Dear Mr. History,

While driving through the rainstorm yesterday, I thought to myself, “How did WW1 fliers deal with inclement weather?
And was there a turning point as to when and what technology arrived to help flight during said storms?


Mark Drefs




Dear Mark,

The Germans had a term for rain like that: “Pilot’s Weather,” because it usually meant they were grounded and could take a break from their usual duties. Unless one was in something big , enclosed and glazed like a Sikorski Ilya Muromets or a Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI, an airman had nothing between himself and the elements but the fur-lined coat, boots, gloves, helmet and goggles that he wore. The bottom line reality is that missions were seldom, if ever, mounted on very rainy or snowy days in WWI.


Jon Guttman

Research Director

World History

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