From Inventing aviation
The fighter airplane, designed for combat with other aircraft (as opposed to bombing or reconnaissance), was developed during World War I after the apparent value of controlling airspace became apparent.
|Enclosing categories||military, airplane|
|Keywords||projectile, navigation, stability, synchronization gear|
- Hallion, 2003, p. 353. "Air fighting and bombing drew the greatest attention. With reconnaissance so critical, commanders now had to deny enemies access to their airspace. The result was the advent of the fighter airplane—here, too the French were first—initially a modified scouting airplane hastily equipped with a machine gun, but then, by early 1916, a specialized creation of its own optimized for the maneuvers, visibility, performance, and killing power required of air combat, equipped with machine guns and even rockets for igniting observation balloons, this last feature the ancestor of the complex air-to-air missile of the present day. By 1918 over 50 different fighter designs had entered squadron service with the various combatant air arms, and the fighter had already passed through no less than five separate technical generations."