By Torrance Grey on May 03, 2018
Not long after humankind invented the airplane, we invented aerial warfare. How much do you know about this modern form of combat?
Watch the skies! Not very long after the airplane was invented, humans began to think of ways to use it in wartime. Actually, let's back up. Aerial warfare precedes the airplane, as balloons and dirigibles (airships that preceded the fixed-wing aircraft) were used in wars in the 19th century and before. Even drones are much older than you might think, with unmanned "flying bombs" playing a part in WWI.
Yup, air combat has a crazy history, from pilots shooting at each other with handguns and dropping grenades from altitude, to the Russian pilot who died ramming an enemy aircraft, through the race to create a fighter craft that would be invisible to radar -- a project that seemed to defy the laws of physics. But it's also a very serious subject. In the 21st century, "air supremacy" is seen as essential to military power. No nation with a modern military is without an air force.
Are you an expert on air combat? For example, do you know what the Enola Gay is famous for? Or which fighter Jiro Horikoshi innovated? Or the better-known nickname of Manfred von Richthofen? (We bet you know THAT one, at least!) We've created a 35-question quiz spanning the history of aerial warfare, so you can put your chops to the test. Strap in -- there's no beverage service on *this* flight!