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Today in History

When the Great War began, there were no fighter aircraft. At the time, the general consensus of expert opinion was that the aeroplane could be used to observe enemy troop movements and little else. When the first military planes took to the skies, they were used for reconnaissance rather than combat. On their own initiative, the pilots and observers began carrying revolvers, rifles, steel darts and other weapons in their planes to attack enemy aircraft and troops on the ground. Soon all military planes were armed for protection or for attacking the enemy.

Below is a table of some of the best known fighters of World War I and the year they entered service.
1914 1915 1916 1917 1918

Vickers F.B.5

Nieuport 11

Nieuport 17

Sopwith F.1 Camel

Fokker E.V / D.VIII
Bristol Scout D

Sopwith Pup

Fokker DR.I

Fokker D.VII

Fokker E.III


Hanriot HD.1

R.A.F. F.E.2b

Halberstadt D.II

Sopwith Triplane
Albatros D.II


Bristol F.2b

R.A.F. S.E.5a
Pfalz D.III

Albatros D.Va

Albatros D.III
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