Chapter 4 Early Flight ( 1914-1919). A – Airships, Dirigibles, and Balloons B – Military Airplanes C – Aircraft Production D – Armistice and Peace. Section A Airships, Dirigibles, and Balloons.
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A – Airships, Dirigibles, and Balloons
B – Military Airplanes
C – Aircraft Production
D – Armistice and Peace
World War I opened in 1914 when German troops stormed through Belgium and into France. Troops were moved by train, truck, car, horse, and on foot. Airplanes, balloons, dirigibles, and airships were used for observation and recon.
In 1917, the Army replaced the airship with new airplane bombers as the Navy continued the airships for coastal patrol.
The German airship makers improved both the process and product during the war and thereby increased not only the number, but also the size, power, and speed of airships. By the end the war demonstrated the failure of the airships as a land bomber and its effectiveness as a naval recon craft.
They were as vulnerable during daylight and overland as German lighter-than-air craft.
Both the Allies and the Central Powers used tethered and free balloons during the war.
Most air forces entered WWI with aircraft and crews suitable for only reconnaissance. The airplanes were mostly two-seat and relatively low-powered biplanes with limited maneuverability and limited load-carrying capacity. But the military utilization of aircraft expanded to other missions and development of aircraft for the new military applications transformed military aviation into a specialized and diversified field during the course of WWI.
Some others enlisted in the French Foreign Legion, which allowed them to retain their US citizenship. Troops did not have to swear allegiance to France and trained in French flight schools.
Germany’s army air force maintained the dominant aerial position 1915-1916
Favorite targets for enemy bombers of every nation in 1915 were trains.
Britain Flying Corps used airplanes for artillery spotting.