Undarkened Skies: The American Aircraft Building Programme of the First

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Undarkened Skies: The American Aircraft Building Programme of the First

Product no.: 978-1-78155-651-1
Cover price £20.00
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  • The full story of the American aeroplane building programme in book form for the first time
  • Comprehensively illustrated, including some previously unpublished photographs
  • Rich in detail, this will be of interest to aviation and military historians as well as modellers

Soon after entering the war in April 1917, American propaganda promised that the country would ‘darken the skies over Europe’ by sending over ‘the greatest aerial armada ever seen’.
Encouraged by the French Government, America promised to build no fewer than 22,000 aeroplanes within a year and to field and maintain a force of 4,000 machines, all of the latest type, over the Western Front during 1918.

This was to provide adequate air support for her own troops, as well as a way of using her industrial strength to bypass the squalor of the war in the trenches, and so bring an end to the stalemate of attrition into which the war had descended. However, by the time of the Armistice more than eighteen months later, just a few hundred American-built aeroplanes had reached the war fronts and several investigations into the causes of the failure of the project were already in progress.

Undarkened Skies: The American Aircraft Building Programme of the First World War examines the fascinating history of American aircraft manufacturing during the latter years of the First World War, in addition to investigating the causal factors of America’s lack of progress in the air.


Paul R. Hare, a retired engineer, has made a lifelong study of early aviation, becoming a recognised authority in his field. Hare has published several books and numerous magazine articles covering various aspects of the first war in the air. He first began researching the failure of the American aeroplane building programme over twenty-five years ago and has lectured on the topic both in the UK and the USA, as well as writing a number of articles about it and about the Liberty engine that was crucial to it.


234 x 156 mm - hardback - 160 pages - 74 black-and-white photographs


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