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NOVA: Who Killed The Red Baron?

Airs Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

On April 21, 1918, Baron Manfred von Richthofen, a.k.a. the Red Baron (pictur...

Credit: Library of Congress

Above: On April 21, 1918, Baron Manfred von Richthofen, a.k.a. the Red Baron (pictured), took a bullet in the chest while in hot pursuit of his 81st kill. Was the fatal shot fired by another plane that briefly engaged him? Or did it come from the ground? NOVA cracks the most celebrated whodunit in aviation history.

On April 21, 1918, Germany's most feared fighter ace, Manfred von Richthofen, known as the "Red Baron," took off on patrol over the Somme Valley with his notorious red-painted "Flying Circus." What happened next has divided historians and air buffs for decades.

NOVA's exciting new investigation of the Red Baron's death presents newly discovered documents that overturn the conventional theory of von Richthofen's demise. In accounting for the Baron's singular success, NOVA explores the origins of the first fighter planes and the evolution of aerial tactics. The show features thrilling re-enactments of hair-raising duels between the fragile fighters of World War I.

NOVA Flight Nights In July

In July, missing pilots, deadly crashes, and unsolved cases are the focus of Flight Nights—a month of NOVA flight-themed programming.

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