"Secret weapon" promised for months by Germany is reported to be a robot plane, a model of which recently landed in Sweden. Robot planes are nothing new, being used generally for target practice. And radio control can be scrambled, or the controlling plane shot down, dooming all robot planes under its direction.


Reports from France, via the underground, state that it has been impossible to obtain any real production of German-model aircraft from French factories. The plane shortage in the Nazi training schools is so serious, however, that outmoded French planes like the Dewoitine, Bloch, and Leo et Olivier craft are being placed in production again.


The Nazis have recently been flying captured Boeing Flying Fortresses alongside American formations raiding Germany — to foul-up attacks. While it is possible for Germans to reconstruct one or two good B-17s out of every 30 or 40 shot down, the problems of spare parts and maintenance are such that they are expected to have little success with such tricks.


Some reports now have it that Ernst Udet, leading German Ace in World War I, committed suicide "when it became evident that he would be purged by Hitler" — a story contrasting with the official one that he was killed in the crackup of an experimental plane. Udet was known to have had many democratic-nation friends. He is said to have only acted as an adviser to the Luftwaffe.

These news clips were originally published in the "International Briefs" subhead of the "Aviation Abroad" column in the October, 1943, issue of Aviation magazine, vol 42, no 10, p 272.

Note:It is likely that the "robot plane" referred to above was a V-1 "buzz bomb" under test. —JLM.