Imperial Russian Air Service
The Imperial Russian Air Service was an air force founded in 1912 for Imperial Russia. The Air Service operated for 5 years, it only saw combat in World War I before being reorganized and renamed in 1917 following the creation of Soviet Russia. It formed what would become the Soviet Air Forces; the origins of Russian aviation go back to theoretical projects of the 1880s by pioneer Russian scientists such as Nikolai Kibalchich and Alexander Mozhaysky. During the 1890s aviation innovation was further advanced by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. In 1902-1903 during military maneuvers in the Kiev Military District, the Imperial Russian Army used several aerostats for reconnaissance and coordination of artillery fire; the Aeronautical company was under the command of Colonel A. M. Kovanko. In 1904 Nikolai Zhukovsky established the world's first Aerodynamic Institute in Kuchino near Moscow. One aeronautical battalion with 4 aerostats took part in the Russo-Japanese War. In 1908, the Russian Aeroclub was established.
In 1910, the Imperial Russian Army sent several officers to France for training as pilots. In the same year the Imperial Russian Army purchased a number of French and British aeroplanes and began training its first military pilots; the first aviation school was opened in the summer of 1910 in Gatchina the second aviation school was opened in the autumn of 1910 in Sevastopol Also, in 1910 one biplane was built in Saint Petersburg, intended to be used by the Army as a reconnaissance aircraft, but the plane lost in a competition with the French "Farman" in 1911, never entered serviceOn 12 August 1912 the Imperial Russian Air Service part of the Engineer Corps, became a separate branch of the army. During the First Balkan War there was a Russian air unit in the Bulgarian army, composed of 10 civil volunteers and commanded by S. SchetininIn 1913 Igor Sikorsky built the first four-engine biplane, the Russky Vityaz, his famous bomber aircraft, the Ilya Muromets. In the same year Dmitry Grigorovich built several "M-type" flying boats for the Imperial Russian Navy.
In 1914 Polish aviator Jan Nagórski conducted the first flights in the Arctic looking for the lost expedition of polar explorer Georgy Sedov. At the beginning of World War I, Russia's air service was second only to that of France, although the bulk of its aircraft were too outdated to be of much use. After the war began, aviators were rearmed with 7.63mm Mauser C96, because German semi-automatic pistols were more effective weapons than standard 7.62mm Nagant revolvers. At least a few aviators were armed with carbinesInitially, Russia used aviation only for reconnaissance and coordination of artillery fire. Several aeroplanes were armed with steel flechettes to attack ground targets. Aeroplanes were armed with air-dropped bombs. On 8 September 1914, the Russian pilot Pyotr Nesterov performed the first aerial ramming aircraft attack in the history of aviation Later, Lt. Vyacheslav Tkachov became the first Russian pilot who shot down an enemy aircraft with a handgun, he shot the enemy pilot. In December 1914 a squadron of 10 Ilya Muromets bombers was formed and used against the German and Austro-Hungarian armies.17 January 1915 - The Ministry of War of the Russian Empire issued an order to arm aeroplanes with 7.62mm Madsen light machine guns and 7.71mm Lewis light machine gunsIn March 1915 naval aviation was established.
The Imperial Russian Navy received six seaplanes. The naval aviation section was not merged into the IRAS, it became a part of Black Sea FleetOn 31 March 1915 the Russian pilot Alexander Kazakov performed the second ramming attack, using a Morane-Saulnier G as his piloted projectile. Summer 1915 - petrol bombs were used by pilots to attack ground targetsIn 1915 the Imperial Russian Air Service became a separate branch of the army directly under the command of the Stavka. In 1916 the size and force of naval aviation was increased, the Black Sea Fleet had two seaplane carriers and fourteen M-9 seaplanesDuring World War I, 269 Russian aviators were awarded the St. George military decorations, 5 aviators were awarded the Chevalier's National Order of the Legion of Honour, 2 aviators were awarded the Military Cross, 2 aviators were awarded the Order of the White Eagle and many others were awarded medals. 26 aviators became flying aces of Russian Empire. The most successful Russian flying ace and fighter pilot was Alexander Kazakov, who shot down 20 enemy aeroplanes.
However, the war was not going well for Russia and following significant setbacks on the Eastern front, the economic collapse in the rear, military aircraft production fell far behind Russia's rival Germany. After the February Revolution of 1917 the Imperial Russian Air Service was reformed. After the October Revolution of 1917 Russian Air Service was dissolved. More than 1300 aeroplanes became Peasants' Air Fleet. More than two-thirds of these aeroplanes were foreign-made. More than 50% of all aeroplanes were "Nieuports", more than 15% of all ae
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Sopwith 1½ Strutter
The Sopwith 1 1⁄2 Strutter was a British single- or two-seat multi-role biplane aircraft of the First World War. It was significant as the first British two-seat tractor fighter and the first British aircraft to enter service with a synchronised machine gun, it was given the name 1 1⁄2 Strutter because of the long and short cabane struts that supported the top wing. The type was operated by both British air services and was in widespread but lacklustre service with the French Aéronautique Militaire. In December 1914, the Sopwith Aviation Company designed a small, two-seat biplane powered by an 80 horsepower Gnome rotary engine, which became known as the "Sigrist Bus" after Fred Sigrist, the Sopwith works manager; the Sigrist Bus first flew on 5 June 1915 and although it set a new British altitude record on the day of its first flight, only one was built, serving as a company runabout. The Sigrist Bus formed the basis for a new, fighter aircraft, the Sopwith LCT, designed by Herbert Smith and powered by a 110 horsepower Clerget engine.
Like the Sigrist Bus, each of the upper wings was connected to the fuselage by a pair of short struts and a pair of longer struts, forming a "W" when viewed from the front. The first prototype was ready in mid-December 1915, undergoing official testing in January 1916; the 1 1⁄2 Strutter was of conventional wire-braced and fabric construction. The pilot and gunner sat in separated tandem cockpits, with the pilot in front, giving the gunner a good field of fire for his Lewis gun; the aircraft had a variable-incidence tailplane that could be adjusted by the pilot in flight, airbrakes under the lower wings, to reduce landing distance. The Vickers-Challenger synchronisation gear was put into production for the Royal Flying Corps in December 1915 and in a few weeks, a similar order for the Scarff-Dibovski gear was placed for the RNAS. Early production 1 1⁄2 Strutters were fitted with one or the other of these gears for the fixed.303-in Vickers machine gun. Aircraft were either fitted with the Ross or the Sopwith-Kauper gears.
No early mechanical synchronisation gear was reliable and it was not uncommon for propellers to be damaged or shot away. The Scarff ring mounting was new and production was at first slower than that of the aircraft requiring them. Various makeshift Lewis mountings as well as the older Nieuport ring mounting, were fitted to some early 1 1⁄2 Strutters as an interim measure; the two seaters could carry four 25 pounds bombs underwing, which could be replaced by two 65 lb bombs for anti-submarine patrols. From the beginning, a light bomber version was planned, with the observer's cockpit eliminated to allow more fuel and bombs to be carried in the manner of the Martinsyde Elephant and the B. E.12, with an internal bomb bay capable of carrying four 65 pounds bombs. The prototype two seater flew in December 1915 and production deliveries started to reach the RNAS in February 1916. By the end of April, No. 5 Wing RNAS had a complete flight equipped with the new aircraft. The Sopwiths were used to escort the wing's Caudron G. Breguet bombers and for bombing.
The War Office had ordered the type for the RFC in March but because Sopwith's production capacity was contracted to the navy, the RFC orders had to be placed with Ruston Proctor and Vickers. Sub-contract production from these manufacturers did not get into its stride until August. Since the Somme offensive was planned for the end of June and with the RFC having a shortage of modern aircraft, it was agreed that a number of Sopwiths would be transferred from one service to the other, allowing No. 70 Squadron to reach the front by early July 1916 with Sopwith-built Strutters intended for the Navy. At first, No. 70 Squadron did well with their new aircraft. The period of German ascendency known as the Fokker scourge was over and the 1 1⁄2 Strutter's long range and excellent armament, enabled offensive patrolling deep into German-held territory. By the time No. 45 Squadron reached the front in October, the new Albatros fighters were arriving at the Jagdstaffeln. By January 1917, when No 43 Squadron arrived in France, the type was outclassed as a fighter.
It was still a useful long-range reconnaissance aircraft when it could be provided with adequate fighter escort but was one of the types to suffer during "Bloody April" - No. 43 squadron alone suffering 35 casualties, from an officer establishment of 32. Like other early Sopwith types, the 1 1⁄2 Strutter was lightly built and its structure did not stand up well to arduous war service, it was far too stable to make a good dogfighter and the distance between the pilot and the observer's cockpits impeded their communication. The last operational 1 1⁄2 Strutters in the RFC were replaced by Sopwith Camels in late October 1917; the type's long range and stability were good qualities for a home defence fighter and it served with No. 37, No. 44 and No. 78 squadrons. Most of the 1 1⁄2 Strutters supplied to home defence units had been built as two-seaters but many were converted locally to single-seaters to improve performance; some of these single-seaters were similar to the bomber variant but others were of a different type, known as the Sopwith Comic.
The cockpit was moved back behind the wings and one or two Lewis guns, either mounted on Foster mountings or fixed to fire upwards, outside the arc of the propeller, replaced the synchronised Vicker
Salmson air-cooled aero-engines
Between 1920 and 1951 the Société des Moteurs Salmson in France developed and built a series of used air-cooled aircraft engines. After their successful water-cooled radial engines, developed from 1908 to 1918, Salmson changed their focus to air-cooling to reduce weight and increase specific power; the majority of the engines produced by Salmson were of radial type with a few other arrangements such as the Salmson T6. E. In common with other engines produced by this manufacturer, the air-cooled radial engines featured the unorthodox Canton-Unné internal arrangement that dispensed with a master rod in favour of a cage of epicyclic gears driving the crankpin. Production ended in 1951 with the liquidation of the manufacturing company; the 3,7 and 9 cylinder Salmsons were license-built in Great Britain, during the 1920s and 1930s, by the British Salmson engine company as the British Salmson AD.3, British Salmson AC.7, British Salmson AC.9, British Salmson AD.9. In common with several other French aero-engine manufacturers Salmson named their engines with the number of cylinders a series letter in capitals followed by variant letters in lower-case.
Engines not included in the 1932 table which follows are listed here: Salmson air-cooled engines available in 1932 are tabled here Albert A-61 Caudron C.191&2 Caudron C.220 Caudron C.270 Dewoitine D.480 Farman F.234 Farman F.280 Farman F.352 Hanriot H.411 Kellner-Béchereau 23 Morane-Saulnier MS.132 Morane-Saulnier MS.148 Potez 36/5 Jodel D.123 Caudron C.109.2 CFA D.7 Cricri Major Caudron C.110 Caudron C.161 Jodel D.124 Potez 36/3 Data from Tsygulev Type: Nine-cylinder single-row supercharged air-cooled radial engine Bore: 125 mm Stroke: 170 mm Displacement: 18.765 l Length: 1,000 mm Diameter: 1,180 mm Dry weight: 265 kg Valvetrain: Two overhead valves per cylinder Supercharger: Single-speed centrifugal type supercharger Fuel system: Zenith 42D carburetor Cooling system: Air-cooled Power output: 191 kW at 1,780 rpm for takeoff Specific power: 10.18 kW/l Compression ratio: 5:1 Specific fuel consumption: 328 g/ Oil consumption: 19 g/ Power-to-weight ratio: 0.72 kW/kg Salmson water-cooled aero-engines List of aircraft engines Gunston, Bill.
World Encyclopaedia of Aero Engines. Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens. P. 152. Lumsden, Alec. British Piston Engines and their Aircraft. Marlborough, Wiltshire: Airlife Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-85310-294-6. Cuny, Jean. "Latécoère - Les Avions et Hydravions". Paris. Docavia/Editions Lariviere. 1992. ISBN 2-907051-01-6
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
The Salmson-Moineau S. M.1 A3, was a French armed three-seat biplane long range reconnaissance aircraft of the First World War designed by René Moineau for the Salmson company. The S. M.1 A3 was developed from 1915 to meet the French military A3 specification, which called for a three-seat long range reconnaissance aircraft with strong defensive armament. The S. M.1 was unconventional, powered by a single Salmson 9A liquid-cooled radial engine mounted in the fuselage powering two airscrews mounted between the wings with a system of gears and drive shafts. This layout was chosen by Moineau to minimise drag; the twin airscrew layout allowed a wide field of fire for the two gunner-observers, one seated in the nose and one behind the pilot. Both gunners operated ring-mounted flexible 37 mm APX cannon built by Arsenal Puteaux; the airframe itself was conventional, the boxy fuselage mounted on a system of struts between the wings. The undercarriage included a nose wheel, intended to prevent the aircraft nosing over, a tail skid.
One aircraft may have been fitted experimentally with a Salmson P.9 engine. A single S. M.2 S2 aircraft, with an additional Salmson 9A engine in the nose driving a conventional tractor airscrew, was tested with poor results, due to inadequate engine cooling, in 1918. The aircraft was tested in early 1916 and was sufficiently successful to receive an order for 100 aircraft although the performance was inferior to the Sopwith 1½ Strutter. In service the S. M.1 was not successful. The nose-wheel undercarriage would collapse if misused and this caused many accidents; the complicated transmission system was difficult to service in the field and the performance of the aircraft was poor. It appears that around 155 S. M.1s were built in total. The type was withdrawn from service in 1917 but a small number of aircraft remained in use until late 1918; some S. M. 1s were supplied to the Imperial Russian Air Service. FranceFrench Air Force RussiaImperial Russian Air Service S. M.1 A3 The production 3-seat reconnaissance aircraft, powered by a single Salmson 9A2c radial engine laterally mounted in the fuselage driving two propellers via shafts and gearboxes.
S. M.2 S2 An enlarged S. M.1, for the S2 2-seater ground attack role, with extended upper wings with additional bracing, reinforced undercarriage and a second Salmson 9A2c in the nose driving a 2-bladed tractor propeller directly. Data from General characteristics Crew: 3 Length: 10 m Wingspan: 17.475 m Height: 3.8 m Wing area: 70 m2 Gross weight: 2,050 kg Powerplant: 1 × Salmson 9A2c 9-cyl. Water-cooled radial piston engine, 180 kW Propellers: 2-bladed fixed pitch propellers, one each side driven by shafts via gearboxesPerformance Endurance: 3 hoursArmament
A reconnaissance aircraft is a military surveillance aircraft designed or adapted to perform aerial reconnaissance with roles including collection of imagery intelligence, signals intelligence, as well as measurement and signature intelligence. Modern technology has enabled some aircraft and UAVs to carry out real-time surveillance in addition to general intelligence gathering. In years prior to the development and common use of sophisticated electronic image recording devices and sensors such as radar, reconnaissance aircraft were relied upon by military forces for distant visual observation and scouting of enemy movement. An example is the PBY Catalina maritime patrol flying boat used by the Allies in World War II: a flight of U. S. Navy Catalinas spotted part of the Japanese fleet approaching Midway Island, beginning the Battle of Midway. Prior to the 20th century machines for powered and controllable flight were not available to military forces, but some attempts were made to use lighter than air craft.
During the Napoleonic Wars and Franco-Prussian War, balloons were used for aerial reconnaissance by the French. In World War I, aircraft were deployed during early phases of battle in reconnaissance roles as'eyes of the army' to aid ground forces. Aerial reconnaissance from this time through 1945 was carried out by adapted versions of standard fighters and bombers equipped with film cameras. Photography became the primary and best-known method of intelligence collection for reconnaissance aircraft by the end of World War II. After World War II and during the Cold War the United States developed several dedicated reconnaissance aircraft designs, including the U-2 and SR-71, to monitor the nuclear threat from the Soviet Union. Other types of reconnaissance aircraft were built for specialized roles in signals intelligence and electronic monitoring, such as the RB-47, Boeing RC-135 and the Ryan Model 147 drones. Since the Cold War much of the strategic reconnaissance aircraft role has passed over to satellites, the tactical role to unmanned aerial vehicles.
This has been proven in successful uses by Israel, by the United States in Desert Storm operations. Aerial reconnaissance Surveillance aircraft List of United States Air Force reconnaissance aircraft Lockheed U-2 Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Maritime patrol aircraft Media related to Reconnaissance aircraft at Wikimedia Commons spyflight "A Tale of Two Airplanes" by Kingdon R. "King" Hawes, Lt Col, USAF Bonnier Corporation. Popular Science. Bonnier Corporation. Pp. 18–. ISSN 0161-7370. "Army-Lockheed YO-3A Silent Airplane in Vietnam"