At the outset of World War I the British had some 110 assorted aircraft, used mostly for the visual reconnaissance role. With the advent of faster and more agile single-seaters, the Allies and their adversaries raced to outdo each other in the creation of genuinely effective fighters with fixed forward-firing machine gun armament. It was not until 1917 that the British developed a truly effective interrupter gear, which paved the way for excellent single seaters such as the Sopwith Triplane Camel and the RAF S.E.5., later joined by the Bristol F.2B - the war's best two-seat fighter. This volume traces the rapid development of the fighter in World War I and the amazing exploits of the British and Empire aces who flew them.
"Perhaps the most useful section is Chapter Five, a dispassionate evaluation of the British victory credit system and how it evolved during the war. The final chapter includes short bios of more than 50 notable pilots, with due attention to the Bishop-Mannock controversy. Nearly 100 photos are augmented by 36 color profiles depicting a dozen aircraft types, emphasizing SE-5s, SPADs, and Nieuports. The appendices are excellent, containing more information than many Osprey titles. Five stars." -Barrett Tillman, Aerodrome
British and Empire Aces of World War 1 by Christopher Shores