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Thread: Turns out the Stakken had one more crewman than in the game

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Turns out the Stakken had one more crewman than in the game

    Looking up more information on the Stakken, I discovered that it actually had an 8th or 9th (with or without ventral MG) crewmen - a radio operator. Also, I confirmed that the nose gunner's position (and all other fuselage positions) are connected in-flight - there a door in the bottom front of the cockpit. I don't know what you can use a radio operator for in Wings of Glory, other than to replace a downed gunner, but I went ahead made a pair of management cards anyway:

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    Also has the new crew position connection lines for the new research. Radio Operation crew position icon was the best I could come up with.

  2. #2

    Boney10's Avatar South Western Command Squadron Leader.
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    What were the sources for the info ?

  3. #3

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    Both in WW1 and in WW2 multi-engine planes, extra crewmen have been ignored - only pilots and gunners have been considered in the game.

  4. #4

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    Seen info of 5 crew in the cockpit alone - 2 pilots, Radio op, Navigator, Fuel attendant, not sure any of them would take on an airgunner role.
    I should think getting the engineers in during flight would be a big ask too ...

    "He is wise who watches"

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boney10 View Post
    What were the sources for the info ?
    Photographs of both models and the real thing that showed a radio and radio operator's position, and a flight sim stakken that had a radio operator's position at the same spot and with an identical looking radio as the model.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angiolillo View Post
    Both in WW1 and in WW2 multi-engine planes, extra crewmen have been ignored - only pilots and gunners have been considered in the game.
    Ah, makes sense. I figured the radio operator, who could easily afford to spend maybe 15-20 minutes away from his post, could take over one of the fuselage gunner's positions temporarily if one was taken out, then return to his job in 20 minutes once the attack was over. Many WWII aircraft gave radio operators and navigators guns to man in the event of an attack, including the B-17, but by no means all of them.

  6. #6

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    On R.VI: "The crew varied with the mission, but generally the complement was seven men, consisting of the commander/navigator and two pilots (of these three, two were usually commissioned officers), a wireless operator, two flight mechanics and a fuel attendant. For additional protection one or two gunners could be accomodated, but this was the exception rather than the rule."
    (G W Haddow & Peter M Grosz, The German Giants - R Planes 1914-1918, Putnam 1988, page 252)

  7. #7

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    This was definitely the case in the WW2 Bristol Beaufort where both the navigator/bomb aimer and the radio operator were also expected to be gunners when conditions called for it.


    (QUOTE) Ah, makes sense. I figured the radio operator, who could easily afford to spend maybe 15-20 minutes away from his post, could take over one of the fuselage gunner's positions temporarily if one was taken out, then return to his job in 20 minutes once the attack was over. Many WWII aircraft gave radio operators and navigators guns to man in the event of an attack, including the B-17, but by no means all of them.[/QUOTE]
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiolillo View Post
    On R.VI: "The crew varied with the mission, but generally the complement was seven men, consisting of the commander/navigator and two pilots (of these three, two were usually commissioned officers), a wireless operator, two flight mechanics and a fuel attendant. For additional protection one or two gunners could be accomodated, but this was the exception rather than the rule."
    (G W Haddow & Peter M Grosz, The German Giants - R Planes 1914-1918, Putnam 1988, page 252)
    Oh. In other words everybody who's not a pilot is already manning the guns in the game. With the ventral MG, that would be with a gunner present and the commander manning a gun, or two gunners and the commander, well, commanding. Pretty much the only plane where the commander does not have access to the flight controls. Very odd for an airplane, and unheard of in WWI, but perfectly normal for a zeppelin of the floaty kind. Which seems to be how they came up with the crew requirements.

    (PS: What does a "fuel attendant" actually DO? I've never seen another aircraft have a position by that name, and I'm wondering what his job description was. Or is he like a B-17's "flight engineer," a glorified gunner with a fancy title.)

  9. #9

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    In the smaller W.W.1 German bombers the plane's commander was the forward gunner. He would sit in the cockpit at takeoff, in case the plane nosed over, and then use the communicating door to the forward position once the plane was safely in the air.

  10. #10

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    Re the R.VI, The front gunner was also the bomb aimer - two pilots in the enclosed cockpit - additional space behind them for the radio operator / navigator & it's believed additional bomb release equipment. (Squadron 173 - German Bombers of WW I in Action p.43)
    Multi tasking explains the standard crewing of seven - five in the fuselage, two in the engine nacelles.
    1. Front gunner / Bomb aimer / (Commander?)
    2. Pilot
    3. Co-pilot
    4. Radio operator / (Navigator ?)
    5. Fuel attendant / Rear gunner
    6. Engineer / wing gunner
    7. Engineer / wing gunner
    (8. Optional extra rear gunner)

    "He is wise who watches"

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by BraselC5048 View Post
    (PS: What does a "fuel attendant" actually DO? I've never seen another aircraft have a position by that name, and I'm wondering what his job description was. Or is he like a B-17's "flight engineer," a glorified gunner with a fancy title.)
    Possibly manning the fuel pump(s), and/or the switches between the various fuel tanks (not sure how Staaken tankage was laid out)?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by csadn View Post
    Possibly manning the fuel pump(s), and/or the switches between the various fuel tanks (not sure how Staaken tankage was laid out)?
    Well, if the Roden 1/72 kit interior (which seems to be pretty complete) is correct, the fuel is somewhat surprisingly stored in vertical cylindrical tanks, 2 rows of 5 on each side, with a walkway down the middle:

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    The radio operator's position (when he's not manning a gun) is right behind the cockpit. There's also a chair at the back, just in front of the opening for the rear gunners. There doesn't appear to be much of anything else there to do or control; perhaps this is where the fuel attendant sits most of the time, with a few valves or quantity gauges?

    If the plane were attacked, I'd assume the commander/navigator/bomb aimer/front gunner is already in the nose with the gun, and the wireless operator and fuel attendant leave their seats to man the aft fuselage guns. So exactly the same number of crew as in the game. With a ventral MG, it would have exactly one more gunner. (I guess they sometimes took a second gunner, which would give 9 crew with the extra MG, but that's doesn't seem to be worth caring about in the game.)

    Does seem that the chance for not spotting incoming hostile aircraft is somewhat high with none of the rear guns actually manned full time, but I suppose the engineer/gunners would have that job. (Interestingly, there actually appears to be plenty of enclosed space below the opening for the gun; the slipstream would make it a bad place for maps, but you could likely find a place father back.)

  13. #13


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    I know the post is a bit old, but just in case someone like me is reading it just now, I made this console to track the crew and in each position I will post cards similar to the "ace cards" with the crew assigned to the mission.
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    Last edited by dmolinal; 09-30-2018 at 15:59.

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    And since I also have the Handley Page, just in case you also like to use the board, here it is (the corrected version, the original had a typo)
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    Last edited by dmolinal; 09-26-2018 at 14:28.

  15. #15

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    Welcome to the Aerodrome, Daniel, from here in the United Kingdom. Those are nice aeroplane crew cards. (One small point: in English the word 'gunner' has two n's.)

  16. #16

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    Excellent work on those crew cards Daniel.
    Also Welcome to the Forum on behalf of the pilots who fly in NSW down in Australia.

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    Member Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians

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    Thank you for the typo correction and your welcoming remarks.This is one of the crew cards I use on the Zeppelin Staaken, I was unable to find an actual photo of the pilot (Schoeller), although there is an account of one of his bombing raids over London. I substituted his image with a picture from Max Immelmann. I did cards for all the crew.
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    Last edited by dmolinal; 09-26-2018 at 14:02.

  18. #18

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    Welcome, Daniel, from Portland, Oregon.
    Good job on those Staaken cards.

  19. #19


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    Here is one of the gunner cards for the Zeppelin Staaken. Note that the badge changes for pilots, gunners and observer. (Name and picture in the card not a historical match, but is difficult to find information and pictures on crew members).
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    Last edited by dmolinal; 09-24-2018 at 21:06.

  20. #20


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    And this one is for the Handley. It is a picture and name of an actual RNAS pilot (this is the WOG model I have). He survived the war, but died in an airplane accident years later. His brother, who was flaying with him, tried to rescue him while the airplane burned, to no avail. The surviving brother was awarded the "Albert Medal" for his efforts, and went to achieve the rank of Air Commodore in 1938. Researching the history of these brave men to make my cards has been awesome.
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    Last edited by dmolinal; 09-24-2018 at 21:06.

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    Daniel, your attachments are not visible.

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    Thank you for letting me know. They did appear in the post after I pressed "Save" I uploaded them again. I signed off from the web page and entered again. I can see them on my end. Hope this time I did it right. Please let me know if they are not yet visible and I'll try to change the format/size. I'm still learning the ropes.

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