In this letter from the artist Bernard Boutet de Monvel (1884 - 1949) the fellow explains thoroughly his thoughts and adventures as a bombardier in a Vosin bi-plane; experiences which contrast greatly with his days in the trenches and he writes well on the feelings of loneliness that an aviator can experience at 2000 feet.
For those who are interested in learning about the living conditions and daily life of World War One pilot officers this article can only help you.
An American fighter pilot of the R.F.C., Lieutenant E.M. Roberts, gave this account of the deadly game of "Boche-hunting above the clouds":
"I noticed he was going down a little, evidently for the purpose of shooting me from underneath. I was not quite sure as yet that such was really his intention; but the man was quick...he put five shots into my machine. But all of them missed me."
"I maneuvered into an offensive position as Quickly as I could, and I had my machine gun pelting him...The Hun began to spin earthward."
The attached 1912 Literary Digest article addresses the debt that past and future aviators owe to Louis Pierre Mouillard (1834 – 1897); an aviation visionary whose relentless study of bird flight throughout the last half of the Nineteenth Century paved the way for aviators yet unborn.
Pilot Charles Hamilton (1886 – 1914) made the first round-trip flight from Philadelphia to New York and back again flying a Curtis bi-plane in 1910:
"He flew from New York to the Philadelphia in one hour and fifty minutes. His average speed on trips to the Quaker City was 46.92 miles per hour, but returning he averaged 51.36 miles per hour."
The NEW YORK TIMES paid Hamilton $5,000.00 for this achievement.
An article on the pioneer aviator Harry Hawker (1889 - 1921), written on the heels of his his failed attempt to "beat the Yankees" in crossing the Atlantic. Australian by birth, Hawker came to Britain specifically to seek a career in the infant aviation industry. His wish was answered in 1912 when he was hired by Tommy Sopwith. Hawker saved his wages to afford flying lessons and acquired his flying permit in the September of that same year. The following month he won the British Michelin Cup with a grueling endurance flight of 8 hr, 23 min. Sopwith was impressed and Hawker was promoted to chief test pilot. The rest is told herein...
from Amazon: Hawker: Aviator, Designer, Test Pilot
Here is a short article with photographs depicting two unnamed British fighter- planes: one is described as "double-decker", with the pilot riding directly over the gunner and the second boasts of a steel fuselage construction.