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Strange Captain Strange

A pilot transforms how airplanes fight during WWI, but nearly plummets and dies trying.
Publish Date: Topic: Military + EspionageMilitary & EspionageNova
By Ari Daniel

When World War I pilots first brought machine guns aboard their airplanes, it was difficult to shoot at the enemy without blowing off their own propellers. Enter a young British pilot who, as NOVA's Senior Science Editor Evan Hadingham explains, figured out that mounting the gun on the top wing of the biplane allowed the bullets to clear the path of the propeller. It would change how the war was fought in the air, but not before nearly knocking the young pilot out of his cockpit mid-flight.

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