Monday, May 25, 2009

World War I Pilot

This is a picture of a World War I pilot, in front of his biplane. I find these biplanes interesting, as they were one of the very first really reliable, practical types of airplanes. After the war was over a number of these pilots bought their own biplane, and would travel the country, landing in small communities and selling rides. My grandfather told me when he was a little boy, one of these "Barnstormers" came through, and he was able to buy a ride.


  1. I would imagine that there are more dreaming pilots than there are pilots in the air. One of my dreams has always been to fly. I do a lot of travel in flying beer cans, as PJM has mentioned. However, my first real flight was in a two seater cloth-covered little airplane back in 1972. I envy those who have made it a part of their lives.I may yet some day. At least, I have to hold on to that dream. Perhaps I should be a little more a tractor?

    Thanks PJM for your blog. This is a part of my day, every day. I wouldn't miss it.

  2. There's a movie called "Fly Boys", about WWI and the boys that went over to France to learn to fly these planes. Good movie.

  3. Did these planes have mounted guns? I have always been fascinated by the timing of gunfire through the propellor rotary range.

  4. This plane seems to be Avro 504K, two seated fighter/trainer. The machine gun of this plane was on the top wing, firing over the propeller. At first when they were firing trough the prop, the props were simply forced with steel plates. The timing came later, and was in use so long the piston engines were used.

  5. Kariav,

    Wouldn't the plane or pilot be in danger with simple steel blades when firing through?

  6. My friend took me for a ride in his old, open cockpit biplane a few years ago. We wore leather caps and googles, just like the Red Baron.
    We flew up into the Texas hill country and he would drop down into the canyons. Quite a beautiful sight.
    He rolled it a few times and then made a really big loop. I wondered why the air was getting colder. He was getting altitude to do our big loop. When we hit the bottom of the loop it felt like my head was in my lap. I had never experienced g's like this before.
    When I climbed out after landing my legs were shaking so much I had trouble walking .
    It was a lot of fun like motorcycle riding, times ten.

  7. AB, Yes, it certainly was, but here you can read more:

  8. Dear PJM A note from Wyoming -I've been reading your blog for a long time now and enjoy it very much, especially the Saturday contest. The comments are fun. (I also blog.)I don't blame you for wanting buffalo, and if money is no object perhaps you should have them. They need VERY tall VERY sturdy fences (also expensive). But remember they are wild animals and don't much like being domesticated - riding one will be unlikely. My advice is to stick with the tractor. We have a couple of them.If you're careful on rocks and ditches it won't throw you off. Are you a mechanic? Goats or sheep would definitely be more manageable and take care of the mowing. How about another pony?

  9. Lynn,
    Yes, I alrady have the buffalo fence. It is 8 ft, whith heavy duty no-climb wire, and bufallo certified, so we are ready to go there. Problem with sheep and goats is that my house has landscaping, and the goats or sheep would eat that first. I can not really put a seperate fence around the house.

    Am I a mechanic. Ha! Mrs. PJM would probably describe me as not being very handy around the house. I do have skills, just not in fixing things. Mrs. PJM says it costs twice as much to fix things that I have tried to repair than if I had just left them alone, and taken them in to begin with.

    So you have two tractors. Fine, well just rub it in.

    Just wait till Mrs. PJM sees the new automated gate opener. She will surely want to reward me with a tractor then.


  10. Kariav,

    Great read. Thanks.