Adolphe Pégoud is a French fighter pilot. He began flying before the the war and quickly became known as a daring and innovative pilot. One of the first to successfully parachute from an aeroplane, he also achieved great renown by such astonishing feats as flying aeroplanes upside down or in a loop. His fame was such that he trained pilots from all across Europe.
At the start of the war he volunteered as a pilot, flying observation missions and then attacking German aeroplanes. With five confirmed kills of enemy aircraft he becomes the world’s first fighter ace.
Today Pégoud’s luck runs out. While attempting to intercept an enemy reconnaissance aircraft he is shot down and killed by German pilot Walter Kandulski. Kandulski had trained with Pégoud before the war.
Allied air crews are having an increasingly tough time of it over the Western Front. Germany has a new fighter, the Fokker Eindecker, with a machine gun that the pilot fires directly forward. The gun is linked to the engine by a revolutionary interrupter gear that prevents it shooting off the aeroplane’s propeller shafts. Allowing a fighter pilot to safely fire directly forward gives the Fokker Eindecker a marked advantage over British and French aeroplanes. Now German fighter pilots like Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke are beginning to make names for themselves flying this terrifying aircraft.
Adolphe Pégoud images (Wikipedia)
Fokker Eindecker (Dieselpunks)