In November, 1914, the Japanese surrounded the German outpost of Tsingtao, China. Aviator Gunther Pluschow was ordered by the Governor to escape capture to Germany.
Pluschow flew out of Tsingtao in his Rumpler Taube monoplane on a cold morning, amidst heavy anti-aircraft fire from the surrounding hills, swarming with Japanese soldiers. With a packet of secret documents, he aimed for Hai-Daschou. He landed there, burnt his Rumpler ‘Taube’ (Pigeon/Dove), and set off on foot.
[ad#ad-1]With the aid of helpful Chinese, he made his way to Shanghai, to the U.S., and thence to Gibraltar, where the British arrested him.
In fact, an Austrian invented the Taube monoplane that Pluschow flew and served the Germans early in World War One.
The Taube was yet another development of 1912. This plane was so called because the wings are swept back and curved up at the tips like those of a dove. The builders were Wels and Etrich, of Austria, in 1908.
In Austria, the progress of aviation during the years 1907-10 were closely bound up with the efforts of Igo Etrich and his associate, Herr Wels. In the early years of the century, they began experimenting on lines laid down by the Austrian aviation pioneer, Kress, more or less contemporaneous with Maxim, Langley, Reuard, and Lilienthal. In 1906 they experimented successfully with a glider at Oberaltstadt, Bohemia. After having built many experimental machines at a time when motors were the cause of so much trouble to prospective aviators, Etrich and Wels finally evolved a somewhat successful type of monoplane in the early part of 1908.
This machine, named by them the “Etrich-Wels III.” was substantially the same as the type shown here, except that it was equipped with a front elevation rudder which was later discarded.
During 1910, along with the progress elsewhere, Austria, represented by the Etrich IV. and the Warcholovski biplane (also designed by Etrich), jumped to the fore. Illner, one of the best Etrich monoplane pilots, flew from Steinfelde to Vienna across country on May 17, 1910; made an 80-kilometer cross-country flight on October 6th, 1910; flew from Vienna to Horn and back, a distance of 160 kilometers, four days later; and in the last week of the same month made a magnificent duration flight of over two hours. Aman flew the Etrich well in France, and at Johannisthal (Berlin) the Etrich-Rumpler made an excellent showing. The Etrich was so successful that the Austrian Minister of Air ordered twenty of them for the army. This machine was designed to be inherently stable, and it was successful to a great degree. If it had altitude enough it generally succeeded when falling in recovering its proper position before striking the ground. Other builders had striven for inherent stability, but had failed to get beyond a certain point.
As Etrich abandoned his patent, at least 14 companies later produced in Germany as the LE-3, informally ‘Taube,’ including Aviatik, Rumpler, Albatros, Gotha (shown in the picture), and DFW. While it was still in service at the onset of the war in 1914, it was soon outclassed.
Top Speed: 51 m.p.h.
Engine: Daimler four-cylinder 65 horse-power
Wingspan: 46 feet
Weight: 1100 pounds
Specifications from â€œMonoplanes and Biplanes,â€