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“I’ve just completed the second of The Larksaircraft. This time it’s the Bristol Scout that Colin Hingley takes over, much to the envy of Andy Palmer, who gets sentenced to the BE2c ‘bloater’ following his less than impressive first squadron flight.
This Scout caused me some grief when writing the book. I have a signed Ivan Berryman print of Lanoe Hawker’s encounter with three Albatros and I’ve always been fascinated by its gun arrangement. The idea of trying to chase an enemy aircraft and then kick your own machine sideways to point the gun in the right direction gave rise to a sequence of which I was particularly proud. Which just served me right when I found out that the mounting had been changed by 1916 and the upper-wing mounting allowed the gun to fire more or less in the same direction as the aircraft happened to be flying. Still, the waste paper basket seemed to enjoy it.
I found David Bremner’s website while researching this illustration. He’s rebuilt the Bristol Scout flown by his grandfather in the Great War, basing his reconstruction on parts found in his ancestor’s effects. It’s an incredibly engaging account and I can heartily recommend a visit. You’ll find his site on bristolscout.wordpress.com.‘