How Much Do You Know About Air Combat during WWI?

By: Heather Cahill
Image: USAF

About This Quiz

Air superiority during World War I was a new concept, as planes were relatively new at that time as well. The Allies and the Axis fought back and forth for it, trying to get the upper hand in the battle. The First World War was a significant time for aircraft development. Which World War I aircraft is the most memorable for you?

Do you know which planes were favored by which countries? Do you know the types of planes that were used to fight? What about the people who flew them and their accomplishments? It took many types of planes and people to fight from above in the war, make sure you know some of the most important ones!

Do you know what engines were the most popular in combat planes? How about the tactics and formations used to dominate the air? Do you know how pilots first fought each other from above? Air combat was new territory at the time of World War I, and both sides of the war had a lot of learning to do.

Without World War I air combat, the planes we know today could have been totally different and less advanced. So, if you think you're an expert on the war from up above, take your shot at this quiz to see your score!

What increased on World War II planes from the ones used in World War I?

The speed of planes in World War II was enhanced after World War I. Planes at the time of the Second World War could fly 400 miles per hour and reach altitudes of 30,000 feet, whereas in World War I, they could only go around 100 miles per hour.

What was mounted on warplanes?

Machine guns were mounted on warplanes to make air combat easier. This was a step up from the previous method of firing rifles at the enemy planes.

What was used for bombing in World War I?

Bomber planes were used to drop bombs at intended targets. These planes were large and included some of the most famous warplanes like Germany's Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI.

Is it true or false that the Luftwaffe was part of World War I?

This is false. Germany's Air Force didn't adopt the name Luftwaffe until World War II. When they became the Luftwaffe, they were extremely powerful and they were led by a man named Hermann Goering.

Which formation is in the shape of a "V?"

The Vic formation is shaped like the letter "V." The formation uses three aircraft and it was simple, as formations were not a priority during the First World War.

How many years before World War I did the Wright Brothers make the first successful plane?

The Wright Brothers made the first successful plane in 1903, and the First World War started in 1914. The plane was very new at this point in time!

What did World War I planes not have?

Radars were installed in planes in World War II to make communication easier to the ground. These were not used in planes during World War I because technology had not been developed yet.

Which plane was not used in the First World War?

The Supermarine Spitfire was not used in the First World War. The plane was a fighter/bomber that was used heavily in the air to air combat battle, the Battle of Britain during World War II.

What did the Germans use most to conduct bombings?

Germany used airships most of the time to conduct bombings. The country favored the Zeppelin airships, which were heavily used to attack Britain.

Is it true or false that World War I was the first war to use air combat?

This is true. No other war used air combat before World War I. Before, balloons were used for air combat in previous wars as planes were not advanced enough or didn't exist.

What was the most common type of plane used for air combat in World War I?

Biplanes were the most common air combat vehicles used. They were small and could achieve things that larger planes could not, making them perfect for head-to-head combat.

Which of the following was not a British bomber plane?

The Albatross C.III was not a British bomber. This plane was instead a German bomber that was a biplane with the ability to hit speeds of 87 miles per hour.

Which bomber was used by the Japanese?

The Yokosuka Ro-go Ko-gata was used by the Japanese forces in World War I. Although this plane was developed for the war, it was also used for other purposes as well.

Is it true or false that helicopters were used in World War I?

This is false. Helicopters were not used World War I as they weren't invented until 1939. They were used in World War II, but not very much as they were quite new.

Which country used the Gotha G.V?

Germany used the Gotha G.V in World War I. The plane was a bomber that could accommodate three people and it was powered by two engines.

What was the largest bomber plane used in World War I?

The Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI was the biggest bomber plane used in World War I. It was used by the Germans and powered by four different engines.

What happened before markers were put on planes?

Before markers were put on planes, enemies and allies were not able to identify who was flying overhead. They shot down any plane that passed because they had no way of knowing who was inside.

By the end of World War I, what was used more often?

Plane formations were used more often by the end of World War I. The impact that flying alongside others had on the success of a battle was recognized and made formations even more used during World War II.

Is it true or false that the Allied planes helped to win the First Battle of the Marne?

This is true. During this battle, the Allies used their planes to spot the weaknesses of the Germans. This advantage helped the Allies to win this battle, although both sides lost a significant amount of men.

Which of the following was not a British bomber plane?

The Martin MB-1 was not a British bomber, but instead an American bomber. You might also know it as the Glenn Martin Bomber after the company that manufactured it.

What is an "ace?"

An "ace" is a skilled military pilot who has shot down enemy planes. In order to be an ace, you must first shoot down five aircraft and keep counting.

Which type of engine was most commonly used in combat planes in World War I?

Rotary engines were most commonly used in combat planes. These planes were small and needed something small but powerful and this engine was best for the job.

Can you fill in the blank? _________ were used for the first time in World War I.

Aircraft carriers were used for the first time in World War I. Some of the carriers included Britain's HMS Argus and America's USS Pennsylvania.

Before the installation of machine guns on planes, what did enemy pilots throw at each other?

Before machine guns, grenades were thrown at enemy pilots. This was the most effective way to attack the enemy at that time, as planes and air combat were very new.

Is it true or false that rockets were used in air combat at this time?

This is false. Rockets were not used in World War I. They were first used in World War II years later when new technology was developed.

What were the first aircraft of World War I used for?

The first World War I aircraft were used for reconnaissance to gain an advantage over the enemy. Air combat only started after this short period of observing the battles.

What was not used in World War I?

Nuclear bombs were not used in World War I and first used at the end of World War II in 1945. There had not been enough technological advancement yet to produce these weapons.

After the machine gun was mounted on the front of airplanes, which country found a way to bypass the propeller?

Germany found a way to bypass the propeller when firing a machine gun from the plane. They achieved this by syncing the weapon to the plane's propeller.

Which plane was used by the British?

The Sopwith Camel was used by the British and became a star plane. The plane was very useful in combat and shot down over one thousand enemy planes.

Is it true or false that planes in World War I had parachutes?

This is false. Parachutes were not included because it drove the pilots to fight their best, knowing that they had no escape route from the plane.

Which of the following aces was a Canadian?

Billy Bishop was a Canadian and one of the greatest aces of the First World War. He shot down 72 planes, close to the number that Germany's Manfred von Richthofen claimed.

What affected the height that planes could reach in World War I?

With the addition of machine guns to planes, it took them longer to reach their intended altitude. The extra weight was not accounted for and therefore affected the way that the plane flew.

Who was the most successful ace of World War I?

Manfred von Richthofen was a German ace who not only hit the mark of five aircraft but shot down 79 of them during his time as a pilot. He died in 1918 after being wounded in battle.

Which country used the Hansa-Brandenburg W.12?

Germany used the Hansa-Brandenburg W.12 in World War I. It was a floatplane that accommodated two people and it could hit speeds of around 100 miles per hour.

Which country used the LVG B plane?

Germany used the LVG B plane. It was a biplane that could do just over 60 miles per hour and it could only hold 2 people. It was primarily used for reconnaissance.

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