Aerial Warfare During World War I

1982 WordsApr 24, 20178 Pages
During the beginning of World War I aircraft were still primitive and in their infancy of development. They carried no weapons and were limited on their speed and range. It was not only the limits of this new technology that hampered its deployment into combat it was also the inadequacies of the pilots. This meant aircraft needed to be easy to fly so they were built to be less maneuverable and more stable. Without a direct role in combat they found their first uses during the war as a reconnaissance tool. It did not take long before pilots started carrying personal weapons which evolved into mounting machine guns to the aircraft, then the use of bombs. As the aircraft evolved from a reconnaissance tools into a tactical and strategical…show more content…
As the trench became more compilated the pilots and their spotter had an increasing difficult time accuracy relaying enemy and artillery positions. It was because of this that aerial photography was introduced. It quickly became apparent that cameras where more effective when they were attached to the aircraft. The photographs where then overlaid onto a map give accuracy information about the enemy. One such pilot with the Royal Flying Corps named Lt. W. R. Read tells a story of him and his observer, Jackson, flying over Mons. After the mission was complete they fired a few shots with a rifle at enemy aircraft. After Jackson ran out of ammunition he asked Read “Have you got a revolver, old boy?” Read replied “Yes. But no ammo” . Jackson then asked for the revolver and for him to fly as close to the aircraft as he could. He proceeded to throw the revolver at the aircraft’s propeller. Afterward they decided that there was nothing further to do so they headed home. It did not take long before it became important to down enemy aircraft before they could return home with vital troop and artillery positions. As it became a real threat of being shot down new technologies were developed. First, they increased the power of the aircraft engine not only for increased speed, but to increased it could carry as well. Soon after machine gun mount were added to the side or the upper wing of the aircraft. Position was important not only so they

More about Aerial Warfare During World War I

Open Document