Robert Courchesne, Tim Fontaine
9th Grade History
World War I Research Project
The question we were researching was how did World War I change warfare? The topic we had researched was warplanes, which were a big part of World War I. Over the course of the war warplanes changed in purpose and structure.
Aircraft played a few roles in battle. They were used mostly for reconnaissance. Reconnaissance is the military observation of a region to locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features. There were about 70 different types of planes in World War I and among those planes were bombers, fighters, and ground-attack aero planes. Planes were a huge advantage to any nation that used them.
A typical World War I plane had flatter lower wing surfaces on high-chamber wings to create more lift. Right before World War I the first all metal plane was constructed and named the Junker J-1. This made planes more efficient during the war. Also leading up to the war, stronger engines were being used which allowed the designers, during the war, to develop thicker wings with stronger spars. World War I was the first time that warplanes were used on a large scale. On bomber planes the pilot, or copilot depending on the plane, would drop a bomb with their own hands out of the side of the plane in the general direction of the target. This made the bombing very extreme. Some pilots began carrying rifles in case of an enemy plane attack until planes started using machine guns with different mounting positions. For example, the Airco DH2 pusher plane had the gun in the front and the engine in the back of the plane. Some planes experimented with side mounting on the wing or on a biplanes upper wing. The latest World War I planes used “Fokker’s synchronizer” for mounting machine guns behind the propeller, increasing the accuracy. This helped during attacks on the enemy.
The arrival of aircraft during World War I led to a larger change in tactics and strategy of war. Also they had started to mount guns onto the planes. They started using the planes for bombing and began planning strategies with the help of the planes. World War I compared to the Civil War makes World War I look very advanced, aircraft was able to send artillery and drop bombs over trenches and take them over. This made trenches obsolete to the war. During the Civil War, warplanes weren’t even invented which makes warplanes a huge advancement for World War I in technology and strategy.
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(DailyMail. “The Red Baron of Sussex: Meet the man who built his own WWI German Fokker fighter plane – and takes off from his back garden”, DailyMail, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2703407/The-Red-Baron-Sussex-Meet-man-built-WWI-German-Fokker-fighter-plane-takes-garden.html, accessed October 23, 2014.)
Warplanes of World War I
Robert Courchesne, Tim Fontaine