Are you in the mood for building a World War I era airplane? Start your research at this website.
The Aerodrome is a free website dedicated to the aircraft and aces of World War I. As defined by the website, an ace is an airman who was officially credited with downing five or more enemy aircraft during World War I.
The aces section is listed first. It is pretty comprehensive. Several long articles and even historical books are available online right from the main aces page. The aces are listed by various categories such as date of birth, nation, and number of victories. A detailed page for each ace summarizes all of the information about that individual in one place. Articles and books that mention that ace are listed on their page, too. Many of the article references contain links to the full text online. Sweet.
The airplane section links to 15 long articles and books about the aircraft of World War I. Similar to the aces section, the airplanes are listed by various categories such as name, nation, and year. There is a colorful page with statistics about all the airplanes in the war. The individual airplane pages contain a nice picture, a good summary of the specifications and performance of the airplane, and a list of the aces that flew that specific aircraft type.
The forum section looked pretty active. At the time of this writing, they have about 500,000 posts and 9,000 registered members. I got the impression that the members of this board are very knowledgeable about this subject. They are also very helpful, quickly providing pictures and links to inquiries for information. The most popular forum is titled Aircraft and contains 135,000 posts. If you are doing research for a scale airplane, this is the place to go.
A hidden gem is the image gallery. Containing 600 pictures, all of the ones I looked at were of World War I airplanes. I don’t know if this was intentional, but all appear to be pictures of oil paintings. I found no ugly ones. They ranged in size from medium to large.
A great website search function, powered by Google Custom Search, is at the top of most pages of the website. Note to other website owners: not having a search function is just being lazy.
The website employs Traffic Cleaner, a remote IP filtering service. This is a service designed to restrict access to the website by country or other criteria defined by the website owner. There is a short pause as the website loads, otherwise it is transparent. I have no way of knowing which countries or types of web visitors are forbidden from the website. With a little bit of luck it won’t prevent you from visiting this great website.
A Books section points to hundreds of titles on related subjects over at Amazon. The titles are broken up into half a dozen or so categories. Unfortunately, other than a picture of the cover and basic book printing details, most of the books have no additional information provided. About 70 of the books do have links to reviews written by website members. These are very informative. I would have preferred it if all the listed books had at least some sort of mini review.
The text describing each airplane was on the short side. In fact, I thought that on average the text describing each ace was quite a bit longer.
I did not find any serious problems with this website.
This website is highly informative, attractive, loads quickly, and never strays from its subject. What’s not to like?