On 25 August 1914 a Russian pilot by the name of Pyotr Nesterov rammed his unarmed Morane Saulnier Type G aircraft into an Austrian Albatross B. Most likely Nesterov was trying to damage the enemy plane with his own landing gear. The two machines collided, became entangled and fell from the sky. Although both fliers were killed in the crash, the Russian aviator had in fact scored history’s first air combat kill.
Russian Depiction of the Attack
Britain’s first-ever air-to-air victory came later that same day, when two Avro 504 pilots used their aircraft to force a German Etrich Taube monoplane down into a field near Mons. The German pilot leapt from the cockpit and fled on foot into a nearby forest evading capture. On 5 October a French pilot named Louis Quenault would become the first in history to actually shoot down another aircraft in midair with a blast of gunfire.
Thanks to Norwich University, who sent this item along. The image is from Wikipedia