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.
AirbusSAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace consortium. Based in Toulouse, France and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners. Airbus began as a consortium of aerospace manufacturers. Consolidation of European defence and aerospace companies around the turn of the century allowed the establishment of a simplified joint stock company in 2001, owned by EADS (80%) and BAE Systems (20%). After a protracted sale process BAE sold its shareholding to EADS on 13 October 2006. Airbus employs around 57,000 people at sixteen sites in four European Union countries: Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Final assembly production is at Toulouse (France) and Hamburg (Germany). Airbus has subsidiaries in the United States, Japan and China.
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 AirlinesCEOC.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).
Jeana Yeager (born May 18, 1952 in Fort Worth, Texas) is an aviator, most famous for flying with Dick Rutan on a non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world in the Voyager aircraft from December 14 to December 23, 1986. The flight took 9 days, 3 minutes, and 44 seconds and covered 24,986 miles (40,211 km), more than doubling the old distance record. She received the US annual Harmon Trophy for outstanding international achievements in the aeronautics, and is the first woman recipient of the Collier Trophy for "the greatest achievement in aeronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety" of aircraft.
2002 – A Portuguese Air Force 201 Squadron F-16 crashes in Monte Real while landing, killing the pilot.
2002 – A Grumman F-14A Tomcat, BuNo 158618, of VF-211, based at NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia crashes into the Arabian Sea after a failed attempt to land on the carrier USS John C. Stennis. The Navy said both crew members were pulled from the water by a rescue helicopter shortly after the accident. Neither appeared to be seriously injured.
2001 – Launch: Space Shuttle Discovery STS-102 at 06:42 EST. Mission highlights: ISS assembly flight 5A: Destiny lab.
1988 – Two Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, collided on a night training mission. They were flying at 92 mph air speed and about 250 feet from the ground when they collided a Fort Campbell spokesman said. The Army identified three of the dead as Staff Sgt. Charles L. Shirley, 21, of Arkansas; Sgt. Dennis Sabot, 28, of Iowa; and Spec. 4 Samuel A. Hintz, 23, of Ohio, all from the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry. A total of 17 soldiers were killed in the crash.
1973 – A Douglas EC-47 Skytrain carrying members of the US Army Golden Knights parachute team on a recruiting tour crashes and explodes at ~0900 hrs. in a muddy cornfield on the Basil Perry farm near Silk Hope, North Carolina while en route to their first performance of the season, at Overland Park, Kansas, killing 11 team members, two flight crew and the crew chief. The flight had departed Fort Bragg, North Carolina, at 0808 hrs. Cause was found to be overloading caused by the installation of a heavy metal plate floor, installed in Vietnam, but not entered in the logbook.
1951 – A certifacate of airworthiness is granted to the first Canadian-designed and built helicopter, the Sznyler SG-VI Grey Gull, at Dorval, QC.
1949 – Nonstop flight of 56 hours and 2 min has put captain William Odom in the record books. Leaving Honolulu, Hawaii, he covers a distance of 4,957.25 miles before landing at Teterboro, New Jersey to gain the world record in Class C-1-c for light aircraft.
1946 – The Bell 47 receives the first type certificate awarded to a commercial helicopter.
1942 – (Overnight) Royal Air Force Bomber Command bombs Essen, Germany, on three consecutive nights with 211, 187, and 126 aircraft respectively, losing a combined total of 16 bombers. The raids are the combat debut of the Gee navigation aid, raising British hopes that precision bombing of the Krupp armaments factory will be achieved, but it is not hit, and bombs in fact do far more damage to neighboring towns than to Essen itself. The third raid includes two Avro Lancasters, the first use of the Lancaster against a German target.
1937 – A Nationalist offensive begins against Guadalajara, Spain, with support by Italian forces, including 50 fighters and 12 reconnaissance planes.
1917 – Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, inventor of the practical dirigible, dies.