When World War I began 100 years ago, air forces were made up of a few rickety biplanes with opposing pilots occasionally taking pot shots at each other with rifles. But by the end of the war the basic blueprint of the modern fighter had emerged.
Tonight’s NOVA episode,“First Air War,” explores the rapid technological changes that turned planes into effective killing machines. The show travels to New Zealand where aviation buffs are painstakingly rebuilding World War I fighters, unlocking their secrets and exploring the impact they had on the bloody Western Front. Chris Schmidt, senior producer for NOVA at WGBH, joined Dakota Midday and discussed the program.
"First Air War" is on SDPB1 Television tonight at 8 pm, Central; 7 pm, Mountain.