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The air battles of World War I are alive and well in upstate NY

July 28 marked the hundredth anniversary of the start of World War I, what was at the time the single most devastating war in human history. It was also a war of many firsts – chemical weapons, tanks and most notably, aircraft, took part in what was at the time called the Great War.

These planes remain something of a rarity today, partially due to the popularity of aircraft from the Second World War. In Rhinebeck, NY, however, those interested in the earliest era of air combat can witness Curtiss JN-4H and a Spad VII, representing the US and France, duke it out in the wild blue yonder with Fokkers of the German Luftwaffe's predecessor, the Luftstreitkräfte (don't worry, the fighters being flown are actually reproductions, rather than the real McCoy).

Stars and Stripes has a great read on the flight demos, which are held every Sunday at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, nearly 100 miles north of Manhattan. It's a good piece on an era of war that doesn't get nearly enough attention.

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