Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 45 : British and Empire Aces of World War I
At the outset of World War I the British had some 110 assorted aircraft, used mostly for the visual reconnaissance role. The most important was the RAF B.E.2 two-seater - unarmed and inherently stable. Faster and more agile single-seaters such as the Bristol, Sopwith and Nieuport 'scouts', flown by men armed with guns, grenades and grappling hooks, were used to chase off enemy reconnaissance aircraft. The Allies and their adversaries raced to outdo each other in the creation of genuinely effective fighters with fixed forward-firing machine gun armament, and aircraft such as the Nieuport Types 11 and 17, the Airco D.H.2 and Sopwith Pup all appeared in 1916 and wrested air superiority from the German Fokker monoplanes. It was not until 1917 that the British developed a truly effective interrupter gear, which paved the way for excellent single seaters such as the Sopwith Triplane Camel and the RAF S.E.5., later joined by the Bristol F.2B - the war's best two-seat fighter. This book traces the rapid development of the fighter in World War I and the amazing exploits of the British and Empire aces who flew them, legendary aviators such as the British Albert Ball, 'Mick' Mannock and James McCudden, the South Africans Anthony Beauchamp-Proctor, Samual Kinkead and C.J. Quintin Brand, the Canadians 'Billy' Bishop, Raymond Collishaw, Donald MacLaren, William Barker, Frederick McCall and William Claxton, and the Australians Robert Little, Arthur Cobby and R.King. Text by Christopher Shores with illustrations by Mark Rolfe.
- Early Days and the RFC
- The Squadrons and their Markings
- The Royal Naval Air Service
- The Birth of the RAF
Osprey Aircraft of the Aces