Remarkably, it was a mere ten years from the Wright brothers completing the first powered flight, to the start of WWI. Initially only used for aerial reconnaissance, airplanes quickly proved their worth as an offensive weapon. Modern air warfare, as we know it today, rapidly evolved to include air-to-air combat and aerial bombing.
Highly skilled "aces", who engaged in complex and dangerous "dog fights" became household names during WWI. Successful aces such as Eddie Rickenbacker (American) and Rene Fonck (French) were eclipsed by the infamous German pilot, Baron Manfred von Richthofen.
British Heavy Bomber, 1918
These are just a few the titles we have in the HPU Libraries, related to the WWI air war.
The Germans successfully developed and flew giant helium-filled balloons (dirigibles) called Zeppelins. Used to bomb European cities, Zeppelin raids between 1914 and 1918, killed and injured over 1,800 British civilians.
German Zeppelin L13, 1916