Aircraft designers of the First World War

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Gabriel Voisin was of the most productive aircraft designers of the First World War. On 5th October, 1914 the Voisin III, became the first Allied plane to shoot down an enemy aircraft.

    Voisin became the standard Allied bomber in the early years of the war. Successive models were more powerful and over 800 were purchased by the French Army Air Service. The Royal Flying Corps and the Russian and Belgian airforces also used them in the war. The Voisin V first appeared in 1915. It was the first bomber to be armed with a cannon instead of a machine-gun.

    Henri Farman and his brother Maurice Farman, started their aviation company at Boulogne-sur-Seine in 1912. Two of their planes, the Farman MF-7 and the Farman MF-II, were popular Allied reconnaissance craft during the early stages of the war. They were purchased by both the French Army Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps before the outbreak of the First World War. They were also used by the Belgian and Italian air forces. The Royal Naval Air Service used the Farman MF-II for its first night bombing mission when it attacked a German artillery installation on 21st December, 1914.

    Frederick Handley Page and his company based in Barking, Essex, produced the Handley Page bomber in 1916. Later that year in November, the Handley Page carried out their first large-scale bombing raids on enemy military installations and submarine bases.

    By 1918 Handley Page had produced a four-engine bomber that could attack the industrial zones of the Saar and the Ruhr in Germany. In the last months of the war they began using a new giant 1,650 pound (748 kg) bomb. When the Armistice was signed the Royal Air Force had 258 Handley Page aircraft on active service. After the war some of these aircraft were modified for passenger transport.

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