Before take-off R/T communication always had to be checked. Oncewe were settled in our cockpits the instructor/Schwarmführer (leader)would ask: “Edelweiß 2, Frage Viktor?” Literally, the latter meant“Question: Victor?” Viktor was the phonetic for V, which in this casestood for Verständigung (reception). In other words, the leader wasasking “Are your receiving me?”The proper response if all was clear was “Edelweiß 1 from 2, Viktor,Viktor,” with the V now indicating Verstanden (understood, oraffirmative). If something was wrong, or the answer was “no”, thecorrect reply over the R/T was “Negativ”. Orders in the air always hadto be acknowledged either by ‘Viktor’ or ‘Negativ’.
There were set manoeuvres which had to be followed. In 90º turns,if a leader announced that he was turning across his wingman’s line offlight, the latter would lose a little height, follow into the turn behindand below his number 1, and then quickly add a little extra power toresume his position alongside. If the leader made a turn away from hisnumber 2, the wingman would immediately slide into a sharper turninside his leader and take station on the opposite side. It sounds simpleenough, but it required just the right touch and a lot of practice wasneeded to get it absolutely right.