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equipment of planes - World War 1

Article about: Can anybody tell me if pilots during World War 1 could talk on radio during flights? or maybe they have any equipment to communicate? Or maybe they just moved wings of their planes some spec

  1. #1
    mrk77
    ?

    Default equipment of planes - World War 1

    Can anybody tell me if pilots during World War 1 could talk on radio during flights? or maybe they have any equipment to communicate? Or maybe they just moved wings of their planes some specific way?
    I need it for a script and have no idea where to find information about communication between pilots of World War 1.
    Maybe anybody knows if Pilots could use chute this time? They carried it on tehir backs or rather put it somwhere on the floor?
    It is really important for me - I write a script


  2. #2
    Marcus
    ?

    Default Re: equipment of planes - World War 1

    Quote by mrk77 View Post
    Can anybody tell me if pilots during World War 1 could talk on radio during flights? or maybe they have any equipment to communicate? Or maybe they just moved wings of their planes some specific way?
    I need it for a script and have no idea where to find information about communication between pilots of World War 1.
    Maybe anybody knows if Pilots could use chute this time? They carried it on tehir backs or rather put it somwhere on the floor?
    It is really important for me - I write a script
    Nope, no radio.

    They mainly used hand-signals and flares.

  3. #3
    john75
    ?

    Default Re: equipment of planes - World War 1

    Hello MRK77,

    Radio was not really an option for pilots of the first world war to my knowledge...it was for too early and the equipment would have been impractical for aerial service. I know pilots (actually a spotter) used a telegraph key strapped to his leg to communicate target coordinates to artillery on the ground via morse code. Most often, messages were written down and dropped over pick-up points on the ground. Signal flares were also common. In American aircraft, the spotter would be standing in what was known as the 'pulpit' at the front of the plane. It was his job to communicate with ground forces, conduct aerial reconaissance as well as fend-off enemy fighters with the machine gun. Many of these guys dies from falling out of the airplane from unanticipated sudden movements! I have never heard of any voice communication via radio dating that far back in aircraft. I hope this helps.

    John75

  4. #4

    Default Re: equipment of planes - World War 1

    There were indeed transmitters installed into a very few aircraft amongst the Allies as well as the opposing forces in an attempt to communicate with field artillery on the ground. However, the attempts were not very successful and the technology of the time was extremely limiting, as a result, transmitters never became standard equipment in aircraft.

    As far as parachutes, again, very limited use almost amounting to nothing in aircraft use. The mentality of the day was that a pilot was to stay with his plane all the way to the ground, even if in flames. However there are numerous events where balloon observation personnel used them and were saved from certain death.

    Another interesting fact is that the use of gun cameras was being experimented with, but again, the technology was in its infancy. I have a friend who is a member here who can probably expand on the above.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  5. #5

    Default Re: equipment of planes - World War 1

    Imperial Quest is correct!

    Wireless/radio (they were used interchangeably) in aircraft has been experimented with since before WWI even broke out. That prewar experiment did not have much success. Here are some notes I have on early aviation attempts at radio communication:

    Radio communication between aeroplanes & ground units (in this case artillery) can trace its lineage back to 14 September 1914 when members of the RFC, Major Geoff Salmond (CO of No.3 Sqdn) & Captain Douglas Swain Lewis set up a radio experiment with artillery that was an immediate success. Capt. Lewis is credited with creating the "squared map" which revolutionized British wartime cartography during this ground-breaking experiment.
    No time was wasted bringing this experience to the front. The very next day (15 Sept), British III Corps assigned its aeroplanes to the divisional heavy & howitzer batteries. It would be reported later that month by the British 3rd division that radio-equipped aeroplanes successfully supported their mission to take out hidden German positions during the stalemate on the Aisne .

    Something else I should point out...
    I mentioned 'squared map'. All firing coordinate maps today use the grid square system. This, of course, is the direct descendant of that first map developed by Captain Lewis in 1914.

    One more point I should make...
    These early radios required much maintenance. After its use during the Aisne stalemate, the first battle of Ypres would be waged within a month. By that time, the radio needed to be totally overhauled for them to work effectively.

  6. #6

    Default Re: equipment of planes - World War 1

    Flares, wing movement, artillery tracers & placement of signal flags were also utilized in an attempt to communicate between ground & air forces.
    For more reading on aerial communication & photography during WWI, I HIGHLY recommend this book:

    Amazon.com: Shooting the Front: Allied Aerial Reconnaissance and Photographic Interpretation on the Western Front -- World War I (9781932946048): Terrence J. Finnegan, George A. Joulwan: Books

  7. #7

    Default Re: equipment of planes - World War 1

    This is great information Chuck! I only hope that the aviation following will grow on this forum as it is a fascinating and very satisfying field of study that has so much to be discovered even after nearly 100 years after the end of WWI.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  8. #8

    Default Re: equipment of planes - World War 1

    I hope so too, Steve!

  9. #9

    Default Re: equipment of planes - World War 1

    Steve-
    This thread looks like an old one. I hope we can get people talking about the topic again...

  10. #10

    Default Re: equipment of planes - World War 1

    the first blitz - by neil hanson
    a great account of the very first long distance bombing raids. interesting to read accounts of pilot firsts,flying at night just one to mention. a must read!!
    (in my humble opinion)

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