Essay The Effects of Powered Flight on War

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The first World War expedited the evolution of aircraft technology, which continued through World War II. These developments revolutionized military strategy and contributed greatly to the final outcomes. The Wright brothers Orville and Wilbur are considered to be the fathers of modern flight. They were not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, but they were the first who invented controls that made flight controllable. Before they revolutionized flight, many other methods had been attempted such as people jumping off buildings or other high locations with make shift wings attached to their arms, or machines that bounced up and down with something akin to an umbrella on top of them. None of these experiments were very …show more content…
Sturdier building materials would be needed to construct airplanes with two wings. While the dual-wing design of a biplane could increase the amount of lift generated, the supports for the wings also increased the amount of drag produced. This decreased the maximum speed of biplanes and decreased its effectiveness. The first biplanes were not very fast, sturdy, or reliable. The slightest mistake could send the craft into a headlong rush towards the earth below. (Stewart 70) They had no place in dog fights or any other type of fast paced action. (Williams 94) They were mostly useful for reconnaissance missions in the military, where they would fly over the enemy and report back what they saw. (Stewart 63)They had the advantage of altitude, putting them beyond the accuracy of most rifles, but to gather intelligence they had to get lower so the pilot could see. Around the 1910s, when the planes were sturdier and more reliable, they were armed, often with medium caliber machine guns. Problems with these design were encountered though, because there were few steady points to attach the gun to. This was solved by the French who attached a fixed machine gun to the nose of the plane. The guns had to be mounted within easy reach of the pilot so that they could pull the trigger. Also, the gun usually fired through the propeller arc. This could lead to the bullets striking the propeller and breaking it or bouncing off in an
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