18.04.

1915: Famous Aviator Roland Garros Shot Down

1915: Famous Aviator Roland Garros Shot Down
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / Roland Garros (aviator)

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 18 April 1915
  • Roland Garros, after whom the big tennis tournament in France is called, was a famous pilot during World War I. He invented a system that allowed pilots to fire a machine gun through the propeller during its rotation.

The famous French aviator Roland Garros, after whom the big tennis tournament was named, was shot down on this day during World War I.

He managed to land, but ended up on German territory and was captured. The Germans thus came into possession of his Morane-Saulnier type aircraft, with a special system on the propeller that allowed firing during flight.

Namely, Roland Garros invented a system that allowed pilots to fire a machine gun through the propeller during its rotation.

When the Germans discovered that, they apparently developed a similar system, so that their Fokkers began to shoot down more and more French planes.

After nearly three years in captivity, Garros managed to escape. He again flew for the French army, but died only a month before the end of the war, when his plane was shot down by a German one.

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