List of World War I flying aces
The following are lists of World War I flying aces. Historically, a flying ace
Flying ace
A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down several enemy aircraft during aerial combat. The actual number of aerial victories required to officially qualify as an "ace" has varied, but is usually considered to be five or more...

 is defined as a military aviator
Military aviation
Military aviation is the use of aircraft and other flying machines for the purposes of conducting or enabling warfare, including national airlift capacity to provide logistical supply to forces stationed in a theater or along a front. Air power includes the national means of conducting such...

 credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 during aerial combat. The term was first used by French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 newspapers, describing Adolphe Pégoud
Adolphe Pegoud
Adolphe Célestin Pégoud was a well known pre-war French aviator who became the first fighter ace.Pégoud served in the French Army from 1907 to 1913...

 as l'as (the ace), after he downed five German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...


Victory standards used in World War I

The notion of an aerial "victory" arose from the first aerial combats, which occurred during the early days of World War I. Unsurprisingly, different air services developed their own definitions of exactly what an aerial victory might be, as well as different methods of assessing and assigning credit for aerial victories.

Conditions affecting accuracy of scores

Ownership of the terrain below had its effect on verifying victory. An enemy aircraft that crashed in enemy held territory obviously could not be verified by the victor's ground troops. Because aerial combat commonly took place over or behind the German lines, German scores are generally considered more accurate because German aces' victories were more easily confirmed on the ground. Additionally, the British handicap of returning home against prevailing wind on the Western Front fattened German scores.

The scores presented in the lists cannot be definitive, but are based on itemized lists that are the best available sources of information. Loss of records by mischance and the passage of time complicates reconstructing the actual count for given aces.

See also

External links

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