Exemplar 6- How Flight affected Warfare.

Student produced video introducing the topic has been deleted to protect student privacy.

Thesis: Flight has affected warfare by 
 Surveillance, Transportation, and Combat.

Around the year 1000 b.c. the Chinese invented the first flying object, a kite. This got people thinking, how else could we use flight?

Background information:
    Flight has played a key role in warfare ever since it was widely used in WWl. Even though they were using Hot air balloons, and crude airplanes, it allowed for an advantage over your enemy. The use of flight in warfare has evolved, now we use high-tech satellites, unmanned drones (UAV's) and jet-planes that are capable of breaking the sound barrier, as your basic aerial vehicles. Today we will look at how flight has changed surveillance, transportation, and combat in warfare. The Chinese were the ones who originally made flight happen. Near the year 1000 b.c. the Chinese invented a kite. This kite was the inspiration for many inventors to create a manned aerial vehicle. Leonardo Da vinci was a leader in human flight. He had around 100 different sketches of possible flying devices. One of the most famous was the Ornithopter, which is very similar to today's modern helicopters. Next Joesph, and Jaques Montgolifer made the first Hot air Balloons with a large silk bag attached to a wicker basket. In the year 1799 George Cayley made the first fixed wing aircraft that could carry a human. It had no engine, therefore making it a glider. This was very important because it allowed for future inventors to use Mr. Cayley's wing designs/ideas to create their own motorized planes. Then on December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers flew the first motorized aircraft for 12 seconds, covering only 120 feet. This innovation came just in time for use in WWl. 

Surveillance is a key part to any country's intelligence program. Flight has allowed for governments to cross
enemy lines and discover what they are doing, where they are doing it, and how to stop it.  Aerial surveillance started in the year 1794 when the French army used Hot air Balloons to find enemy artillery positions. Later in the 19th century Britain used the same tactic during the Boer war, and the Union used it as well, during the Civil war. When WW1 came around in the early 20th century Balloons were stilled used for the same reasons.
They were an 
especially important  tool for Trench warfare. They were able to watch what the enemy was doing with their high vantage point and relay that information down to ground forces. WWll is when planes started to play a major role in
surveillance. The British Spitfire was one of the best aerial 
reconnaissance planes. It was small fast and light. The Spitfire helped allied forces find Nazi rockets, factories, and airfields allowing them to conduct bombing raids crippling the Nazi's and eventually defeating them. During the Cold War the U-2 spy plane was used by the U.S. to investigate the Soviet Union. But when a Soviet missile shot one down the U.S. quickly ended manned flight over the Soviet Union. The focus then turned to Satellites. Satellites were able to stay well out of range of the Soviets missile's but still capture photo evidence. Next comes UAV's. UAV's   ( Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) were very popular because of the ability to use them remotely and anonymously, and at the time they weren't as
expensive as manned aircraft. 
Here is a Youtube video Summarizing Surveillance :  

YouTube Video

 Now we will learn how Flight has affected transportation in warfare.....                    

Aviation has allowed military's to move supplies and troops over any terrain, through enemy territory, and move the supplies and troops fast. On the 16 of April the first flight across the Atlantic ocean occurred, this

was a vital change in warfare because it opened up the 
possibility for troops and supplies to be flown overseas, instead of being on a ship for weeks or months at a time. After WWll when Berlin was divided into sectors for each allied force the Soviet Union felt threatened by the Unification of Britain, France and the U.S. and their new currency so they closed of all trade routes into West Berlin. But the three countries started
 to deliver supplies via Air. In the beginning they were delivering 5,000 tons of supplies each day, and by the end of the airlift they had delivered around 2.3 million tons of supplies. Airlifting supplies saved millions of lives, because it kept West Berlin running, and helped avoid nuclear war. In Vietnam the Bell helicopter was a vital tool in Troop transport. The thick Jungle vegetation, and lack of infrastructure made it difficult for American forces to travel through the country by road. The helicopter allowed them to be dropped of remotely in the Jungle, and saved time and money having to create roads. The helicopters were also useful for transporting supplies to remote military bases, and reduced the risk of enemy attack from the ground. Currently most military's use large 4-engine jet planes. They are able to haul tons of cargo, are able to fly long distances, and can refuel in
Here is a thing-link about some of the features of a modern Cargo plane.                      

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The beginning of WW1 was the first use of aerial combat in a war. But at the beginning of the war most planes were used for surveillance and not equipped with any weapons, because flight was a mere decade old. But as the war progressed, and the German Zeppelin balloons were bombing London planes were called to action. The first planes were equipped with small machine guns that were shooting explosive/incendiary bullets that lit the hydrogen balloons on fire. The guns had to be synchronized with the propeller to allow for forward shooting. Then other planes were sent with the balloons to defend them, this created aerial combat. Manfred von Richthofen was the most successful aerial combat pilot during WW1. Manfred was in the German Imperial Air Service, and had accounted for 80 total kills. His nickname was the "Red Baron".  Towards the end of WW1 many battles were fought by air and ever since then having a great air force was key to victory. When WW2 started most fighter planes were enclosed cockpit, propeller  driven monoplanes (one set of wings). The enclosed cockpits and improved engines allowed for the planes to reach higher altitudes, keeping them away from anti-aircraft weapons on the ground. The planes were outfitted with more weaponry, which included lighter machine guns allowing for more ammo to be carried on board. The U.S. used the P-51 Mustang in combat as it was small lightweight and very fast compared to other enemy aircraft. It was equipped with a 4x20mm cannon that was used on low-level aerial targets. The P-51 mustang was able to break the sound barrier
(761.2 mph)on a nosedive. 

Here you will see the evolution of aerial vehicles through combat:

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Points of View: Pros and cons of Drones used in warfare:

We will look at the pros and cons of drones today as well. Drones are aerial vehicles that are controlled remotely at a different location. They are very controversial because they are blamed for the killings of innocent civilians.  

  • Very inexpensive when compared to manned aircraft
  • Keeps the pilot save and out of the way of danger
  • Saves lives of enemy troops on the ground

  • Has killed innocent Civilians (17% of people killed in drone strikes are Civilians.)
  • It is computerized so it is subject to failure
  • Doesn't allow for Human judgement during Combat situations   
Here is a youtube video explaining the pros and cons of drone use........

YouTube Video



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