Death Was Their Co-pilot

This collection of biographies of WWI fighter pilots makes for compelling reading. This is a collection of portraits of men who are now as much myth and legend as history. A totally absorbing story that should not be missed.


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NAME: Death Was Their Co-pilot
FILE: R2452
AUTHOR:  Michael Dorflinger
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES:  208
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWI, World War One, World War 1, The Great War, aerial 
combat, flying, pilots, fighter pilots, biplanes, triplanes, knights 
of the air
ISBN: 1-47385-928-X
IMAGE: B2452.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/gwqe46l
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: This collection of biographies of WWI fighter pilots 
makes for compelling reading.  This is a collection of portraits of 
men who are now as much myth and legend as history. A totally 
absorbing story that should not be missed.

With the first controlled flight by a powered aircraft having taken 
place only in 1903, the flyers of WWI were not just aerial warriors, 
but true pioneers. Their lives were a world apart from those 
unfortunates surviving in the filth and carnage of trench warfare, 
but it was no less brutal and lethal.

The first army aircraft on both sides were considered to be scouts 
observing the enemy and bringing back intelligence to help to bring 
him to decisive battle. Many pilots were previously cavalry officers 
who had performed that same role from horseback. The aircraft were 
frail and unarmed. The exception was the Royal Naval Air Service 
which had dropped the first torpedo only a month before the outbreak 
of war and had established the objectives and tactics of aerial 
warfare as early as 1911. The Admiralty had followed its established 
practice of working with a group of trusted defence contractors and 
issued functional specifications rather than attempting to constrain 
designers with a collection of poorly thought out technical 
requirements. This served the RNAS well within the framework of 
Admiralty objectives which saw naval aviation as being an expansion 
of the technology of supporting the objectives of the Fleet. This 
resulted in aircraft that could drop bombs and depth bombs on surface 
and submarine vessels, spot for the battleships, investigate and bomb 
enemy port installations and attack targets deep inside enemy 
territory. It also required aircraft to attack and destroy Zeppelins 
and other aircraft from the start of hostilities. Army aviation 
therefore had a model to follow and the fighter aircraft and the 
bomber started to develop.

The author tells the story of the knights of the air war and the 
development of aircraft, equipment and tactics through the stories 
of the acknowledged Aces. He also shows the flaws and threats that 
made these young men vulnerable. It is a great read and paints clear 
pictures.