As he tried to climb away, Quenault poured rounds into the German. The Aviatik, riddled with bullets, fell into a dive. Plunging into a copse of trees, it exploded. Thus ended history's first recorded air duel. The unlikely-looking Voisin had prevailed.
The Voisin pushers performed a variety of missions in the war: reconnaissance, artillery spotting, training, day and night bombing, and ground attack. They were slow and with their pusher configuration, defenseless from the rear. Nonetheless, these rugged and reliable aircraft played a role throughout the war, used as trainers and for night missions after they became obsolete for front-line, daytime missions. By Stephen Sherman, Mar. 2007. Updated April 16, 2012.
Manufactured in 1914 by the French company, Compagnie Gabriel Voisin, it was designated as a Light Bomber. It had a 53 foot wingspan and was powered by a 120-horsepower water cooled Salmson M9 engine.
Armament was one Hotchkiss M1914 machine gun and 288 pounds of bombs.