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8 Feb 1916.


6 Feb.

Flt Sub Lt Dickinson arrived at the airfield, aged 19, fresh out of Eton College. He kept a diary which helps to fill in the days when Bunnie didn’t fly, and it helped to fill in more of the atmosphere of the place.

For 6 Feb, for example he says it was ‘Very cold and dark and miserable.

8 Feb.

Bunnie had a busy day. with three flights in three different machines. Firstly, a flight in 1259 escorting a Maurice Farman over Fusilier Bluff and Hunter Weston Hill. Secondly, a ten minute hop in 1264 testing the engine, which was OK. He also ‘…meant to fly alongside the Caudron to compare speeds, but never saw him in the air at all.‘ This may come as a bit of a surprise that another aircraft can get completely lost just within five minutes of the airfield, but anyone who’s tried flying in company with another machine will know that it’s all too easy!

Finally, he got to go for a joy ride in the Caudron for ten minutes, presumably with the aforesaid Littleton. ‘First time in any type of Caudron. Second time this particular machine has been in the air out here. Very heavy on controls, especially rudder. Does about 60 knots level, perhaps a little more. Seems to climb well, but I had no watch and did not have her below 45 knots, though I am sure she would climb much steeper than that. Very pleasant engines. Had great difficulty keeping her straight just before landing. This difficulty would probably have disappeared if I had wangled the engines. Rather unwieldy in the air, but with proper use of engines she might become fairly controllable.

The Caudron, serial 3898, was a twin-engined Caudron G4, developed from the single-engined G3.

It’s no wonder it was a bit squirrelly in the landing phase, with those enormous wings, wing warping control, and a very short tail with very small surfaces on the back, even though it had four rudders!

This Caudron G4 is at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, at the Udvar-Hazy Centre. The photo is by Jarek Tuszynski from the Wikipedia page.

This Caudron G4 is at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, at the Udvar-Hazy Centre. The photo is by Jarek Tuszynski from the Wikipedia page.

Dickinson reports ‘Reid and Kinkead off to Gallipoli. Twin Caudron ready afternoon. Walk towards Kephalo Point after tea. Admiral Freemantle visited aerodrome.’

(The aerodrome was known as sometimes known as Kephalo after the bay near which it was located. Kephalo Point was the most southweterly tip of the island of Imbros.)


  1. ¿Do you know if this Flt Sub Lt Dickinson is the grandfather of Paul Bruce Dickinson?
    Thank you very much.

  2. Reblogged this on crossingtheair and commented:
    I think I finally found Dickinson’s mythical granddad.

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