Described as World War I, The First War, The Great War and The War to End All Wars, the years 1914 to 1918 witnessed a global military conflict on a scale unthinkable just thirty years earlier. The action took place primarily in Europe but conflict soon broke out in the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific Rim. World War I also saw conflict in the air for the time. WWI Fighters features four beautifully recreated aircraft from this era for you to choose from.
Made famous by the theatrical exploits of Manfred Von Richtoften, more popularly known as the ‘The Red Baron’, the Fokker triplane entered service in September 1917 piloted by the fighter ace. Evangelising its high manoeuvrability and rate of climb, the Fokker Dr. 1 was delivered to front line squadrons in October 1917. Of the 320 aircraft which entered service, sadly none today exist.
One of the few aeroplanes to have massive international appeal during this period, the Nieuport Nie 17 was exported from France to 18 countries as far apart as Thailand, Russia and the United States. Having captured a number themselves, the Germans then transported the aircraft to their own aviation companies who then made almost identical copies for the German Air Force.
Built by the Sopwith Aviation Company for use by the Royal Flying Corp and the Royal Navy, the euphemistically named Sopworth Pup was in reality badged the Sopwith Scout. Revered for its ease of flying, agility and manoeuvrability, this aircraft found fame in 1917 when it became the first aircraft to land on a moving ship. Soon afterwards, a number of Pups were deployed to a wide variety of ships, cruisers and battleships hastily modified to support their operations.
Lastly, the cigar shaped Zeppelin is unique in military aviation history and was well regarded by the German High Command who recognised them for the long range, high payload bombers they were. In 1915 two Zeppelins dropped 24 50kg high explosive bombs over the eastern coast of the UK. This was the first time civilians on the UK mainland had been bombed from the air, a trend of course which continues in modern warfare to this day. Featured in WWI Fighters is the Zeppelin LZ62, the first of the ‘Super Zeppelin’ class, a veteran of no less than ten bombing raids over England.