Brit pilots used exploding darts to destroy German Zeppelins in WWI

February 18th, 2011 - 5:51 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 18 (ANI): British pilots used exploding darts to destroy German Zeppelins during the World War One.

The airmen dropped the foot-long steel devices on the mighty airships, which was jokingly referred to as “pub darts” against the Hun.

A “bullseye” would see the dart tip pierce the Zeppelin’s covering before a charge ignited the airship’s hydrogen, The Sun reports.

But the pilots had to be quick to fly away from the huge fireball. The Hindenburg disaster in the US in 1937 showed spectacularly the effects of the gas exploding in a Zeppelin.

Now the demonstration model, believed to be the last, could fetch 1,200 pounds at auction in Marlow, Bucks, on March 2.

Auctioneer Steven Bosley said: “You had to be extremely brave to use these. We believe this one was used as an instructional aid. They did work and showed how quickly air warfare became part of the conflict.”

The Duxford Air Museum, Cambs, said the exploding darts were an ingenious invention but proved “not hugely successful” because pilots found it difficult to get to the required height - 300ft above the Zeppelin, The Sun reports s. (ANI)

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