Aircraft were still relatively new when the First World War started. When war broke out in 1914 there was little actual understanding of how to use aircraft effectively in combat. However, as the war progressed, aircraft took on an increasingly important role in warfare. The films on this page show different types of aircraft and the devastating impact they could have.
GERMAN PLANE WRECK
2 MINS 45 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1914-1918
In England, a large crowd turns out to see the remnants of a German plane. Soldiers examine the wreckage.
BRITAIN'S MASTERY OF THE AIR
0 MINS 43 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1917
A long line of planes is seen on a field. In the next shot, men move the planes by pushing them, revealing just how light they are. The Royal Air Force was not formed until 1918, so these could be planes for the Royal Flying Corps.
Pedestrians stop to take a look at a house with severe damage, particularly to its first floor. The exact cause of the destruction is unknown, but is probably the result either of shelling by German ships or an air raid.