A lucky dragon….

The Great War’s German Albatros DV was no great shakes as a successor to that manufacturer’s previous DIII. It was little better and shared its progenitor’s unhappy quality of wing-flutter in a dive – sometimes with disastrous results if the dive was continued. Not a great confidence-inspiring characteristic in a fighter.
This picture is just started but will probably be complete next year!

v Hippel

v Hippel

It shows a lucky man. Hans Joachim von Hippel. He was involved in a combat in February 1918 and during a dive the port lower wing simply failed and decided to land separately about twelve miles away from his home base. This left our Hans in a bit of a pickle. Driving a one and a half-plane and it wasn’t even his – it was the mount of his C/O, a Mr. Flashar. Flashar had had a huge red dragon painted on the fuselage sides, perhaps in the knowledge of the dragon being a symbol of good luck in the Chinese culture? It must have been given a good pat on the back when von Hippel crawled out of the Albatros after nursing it down from 13,000 feet and merely overturning at the end of a respectable landing. But I wonder if Hans still got a boot up the bum for writing-off the C/O’s personal aeroplane?
I’m trying to imagine how crossed-up the control surfaces must have been to get away with this. And that lucky dragon will take a bit of fastidious work too.
So a 2014 completion then? I hope so….

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