Pioneers of Aerial Combat: Air Battles of the First World War by Michael Foley
When the Wright Brothers made their first flight in the early years of the twentieth century it sparked the imagination of those who wanted to fly, both in their country and around the world. In Britain, however, the spark wasn't strong enough to light a fire and it was in other parts of Europe, notably France, where flight began to develop seriously. Early pioneers of flight faced a high level of danger and many died in pursuit of fulfilling their dream. Although aircraft design had made incredible progress by the time of the outbreak of war, accidents still occurred on a regular basis. For some time, as many pilots died in accidents as they did in combat. This publication consolidates a range of stories, insights, and facts that, when combined, offer a vivid impression of events as they unfolded. The chaos stirred up during the First World War and the scramble to develop aircraft in response to the threat to homeland security is eloquently relayed, as are the battles that characterized this conflicted era. The reality of conflict gave aviation engineers and designers the opportunity to test their craft in the harshest of environments, pushing the benchmark ever higher in terms of what could be achieved. Sure to appeal to aviation enthusiasts and historians alike, this work offers the reader a full account of the developmental early days of flight.