Undarkened Skies: The American Aircraft Building Programme of the First World War

Author(s): Paul R. Hare 

ISBN: 9781781556511
$19.00 $27.00
The full story of the American aircraft production programme during the First World War.
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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  • Comprehensively illustrated, including some previously unpublished photographs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.

BOOK ISBN 9781781556511
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 160 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 December 2017
ILLUSTRATIONS 74 black-and-white photographs



Paul R. Hare has made a lifelong study of early aviation with particular emphasis on the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough and, in addition to writing books and articles, has lectured on the topic to numerous organisations both in England and the USA. Hare has been involved, at director level, with several aeroplane museums and, as a leading authority on the subject, have acted as technical advisor on a number of restoration projects.