18/4/1915 Roland Garros shot down

Roland Garros is a french aviator. Together with his mechanic, Jules Hue, and the engineers of the Morane-Saunier aeroplane manufacturers he has greatly advanced aerial combat. His innovation was to fit the propeller of his aeroplane with deflector blades, thus allowing him to safely fire directly forward through the propeller blades’ arc. On the 1st of April he claimed his first victims, shooting down a German aircraft. On the 15th he had another success and then earlier today he shot down another enemy aeroplane.

But now fate turns against him. His engine is put out of action, perhaps as a result of enemy gunfire, perhaps a mechanical failure. He glides down and crash-lands on the German side of the frontline.

Fortune has not completely deserted Garros. He survives the landing and is taken prisoner. But the Germans capture his aeroplane intact and are able to examine his special propeller blades.

Roland Garros, probably before the war (Wired)

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