The triplane banked hard to the right, throttling faster after two biplanes, each coloured green with squarish noses. Banking into a dive, the triplane fired a short burst. A trail of black smoke trailed the aircraft to earth as the Fokker corkscrewed behind the tail of the other plane. It too went down in a tendril of smoke; both in less than a minute.
Pat watched the scene, mesmerised. Although moving like film, the dogfight resembled a work of art, so vivid, yet not quite photographic.
The dots in the distance turned. Pat thought to alert the triplane pilot, but instead, chose to watch how the battle played out. The Fokker pilot remained oblivious as the other planes flew wide and came in behind him. Two remained aloft in reserve as two dived. Another two throttled in behind.
No evasive move eventuated on the German’s part until the rounds zipped past his fuselage; then he did the unthinkable. The Fokker turned a full 180 degrees and fired into its foe.
“No one can do that,” Pat gasped.
Attacking planes veered aside to evade the retaliatory burst. Like buzzing mosquitoes, the other green planes swarmed around the triplane. Each received short bursts of fire from the German’s guns. He continued to make unnerving turns, putting the English planes on the defensive instead of attacking. Ten minutes later, it eventually ended with the brave German making a listless dive to earth.
In the seconds thereafter, Pat watched the English planes fall into formation. Although six still flew, they all had holes in their canvas skins.
Pat ended the scene. Curiosity compelled him to turn on his computer and look up who could have flown the black triplane. A concentrated search yielded a young ace by the name of Werner Voss, dying at the age of 20. In his final battle he took on eight SE5A fighters… described, just as Pat witnessed it.
He switched off the computer and attempted to go back to sleep, but sleep never came as he still couldn’t believe his new ability. When his eyelids finally grew heavy, his alarm clock sounded.