Sean kelleher

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British airships in their shed

Aircraft technology was little over a decade old when Archduke francis ferdanad assassination in late June 1914 ultimately resulted in the outbreak of 'The Great War' a month later.

Initially deemed of little use to the armed services other than in a reconnaissance role, aircraft development exploded during wartime. For example, France had fewer than 140 aircraft when her war against Germany began; four years later that number had ballooned to approximately 4,500.

This section of the website examines the role of the aircraft and associated technologies during the First World War, viewed from all sides. In addition to an exploration of aircraft innovations - such as deflector and interrupter gear - the planes themselves are summarised, from fighter aircraft to bombers to Zeppelins to naval aircraft; and biographies are available for a great many of the war's air aces and commanders.