U.S. Army Aviation through World War I
Herbert A. Johnson
To answer this question, Herbert Johnson takes a hard look at the early years of U.S. military aviation, exploring the cultural, technical, political, and organizational factors that stunted its evolution. Among the recurring themes of Johnson's narrative are the damaging effects of a chronic lack of governmental funding for military aeronautics and the disruptive influence of a civilian "aeronaut constituency" both on military discipline and on public and Congressional attitudes toward army aviation. In addition, the Wright brothers' patent litigation hindered the technical development of American aircraft and crippled the domestic aviation industry's manufacturing capacity. Wartime experience helped correct some of these problems, but the persistence of others left the postwar Air Service with an uncertain and stormy future.