Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Science | Military | World War I

World War I was the first real use of aircraft in major military operations and it changed the face of war forever. Explore the most famous models and how they were used to penetrate enemy lines.

Featured
De Havilland DH-4

The British de Havilland D. H.4 airplane first flew on August 1916, using a new British engine. The worst of its faults was a tendency to catch fire when its center-mounted tank was hit by gunfire. Read about the D. H.4 and its unfortunate nickname.


De Havilland DH-4

 De Havilland DH-4

De Havilland DH-4 classic airplanes performed well during World War I. See specifications for this classic fighter airplane. See more »

Fokker Dr I Triplane

 Fokker Dr I Triplane

The Fokker Dr I Triplane fighter airplane is one of the most famous of all German planes. See specifications for this classic airplane. See more »

Albatros D.Va

 Albatros D.Va

The Albatros D.Va was a handsome, if disappointing, German World War I fighter plane. Learn about this classic airplane and its specifications. See more »

Sopwith Camel F.1

 Sopwith Camel F.1

The Sopwith Camel F.1 British World War I fighter was known for quick spins and good shots. Learn about this classic airplane and its specifications. See more »

SPAD VII & SPAD XIII

SPAD VII & SPAD XIII

The SPAD VII and SPAD XIII were powerful fighter airplanes that fought in World War I. See specifications for these classic airplanes. See more »

Nieuport 17

 Nieuport 17

The Nieuport 17 French fighter plane was flown by seven countries in World War I. Learn about this classic airplane and its specifications. See more »

Gotha G.V

 Gotha G.V

The Gotha G.V German bomber was successful in attacks against England in World War I. Learn about this classic airplane's history and specifications. See more »

Curtiss JN-4

 Curtiss JN-4

The Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" was an American fighter plane that played a major role in World War I. Read about this classic airplane's specifications. See more »