Cooling was the only positive reason I can remember. Imagine the gyroscopic effect of all that stuff hanging on the firewall.I have to wonder at the decision process that led to the whole engine spinning? I mean, other than for cooling, what other reason might there be? Was cooling so paramount that it over rode all other issues?
Cooling was the only positive reason I can remember. Imagine the gyroscopic effect of all that stuff hanging on the firewall.
Remember that all that engineering was 100 years ago. First flight was in 1903 and WWI was ten years later. Ten years of aviation engineering is a very short time. Also remember that WWI airplanes weren't really initially designed for dog fighting, they were primarily for observation and reporting. They used them to spy on the enemy lines and remove some of the fog of war and allow the leaders to know what the opposition was doing beyond their line of sight.
Of course, then someone decided they didn't want those airplanes spying on them and sent another airplane up to shoot at it and chase it away. Then dog fighting became a form of fighting but there was still a LOT to learn about it. Maneuverability was less important than the ability to climbe. It's hard to shoot up at an enemy when flying and using low power engines, but shooting in a dive was very easy. The plane that could climb could kill a plane that could turn. Hence why you see a lot of the biplanes and triplanes as the engineers looked for ways to get more lift and hence more climb. Maneuverability and handling would become important later, but those engineers had a lot to learn, figure out, and design.