"Hey Dad, I think I drew the wrong airplane!" was what I said when I was just about finished with this drawing. It came together at a surprisingly quick pace. But anyway I started this drawing with a set of vague three view drawings of the Italian Macchi M.5 Flying boat (the aircraft closest to the viewer.) from WWI. I wanted to research the markings this airplane had before I went anyfurther but when I began looking through a Windsock Datafile my father has on the Macchi boats I found they had many variations on the tail plane. I panicked for a bit but went further into the book and found the version I unwittingly drew and breathed a sigh of relief.
I've been wanting to get into some WWI themed stuff for awhile now and I haven't drawn any aircraft in a while so I thought this would be a good start. Of course the aircarft had to be Italian (gotta out-do the competition somehow right?
) WWI in general has always been a favorite subject of mine, mostly because of my father. Even so I was looking through my gallery when I realized I only had two WWI themed drawings! This had to be remedied so I should have more WWI stuff comming here soon.
Italy I believe entered the First World War sometime in 1915 on the side of the allies. They were originally supposed to come in on the side of the Central Powers but somehow managed to avoid being dragged in and then switched sides when it looked like Britain, France and Russia were going to win the war. Instead, the lines settled into a stalemate on the Western Front and Italy was torn apart by war. I don't know much about what happened, but in Italy but it doesn't sound pretty. The Italians suffered some pretty catastrophic defeats, such as the Battle of Caporetto. From the looks of it it would seem like the Italians had some of the same problems they had in WWII, poorly led, lack of equipment, but organization, you name it. I'm told theyb had to bring out caches of black powder Vetterli rifles because of a weapons shortage and then had to use huge seige cannons for mountain warfare. Italy though, suffered from lack of good aircraft as well and had to rely on some frecnh and Belgian designs such as the Nueport and Hanriot.
The Macchi M.5 was actually a copy of a Hansa-Brandensburg flying boat design. One of these boats was captured from the Austro-Hungarian Naval Air Service. The macchi though did have some design ideas taken from the Neuports 11 and 17, like the "v" strut. The Macchi actaully proved to be a pretty capable fighter and was one of the few Italian home brewed aircraft able to take on Austro Hungarian (whom the Italians most;y tangled with) aircraft. I'm kicking the idea around of scrachtbulding one of these beuaties here soon.