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How Did WWI Pilots Shoot Through Their Aircraft Propeller?

How Did WWI Pilots Shoot Through Their Aircraft Propeller?

By Gilles Messier

To his right sat Captain Charles Chandler, a Lewis light machine gun cradled between his legs. While crude, this installation proved surprisingly effective, with Garros scoring the first aerial victory using a machine gun fired through a propeller on April 1, 1915. While he attempted to burn his aircraft before being captured, he was unsuccessful, and his deflector-equipped propeller fell intact into German hands. This was done by fitting a wooden disc to the propeller hub and firing the guns through it. The last aircraft to use synchronizers were Soviet Lavochkin La-11s and Yakovlev Yak-9s flown by North Korean pilots during the 1950-1952 Korean war.