How the age of the great WWI aces came to an end in the skies over the Western Front At the beginning of 1918 the great aces seemed invincible. Flying above the battlefields of the Western Front, they cut a deadly swathe through the ranks of their enemies, as each side struggled to keep control of the air. Some were little more than boys when they started to fly, yet they were respected and feared as some of the deadliest killers in the sky. But as the press of fighting increased with the great offensives of 1918, nervous stress and physical exhaustion finally began to take their toll - and one by one the aces began to fall. This book charts the rise and fall of the WWI aces in the context of the vast battles that were taking place in 1918. It shows the vital importance of reconnaissance, and how large formations of aircraft became the norm - bringing an end to the era of the old, heroic 'lone wolves'. As the First World War came to a close very few of the aces survived. This epic history of the final year of the air war is both a chronicle of the ways in which 1918 changed aerial combat forever, and a requiem for the pioneers of aerial combat who eventually became the victims of their own brilliant innovations.
Automating the US Air Force Fighter Pilot in Air-to-Air Combat, 1950–1980
Author: Steven A. Fino
Publisher: JHU Press
"The fielding of automated flight controls and weapons systems in fighter aircraft from 1950 to 1980 challenged the significance ascribed to several of the pilots' historical skillsets, such as superb hand-eye coordination--required for aggressive stick-and-rudder maneuvering--and perfect eyesight and crack marksmanship--required for long-range visual detection and destruction of the enemy. Highly automated systems would, proponents argued, simplify the pilot's tasks while increasing his lethality in the air, thereby opening fighter aviation to broader segments of the population. However, these new systems often required new, unique skills, which the pilots struggled to identify and develop. Moreover, the challenges that accompanied these technologies were not restricted to individual fighter cockpits, but rather extended across the pilots' tactical formations, altering the social norms that had governed the fighter pilot profession since its establishment. In the end, the skills that made a fighter pilot great in 1980 bore little resemblance to those of even thirty years prior, despite the precepts embedded within the "myth of the fighter pilot." As such, this history illuminates the rich interaction between human and machine that often accompanies automation in the workplace. It is broadly applicable to other enterprises confronting increased automation, from remotely piloted aviation to Google cars. It should appeal to those interested in the history of technology and automation, as well as the general population of military aviation enthusiasts."--Provided by publisher.
The ace in the air was once a celebrity figure, a glamorous warrior of the skies. But this was daunting and dangerous work in the midst of brutal and bloody wars. An action-packed narrative keeps the reader riveted to the tales of real-life awesome aces, and cuts through the glitz to get to the nitty-gritty of these fights and flights. Readers will learn about the top aces from around the world, all kinds of planes, the wars in which they flew, and victories, emphasizing record holders. Topical quotes, songs, and poems will engage readers as well.