2017-07-13 16:39:48 UTC
I watched 'Hell's Angels' by Howard Hughes
recently. All three main characters had
something to not like about them, but they
showed some interesting factoids about airships
and aircraft during WWI that I did not notice
The Zepplins were slow and could explode, but
they had a greater lift capacity for bombs than
heavier than air aircraft and so could be used
as long range bombers under cover of darkness,
for there was no RADAR.
The main thing I found when double checking
some scenes with accounts on Wikipedia was that
pilots of heavier than air aircraft generally did
not have parachutes during WWI. They had to land
the plane without crashing into the ground at too
high a speed or they died.
They did have observation balloons on the front
lines that people exited using parachutes, but
a cord that enabled a heavier than air pilot to
clear the craft before deploying had not been
perfected yet. Without it the parachute got
tangled with the disabled aircraft.
If the state of parachutes at the beginning of
WWI had been at the same state as in our time
line during the early 1920s, could this have
started parachute drops of soldiers from heavy
aircraft behind lines during WWI? Could this
have changed the nature of the mobility of
the lines during that war? Maybe even a
small paratrooper invasion of the U.K. from
So someone studies parachutes and perfects designs
for them at the beginning of WWI rather than the
end of WWI.
What is different about WWI in this timeline?