The Great War, a World in Flames

The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife in Sarajevo, Bosnia on June 28th of 1914 set off a conflict that engulfed Europe, and America. When Austria declared war on Serbia that day. By the end of the year the regional conflict exploded into a war that spanned the globe.

The Great War consumed the world in a conflict that was unrivaled until that time. It was a kind of war far different than the one that was waged on the ground. The fight for control of the air was where the cunning, and bravery of the individual could matter for much. This website is my tribute to those fragile aircraft and to the brave pilots on both sides that flew them.

Map of Europe during WWI
Map of Europe during World War One

The Top Aces of the World War One

Germany's top ace, Manfred von Richthofen America's top ace, Eddie Rickenbacker Belgium's top ace, Willy Coppens
France's top ace, Rene Fonck Britian's top ace, William Bishop Italy's top ace, Francesco Baracca
Top: Manfred von Richthofen, Eddie Rickenbacker, Willy Coppens
Bottom Row: René Fonck, William Bishop, Francesco Baracca

World War one aviators were seen as more than soldiers, they were the Knights of the sky The faces of the top rated aces on the Western Front

Some Notable Aircraft of The Great War

The Sopwith Triplane was used in combat by the Royal Naval  Air Service. The stack of three wings reduced wingspan and increased wing area making it  handle and climb better than biplanes. Visibility from the cockpit was outstanding but it was slower and less heavily armed than it's German opponents.
Sopwith Triplane - 1916

The Sopwith Triplane was used in combat by the Royal Naval Air Service. The stack of three wings reduced wingspan and increased wing area making it handle and climb better than biplanes.

The D.V was the final development of the Albatros D.I family, and the last Albatros fighter to see operational service. Despite its well-known structural shortcomings and general obsolescence, approximately 900 D.V and 1,612 D.Va aircraft were built before production halted in early 1918. The D.Va continued in operational service until the end of the war.
Albatros D.V

The Albatros D.V was a fighter aircraft used by the Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Air Service) during World War I. The D.V was the final development of the Albatros D.I family, and the last Albatros fighter to see operational service. Despite its well-known structural shortcomings and general obsolescence, approximately 900 D.V and 1,612 D.Va aircraft were built before production halted in early 1918. The D.Va continued in operational service until the end of the war.

Table of Contents

The Beginning of Aerial Warfare

The history of World War One aviation is a rich and varied story. It was marked by a period of very rapid technological development, where aircraft evolved from their humble beginnings as unarmed slow moving, fragile, powered kites, into quick, agile, sturdy, deadly fighter craft and rugid bombers bristling with machine guns and a large load of bombs to bring the battle to those on the ground. The skies soon became a dangerous place where sudden death waited for the unwary or unlucky.

The first airplanes were not seen as offensive weapons, but as “scouts”. Even at the end of the war, the fighter types, such as the Sopwith Snipe and Fokker D8, were still classified as scouts.

RAF FE.6 - 1914
RAF FE.6 - 1914
Pfalz A.Ib - 1914
Pfalz A.Ib- 1914

Although horses were used to scout out the enemies' position, they had serious limitations.The scout planes had a greater freedom of movement, a much wider range of operation and the unparalelled speed to accomplish these missions. Unharrassed by the enemy ground forces the reconnaissance aircraft could monitor the enemies' movement and positions from a great altitude. Aerial photography was a vital operation for both sides of the war.

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