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Early in the war, the airplanes were small and very delicate. Each side built 2-seat observation planes and they usually did not have any guns or bombs. Then the pilots and observer began to use small weapons, which included small bombs that they tossed over-board. Some books say the Americans first flew airplanes in combat in Mexico just prior to WW1 and they occassionally dropped bomblets.

I assume you are interested in a bomber that dropped large bombs.

Here is a FIRST:

On 28 July 1914, a torpedo was successfully launched for th efirst time from a British aircraft, a 160h.p. Short seaplane. From this prototype aircraft, the Short 184 bomber was built and began service in mid-1915. A land-plane version was built and its typical load included four 230 lb or eight 112 lb bombs carried beneath the lower wings. The Short 184 continued into service throughout the war.

The Russian designer Igor Sikorsky built a Hugh 4-engine airplane in 1914 that could carry up to 16 people. It was named Ilya Murometz. Orders were placed and by the time the Russian revolution in 1917, there were 75 built. They carried bombs weighing up to 1000 lbs. They made 400 bombing missions and only 1 airplane was shot down. But I'm not sure if this was the FIRST one or not.

The Italians were also ahead in the aircraft design than either the British or Germans. The 3-engine Caproni Ca 30 was the first of Italy's giant plane to fly in 1913. This was followed by the Ca 31, which had the military designation of Ca 1 and the Ca 32 (or military Ca 2). The Ca 2 made the first Italian bombing raid of the war against Austro-Hungary on 20 August 1915. (But I can't seem to find its bomb load capacity.)

Reference Sources:

A= Jane's Fighting Aircraft of WW1.

B= World Aircraft - Bombers 1914-1919 by Munson

C= Aeroplanes and Flyers of the First World War by Phelan


The de Havilland was designed and produced by the United Kingdom in 1918 and the total produced was over six thousand. Its bomb load capacity was 460lb. and it had a max speed of 143 MPH. It was later redesigned and used in World War II.



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โˆ™ 2011-09-13 16:11:12
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Q: What was the first bomber plane in World War 1?
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