Those familiar with the comic-strip Peanuts will recall that Snoopy often fantasized about being a World War I flying ace. Sitting atop his doghouse as if it were a Sopwith Camel biplane, he dreamed of being in dogfight combat with his arch nemesis The Red Baron, a real German ace (never actually depicted in the strip) who would riddle the doghouse with bullet holes. It is probably our generation's greatest association with that war, seeing as how Hollywood has pretty much ignored it for decades.
Ever since Howard Hughes lost both money and lives attempting to recreate the war's aerial combat on screen for 1930's Hell's Angels, the cost of showing another realistic dogfight just couldn't have been worth it for producers in the subsequent 75 years. The closest thing to a dogfight at the movies has been Star Wars, which modeled its space battles after WWI footage -- not using real spaceships, of course. Now, finally, there is Flyboys, a film that uses computer effects for the dogfights, making for a much safer production, and also a more artificial one.