⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Aircraft During World War One

Friday, September 03, 2021 8:46:23 PM

Aircraft During World War One



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Planes - WW1 Uncut - Dan Snow - BBC

The cult of the air ace and their tally of kills was close behind; it was used by British, French, and German media to inspire their nations and none were more famous than Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the " Red Baron " because of the color of his plane. Plane technology, pilot training, and aerial combat techniques all developed rapidly during the first parts of World War One, with an advantage switching back and forth with each new development. Battle formation developed by around , when there could be more than a hundred planes all working on the same attack plan.

The training was just as deadly as flying; over half of the Royal Flying Corps casualties occurred in training and, as a result, the air arm had become a recognized and highly distinguished part of the military. However, neither side ever achieved total air superiority for very long though the Germans briefly managed to cover their small base at Verdun in with a dominant air cover.

By , aerial warfare had become so important that there were thousands of planes crewed and supported by hundreds of thousands of people, all produced by a massive industry. Despite the belief—then and now—that this war was fought by individuals daring to fly for either side, aerial warfare was really one of attrition instead of victory. The effect of aircraft on the outcome of the war was indirect. Despite the evidence to the contrary, people left the war assuming that the aerial bombardment of civilians could destroy morale and end a war sooner. The German bombing of Britain failed to have any effect and the war continued anyway. Still, this belief persisted into WWII where both sides terror-bombed civilians in order to try to force a surrender.

Share Flipboard Email. Robert Wilde. History Expert. Robert Wilde is a historian who writes about European history. Flying boats — aircraft with waterproof hulls that landed directly on the water — played a similar role but were less common. Most seaplanes were based at stations on the coast, but some operated out of ships called seaplane tenders. The British, with their substantial navy and pride in dominating the seas, made particular use of this approach. Whether working from ships or coastal bases, these planes could only be used in calm weather. At the start of the war, aircraft were mostly used for reconnaissance, and this remained their principle role throughout the war.

But like their land-based cousins, they also found use in combat too. Seaplanes were used to attack enemy ships. This was usually done using bombs which, as on land, were initially dropped by hand. Aerial bombardment was in its infancy, and these bombs had nowhere near the power of the ones that would later be utilized in strategic bombing offensives. Both sides also experimented with dropping torpedoes from seaplanes. The first successful deployment of a torpedo from a plane was carried out just before the war, in July Fights between groups of seaplanes were rare. One of the few that did take place occurred on the 4 th of June , when five Felixstowe F-2As and a Curtiss H engaged 14 German planes.

The outnumbered British destroyed six of their opponents and fought off the attack, losing only the Curtiss. It was the largest naval air arm of the First World War, and by the time it was absorbed into the Royal Air Force RAF it had 50 squadrons, mostly working out of coastal stations, as well as individual seaplanes serving from ships. One of the first planes the British used at sea was the Sopwith Schneider.

This was adapted from a pre-war plane that had won the Schneider trophy in They were used in patrols looking out for German airships and in anti-submarine attacks. The pace of change in aircraft technology was rapid, and after only a year of service, the Schneider was replaced in Equipped with light bombs, they were used against German submarines, the scourge of Allied shipping during the later war. Several squadrons were made up of these planes.

First entering action in , the Felixstowe F-type was a flying boat design rather than a seaplane.

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