'NOVA: First Air War'
(DVD / NR / 2014 / PBS)
Overview: When World War I began in 1914, the air forces of the opposing nations consisted of handfuls of rickety biplanes from which pilots occasionally took pot shots at one another with rifles. By the war's end, the essential blueprint of the modern fighter aircraft had emerged: it was now an efficient killing machine.
DVD Verdict: 'NOVA: First Air War' is, simply put, an incredible PBS TV documentary. And yes, I'm well aware that PBS make these NOVA shows like they're going out of fashion, and therefore they might skimp on some facts, knowledge here and there; but that overall, the NOVA series' are brilliant, BUT this one is simply one of the best, trust me!
Narrated by Craig Sechler, and featuring screen time with the actul men who flew some of these missions themselves, 'NOVA: First Air War' details how the modern figter aircraft came into being; nearly from scratch! I mean, you would have been nuts to want to fly one of these machines into battle, but many brave, dedicated pilots did; time after time.
Not knowing if they would ever make it back, their killing machines limiting the average life expectancy of a front line pilot to just a few weeks, NOVA takes you inside the vintage Aviator, a team of New Zealand-based aviation buffs dedicated to bringing back classic World War I fighters - such as the SE5A and Albatros DV.
Featuring stories from people like Gene de Marco, Malcolm Frazer, Peter Hart, Trevor Henshaw, Nic Larson, Roger Posthuma, and more, 'NOVA: First Air War' join together to discover the secrets of some of aviation's most colorful and deadly early flying machines, and explores how their impact played a key role in the nightmare slaughter of the Western front. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.