Looking for Sean McLachlan? He mostly hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog these days, but feel free to nose around this blog for some fun older posts!

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Friday, 7 May 2010

Biplanes and Triplanes at the Spanish Air Museum

Look familiar? Yep, it's the Red Baron's famous Fokker Dr.1 triplane! Well, actually it's a replica, but cool nonetheless. Welcome to my fifth installment of posts on the Museo del Aire in Madrid. This was only one of the planes the Red Baron flew, but it's the most famous because it's the one he made his last 20 victories in and was the one he was shot down in. No originals survive, although there are many replicas.

The Fokker Dr.1 had a maximum speed of 165 km/hr, a range of 200 km, and a maximum altitude of 6100 meters. It was 5.77 meters long, 2.95 meters high, with a wingspan of 7.19 meters. It was armed with two Spandau 7.92 mm machine guns. My four-year-old son loved this plane. He knew about biplanes but I don't think he'd ever seen a bright red triplane before.

While I usually take a dim view of Wikipedia, the entry on the Red Baron has a good collection of old film clips about him.
Boxy, but nice. the De Havilland DH-4 was a British zeppelin hunter in World War One. The Spanish bought 46 of them to use in their war in Morocco for surveillance, bombing, and supply missions. Its large cargo capacity proved handy in supplying positions that had been cut off, something that happened to the Spanish a lot in that war. It had a maximum speed of 220 km/hr, and was armed with two .303 Lewis machine guns and a dozen bombs. It could reach 6,700 meters in altitude, is 9.35 meters long, 3.09 meters high, with a wingspan of 12.93 meters.
We'll wrap things up with the Bristol F-2B, another British biplane that saw service in WWI and with the Spanish in Morocco. It played a key role in providing air cover for the landing at Alhucemas in 1925, which was the first amphibious landing to have air cover, and the first motorized amphibious landing. A total of 64 served in Morocco, often making close strafing passes on infantry that was dubbed "Flying Spanish style." Brave perhaps, but it led to twelve of them getting shot down. Armaments included a forward 7.7 mm Vickers machine gun, while the observer was armed with two .303 Lewis guns.

This weekend: a few more random photos that didn't fit in any of my previous posts!

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