NOVA: First Air War
Catalogue Number: 041748
Producer: PBS Video
Subject: History, Science, World History
Grade Level: 9 - 12, Post Secondary
Country Of Origin: U.S.
Copyright Year: 2014
Running Time: 60
Closed Captions: Yes
When World War I began in 1914, the air forces of the opposing nations consisted of handfuls of rickety biplanes from which pilots occasionally took pot shots at one another with rifles. By the war's end, the essential blueprint of the modern fighter aircraft had emerged: it was now an efficient killing machine that limited the average life expectancy of a front line pilot to just a few weeks. To trace the story of this astonishingly rapid technological revolution, NOVA takes viewers inside The Vintage Aviator, a team of New Zealand-based aviation buffs dedicated to bringing back classic World War One fighters such as the SE5A and Albatros DV. NOVA joins the team as they discover the secrets of some of aviation's most colorful and deadly early flying machines, and explores how their impact played a key role in the nightmare slaughter of the Western Front.
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