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Old 10-16-2009, 03:52 PM   #1
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I just finished reading a novel written by James T.B. McCudden called Flying Fury - 5 years with the RFC (Royal Flying Corps.). An amazing account of a WW1 ace's history flying with the Royal Flying Corps. James T.B. McCudden, if you don't already know, was ranked amongst the best WW1 pilots of the war. He had 57 confirmed "Kills". Most were 2 seater German LVG's, DFW's, Rumplers, and Rolands. He also brought down a number of Albatross's and Pfalz fighter planes. He even added one Hannoveraner before his accidental demise. The novel starts with his recruitment into the RFC as a Fitter, or engine mechanic, in 1913. He worked as a mechanic until he was able to train as an observer and finally a pilot. He started his combat flying on a F.E.2 I believe. He then moved up to a D.H.2 Scout. Then if I remember correctly he moved to a Sopwith PUP. Then finished on the S.E.5. The S.E.5 was the aircraft in which he claimed his most "Kills". It’s hard to believe that a man (young man at that, he was only 22yrs old when he had his accident.) with his flying experience could have had an accident like he did. In July of 1918, he had an engine failure after take-off and tried to turn back to the field. He ended up sideslipping into the ground killing himself. Unbelievable.
His accounts of combat are truly remarkable. German observers and pilots falling out of their aircraft to their deaths. Aircraft catching on fire and falling out of the sky like flaming meteors. Or, hitting the aircraft with the Vickers and Lewis machine guns, seeing the aircraft dive a little, then watching as both pairs of wings come off and the fuselage dive straight down. Or, sneaking up on an aircraft, getting into perfect firing position, only to find that your guns have frozen up.
This book is very, very good reading. So if you get the chance, read it. You may be able to get this book through the libraries or if it is still in print, which I doubt, you can buy it. One thing I would have liked to have seen was some pictures of the aircraft he mentions in this book. I had to spend some time looking through my library and looking on-line to find some pictures.
Now, after reading this book, I really want to build a scale S.E.5 with a red spinner and a great big No. 6 on the wings. If anyone knows where to find some more documentation on J.T.B. McCudden’s S.E.5 please let me know.
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:17 PM   #2
michel gravelle
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Excellent mission , and a great project ................ all the best .

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