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Aviation, or air transport, refers to the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, parachutes, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as 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; then a largest 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 with the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world.

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Aircraft spotter on the roof of a building in London. St. Paul's Cathedral is in the background.
The Battle of Britain (German: Luftschlacht um England) is the name given to the sustained strategic effort by the German Luftwaffe during the summer and autumn of 1940 to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force (RAF), especially Fighter Command. The name derives from a speech made on 18 June 1940 in the House of Commons by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, "The Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin..."

Had it been successful, the planned amphibious and airborne landings in Britain of Operation Sea Lion would have followed. The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces. It was the largest and most sustained bombing campaign attempted up until that date. The failure of Nazi Germany to destroy Britain's air defence or to break British morale is considered its first major defeat.

British historians date the battle from 10 July to 31 October 1940, which represented the most intense period of daylight bombing. German historians usually place the beginning of the battle in mid-August 1940 and end it in May 1941, on the withdrawal of the bomber units in preparation for the attack on the USSR.

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Did you know

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

...that Indra Lal Roy of the Royal Air Force became India's first flying ace after he achieved 10 victories in thirteen days during World War I?

... that the loss of nine military crew members and passengers when Buffalo 461 was shot down over Syria in 1974, remains the largest single-incident loss of life in Canadian peacekeeping history?

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Avro Arrow replica at CASM Arrow rollout in 2006

The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft, designed and built by Avro Aircraft Limited (Canada) in Malton, Ontario, Canada, as the culmination of a design study that began in 1953. Considered to be both an advanced technical and aerodynamic achievement for the Canadian aviation industry, the CF-105 held the promise of Mach 2 speeds at altitudes exceeding 50,000 ft (15,000 m), and was intended to serve as the Royal Canadian Air Force's primary interceptor in the 1960s and beyond. Not long after the 1958 start of its flight test program, the development of the Arrow (including its Orenda Iroquois jet engines) was abruptly and controversially halted before the project review had taken place, sparking a long and bitter political debate. The controversy engendered by the cancellation and subsequent destruction of the aircraft in production, remains a topic for debate among historians, political observers and industry pundits. "This action effectively put Avro out of business and its highly skilled engineering and production personnel scattered... The incident was a traumatic one... and to this day, many mourn the loss of the Arrow."

  • Span: 50 ft 0 in (15.24 m)
  • Length: 77 ft 9 in (23.71 m)
  • Height: 20 ft 6 in (6.25 m)
  • Engines: 2×Pratt & Whitney J75-P-3
  • Cruising Speed: Mach 0.91 (607 mph, 977 km/h) at 36,000 ft (11,000 m)
  • First Flight: 25 March 1958
  • Number built: 5
...Archive/Nominations

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Wiley Post.jpg
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.

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Today in Aviation

March 1

  • 2007 – An OH-58D Kiowa makes a hard landing south of Kirkuk, injuring both crewmembers, and becomes entangled in overhanging wires before hitting the ground.[9] Reports had varied whether the crash was due to a mechanical[10] or electronic failure[11] and whether it is shot down.[12]
  • 2002 – Launch: Space Shuttle Columbia STS-109 at 11:22:02 UTC. Mission highlights: Hubble Space Telescope servicing, last successful mission for Columbia before STS-107.
  • 1999 – (1-20) The hot-air balloon Breitling Orbiter 3, with pilots Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, begins the first non-stop, round-the-world balloon flight. They will complete the flight on March 19, setting a new distance record for any type of aircraft of 40,804 km (25,360 miles). Taking a total time of 19 days, 21 hours and 47 min.
  • 1989 – Canadian Space Agency (CSA) was formed, taking over the National Research Council as Canada’s primary space agency. In 1993, the CSA established its headquarters in St. Hubert, Quebec.
  • 1976 – Lt. Col. Michael A. Love, 37, chief USAF test pilot on the Martin-Marietta X-24B program, is killed in the crash of an F-4C Phantom II on a dry lakebed at Edwards AFB, California, after take-off on a proficiency flight when his ejection seat malfunctions. Navigator Maj. E. B. Underwood, Jr. ejects before the crash and is hospitalized in stable condition. After serving in the lifting body program as chase pilot on various Northrop M2 and X-24A flights, Love made his first X-24B flight on 4 October 1973, and piloted the plane to its fastest speed—better than 1,860 kph—before terminating the program with a hard-surface runway landing at Edwards on 20 August 1975.
  • 1969 – The U. S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) begins Operation Massachusetts Striker, a helicopter-borne assault against North Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam’s A Shau Valley. It will continue until May 8
  • 1966 – Venera 3 Soviet space probe crashes on Venus becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet’s surface.
  • 1965 – The combat debut of the Republic F-105 Thunderchief takes place, as U. S. Air Force F-105D aircraft based at Da Nang, South Vietnam, begin bombing missions over North Vietnam.
  • 1962American Airlines Flight 1, a Boeing 707, crashes in Jamaica Bay, Queens, New York due to a rudder malfunction, killing all 95 passengers and crew on board.
  • 1962 – Los Angeles Airways sets up the world’s first commercial service using turbine-powered, multi-engine helicopters, the Sikorsky S-621L, which could accommodate up to 28 passengers.
  • 1962 – Fourth Lockheed U-2A, Article 344, 56-6677, delivered to the CIA on 20 November 1955, converted to U-2F by October 1961, crashes near Edwards Air Force Base, California, during aerial refueling training, killing SAC pilot Capt. John Campbell. Airframe entered jetwash behind the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, and broke up.
  • 1957 – SNCASE (or Sud-Est) and SNCASO (or Sud-Ouest) merge to form Sud Aviation.
  • 1956 – The International Air Transport Association finalizes a draft of the Radiotelephony spelling alphabet for the International Civil Aviation Organization.
  • 1951 – No. 441 Squadron was reformed at St. Hubert, Quebec, and equipped with DH 1200 Vampire fighters.
  • 1949 – North American’s B-45 Tornado bomber sets an unofficial speed record of 675 miles per hour.
  • 1946 – Two Silverplate Boeing B-29 Superfortresses written off in taxi accident at Kirtland Army Air Field, New Mexico. Pilot of Boeing B-29-60-MO Superfortress, 44-86473, of the 509th Composite Group, assigned to Roswell AAF, New Mexico, attempts to taxi without energizing the hydraulic brake system, cannot stop bomber which collides with Boeing B-29-36-MO, 44-27296, "Some Punkins", also of the 509th. "Some Punkins" stricken in August 1946 and destroyed in fire-fighting training. 44-86473 dropped from inventory, April 1946, after salvage.
  • 1945 – First vertical take-off manned rocket flight test, launched from the Lager Heuberg military training area near Stetten am kalten Markt, of Bachem Ba 349 Natter, 'M23', a vertically launched bomber interceptor, fails when Oberleutnant Lothar Sieber, 22, a volunteer, is killed as rocket-powered aircraft reaches ~1,650 feet, cockpit canopy detaches, Ba 349 noses over onto back, then falls from ~4,800 feet, killing pilot. No cause for crash determined but it was thought that improperly latched canopy may have knocked Siebert unconscious. Three successful manned flights subsequently flown and a group of the fighters readied for intercept mission, but advancing U.S. 8th Army armoured units overrun launch site before Natters can be used
  • 1945 – Carrier aircraft of U. S. Navy Task Force 58 strike Okinawa and conduct photographic reconnaissance flights over Okinawa, Kerama Retto, Minami Daito, and Amami O Shima.
  • 1945 – First vertical take-off manned rocket flight by Lothar Sieber in a Bachem Ba 349.
  • 1945 – Two Bell P-59A Airacomets of the 29th Fighter Squadron collide in mid-air over the Grey Butte Army Airfield during an anti-aircraft tracking exercise. 2nd Lt. Robert W. Murdock (pilot of #44-22620), and 2nd Lt. Howard L. Wilson (pilot of #44-22626) are killed in the collision.
  • 1943 – Since January 14, Royal Air Force Bomber Command has launched major raids on Wilhelmshaven four times, Berlin, Cologne, and Hamburg three times each, and Bremen, Düsseldorf, and Nuremberg once each, as well as on Milan and Turin.
  • 1943 – (Overnight) Royal Air Force Bomber Command flies the last raid of its early 1943 campaign against German submarines and their bases in France. It has attacked Lorient nine times and Brest once since the start of the campaign on January 14, but found German submarine pens impervious to its bombs. The raids have caused much damage to the French cities and their residents.
  • 1942 – Formation of RCAF Accident Board.
  • 1942 – The U. S. Navy sinks a German submarine for the first time in World War II when a Patrol Squadron 82 (VP-82) PBO-1 Hudson piloted by Ensign William Tepuni USNR sinks U-656 off Cape Race, Newfoundland.
  • 1941 – To avoid confusion with RAF units, RCAF squadrons overseas were renumbered 400 series i. e. 110 became 400 Squadron, No. 1 Squadron became 401 Squadron, etc.
  • 1941 – No. 402 Squadron became operational at Digby, Lincolnshire, England.
  • 1941 – No. 403 (Fighter) Squadron was formed at Bagington, England.
  • 1939 – Clarence Decatur C. D. Howe opened the first TransCanada Air Lines transcontinental passenger service from Montreal to Vancouver.
  • 1938 – Western Air Command with Headquarters at Vancouver, BC, was formed to control all RCAF units in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
  • 1938 – The 1938 Yosemite TWA crash; a Douglas DC-2, disappears on a flight from San Francisco to Winslow, Arizona; the aircraft is found three months later on a mountain in Yosemite National Park; all 9 on board die.
  • 1933 – U. S. Air Commerce Regulations are amended to increase the flying time required for a pilot’s license from 10 hours to 50 hours.
  • 1932 – Entered Service: Berliner-Joyce P-16 with United States Army Air Corps
  • 1932 – The 20-months-old son of aviator Charles Lindbergh has been kidnapped from the family’s home in Hopewell, New Jersey.
  • 1928 – The British aircraft carrier HMS Courgaeous enters service as the world’s first aircraft carrier with transverse arresting gear.
  • 1928 – An airmail route between France and Chile is opened with a fast sea link between Dakar, Senegal and Natal, Brazil.
  • 1924 – Deke Slayton, American astronaut, was born (d. 1993). was one of the original “Mercury Seven” NASA astronauts. Initially grounded by a heart condition, he would serve as NASA’s Director of Flight Crew Operations. Deke Slayton was responsible for all crew assignments at NASA from November 1963 until March 1972, when he was granted medical clearance to fly as docking module pilot of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. At the time of the flight, he became the oldest person to fly into space.
  • 1912 – Capt. Albert Berry makes the first parachute descent from a powered airplane in America when he jumps from a Benoist aircraft that is being flown by the company pilot, Anthony Jannus. The aircraft is flying at a height of 1,500 ft. over Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri, and Berry uses a static line parachute.
  • 1911 – The first four Royal Navy pilots, Lieutenants Charles R. Samson, R. Gregory, and Arthur M. Longmore of the Royal Navy and Lieutenant E. L. Gerrard of the Royal Marine Light Infantry, report for flight training at Eastchurch airfield, using borrowed Short S.27 aircraft.


  1. ^ Winnie Mae
  2. ^ Gartrell, Adam (1 March 2011). "Rudd Ramps Up Call for Libya No-Fly Zone". Australian Associated Press (via The Age). Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Live Blog – Libya 2 March". Al Jazeera. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Fahim, Kareem; Kirkpatrick, David D. (2 March 2011). "Libyan Rebels, Invoking UN, May Ask West for Airstrikes". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Gaddafi's Friend Turns Foe". Al Jazeera. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 6 March 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Hradecky, Simon. "Accident: ACT Airlines A30B at Bagram on March 1st 2010, left main gear collapsed on landing". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  8. ^ Hradecky, Simon. "Accident: Air Tanzania B732 at Mwanza on March 1st 2010, veered off runway, nose gear collapsed". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "US copter makes "hard landing" in northern Iraq". The Peninsula On-line. 2007-03-02. Archived from the original on March 4, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  10. ^ "U.S. helicopter makes 'hard landing' in Iraq; Baghdad quieter". International Herald Tribune. 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "Iraqi News". [dead link]

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