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A Boeing 747

Aviation includes the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as hot air balloons and airships.

Aviation began in the 18th century with the development of the hot air balloon, an apparatus capable of atmospheric displacement through buoyancy. Some of the most significant advancements in aviation technology came with the controlled gliding flying of Otto Lilienthal in 1896; then a large step in significance came with the construction of the first powered airplane by the Wright brothers in the early 1900s. Since that time, aviation has been technologically revolutionized by the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world. (Full article...)

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Air Force One
Air Force One
Air Force One (the ATC callsign of any U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying the President) has, since 1990, consisted of two specifically-configured, highly customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft, known as the VC-25. The planes' three floors (4,000 square feet – 372 m²) include multiple modifications including the president's executive suite which includes a private dressing room, workout room, lavatory, shower, and private office. (Full article...)

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Let L-410 Turbolet
The Let L-410 Turbolet is a twin-engined short-range transport aircraft, manufactured by the Czech aircraft manufacturer LET, mostly used for passenger transport. The L-410 first flew in 1969, and with more than 1100 produced, is the most popular 19-seat plane in history.

Did you know

...that in 1929 the Graf Zeppelin completed a circumnavigation of the globe in 21 days, 5 hours and 31 minutes?

Aichi D1A

... that in the middle of building Fagernes Airport, Leirin, the authorities changed their minds and gave the airport more than twice the runway length?

The following are images from various aviation-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Selected biography

Wiley Hardeman Post (November 22, 1898 – August 15, 1935) was the first pilot to fly solo around the world. Also known for his work in high altitude flying, Post helped develop one of the first pressure suits. His plywood aircraft, the Winnie Mae[1] is on display at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA, and his pressure suit is being prepared for display at the same location. On August 15, 1935, Post and American humorist Will Rogers were killed when Post's plane crashed on takeoff from a lagoon near Point Barrow, Alaska.

Selected Aircraft

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt in the early 1930s. It was one of the first true modern fighters of the era, including such features as an all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, and retractable landing gear. The Bf 109 was produced in greater quantities than any other fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced up to April 1945. Fighter production totalled 47% of all German aircraft production, and the Bf 109 accounted for 57% of all German fighter types produced.

The Bf 109 was the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter force in World War II, although it began to be partially replaced by the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 from 1941. The Bf 109 was the most successful fighter of World War II, shooting down more aircraft than any of its contemporaries. Originally conceived as an interceptor, it was later developed to fulfill multiple tasks, serving as bomber escort, fighter bomber, day-, night- all-weather fighter, bomber destroyer, ground-attack aircraft, and as reconnaissance aircraft.

The Bf 109 was flown by the three top-scoring fighter aces of World War II: Erich Hartmann, the top scoring fighter pilot of all time with 352 victories, Gerhard Barkhorn with 301 victories, and Günther Rall with 275 victories. All of them flew with Jagdgeschwader 52, a unit which exclusively flew the Bf 109 and was credited with over 10,000 victories, chiefly on the Eastern Front. Hartmann chose to fly the Bf 109 in combat throughout the war, despite being offered the use of the Me 262. Hans-Joachim Marseille, the highest scoring German ace in the North African Campaign, also scored all of his 158 victories flying the Bf 109, against Western Allied pilots.

  • Span: 9.925 m (32 ft 6 in)
  • Length: 8.95 m (29 ft 7 in)
  • Height: 2.60 m (8 ft 2 in)
  • Engine: 1× Daimler-Benz DB 605A-1 liquid-cooled inverted V12, 1,475 PS (1,455 hp, 1,085 kW)
  • Cruising Speed: 590 km/h (365 mph) at 6,000 m (19,680 ft)
  • First Flight: 28 May 1935
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Today in Aviation

May 24

  • 2011Soyuz TMA-20, manned spaceflight to the International Space Station (ISS) is back on earth.
  • 2011 – NATO stages the largest air attacks against Tripoli since th beginning of the international intervention in the Libyan Civil War, with ore than 20 airstrikes hitting Tripoli near Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's compound. The Libyan government reports at least three people killed and dozens wounded.[5]
  • 2007 – A Peruvian Air Force de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter, FAP-303, c/n 483, crashes in dense jungle after taking off from Pampa Hermosa, Peru. Of the 20 people on board, 13 were killed.
  • 1997STS-84, NASA spaceflight mission of Space Shuttle Atlantis to the Mir space station is back on earth
  • 1992 – Death of Francis Thomas Bacon, English engineer who developed the first practical hydrogen – oxygen fuel cell.
  • 1988TACA Flight 110, a Boeing 737, suffers dual engine failure due to water ingestion; the aircraft lands safely at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans; all on board survive.
  • 1984 – United States Navy Lcdr. Daniel Joseph Harrington IV (1945–), Pilot of VC-5, ejected safely from a Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk out of Cubi Point, Philippines. Rear seat pilot Ltjg Dickerson was killed on impact with water. The TA-4J impacted near Grande Island, Subic Bay, Philippines in the water. Catastrophic engine failure was found to be the cause.
  • 1982 – Argentinian bombers sink the British frigate Antelope in Falkland Sound.
  • 1978TWA Flight 541: Barbara Ann Oswald hijacks a St. Louis, Missouri-based charter helicopter and orders its pilot, Allen Barklage, to fly it to United States Penitentiary, Marion, in Marion, Illinois, so that her husband, Garrett B. Trapnell – Imprisoned there for a 1972 airliner hijacking – can escape. Barklage wrestles Oswald’s gun from her as he lands the helicopter in the prison yard and shoots her to death. In December, her daughter Robin Oswald will hijack an airliner in an unsuccessful attempt to get Trapnell released.
  • 1976 – Two Concorde supersonic airliners – one in British Airways colors, the other in those of Air France – Land at Washington’s Dulles International Airport. They are the first Concordes to visit the USA.
  • 1969 – First flight of The SIAI-Marchetti SM.1019, an Italian STOL liaison monoplane built by SIAI-Marchetti for the Italian Army and based on the O-1 Bird Dog.
  • 1970 – A USAF Lockheed C-5A Galaxy makes an emergency landing at Dobbins AFB, Georgia, suffering an electrical malfunction that knocks out landing lights, causes minor damage to the nosegear and flattens four of 28 tires.
  • 1967 – First flight of the Aero Spacelines Mini Guppy, large, wide-bodied US cargo aircraft used for aerial transport of outsized cargo components.
  • 1963 – Central Intelligence Agency pilot Ken Collins is forced to eject from Lockheed A-12, 60-6926, Article 123, during subsonic test flight when aircraft stalls due to inaccurate data being displayed to pilot. Airframe impacts 14 miles (22.5 km.) S of Wendover, Utah. Official cover story refers to it as a Republic F-105 Thunderchief. Cause was found to be pitot-static system failure due to icing. Airframe had made 79 flights for a total time of 136:10 hours.
  • 1962 – Project Mercury: American astronaut Scott Carpenter orbits the Earth 3 times in the Aurora 7 space capsule.
  • 1962 – USAF Douglas C-124A-DL Globemaster II, 51-0147, c/n 43481, on local training flight out of Tachikawa Air Base, Japan, strikes Oku-Chichibu Mountains, killing seven crew.
  • 1961 – USAF Douglas C-124A Globemaster II, 51-0174, of the 63d Troop Carrier Wing, MATS, Donaldson AFB, South Carolina, loses power on number two (port inner) engine, catches fire at 500 feet altitude one minute after 0230 hrs. take-off from McChord AFB, Washington, hits trees two miles south of runway, explodes, 18 of 22 on board KWF. The transport was en route to Lawton Municipal Airport, Lawton, Oklahoma, with 12 soldiers from Fort Sill, who had been taking part in Exercise Lava Plains at the Yakima Firing Center. In addition, the Globemaster carried a truck, several jeeps and two trailers. One additional badly burned survivor died en route to hospital. Air Force Board of Investigation, relying heavily on two eyewitness accounts of the aircraft's final moments, determined the accident was probably caused by a ruptured fuel line resulting in engine failure during takeoff, the plane's most vulnerable period. One of the four survivors was Master Sergeant Llewellyn Morris Chilson (1920–1981), whom President Harry S Truman (1884–1972) referred to as a "one-man army." On December 6, 1946, in a ceremony at the White House, President Truman had bestowed seven combat decorations on Sergeant Chilson for killing 56 German soldiers and helping to capture 243 others during five months of combat during World War II (1941–1945). Sgt. Chilson received three Distinguished Service Crosses, two Silver Stars, the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit. He had previously received two Purple Hearts, a Distinguished Unit Citation, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the French Army's Croix de guerre with palms. Chilson, described as one of the nation's greatest soldiers, died 2 October 1981, while visiting friends in Florida.
  • 1960 – After the pilot of his Avro CF-100 suffered a lack of oxygen, navigator F/O CM Alexander assisted him to make a safe landing. Alexander was awarded the Air Force Cross.
  • 1958 – First complete VTOL cycle flight the Bell X-14 (Bell Type 68), experimental VTOL. The main objective of the project was to demonstrate horizontal and vertical takeoff, hover, transition to forward flight, and vertical landing.
  • 1956 – Colette duval, French parachutist sets a record. Jumping off from 35OOO Feet she opens the parachute at 800 Feet after an over 3 min fall.
  • 1956 – First flight of the Piper PA-24 Comanche, four-seat, low-wing, all-metal, light aircraft of monocoque construction with retractable landing gear.
  • 1951 – Birth of Ronald Anthony Parise, Ph. D., Italian American scientist who flew aboard two NASA Space Shuttle missions as a payload specialist
  • 1951 – Entered Service: English Electric Canberra with the Royal Air Force’s No. 101 Squadron.
  • 1945 – Death of Robert Ritter von Greim, German Field Marshal, WWI flying Ace, army officer, and last commander of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) during WWII.
  • 1945 – (24-25) British Pacific Fleet carrier aircraft make the final strikes of the war against the Sakishima Gunto, where all Japanese airfields have now been knocked out.
  • 1945 – (overnight) Five Imperial Japanese Army Mitsubishi Ki-21 (Allied reporting name “Sally”) bombers carrying Giretsu Kuteitai special airborne attack troops make a suicide raid on Kadena and Yontan airfields on Okinawa. Four are shot down, but the fifth belly lands on the principal runway at Yontan and disgorges ten giretsu troops, who destroy seven and damage 26 planes, blow up two fuel dumps, and kill two Americans and wound 18 before being killed. Japanese planes also bomb Ie Shima during the night.
  • 1944 – American aircraft raid Wake Island.
  • 1941 – Nine Swordfish torpedo bombers from the British aircraft carrier HMS Victorious score a torpedo hit on the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic Ocean, aggravating damage she had sustained early in the day in the Battle of Denmark Strait.
  • 1940Adolf Hitler endorses the “Halt Order, ” stopping the German ground advance in France against Allied forces surrounded at Dunkirk to allow the Luftwaffe to finish them off. He does not rescind the order until May 26.
  • 1940 – Erman bombers sink the British destroyer HMS Wessex off Calais and damage a British and a Polish destroyer while they support British troops fighting there.
  • 1939 – The Royal Navy takes practical control of British naval aircraft for the first time since the dissolution of the Royal Naval Air Service in 1918. British naval aircraft, since 1918 under Royal Air Force control and since 1924 known collectively as the “Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Air Force, ” officially become the Royal Navy’s Air Branch, although the term “Fleet Air Arm” remains in widespread informal use and finally will be adopted officially in 1953.
  • 1939 – First flight of The Caproni-Reggiane Re.2000 Falco I, Italian WWII interceptor/fighter, all metal, low-wing, monoplane with a Curtiss-style retractable undercarriage.
  • 1939 – Experiments were carried out to install 20 mm cannons on the Hurricane L1750. It had flown with two of these mounted in the wings.
  • 1939 – The English Imperial Airways Short Seaplane Cabot is successfully refueled in mid-air by a Handley Page bomber modified to carry 891 gallons of aviation fuel.
  • 1937 – A Spanish Republican air raid against Palma, Majorca, hits the Italian armed merchant cruiser Barletta – A unit of the non-intervention patrol around Spain.– killing six of her crew.
  • 1936 – First flight of The Fieseler Storch Fi 156, small German WWII liaison aircraft. It remains famous to this day for its excellent STOL performance
  • 1932 – The Dornier Do X flying boat returns from his promotional flight from New York and ditch on the Müggelsee, Berlin.
  • 1930Amy Johnson lands her de Havilland Moth 'Jason' in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia.
  • 1928 – Stevenson Aerodrome, an airfield in the Rural Municipality of St. James, named after the late Western Canada Airways pilot who had died in a test flight at The Pas, began operations.
  • 1920 – First flight of the Boeing Model 8, American biplane aircraft designed by Boeing specifically for their first test pilot, Herb Munter.
  • 1920 – Death of Emile Taddéoli, Swiss aviation pioneer, active as a pilot, instructor, test pilot, and also the probably most prominent pioneer using seaplanes in Switzerland. Killed during a demonstration flight at an air show in Romanshorn aboard his Savoia S.13 flying boat, disintegrating in flight at an altitude of 700 m (2,300 ft).
  • 1919 – Avro Civil Aviation Service begins the first domestic airline service in Britain.
  • 1918 – Death of Thomas Colvill-Jones, British WWI flying ace from wounds received in action.
  • 1918József Kiss, Austro-Hungarian 5th highest scoring ace, is shot down in combat. He had scored 19 victories.
  • 1918 – In Russia, Order No. 385 of the Bolshevik People’s Commissariat on Military and Naval Affairs creates the Main Directorate of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Air Fleet, the predecessor of the Soviet Air Forces.
  • 1918 – The United States Department of War recognizes the Bureau of Aircraft Production and the Division of Military Aeronautics as constituting the United States Army Air Service.
  • 1912 – Anthony Fokker crashes his Goedecker-built B1912 monoplane at Berlin, just 10 days after demonstrating it to the German Army.
  • 1910 – First flight of the Blackburn First Monoplane (also known as Monoplane No 1), a British experimental aircraft which lasted for around one minute, and ended in a crash in which the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
  • 1910 – Prince Charles of Romania becomes the first royal aeroplane passenger, in a Farman piloted by M. Osmontat at Bucharest.
  • 1897 – Birth of Cecil Guelph Brock, Canadian WWI flying ace who participated at the dogfight which conducted to Manfred Von Richtofen's death.
  • 1894 – Birth of Oliver Colin "Boots" LeBoutillier, French WWI flying ace, Skywriter, Barnstormer who and piloted aircraft for eighteen movies. He gave Amelia Earhart her first instruction in a twin-engined aircraft and was a Civil Aviation Authority inspector in charge of Colorado and Wyoming.
  • 1887 – Birth of Edward Corringham "Mick" Mannock, British WWI fighter ace and maybe the highest-scoring British Empire ace of all time, also regarded as one of the greatest fighter pilots of WWI.
  • 1868 – Birth of Charles Edward Taylor, who built the first aircraft engine used by the Wright brothers and was a vital contributor of mechanical skills in the building and maintaining of early Wright engines and airplanes.
  • 1832 – Francois Arban, early French balloonist makes his first ascent.


  1. ^ Winnie Mae
  2. ^ Anonymous, "Two Held After RAF Typhoon Jets Escort Pakistan Plane Over UK," BBC News, 24 May 2013, 1324 ET.
  3. ^ Rossington, Ben, "London Stansted Airport: Pictured - The Dramatic Moment a Briton is Arrested On Tarmac Over 'Bomb Threat' to Flight," Mirror News, 25 May 2013, 11:00.
  4. ^ Gardner, Frank (24 May 2012). "Syrian general Hashem urges action to stop 'genocide'". BBC News. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  5. ^ "US Reaches Out to Libya Rebels Amid Airstrikes". MSNBC (24 May 2011). Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  6. ^ Hollway, Don, "Fox Two!", Aviation History, March 2013, p. 58.