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|The Flight of the Red Devil (standard:adventure, 0 words)|
|Author: Red Storm||Added: Jun 27 2001||Views/Reads: 1979/1323||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|This is an action-packed fictional account of the first flight of WWI flying ace Manfred Von Richthofen, also known as the Red Baron of Germany. Some real stats are added at the end to punctuate the experience, which I know you will enjoy!|
The Flight of the Red Devil Belgium, October 1916 The sky was cold and gray, signaling the onset of dusk. A light drizzle of rain accented the already dreary land as the sun slowly fell away in the West. High above the muddy terrain hummed the single Oberursel U.II 110h.p. engine of a German Fokker Dreidecker I combat plane. The small propeller-driven bi-plane rose and fell slowly in the air, bleeding black smoke through over a dozen fresh bullet holes. It was alone in the bleak atmosphere, trying to return to the base from which it was launched only seven hours earlier. Each of the other Fokkers that had accompanied it on this mission had been gunned down, but not before sending sixteen enemy aircraft to their graves. The Fokkerís engine faltered, sputtered, then returned to normal. The pilot looked down at the fuel gauge--another danger--as the tiny needle dropped quickly below the red line. The land was flowing by like a riverís strong current far below as the plane raced toward home, wounded but not yet lifeless. The pilot mutters a soft curse under his breath as he suddenly spots three enemy aircraft taking up pursuit far behind him. The three British-made Bristol M1Cís are still only a glint in the small mirror mounted on the outside of the Fokker, but they are lighter, faster, and more powerful. They have only one set of wings, making them more aerodynamic and agile, not to mention their Rhone 9J engine could push them to 209km/hour, whereas the most the Fokker could do was 160km/hour. In a matter of minutes they would be alongside him. He tried to calculate the time needed to reach German airspace, but shook his head as he realized that they would catch him long before he got there. He would have to turn and face them, wounded or not, else they should catch him unguarded from the rear. The German closes his eyes. [FLASHBACK] A roar fades into existence, all around his plane. To his right and left, three Fokker I planes identical to his own storm forward in attack formation. In front, above, and directly below him, slightly more modern Fokker II planes match the speed of their smaller counterparts. The engines of the planes roar in harmony as the formation trudges toward the Belgian border. Nothing yet, but the enemy must be near. The understanding is uniform throughout the unit, and the German attack squad moves on without fear. A successful attack could mean freedom to deliver more aggressive attacks closer to Great Britain. The pilots of each plane had trained for weeks, and were now ready for a payoff. Finally something moves in the distance. Counterplanes. The German attack squad is ready to engage whatever resistance the allies can muster, and continues on its predestined course. A large counterattack is on the intercept. Twenty planes, sixteen Bristol M1Cís and four French-made Nieuport 10 bi-planes, much smaller and slower than any other plane in the sky. The Nieuport 10ís harness a Gnome 80 h.p. engine that can push them to 140km/hour, but that is it. They are also in attack formation. There are but ten German Fokkers, 2 to 1 odds, but they know that they are better pilots than the allies and are eager to engage. The wait is short, and the planes meet in a clash of machine-gun fire. Immediately the Fokkers break formation as the Bristol M1Cís and the Nieuport 10ís crash through the center of what had been a large cross-formation. The guns on both sides roar to life, shooting at any moving target of the opposing color, sounding like hammers beating soft tin sheets. The dark blue Bristol M1C planes quickly begin their turnabout as the black and white German fighters are struggling to do the same. The red Nieuport 10 planes follow a wide pattern of turn and will be out of range for a few seconds following their initial attack. The British planes are now making their second run, and the German planes are ready to meet them except for one. The topmost Fokker II has sustained crucial gunfire damage on the first pass, and is spewing fuel and thick black smoke. The pilotís view becomes blocked by smoke filling the line of sight and his plane begins a hard spiral toward the earth. His engine sputters and fails, quickly ending his hopes of pulling the plane out of the fall. Indeed, the fuel has completely emptied. The plane falls faster toward the earth as his companions and enemies look on, finally disappearing in a mountain of orange flames and black smoke as it smashes into the ground far below. The two formations of planes are re-engaging now, and machine-gun fire Click here to read the rest of this story (278 more lines)
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