The first tests of the airplane as an instrument of war were so successful that the air-delivered bomb soon made its debut in World War I. An excerpt from The Post of Oct. 10, 1911:
For the first time in the history of aviation actual bomb dropping from an aeroplane took place at College Park yesterday afternoon. Lieut. Thomas De Witte Milling, operating an army biplane, took up former Lieut. Scott, inventor of the bomb-carrying device, and on two successive trips released a 25-pound steel shell from the chassis of the aeroplane while the machine was flying at 41 miles an hour. The first was carried to a height of 500 feet and aimed at a 30-foot circle on the ground. It fell only 10 feet away from its mark, and imbedded itself so deep that soldiers had to dig it out of the ground.
On the second attempt the marksmanship was better than on the first trial, though the bomb was broken. The missile used was a type of the usual six-pound torpedo-shaped shell used in actual warfare by the United States. It is of the blunt-edge variety, and had a small arrow on the cap end in order to counteract any deflection by the wind. In calculating the position of the target a telescopic device invented by Lieut. Young was used. Both officers are confident that a 25-pound shell could be drooped with a good degree of accuracy from an even greater height than that attained yesterday.
The tests were the beginning of a series of demonstrations of the aeroplane's practicability in actual warfare. The weight of the bomb will be gradually increased until the maximum load that can be carried has been approximated. The margin of lift on an aeroplane is roughly computed to be 300 pounds, excluding the passenger. If this is found to be correct, a bomb of 250 pounds will be designed and used. It is the opinion of the army experts that a high power of nitroglycerin will be formulated and placed in the cartridges. Two hundred and fifty pounds of nitroglycerin would destroy three city squares of Washington.
Lieut. Milling said last night the test practically convinced him of the aeroplane's usefulness in war as an engine of destruction as well as a scout. He thinks that with a month's time in which to work, the United States will be far ahead of any other nation in aeronautics.
"At present," said Lieut. Milling, "we are the only nation among the great powers that has accomplished anything in real bomb throwing. With the device Lieut. Scott has invented I am sure that it will not be long before the army will be able to completely destroy any large fortress or fort in the world. A fleet of rapidly moving aeroplanes, at the height of 2,000 feet, could drop each a 250-pound bomb of nitroglycerin upon the enemy below, and escape unharmed, while the shells would wreak death and destruction."