIni.zip
  8. New Aircraft

    Hello gents, please find attached below the latest data inis for the big update pack of Geezer's aircraft, posted several posts above. The data inis are for the Nieu. 24, 24bis, Nieu. 23, 23 Lewis, also the Nieu. 17, and 17 Lewis. These files have improved, more subtle performance at different altitudes under the "engine" section - by mistake the files weren't included with the pack posted above (but slightly older files with simpler altitude performance data). All the other aircraft have their latest data inis already included. Happy flying, Von S ImprovedDataInis.zip
  9. New Aircraft

    Good info. Crawford, the 24/25/27 Nieups. are often hard to distinguish. Also possible is that the Nieu. 27 had strengthened v-struts and a thicker single spar in the bottom wings, in comparison to the 24/24bis. The 25 may also have been strengthened, although some 25s were just engined-up 24s as on the eastern front. Von S
  10. New Aircraft

    Hello again fellow flyers of FE2, Please find attached below Geezer's latest, nearly complete version of the Nieuport 27. You will also find included two versions of the general ini file, one with shadows and the other with shadows disabled. Many thanks to Crawford, Jeanba, Coupi and Mike Dora, and of course Geezer. Your friendly neighborhood FE2 aircraft construction team will now focus on the Breguet XIV, Junkers J.1, also prop disc tweaks for the Nieu. 21 series, and engine/prop tweaks for the Nieu. 23 Lewis variant and the N.28/28a. The Nieu. 27, like the Halb. CL.IV and other models, may be able to work in FE/FEgold too. Happy flying, Von S GeezersNearlyCompleteN27.zip
  11. Problems with my FE2

    For must-have mods, I recommend installing as many planes as you can find in the downloads section for FE and FE2, also pick up Stephen's pilots and observers, located under "cockpit mods." As well there are several good ground objects in the "objects mods" downloads section, and of course don't forget to pick up the excellent terrains in the relevant mods section, such as gterl's Italian terrain and other great ones - drill down to about the year 2012 and 2013 in the downloads sections to pick up the latest impressive additions for FE2. The FM/realism pack should be installed after all of the other mods are installed. If there's anything I've missed I'm sure the rest of the FE2 community can pitch in with suggestions. You will also find some of the latest in-progress aircraft ready for download under the "new aircraft" thread. Von S
  12. Third DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 rules for DiD (by Von S) --- August 31, 1918 "Seeing that it would take some time for me to recuperate from my ordeal at Port Said, Von Winklermann, our flight officer at Jenin, decided to send me temporarily to the aerodrome at Amman to oversee some of the novice pilots. I have been here already for two weeks but had not been in the air once since arriving. Amman is an Ottoman base and is lacking in equipment. Available is one obsolete Fokker E.II type that is no longer airworthy and sits dismantled in its hangar; also present is a Rumpler that is barely airworthy and on occasion engages in short reconnaissance flights; and the other three remaining aircraft are two Albatros D.V types and a solitary Pfalz döppeldecker as I had flown on missions from Jenin. One of the Albatroses was on an escort flight today with the Rumpler. This left me with the other Albatros and a young fellow by the name of Viktor Weihs with the Pfalz. I was by now feeling well enough to engage in short flights and was assigned an evening task, consisting of a wide circle from the aerodrome to the Amman Observation Post and its balloon, about five or six kilometers southwest of us, and then back. The flight officer at Amman had a propensity to send his men out on afternoon or evening flights, and to while away the hot days reading or playing chess in his tent, in contrast to the morning discipline found typically at Jenin. As we got underway, it was already raining and the clouds were settling low, with a light breeze. Vzfw. Weihs was comfortably sitting in his Pfalz with the engine started, before I could even climb into the cockpit of the Albatros. Eventually my mount sputtered to life too, and I immediately noticed that it was much noisier than my lovely Pfalz that the fisherman and I had to destroy unfortunately, for fear that it would fall into the hands of the English or Bedouin tribes that would often be found in that area. Soon we were off, climbing to an altitude of about 1200 meters, but not higher since we would become disoriented in the rain and fog. Checking our maps from time to time, we floated along from one point to another, and eventually to the outpost that was southwest of us. We cut our throttles slightly and circled several times but were unable to spot the observation balloon through the thick clouds. A buzzing sound directed our attention to two of those maneuverable English types, Sopwiths, that were about 500 meters above us - but these fellows seemed to have been coming back from a mission and did not notice us in the rolling fog below. Cautious of these types, I signaled to Weihs that we avoid engaging them - they could climb faster and were already at a height advantage, and there was no use in pursuing them since our observation balloon was safe from prying eyes in the fog, at least for tonight. We turned back gradually towards our aerodrome at Amman when the chattering of a gun drew my attention to a third aircraft, the same type of maneuverable British scout, closing fast on Weihs's tail - my companion being about half a kilometer behind me. Weihs also spotted this fellow and began a wide ascending turn in the Pfalz, but I had in the more nimble Albatros already pointed myself in the direction of the British scout. All three of us now did several oscillations to the left - once, twice, thrice. On the fourth or fifth one I fired my guns - but the difficulties in getting behind his tail were evident. This Englisher was indeed slippery and had a better plane than either of us, but I persevered. A few more well-placed shots were sent in his direction - and he turned on his back and disappeared into the rain and fog. Weihs soon rejoined me and we proceeded back to the base at Amman. There was no use loitering about too long since the weather was worsening and we were also not very enthusiastic to meet more of these maneuverable foes. It was a relief to be back at the aerodrome. The rain had settled in for the night with a slow but rhythmical wind thumping against our tent. Weihs had already fallen asleep, no doubt exhausted after the flight. I on the other hand remained awake a few more hours to read some notes on aerial tactics that I had been penning ever since my arrival here from Jenin - and also to contemplate my sixth victory."
  13. New Aircraft

    Hello fellow FE2 flyers, Please find attached below a zipped file that includes improved level-one lod views in the general ini file for Geezer's Pfalz D.3 and 3a. Also included are corrected, extra skin folders in DDS and lower-resolution (but easier to paint) BMP format for the Pfalz D.3a, not the D.3 (the early D.3 has one standard skin only in DDS format that Geezer made). Please read the directions included in the "note" on the pic. below, if painting/skinning the Pfalz for yourselves. Also, if you are installing the BMP skins instead of the DDS ones, install as well (copy over and replace) the older lod and out files provided in that folder, since otherwise the BMP skins won't show up. The Pfalz D.3a is available in the big download pack posted earlier in this thread. Happy flying, Von S PfalzD3N3aImprovements.zip
  14. New Aircraft

    Hello Crawford, thank you for those out and lod files for the Nieu. 23 series by Geezer. I can now confirm after testing that they fix the static blur problem on the Nieu. 23 rotary engines. I recommend that, if you have downloaded the big pack with several of Geezer's latest works-in-progress models - you also download the out/lod files that Crawford has posted above - simply drop the files into your Nieu. 23, 23bis, and 23dux folders - and you will have proper rotation of the engine. Excellent discovery Crawford! Perhaps we will be able to fix this same problem on the Nieu. 23 Lewis variant soon too. For the Nieu. 27 - the latest files I have by Geezer, while almost done, do not have correctly aligned left/right wheels...I will PM you the files for testing. Von S
  15. Problems with my FE2

    Hi Bob, if I've read your post correctly - I think you made a copy of the actual game folder for FE2 and were installing mods into that folder. The correct way to install things in FE2 and the SF2 series is only to mod the "user folder" for your game, not the actual game folder (see Wrench's helpful post above mine for more info.). In terms of sub-folders available in my folders (in the realism/FM packs), some brief info. follows below: - never copy over my folders into your user folder for FE2 but look for matching folders, or make copies of similar folders, rename them to match the folders I have (for new variants not present in your user folder for FE2), and then only copy over files located in my folders into your matching folders, overriding previous files that are there (this will provide correct installs since my FM packs only contain changed files, but not all the files that come with third-party addons such as for aircraft, ground objects, etc.) - ground objects, weapons, and other addons are of course found in the relevant download threads for FE2, such as Stephen's Palestine terrain, and those objects, weapons, etc., should be installed first before any further modification is attempted using my further modded files (for example, you would have to already have installed in your ground objects folder of your user folder for FE2 various balloon types, such as the Drachen, etc., before you can further modify those files to give you early-war, low altitude balloons as I've modded for ver. 9.1 of the FM update pack - the relevant balloon folders in your user directory would then be copied, the copies renamed to the modded folders in my FM pack, and only the files located inside my modded folders copied over to the new folders you've made) - also, when you are installing my files (such as for the modded ground objects, etc.), make sure to drill down all the way inside my folders since, for example, the low-lying early war balloon folders also contain "new" skins inside a skins folder that is nested further inside - skins in that folder should be copied over to the relevant skins folder that's already inside the relevant ground object folder of your user folder for FE2 (sounds a bit confusing but it's easy once you get some practice in installing the files) - the general rule is always to copy over files into matching folders, or into folders that have been renamed to match my folders - but never copy over the folders themselves from my FM packs since I only include changed files in most cases, not full folders that will give you flyable planes, objects, etc. Also, see the two pics. included below to see the difference between the actual game folder for FE2 and the user game folder for FE2 where you are supposed to install mods, additions, etc. (you will notice how the second pic., of the user folder, has different folders available). The best thing to do is to delete the modded copy you have of the actual game folder for FE2 (that is a botched install), run a stock/unmodded install of FE2, quit the program, and then navigate to the user folder for FE2 that will have been created automatically (then make as many copies of the user folder as you like - and you can start modding those folders). Happy flying, Von S
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