William W. Whitson



Morane Bullet Type N
(Photographs reprinted by permission of the San Diego Air and Space Museum)

By 1913, the French had become very sophisticated with streamlined monoplanes. Early in 1914, Raymond Saulnier designed synchronizing gear, but temporarily abandoned the effort. In March, 1915, a pilot (Roland Garros) flew a Bullet to Villacoublay to collaborate with Saulnier to place steel plates on the propellor to permit firing through the propellor arc. Later when Garros accidentally landed behind German lines, the Germans impproved on the Saulnier system to create the first true synchornized firing smechanism.

When David Harrison first joined RFC 60 Squadron in France, the squadron still had several Moranes. It was so sensitive to controls, especially on landing, that novice pilots frequently nosed over. 60 Squadron pilots were overjoyed when they were finally equipped entirely with the Nieuport 17.



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