Aerial Warfare

How the war allowed for advancements

"Useless and an expensive fad!" says British general, when planes were first used in war for reconnaissance. But as the war went on, planes became more and more useful and helped to improve aerial combat forever. During the war is was key to have the better planes.  Having better planes meant having more reliable engines and frames, being able to shoot down other enemy spy planes, being able to evade enemy fire, and being climb to high altitudes. This soon became a "technological war in the air" you could say. Who could have the faster, better, and more reliable planes. Whose plane could climb higher. One of these advancements in 1915, a dutch man, i believe it was, who made it possible to add a machine gun to the planes. He did this by adding an interrupter gear to sync the machine gun to the rotation of the propellor blade allowing the machine gun to shoot through the propellor blades while they were moving. This revolutionized aerial combat and changed the outcome of who might win the war.

Adding machine guns made being a pilot that much more dangerous. But new terms for pilots came along such as being an ace if you could shoot down a certain number of enemy planes, and it was a great honour to be an ace. While being a pilot could potentially have its advantages, it was always scary being up in a plane being shot at and watching your friends being shot down in combat. But lets start at the beginning of the war. I started out flying as a scout in the war flying a Bristol Scout, doing reconnaissance

Being one of the first planes used in the war, it wasn't very reliable and I lost a few of my close friends due to malfunctions. But using planes was thought of to be key to spy on the other country in the war. Soon people like the dutch man, Anton Fokker, developed the interrupter gear. This was so that opposing countries could shoot down the enemy reconnaissance planes so they couldn't spy on them.

Being able to shoot down spy planes meant that the opposing country will not have any information on things like where the troops are and where they are set up. Shortly after the interrupter gear was introduced to planes, i started flying the Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2. This aircraft was less prone to crash, and it was a lot better than other previous aircrafts. The Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2 had a much better field of view as the propellor was behind the pilot, and it didn't need to have the interrupter gear which Britain at the time still didn't have their hands on the technology for it. But the plane did have its flaws. Having a pusher engine wasn't as effective as the puller (front mounted engine)but i was not able to switch to the Armstrong Whitworth FK8 until 1917.

This plane was much more advanced allowing for a rear mounted machine gun, and could also carry bombs. Planes like this were very effective in the war, not only allowing for the pilot and observer to shoot down other planes, but it allows them to bomb enemy troops on the ground. This made it a multi purpose plane, doing two tasks with one plane. By this time in the war the planes were much more reliable and could do things they never used to be able to do. Over the course of the war i was in many battles across the world.

Unfortunately 1917 was the last time i flew a plane.My plane was shot down, and fortunately i did not die in the crash, but i sustained quite serious injuries. My co-pilot unfortunately was not so luck, and died shortly after crashing. I still did see the advancements in aerial warfare. While being in combat, being in a war, isn't a great thing at all, it allowed for change in technology. This war allowed for the world to make advancements in aerial combat and has changed it forever.

Bibliography

"Canada and the First World War." Canadian War Museum. Web. 16 Feb. 2015. <http://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/>.

"WW1 British Aircraft." Military Factory. Web. 17 Feb. 2015. <http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/ww1-british-military-aircraft.asp>.

"The War in the Air." SparkNotes. SparkNotes. Web. 17 Feb. 2015. <http://www.sparknotes.com/history/european/ww1/section5.rhtml>.

"Battle Maps." First World War.com. Web. 18 Feb. 2015. <http://www.firstworldwar.com/maps/balkanfront.htm>.

Taylor, David. "War in the Air." Key Battles of World War I. Print.

Quinlan, Don, Ian Henderson, Peter Lawley, and Norm Probert. World Affairs, Defining Canada's Role. Print.

Somerville, Donald. "War in the Air." World War I, History of Warfare. Print.

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YO GOOD