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  #1  
Old 03-22-2013, 10:54 PM
Hottius Maximus Hottius Maximus is offline
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Snoopy and the Red Baron

Did Charles M. Schulz ever give a reason as to what Snoopy's obsession was with the Red Baron? I would assume that WWII and Korea were closer to the recent memory with everybody, so why in the world would Schulz choose a WWI German fighter pilot to be Snoopy's nemesis?
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2013, 11:06 PM
Two Many Cats Two Many Cats is offline
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Because in the public's mind, the midair dogfights of WWI were much more glamorous than air war in WWII or Korea. It was thought of as one on one dueling between two fliers rather than carpet bombing. So the situation lent itself to much more imaginative storylines than if Snoopy had been flying a Spitfire instead of a Sopwith Camel.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:19 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Snoopy also joined the French Foreign Legion to defend Ft. Zinderneuf as in Beau Geste; he didn't defend Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge. Snoopy was all about the romantic ideal; actual history had nothing to do with it.
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2013, 10:02 AM
rsat3acr rsat3acr is offline
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IIRC Snoopy has toasted Bill Mauldin with a root beer on Veteran's Day
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2013, 10:21 AM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is offline
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Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
I would assume that WWII and Korea were closer to the recent memory with everybody, so why in the world would Schulz choose a WWI German fighter pilot to be Snoopy's nemesis?
The Red Baron flew in WWI; what enemy ace could've been Snoopy's nemesis from WWII or Korea? Who reached household-name status?
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  #6  
Old 03-23-2013, 11:34 AM
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Old fart checking in here. In the 60s when I was growing up, the WW I aces were still very much cool. I remember reading stories about their dogfights and my friends and I all knew the various planes they flew. So I suspect that it was much more a part of the times than can be imagined now. I hadn't thought of it until I read ur question

Last edited by D18; 03-23-2013 at 11:35 AM..
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  #7  
Old 03-23-2013, 12:43 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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Originally Posted by D18 View Post
Old fart checking in here. In the 60s when I was growing up, the WW I aces were still very much cool.
Very true. 5 years of Civil War nostalgia triggered by the 100th anniversary flowed right into a WWI fad triggered by a 50 year anniversary.
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  #8  
Old 03-23-2013, 03:27 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Plus the benefit of having a "noble enemy." He couldn't fight the Nazis or the Japanese...too many recent memories by the readers. Nope, Snoopy needed an open cockpit, bugs in your teeth fighter plane, and the Sopwith had a funny name as well.
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2013, 04:39 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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.... and the Sopwith had a funny name as well.
I wonder how many comic page readers even had the vaguest idea of what a real Sopwith Camel even looked like. I've seen one in a museum and I still associate the term with a doghouse.

Last edited by Elmer J. Fudd; 03-23-2013 at 04:40 PM..
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  #10  
Old 03-23-2013, 05:02 PM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is online now
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Originally Posted by D18 View Post
Old fart checking in here. In the 60s when I was growing up, the WW I aces were still very much cool. I remember reading stories about their dogfights and my friends and I all knew the various planes they flew. So I suspect that it was much more a part of the times than can be imagined now. I hadn't thought of it until I read ur question
Snoopy's debut as the WWI Flying Ace came only months after DC comics introduced a serious WWI Flying Ace character loosely based on the real Red Baron.
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  #11  
Old 03-23-2013, 05:18 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is online now
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Originally Posted by D18 View Post
Old fart checking in here. In the 60s when I was growing up, the WW I aces were still very much cool.
And nothing was cooler than the Red Baron custom car. I think I built two models of it and had something Hot Wheels-ish, too.

Gahd, the sixties were a strange time for custom cars. The final efflorescence of the extreme hot rod set into psychedelia.
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  #12  
Old 03-23-2013, 05:22 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Crap. I remember that model! I built at least two of them myself.
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  #13  
Old 03-23-2013, 05:33 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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Hogan's Heroes debuted at almost exactly the same time. Many people were furious that anyone could use the Nazis as a source of humor. Comic strips of the day went to great lengths not to offend anyone (Pogo being about the only exception). Schultz made the right decision taking it back 50 years to a safe era.

Now, can anyone explain why in the world Schultz thought it would be a good idea to make Snoopy a world-famous grocery store cashier, a job that bored even him?
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  #14  
Old 03-23-2013, 05:59 PM
Slithy Tove Slithy Tove is offline
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And nothing was cooler than the Red Baron custom car. I think I built two models of it and had something Hot Wheels-ish, too.

Gahd, the sixties were a strange time for custom cars. The final efflorescence of the extreme hot rod set into psychedelia.
I remember that: my brother took all the "chrome" fitting from the kit, replicated the body out of wood, and entered it in the Cub Scouts' pinewood derby.
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  #15  
Old 03-23-2013, 06:15 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post

Now, can anyone explain why in the world Schultz thought it would be a good idea to make Snoopy a world-famous grocery store cashier, a job that bored even him?
Boring if you don't know there are actually only a dozen world-famous grocery clerks.
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  #16  
Old 03-23-2013, 07:19 PM
Hail Ants Hail Ants is offline
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My childhood memory contains an entry of my dad reading a story in the newspaper saying that Schultz had decided to end the Rad Baron bits, primarily due to strong anti-war sentiment regarding Vietnam (this was the early 70s). I guess he changed his mind...
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  #17  
Old 03-24-2013, 07:28 PM
terentii terentii is offline
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Schulz was once asked the same question in an interview back in 1967 or '68. He said something like, "It started out as a one-week spoof of war movies, and I continued it because Snoopy looks so darned funny with goggles on."

My dad gave me two books at Christmas 1965: one was Stories of the Great War, and the other Air Aces of WWI. I remember the 50th anniversary of the war very well; World War I was one of the best documentaries ever. I was in fourth grade, and some of my classmates' grandfathers and great-uncles came in to talk to us. Of course, they looked ancient to me then, but I realize now that they were still in the best of health and relatively young.

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines came out in '65, I think, and The Blue Max in '69. WWI was still very much in everyone's consciousness (Eddie Rickenbacker was one of my big heroes when I was growing up.)

Enemy Ace. I loved Enemy Ace. It's still one of the best comics DC ever produced.

Last edited by terentii; 03-24-2013 at 07:28 PM..
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  #18  
Old 03-24-2013, 08:20 PM
Noodles Fellicini Noodles Fellicini is offline
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Please tell me I'm not the only one that hears The Royal Guardsman singing, "Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more..." when they see this thread?
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  #19  
Old 03-24-2013, 08:30 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is online now
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No, you aren't.
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  #20  
Old 03-24-2013, 08:45 PM
terentii terentii is offline
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Originally Posted by Noodles Fellicini View Post
Please tell me I'm not the only one that hears The Royal Guardsman singing, "Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more..." when they see this thread?
Ah, but do you remember the sequel?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDu95lVe74c
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  #21  
Old 03-24-2013, 08:58 PM
Hottius Maximus Hottius Maximus is offline
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Ah, but do you remember the sequel?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDu95lVe74c
I thought you were talking about "Christmas Bells."
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  #22  
Old 03-25-2013, 02:53 AM
flodnak flodnak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D18 View Post
Old fart checking in here. In the 60s when I was growing up, the WW I aces were still very much cool. I remember reading stories about their dogfights and my friends and I all knew the various planes they flew. So I suspect that it was much more a part of the times than can be imagined now. I hadn't thought of it until I read ur question
In fact, I seem to remember (yeah, yeah) that Schulz said at one point he chose to put Snoopy in a Sopwith Camel because one of his sons had just built a model of that plane... plus he liked the name.
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  #23  
Old 03-25-2013, 06:54 AM
Andy L Andy L is online now
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Originally Posted by terentii View Post
My dad gave me two books at Christmas 1965: one was Stories of the Great War, and the other Air Aces of WWI.
I still have a copy of "Flying Aces of World War I" http://books.google.com/books?ei=XTp...ir+Aces+of+WWI
somewhere, which I enjoyed very much as a kid.
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  #24  
Old 03-25-2013, 07:06 AM
Mr. Miskatonic Mr. Miskatonic is offline
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Old Rhinebeck started doing its shows in 1960.
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  #25  
Old 03-25-2013, 08:17 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is online now
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Originally Posted by flodnak View Post
In fact, I seem to remember (yeah, yeah) that Schulz said at one point he chose to put Snoopy in a Sopwith Camel because one of his sons had just built a model of that plane... plus he liked the name.
I remember seeing an interview with Schulz where he said his son Monte came into his studio to show him the model Sopwith Camel plane he had just finished. They were talking when Charles got the inspiration to put Snoopy in goggles and helmet on his doghouse.
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  #26  
Old 03-25-2013, 01:06 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Please tell me I'm not the only one that hears The Royal Guardsman singing, "Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more..." when they see this thread?
Achtung! Jetzt wir singen zusammen die Geschichte über den Schweinköpfigen Hund und den lieben Red Baron!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2Mkf1fUTAk
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  #27  
Old 03-25-2013, 01:22 PM
terentii terentii is offline
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I also got this boardgame for Christmas, probably in 1965. I spent HOURS playing it:

http://www.odinartcollectables.com/images/dogfight1.jpg

I had the Sopwith Camel model, too:

http://www.ipmsusa3.org/gallery/d/28..._4419_28th.JPG

The last time I was at the Ontario Science Centre, the IMAX movie was Flight, and they had a full-scale Sopwith hanging from the ceiling. It was a beautiful, beautiful airplane!

During WWI, the Camel was the ne plus ultra if you were an Allied fighter pilot; there were some more compact versions, the Snipe and the Pup, but the Camel.... The rotary engine gave it so much torque that an experienced pilot could make it dance in a dogfight (just like the Red Baron's Fokker Triplane*). It made sense that Snoopy would fly a Camel, rather than a Neiuport or a Spad. It just wouldn't have been the same.

Apparently, Canadian pilot Roy Brown was flying a Camel the day he shot von Richthofen down, too.

*As an aside, Tom Clancy refers to it as a "Fokker Trimotor" in one of his novels. An unforgivable error bordering on sacrilege!

Last edited by terentii; 03-25-2013 at 01:24 PM..
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  #28  
Old 03-25-2013, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
I remember seeing an interview with Schulz where he said his son Monte came into his studio to show him the model Sopwith Camel plane he had just finished. They were talking when Charles got the inspiration to put Snoopy in goggles and helmet on his doghouse.
Yep. Another source for this is Peanuts Jubilee.
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  #29  
Old 03-25-2013, 02:37 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is online now
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Originally Posted by terentii View Post
*As an aside, Tom Clancy refers to it as a "Fokker Trimotor" in one of his novels. An unforgivable error bordering on sacrilege!
Well,it said it right there in the tech manual he was copying, goddammit.
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  #30  
Old 03-25-2013, 07:27 PM
Hottius Maximus Hottius Maximus is offline
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Hey everybody, this is a separate question but we can address it here: why was this particular plane called a "Sopwith Camel" anyhow? Was Mr. Sopwith the designer of it? Did it not need to use much water?
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  #31  
Old 03-25-2013, 07:31 PM
terentii terentii is offline
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Hey everybody, this is a separate question but we can address it here: why was this particular plane called a "Sopwith Camel" anyhow? Was Mr. Sopwith the designer of it? Did it not need to use much water?
It was called the Camel because the machine guns were mounted in a "hump" between the pilot and the engine.
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  #32  
Old 03-25-2013, 08:09 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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And it was built by the Sopwith Aviation Company, which was founded by Thomas Sopwith. The Camel's designer was Herbert Smith, who was chief engineer for the company.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 03-25-2013 at 08:10 PM..
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  #33  
Old 03-25-2013, 09:31 PM
Sal Ammoniac Sal Ammoniac is offline
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I've mentioned this here before, I'm sure, but every time I watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (every Halloween, like clockwork) I'm struck by the fact that it represents a last vestigial pop-cultural memory of World War I. Of course, that special debuted, in the year of our Lord and of my birth 1966, when World War I veterans were scarcely above retirement age.
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  #34  
Old 03-25-2013, 10:43 PM
Hermione Hermione is online now
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You know, there just might be a bit of Fridge Brilliance in here.

The pilot that some believe to have shot Baron Manfred von Richthofen down in the final battle was surnamed Brown.

Well, isn't that technically Snoopy's last name?
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  #35  
Old 03-26-2013, 11:37 AM
Andy L Andy L is online now
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Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
Achtung! Jetzt wir singen zusammen die Geschichte über den Schweinköpfigen Hund und den lieben Red Baron!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2Mkf1fUTAk
Hey, my decades old German is still sufficient to translate that

"Attention! Now we will sing together the story of the pig-headed dog and our beloved Red Baron!"
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  #36  
Old 03-26-2013, 11:41 AM
Andy L Andy L is online now
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You know, there just might be a bit of Fridge Brilliance in here.

The pilot that some believe to have shot Baron Manfred von Richthofen down in the final battle was surnamed Brown.

Well, isn't that technically Snoopy's last name?
Yeah, I noticed that as a kid.
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  #37  
Old 03-26-2013, 11:55 AM
Andy L Andy L is online now
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Originally Posted by Sal Ammoniac View Post
I've mentioned this here before, I'm sure, but every time I watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (every Halloween, like clockwork) I'm struck by the fact that it represents a last vestigial pop-cultural memory of World War I. Of course, that special debuted, in the year of our Lord and of my birth 1966, when World War I veterans were scarcely above retirement age.
That is an interesting point. Somewhere I read "Old people today are defective - when I was a boy, old people talked about World War One and the Great Depression, but now all old people talk about is Vietnam and Woodstock."

My understanding is WWI is still a part of UK pop culture (which makes sense - it was a much bigger deal for the UK than for the States).
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  #38  
Old 03-26-2013, 11:56 AM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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Snoopy's debut as the WWI Flying Ace came only months after DC comics introduced a serious WWI Flying Ace character loosely based on the real Red Baron.
And, as a child of the 60's, I remember an episode of Jonny Quest had Race Bannon dogfighting with an old German ace in old WWI airplanes.
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  #39  
Old 03-26-2013, 04:45 PM
terentii terentii is offline
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And, as a child of the 60's, I remember an episode of Jonny Quest had Race Bannon dogfighting with an old German ace in old WWI airplanes.
Starts here at 25:19.*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0Qz6...C58LJlsiAmVdX2

*Why do all German, uhm, war veterans retire to South America?
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  #40  
Old 03-26-2013, 05:08 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Did the von Richthofen family resent the Snoopy cartoons?

Did they ask for them to be discontinued?
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  #41  
Old 03-26-2013, 05:23 PM
Mr. Miskatonic Mr. Miskatonic is offline
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During WWI, the Camel was the ne plus ultra if you were an Allied fighter pilot; there were some more compact versions, the Snipe and the Pup, but the Camel.... The rotary engine gave it so much torque that an experienced pilot could make it dance in a dogfight (just like the Red Baron's Fokker Triplane*). It made sense that Snoopy would fly a Camel, rather than a Neiuport or a Spad. It just wouldn't have been the same.
[/SIZE]
The Sopwith was the choice plane for sheer dogfighting. It was dangerous in that it could kill a lesser pilot. Odd things like the engine throttle was either completely on or off. Hence that iconic start-stop noise of the era.

The Triplane was nimble as all getup, but kinda slow. The Red Baron only used it for the later quarter of his kills.
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  #42  
Old 03-26-2013, 06:01 PM
Icerigger Icerigger is offline
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For fans of the Camel check this out:




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6PnKUEFX8g
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  #43  
Old 03-26-2013, 06:28 PM
terentii terentii is offline
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For fans of the Camel check this out:




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6PnKUEFX8g
My God, that's even better than sex!!!
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  #44  
Old 03-26-2013, 07:10 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor View Post
Did the von Richthofen family resent the Snoopy cartoons?

Did they ask for them to be discontinued?
Why would they? I don't remember the Red Baron ever being ridiculed in the strip. Having a long dead member of their family occasionally mentioned in a syndicated comic strip was the least of the indignities suffered by a family of East Prussian aristocrats in the 20th Century.

Last edited by Elmer J. Fudd; 03-26-2013 at 07:10 PM..
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  #45  
Old 03-26-2013, 09:02 PM
Jim's Son Jim's Son is offline
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I also got this boardgame for Christmas, probably in 1965. I spent HOURS playing it:

http://www.odinartcollectables.com/images/dogfight1.jpg
OMG, I had that game as a kid. I haven't thought about it in 40 years or so. I wouldn't say it was my favorite game, probably Skittle Bowl or Bask-it. Burt, yeah, played it a lot.

I also remember as a kid visiting the Rhinebeck Aerodrome someone mentioned and they let me sit in the cockpit, or whatever it was,of some old plane 1908 Bleriot??? probably because I was the only one close to the original pilot's weight/size (5' 100 lbs).

Last edited by Marley23; 03-26-2013 at 09:08 PM.. Reason: added quote tag
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  #46  
Old 03-26-2013, 09:09 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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The iron cross used on WWI German aircraft also had a resurgence in the Sixties. They were all the rage in the Boys Club craft shop where we cut them out of sheets of psychedelic colored resin. Put them on a string and you looked like a Banana Splits version of Roy Orbison.
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  #47  
Old 03-26-2013, 11:57 PM
terentii terentii is offline
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I also remember as a kid visiting the Rhinebeck Aerodrome someone mentioned and they let me sit in the cockpit, or whatever it was,of some old plane 1908 Bleriot??? probably because I was the only one close to the original pilot's weight/size (5' 100 lbs).
I saw TMMiTFM with my dad and my brother in what must have been November 1965. My favorite airplane in that movie was the one the horny Frenchman flew:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aerofos...ol-1850454@N22

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/...Magnif-006.jpg

I would love to have a full-scale replica of this craft at some point in what's left of my life, along with a youthful Sarah Miles lookalike to tend to my every, every need.

http://jamesriverfilm.files.wordpres...arah-miles.gif
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  #48  
Old 03-27-2013, 12:00 AM
terentii terentii is offline
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Another view:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/austin7...ol-1850454@N22
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  #49  
Old 03-27-2013, 12:19 AM
terentii terentii is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Miskatonic View Post
The Triplane was nimble as all getup, but kinda slow. The Red Baron only used it for the later quarter of his kills.
Sopwith produced a triplane as well, but its performance wasn't as good as the Camel and its derivatives:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shuttle.../pool-svas-ps/
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  #50  
Old 03-27-2013, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Miskatonic View Post
The Sopwith was the choice plane for sheer dogfighting. It was dangerous in that it could kill a lesser pilot.
That's why I thought the Sopwith Pup, with the same abilities as the Camel, but less of the accidental-spiral-dive-of-death bug, was preferred as soon as it was available.
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