Portal:Aviation

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The Aviation Portal

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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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Flight 11 flightpath
American Airlines Flight 11 was a scheduled U.S. domestic passenger flight from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport. It was hijacked by five men and deliberately crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City as part of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Fifteen minutes into the flight, the hijackers injured at least three people, forcefully breached the cockpit, and overpowered the pilot and first officer. Mohamed Atta, who was a known member of al-Qaeda, and trained as a pilot, took over the controls. Air traffic controllers noticed the flight was in distress when the crew stopped responding to them. They realized the flight had been hijacked when Atta mistakenly transmitted announcements to air traffic control. On board, two flight attendants contacted American Airlines, and provided information about the hijackers and injuries to passengers and crew.

The aircraft crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 08:46 local time; the impact killed all 92 people aboard, including the hijackers. Many people in the streets witnessed the collision, and Jules Naudet captured the impact on video. News agencies began to report on the incident soon after and speculated that the crash had been an accident. The impact and subsequent fire caused the North Tower to collapse, which resulted in thousands of additional casualties. During the recovery effort at the World Trade Center site, workers recovered and identified dozens of remains from Flight 11 victims, but many other body fragments could not be identified.

Selected picture

F-15 Eagle in a near vertical climb
Credit: Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Allen, USAF

An F-15D Eagle from the 325th Fighter Wing based at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida releasing flares. The F-15 is a multi-role tactical fighter designed by McDonnell Douglas. The first flight of the F-15A was in July 1972, but since then it has been produced in six model variations with both single seat and dual seat versions. The original and largest operator of the F-15 is the United States Air Force, but it is also operated by the air forces of Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

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Did you know

...that in the late 1940s the USAF Northrop YB-49 set both an unofficial endurance record and a transcontinental speed record?

...that the Tenerife disaster remained the deadliest aircraft incident in history until the September 11, 2001 attacks and neither plane was in flight when the accident occurred.

... that on 28 May 1931, a Bellanca CH-300 fitted with a Packard DR-980 diesel engine set a 55-year record for staying aloft for 84 hours and 32 minutes without being refueled?

Selected Aircraft

Douglas Dakota DC-3 (G-ANAF) of the Air Atlantique Historic Flight.

The Douglas DC-3 is a fixed-wing, propeller-driven aircraft which revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s, and is generally regarded as one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made.

The DC-3 was engineered by a team led by chief engineer Arthur E. Raymond and first flew on December 17, 1935 (the 32nd. anniversary of the Wright Brothers flight at Kitty Hawk). The plane was the result of a marathon phone call from American Airlines CEO C.R. Smith demanding improvements in the design of the DC-2. The amenities of the DC-3 (including sleeping berths on early models and an in-flight kitchen) popularized air travel in the United States. With just one refuelling stop, transcontinental flights across America became possible. Before the DC-3, such a trip would entail short hops in commuter aircraft during the day coupled with train travel overnight.

During World War II, many civilian DC-3s were drafted for the war effort and thousands of military versions of the DC-3 were built under the designations C-47, C-53, R4D, and Dakota. The armed forces of many countries used the DC-3 and its military variants for the transport of troops, cargo and wounded. Over 10,000 aircraft were produced (some as licensed copies in Japan as Showa L2D, and in the USSR as the Lisunov Li-2).

  • Span: 95 ft (28.96 m)
  • Length: 64 ft 5 in (19.65 m)
  • Height: 16 ft 11 in (5.16 m)
  • Engines: 2× Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp S1C3G 14-cylinder radial engines, 1,200 hp (895 kW) or Wright Cyclone
  • Cruising Speed: 170 mph (274 km/h)
  • First Flight:December 17, 1935
  • Number built: 13,140 (including license built types)

Related portals

Selected biography

Erich Alfred "Bubi" Hartmann (19 April 1922 – 20 September 1993), also nicknamed "The Blond Knight of Germany" by friends and "The Black Devil" by his enemies, was a German fighter pilot and still is the highest scoring fighter ace in the history of aerial combat. He scored 352 aerial victories (of which 345 were won against the Soviet Air Force, and 260 of which were fighters) in 1,404 combat missions and engaging in aerial combat 825 times while serving with the Luftwaffe in World War II. During the course of his career Hartmann was forced to crash land his damaged fighter 14 times. This was due to damage received from parts of enemy aircraft he had just shot down, or mechanical failure. Hartmann was never shot down or forced to land due to enemy fire.[1]

Hartmann, a pre-war glider pilot, joined the Luftwaffe in 1940 and completed his fighter pilot training in 1942. He was posted to Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52) on the Eastern front and was fortunate to be placed under the supervision of some of the Luftwaffe's most experienced fighter pilots. Under their guidance Hartmann steadily developed his tactics which would earn him the coveted Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds on 25 August 1944 for claiming 301 aerial victories.

He scored his 352nd and last aerial victory on 8 May 1945. He and the remainder of JG 52 surrendered to United States Army forces and were turned over to the Red Army. Convicted of false "War Crimes" and sentenced to 25 years of hard labour, Hartmann would spend 10 years in various Soviet prison camps and gulags until he was released in 1955. In 1956, Hartmann joined the newly established West German Luftwaffe and became the first Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 71 "Richthofen". Hartmann resigned early from the Bundeswehr in 1970, largely due to his opposition of the F-104 Starfighter deployment in the Bundesluftwaffe and the resulting clashes with his superiors over this issue. Erich Hartmann died in 1993.

In the news

Today in Aviation

April 18

  • 2009 – Royal Air Maroc Boeing 747-2 B6 B CN-RME is substantially damaged when it lurches forward during an engine ground run and subsequently goes through a fence at Mohammed V International Airport, Morocco.
  • 2005 – A United States Air Force F-16D crashed next to the Ashley River near Charleston, South Carolina. The two crew members ejected safely. Both the main power and backup power failed moments before the crash, the pilot said.
  • 1999 – Royal Australian Air Force General Dynamics F-111G, A8-291, c/n B1-63, of 6 Sqn., crashes about 2230 hrs. while on exercises in Malaysia. Believed to have hit one of two peaks on small island Pulua Aur, off the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, and then crashed into the South China Sea. The two crew, Sqn. Ldr. Steve Hobbs and Flt. Lt. Anthony Short, are killed.
  • 1993 – USAF aircraft attack and destroy an Iraqi radar station
  • 1991 – Eastern Air Lines is dissolved after 64 years of operation. Many of its remaining assets are parceled out to American and Continental.
  • 1988 – The U. S. Navy conducts Operation Praying Mantis against Iranian forces and facilities in the Persian Gulf. A-6E Intruders from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) sink a speedboat, assist surface ships in sinking the frigate Sahand, and cripple the frigate Sabalan. Two Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force F-4 Phantom fighters approach the guided-missile cruiser USS Wainwright (CG-28), which damages one of them with a surface-to-air missile.
  • 1986 – STS-61-C Space Shuttle Columbia returns on earth, last shuttle mission before the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
  • 1986 – Aerovias Guatemala Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle III crashed in the jungle 8 km (5 mls) from Flores (Guatemala) after two missed approaches, killing all 87 occupants.
  • 1982 – Death of Josef Mai, German WWI fighter ace and WWII instructor.
  • 1981 – Bell Helicopters delivered its 25.000th helicopter, a Model 222, to Omniflight Helicopters.
  • 1979 – Death of Giovanni Ballestra, Italian Air Force pilot, not bailing out of his F-104 Starfighter on fire in order to avoid victims in a high denisity population zone.
  • 1977 – Philippine Airlines DC-8-53 RP-C803 was operating Philippine Airlines Flight 421 when during takeoff at Haneda, Japan it lifted off prematurely, banked, touched down, and ran off the runway tearing off the undercarriage and all 4 engines. There were no fatalities; however the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
  • 1974Court Line Flight 95, a BAC One-Eleven, collides with a Piper Aztec on the runway at London Luton Airport, killing the pilot of the Aztec; there are no casualties on board the One-Eleven, but the aircraft is substantially damaged; the Aztec is written off.
  • 1973 – Results of the USAF A-X fly-off announced, with the Fairchild YA-10 selected over the Northrop YA-9.
  • 1969 – Soyuz 5 reenters earth.
  • 1969 – United Airlines Flight 266 Boeing 727-22 C crashes into Santa Monica Bay killing all 32 passengers and six crew members.
  • 1965 – Death of Charles Marie Joseph Leon Nuville, French WWI fighter ace and WWII officer.
  • 1960 – Capital Airlines Flight 20 Vickers 745D Viscount crashes into a farm in Charles City County, Virginia, killing all 50 aboard.
  • 1958 – The Avro CF-105 Arrow prototype exceeded M 1.5 at 50,000 ft during a test flight at Malton, Ontario, piloted by J. Zurakowski.
  • 1958 – Birth of Jeffrey Nels Williams, USAF test pilot and NASA astronaut.
  • 1958 – US Navy Lieutenant-Commander George Watkins flies from Edwards Air Base in California to a world record absolute altitude within the atmosphere of 76,932 feet in a Grumman F11 F-1 Tiger.
  • 1957 – End of Operation Power Flite, 3 B-52 B aircraft of the 93rd Bombardment Wing of the 15th Air Force lands at March Air Force Base near Riverside, California after flying for a total of 45 hours and 19 min, first jet aircraft to circle the world nonstop.
  • 1955 – Second prototype Lockheed XF-104A Starfighter, 53-7787, c/n 083-0002, is lost when airframe sheds the bottom ejection seat hatch fairing during 20 mm gun firing causing an explosive decompression. Test pilot Herman R. "Fish" Salmon ejected as aircraft broke up, injured landing in rough country. Joe Baugher cites date of 14 April for this accident.
  • 1952 - The biggest jet airline ever built, the Convair YB-60, makes a successful first flight at Carswell Air Force Base at Fort Worth, Texas.
  • 1945 – Luftwaffe ace (six victories) Oberst Johannes Steinhoff, of the jet experten Jagdverband 44, suffers tire blow-out on take-off from Flughafen München Riem when his Messerschmitt Me 262 hits a bomb crater. He lifts off, but without sufficient flying speed, he crashes, suffering severe burns, spending two years in hospital.
  • 1944 – Death of Eugene Jules Emile Camplan, French WWI flying ace.
  • 1944 – Air Solomons (AirSols) begins a very successful series of photographic reconnaissance flights over the Mariana Islands. The missions continue into June.
  • 1943 – P-38 Lightnings intercepted Japanese aircraft and take down two Mitsubishi bombers killing Admiral Yamamoto, Japan’s leading military strategist.
  • 1942 – First jet engine test in the United States: General Electric 1-A engine successfully tested in Lynn, Massachusetts.
  • 1930 – Death of Tommaso (Tomaso) Dal Molin, Italian pilot in the crash of his seaplane racer Savoia-Marchetti S.65 on Lake Garda.
  • 1929 – First flight of the Bourgois-Sénemaud AT 40, French two-seat, single-engine parasol wing monoplane tourer prototype
  • 1920 – Death of Albert René Chabrier, French WWI flying ace.
  • 1919 – CMA (Compagnie des Messageries Aériennes) commences a mail and freight service between Paris and Lille, using ex-military Breguet 14s.
  • 1918 – Birth of Frederick C. Bock, WWII pilot who took part in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945, flying the B-29 bomber 'The Great Artist'
  • 1917 – William E. Boeing’s Pacific Aero Products Company is renamed the “Boeing Airplane Company. ”
  • 1916 – Birth of Giorgio Savoja (Savoia), Italian WWII fighter pilot.
  • 1916 – The first all-American air squadron in Europe is formed at the French spa town of Luxevil-les-Bains. Nieuport Squadron Nº 124, unofficially known as the “Escadrille Américaine” (American Squadron), is composed of volunteers who will be under the command of a French captain, Georges Thénault.
  • 1913 – Birth of Wing Commander George Cecil Unwin DSO, DFM & Bar, British WWII fighter ace.
  • 1911 – Eugene B. Ely makes the first landing by an aircraft on a ship when he flies his Curtiss Model D pusher biplane from Selfridge Field near San Francisco to a specially prepared wooden deck on the stern of the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania.
  • 1893 – Birth of Douglas Evan Cameron, British WWI flying ace.
  • 1893 – Birth of Dr. Wolfgang Benjamin Klemperer, German prominent aviation and aerospace scientist and engineer, who ranks among the pioneers of early aviation.
  • 1891 – Birth of Herbert Wilhelm Franz Knappe, German WWI flying ace
  • 1888 – Birth of Sir Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith, CBE, Hon FRAeS, English aviation pioneer, founder of the Sopwith Aviation Company and yachtman.
  • 1882 – Birth of Gaston Caudron, French aviation pioneer and aircraft designer along with his brother René.

References

  1. ^ Toliver & Constable 1986, p. 12.


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