This fascinating programme tells the untold story of how the pilots of WW1 and the pioneering aircraft mechanics engineered victory for the Allies, turning an eccentric folly into a deadly weapon. In this film we explore the brave new world of aerial reconnaissance, artillery spotting, bombing, dogfights and also chart the technological evolution of the first air force.
On both sides of the war, experimental engineers scrabbled for superiority of the skies, with British pioneers like Geoffrey de Havilland competing to outdo Anton Fokker, the Dutchman whose planes helped Germany dominate the sky for a time.
With exclusive access to 'The Vintage Aviators', a unique fleet of replica aircraft owned by New Zealand Director Peter Jackson - WW1 Top Gun will bring history to life by mixing present day airplane reconstruction with expert interviews and gripping archive footage. Action-packed demonstrations and experiments with the aviators will vividly portray the mechanical evolution of military air power by the Allies and Germany to reveal how visionary technology, at all times in response to the increasing demands of a new age in conflict, saw the emergence of the first fighter planes and a major shift in modern warfare.
Highlights of the narrative will reveal how the rivalry between German and Allied engineers pushed the plane to new heights. We will see how the need for accurate sketches led to changes in planes, how complications with air-to-ground communications led to advanced radios and crucially how the need to protect yourself led to the race for plane armament and the development of the first all-purpose fighter plane. Through this evolution the term 'dog fight' was used to describe the ferocity of some of the air combat witnessed above battle fields of WW1.
With no living survivors from the Great War, the experiences and knowledge from the Vintage Aviators flying and making these machines provide an opportunity to reveal these unsung heroes of World WW1.
This enthralling programme provides both a fascinating insight into the development of aviation in WW1 and a better understanding of the brave young pilots who risked their lives to fly.
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