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ERNST UDET | WW1 Ace | Germany's Second Highest Scoring Fighter Pilot

Updated on January 27, 2013

Germany's Aces of World War One

Ernst Udet (April 26 1896 – November 17 1941) was the second-highest scoring German flying ace of World War I. He was one of the youngest aces and was the highest scoring German ace to survive the war (at the age of 22). His 62 victories were second only to Manfred von Richthofen, his commander in the Flying Circus.

Born in Frankfurt am Main, Udet was fascinated with aviation from early childhood. He wanted to join the army in 1914, but was only 160 cm tall and did not qualify.

Ernst Udet

Germany's Aces of World War One

In August, when the Allgemeine Deutsche Automobil Klub appealed for volunteers with motorcycles, Udet applied and was accepted. Udet's father had given him his motorcycle when Ernst passed his first year examination. Along with four friends, Udet was posted to the 26 Württembergischen Reserve division as a "messenger rider". After injuring his shoulder when his motorcycle hit a shell hole, Udet went to a military hospital, and his bike went for repair. When he tried to track down the 26th division, he was unable to locate it and decided to serve in the vehicle depot in Namur. During this time, Udet met officers from the Chauny flying sector who advised him to get transferred as an aerial observer. However, before he received his orders for Chauny, the army dispensed with the volunteer motorcyclists, and he was sent back to recruiting officials.

Ernst Udet, Germany's Second Highest Scoring Ace - Pilots of the Great War

Udet tried in vain to get back to the fighting, but was unable to get into pilot or aircraft mechanic training offered by the army. He soon learned that if he were a trained pilot, he would be immediately accepted into the air force. Through a family friend, Gustav Otto, owner of an aircraft factory, Udet received private flight training. The training cost 2,000 marks and new bathroom equipment from his father's firm. Udet obtained his civilian pilot's license at the end of April 1915 and joined the German Army Air Service.

Great War in the Air - Aces of World War One

Pfalz Aircraft of WWI:

A Centennial Perspective

on Great War Airplanes (Volume 5)

This is the newest book from World War One Author Jack Herris. Illustrations by Bob Pearson and Martin Digmayer, cover art by Aaron Weaver and cover design by Steve Anderson. This new book covers the development of Pfalz aircraft that most of the German Aces of World War One flew. The new book contains 530 photographs, 28 in full color, 81 color profiles, 10 color illustrations, serial number of aircraft. Also aircraft dimensions and performance specs. 1/72 and 1/48 scale drawings are included of 15 Pfalz aircraft types.

Ernst Udet Amazing Landing

Fokker DR.1 Triplane

The Fokker Dr.1 Triplane, one of the aircraft that most of the German Aces used during the Great War. Equipped with the 110 hp Oberurel rotary engine and twin Spandau machine guns that could be fired independently, this airplane had an excellent rate of climb and could match the Camel for maneuverability.

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What Do You Know About Ernst Udet? - Fighter Pilots of the Great War

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