1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

World War I Aircraft

World War I saw the first large-scale use of aircraft in combat. Beginning the conflict as fragile planes used for reconnaissance, aircraft evolved into high-perfomance fighters and bombers by war's end in 1918.

Photo Gallery: Fighters of World War I
World War I was the first major conflict to feature a wide variety of military aircraft. Beginning with simple and fragile fighters such as the Fokker E.III, the air forces of both sides quickly developed increasingly sleek and sophisticated aircraft to contest the skies over Europe.

World War I: Airco DH.2
The Airco DH.2 was the first effective British fighter of World War I. Entering service in 1915, the Airco DH.2 helped combat the "Fokker Scourge." A pusher biplane, the Airco DH.2 was eclipsed by more advanced fighters by the end of the war.

World War I: SPAD S.VII
A sturdy, rugged fighter, the SPAD S.VII saw service during World War I. Introduced in 1916, the SPAD S.VII proved to be a stable gun platform and was the first in a long line of SPAD fighters. In May 1917, the French Aviation Militaire began replacing the SPAD S.VII with the more advanced SPAD S.XIII.

World War I: RAF S.E.5
The Royal Aircraft Facotry SE5 was a fighter flown by British and Commonwealth forces during World War I. A contemporary of the famed Sopwith Camel, the SE5 possessed better overall performance and was easier to fly. The SE5 entered service in mid-1917 and remained at the front until the of the war.

World War I: Sopwith Camel
The Sopwith Camel was a key Allied fighter during World War I. Mainly flown by British forces, the Sopwith Camel downed more enemy aircraft than any other Allied fighter during the conflict. Entering service in 1917, the Sopwith Camel remained in use through the end of World War I.

World War I: Fokker D.VII
The Fokker D.VII was one of the finest fighters produced by the Germans during World War I. Superior to most Allied fighters, the Fokker D.VII led to a second "Fokker Scourge" in 1918. The aircraft was so respected, that the Allies confiscated all surviving Fokker D.VIIs at the end of the war.

World War I: Fokker Dr.I
Developed in 1917, the Fokker Dr.I became one of the iconic German aircraft of World War I. Created in response to the Sopwith Triplane, the Fokker Dr.I quickly became a favorite of the famed Red Baron. Though plagued by mechanical issues, the aircraft remained in service for the remainder of the war.

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.