A flying ace or fighter ace is a military pilot who has shot down five or more enemy aircraft in air combat. Use of the term "ace" in military aviation began in World War I (1914–18). French newspapers called Adolphe Pegoud, as l'as (French for "ace") after he became the first pilot to shoot down five German aircraft. Many other pilots later became aces, and some are very famous today, like the "Red Baron", Manfred von Richthofen whom had 81 kills.
Erich Hartmann was the ace with the most kills; he had 352.