“Aviation” has been around battles in some form since the Civil War, when balloons were used to espy the enemy formations. Until the actual invention of an airplane, more aggressive use was rather limited, but subsequently innovation brought new and interesting approaches and equipment. Notice that the land-based fighters used things like the Merln engine, allowing excellent aerodynamic characteristics. The naval fighters, OTOH, were generally radial engines to allow better cooling.
Wars are ugly things but frequently bring new and interesting usage of old things and introduce new things to socioety.