WWI Entente Powers' Aircraft


Aviation advanced rapidly during World War I, 28 June 1914 to 11 November 1918. The following photographs in alphabetical order illustrate the improvements in aircraft during the war. The Entente Powers were led by France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and later Italy (from 1915) and the United States (from 1917). Russia withdrew from the war after the revolution in 1917.

Operational details,specifications and historical facts on these aircraft are available at http://www.wikipedia.org under the subject "Aviation in WWI".



Airco DH-1 Early Pusher Fighter
At the beginning of WWI, a major limitation was the mounting of machine guns. They could not fire directly forward without hitting the propeller.
Avro 504 Trainer (introduced in 1913, 8500 built)

Airco DH-2 Early Pusher Fighter
One early solution was the use of "pusher" types with a gunner in the forward cockpit having an unobstructed field of fire.
Airco DH-4 (1916) 1449 made in UK and 9500 in US

Airco DH-9 (Improved DH-4 with cockpits togther)

Armstrong-Whitworth FK-8

Breuget 14

Bristol F-2B Fighter

Bristol Scout

Bristol Scout as protective fighter on Felixstowe

Felixstowe Flying Boat

Caproni CA-4 Bomber

Caproni CA-5 Bomber

Curtiss JN-4 Jenney Trainer (6,800 built in U.S.)

Farman Shorthorn MF-11

Hadley Page (Large Bomber)

Hadley Page V (Large Bomber)

Hadley Page with wings folded

Sqn Cdr E. H. Dunning landing on HMS Furious 1917
On August 2, 1917, Sqn Cdr Edwin H. Dunning RN was the first pilot to land an aircraft on a moving ship when he landed his Sopwith Pup on HMS Furious. He was killed five days later when a tyre burst, throwing his plane overboard.
Ilja Muromez (large Russian bomber)

HMS Furious 1916
HMS Argus was built from the start with an unobstructed flight deck. Prior to that, the aircraft carrier HMS Furious had been built with a separate flight deck ahead of the main superstructure. After Dunning's accident, a second flight deck was added aft of the superstructure. Both carriers saw service in WW II.
HMS Argus (First Full-Length Flight Deck) 1917

Sopwith Cuckoo (Designed for HMS Argus) June 1917

HMS Furious with Sopwith Camels ready for takeoff

Standard J-1 Trainer (1,600 built in U.S.)

Moraine-Saulnier Type-N

Nieuport 27
The Nieuport 11 is famous as the French answer to the "Fokker Scourge" of 1915. It entered service in January 1916 and progressed through the 17, 27, and 28 models with increasing power and performance throughout WWI. The 28 was the first fighter used by by the US and considered by some superior to the SPAD.
Nieuport 11C January 1916

Nieuport 11 Fighter (Replica)
Rotary engines of 80 to 120 HP were used by both sides to power light-weight fighters. Advantages were a high power to weight ratio, low vibration, and efficient air cooling. Disadvantages were little to no throttability. Power was controlled by intermittently cutting ignition to some or all cylinders by a "blip" button on the stick. Fuel was shut off to descend from altitude.
Nieuport 28 -- 1917

Nieuport 17's in France

Royal Aircraft Factory FE-2B, 1915

Royal Aircraft Factory RE-8
Together with the Camel, the SE-5 was instrumental in regaining allied air superiority in the summer of 1917 - and maintaining this for the rest of the war - ensuring there was no repetition of "Bloody April" 1917.
Royal Aircraft Factory SE-5, 1917, over 5000 built

Royal Aircraft Factory SE-5A ready to taxi, 1917
Although the SE-5 reached the Western Front in 1917 before the Sopwith Camel and had better overall performance, problems with its Hispano-Suiza engine caused a chronic shortage of SE-5s until well into 1918.
Royal Aircraft Factory SE-5A, 1917

SE-5 with Albert Ball (44 victories and the VC)
The Sopwith Camel was famous for its maneuverability but not considered pleasant to fly. Nevertheless, it was successful in combat and had heavier armament and better performance than than the preceding Pup and Triplane.
Sopwith Camel F-1, 1917, approx 5500 built

Sopwith Dolphin

Sopwith Schneider Seaplane

Sopwith Snipe

Sopwith Triplanes

Spad S-VII, 1916, built 3200 in France, 120 in UK
The French Spad S.VII entered service in 1916. It had the advantages of firepower, speed and strength and was ordered in large numbers.
Spad S-VII (Czechoslovakian)

Spad S-XIII of Lafayette Escadrille, 8000 built
With a more powerful engine - Hispano-Suiza water-cooled V-8 - the S.VII became the Spad S.XIII and was ordered in even larger numbers.
Spad-XIII Eddie Rickenbacker colors(26 victories)

Thomas-Morse Scout (early model), 1917
Built in the U.S., 447 S-4's were delivered, powered by the Le Rhone 9-C rotary engine built on license in the U.S.
Thomas-Morse S4, 1917

Thomas-Morse S-4 Scout, 1917
Approximately 50 S-5 seaplane models were delivered to the U.S. Navy.
Scouts of all models were widely used as advanced trainers in the U.S.

Thomas-Morse S-5 Seaplane, 1917

Vickers FB-5

Vickers Vimy Bomber

Vosins of 3rd Escadrille lined up, 1914


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