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"Engine Differences in WW1 Fighters?" Topic

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Blutarski10 Sep 2021 3:28 p.m. PST

Do any current WW1 air rules take into account the improved engines installed in German and Allied fighters over the course of the war?

For example –
> DVIIF's with the much more powerful BMW and later Mercedes "high altitude motors on place of the old 160hp Mercedes normally credited.
> Fokker Triplanes fitted with captured French Le Rhone rotaries in place of the weaker and less reliable Oberursels.
> Late war Camels fitted with high-compression Bentley rotaries in place of the older Le Rhones.
> The more powerful SE5A's that replaced the original SE5's.

Just curious.


khanscom10 Sep 2021 3:58 p.m. PST

TSR/Guidon Games "Fight in the Skies" provided different stats for variants of quite a number of fighters. Not quite a miniatures game, although it could be easily converted.

Fitzovich Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 4:27 p.m. PST

Just played Wings of Glory WWI today and had a DH4 vs a Fokker Triplane. While he could certainly out turn me, I was able to walk away from him based upon my straight movement cards, so I assume that is related to a better performing engine.

Blutarski10 Sep 2021 4:57 p.m. PST

Hi Fitz,
I've played relatively few games of WoG, mostly at conventions and noted the same thing. So WoG definitely takes into account the different speed characteristics of different fighter types. The Fokker, fitted with a 110hp Oberursel rotary, was good for a max speed of about ~115mph; the SE5a, by comparison, with a MUCH more powerful in-line 6, could touch 140mph.

My question actually related to whether any rules took into account engine HP improvements in a given aircraft from one year to the next. For example the earliest Fokker D7s were fitted with a 160hp Mercedes, but these engines were progressively upgraded to 175, 180, 185hp over time (for the Albatroses and Pfalzs as well) and the DVII-F flew with the BMW D.IIIa of 210-215hp which also had much superior performance at high altitudes. Same was true with most standard Allied fighter of the war (SE5s, Camels) from one year or model to the next. Khanscom seems to have answered that question.

You were smart to use your speed to get separation on the Fokker, at which point you can turn back in your own time at a safe distance and line the Fokker up for a firing pass. Engaging in a turn fight with a Triplane is a losing deal in a DH4. My experience has been that making a head-on pass in a one-on-one fight can still be dangerous, since the Fokker has twin MGs. The separation tactic seems IMO to work best in a crowded fight, when it might be possible to deliver a fast attack while the Fokker is "otherwise occupied". FWIW.

"Fly the friendly skies ….. ;^)


rmaker10 Sep 2021 5:29 p.m. PST

Actually Fight in the Skies WAS a miniatures games which was turned into a boardgame (and later retitled Dawn Patrol).

Wolfhag11 Sep 2021 3:36 a.m. PST

I'm pretty sure this one does:


yankosky Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2021 4:43 a.m. PST

Yes, take a look at my Blue Skies, Wood and Canvas. Their based on John Stannock's Blue Skies rules and there are cards for both the BMW and Mercedes Fokker, along with the Eagle and Puma DH4.

You can download everything for free at:

Blutarski26 Sep 2021 6:54 a.m. PST

Thank you, yankosky.
I will indeed check that out!


GilmoreDK22 Dec 2021 2:25 p.m. PST

You can also see the differences in In Clouds of Glory (free download). There is marked differences between the different engine upgrades both on speed and climb. See the cockpit panel files near the bottom of the page. The different Meercedes D.III types are represented as is the different types of Hispano Suiza in the SPAD S.VII (150hp and 180 hp versions) and S.XIII (200 and 220 Hp versions)

Blutarski31 Dec 2021 1:26 p.m. PST

Hi GilmoreDK,
I have visited your "Clouds of Glory" website in the past. Outstanding work, especially in connection with your method of managing maneuver in three dimensions.

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