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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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Arkia Boeing 757-300
Arkia Israeli Airlines (Hebrew: ארקיע‎, I will soar), usually referred to as Arkia, is an airline based in Tel Aviv, Israel. It is Israel's second largest airline operating scheduled domestic and international services as well as charter flights to Western Europe and the Mediterranean. Its main base is Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, whilst it also operates significant numbers of flights out of Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv, Eilat Airport, and Ovda International Airport.

Arkia was founded in 1949 as Israel Inland Airlines when it became clear that there was demand for a local airline to connect the north of Israel (especially Tel Aviv) with the southern region of the Negev, as a subsidiary of El Al, Israel's national airline. Flights starting the following year with the airline unsing De Havilland DH.89 aircraft, followed by Douglas DC-3s, to connect Rosh Pina in the north to the port of Eilat in the south. El Al held a 50% stake in the airline at this time with Histadrut, Israel's labour federation, being the other shareholder. The airline later evolved to become Eilata Airlines, Aviron, and then to Arkia Israel Airlines. In its first year of service, Israel Inland carried 13,485 passengers on their twice weekly flight, operated by a Curtis Commando.

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USS Akron over Manhattan
Credit: U.S. Naval Historical Center

The airship USS Akron (ZRS-4) flying over the southern tip of Manhattan circa 19311933. The Akron was a commissioned 'ship' of the United States Navy, built for them by the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation in Akron, Ohio. She cast off for her maiden voyage on 2 November 1931, but crashed less than two years later.

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Did you know

...that during the Winter War, a Swedish fundraising drive paid for the purchase of a Fokker F.VIII airliner for the Finnish Air Force?

...that Theo Osterkamp was the first German reconnaissance pilot to fly a land-based aircraft to England during World War I?

...that the strategic bombing campaign used in the 1990 Operation Instant Thunder served as a model for subsequent American military conflicts?

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Airbus A380

The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, four-engined airliner manufactured by Airbus S.A.S. It first flew on April 27, 2005 from Toulouse, France. Commercial flights began in late 2007 after months of testing, with the delivery of the first aircraft to launch, for one of Airbus's customers–Singapore Airlines. During much of its development phase, the aircraft was known as the Airbus A3XX, and the nickname Superjumbo has also become associated with the A380.

The A380 is double decked, with the upper deck extending along the entire length of the fuselage. This allows for a spacious cabin, with the A380 in standard three-class configuration to seat 555 people, up to maximum of 853 in full economy class configuration. Two models of the A380 will be available at launch. The A380-800, the passenger model, is the largest passenger airliner in the world superseding the Boeing 747. The other launch model, the A380-800F freighter, was canceled and will not join the ranks of the largest freight aircraft such as the Antonov An-225, An-124, and the C-5 Galaxy for the foreseeable future.

  • Span: 79.8 m (261 ft 10 in)
  • Length: 73 m (239 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 24.1 m (79 ft 1 in)
  • Engines: 4 * Rolls-Royce Trent 900 or Engine Alliance GP7200 (311 kN or 69,916 lbf)
  • Cruising Speed: 0.85 Mach (approx 1,050 km/h or 652 mph or 567 kn)
  • First Flight: April 27, 2005
  • Number built: 5 (159 ordered)
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Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1986-013-04, Helmut Wick (cropped).jpg
Helmut Paul Emil Wick (5 August 1915 – 28 November 1940) was a German Luftwaffe ace and the fourth recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade, the Oak Leaves, was awarded by the Third Reich to recognise extreme bravery in battle or successful military leadership. It was Germany's highest military decoration at the time of its presentation to Helmut Wick.

Born in Mannheim, Wick joined the Luftwaffe in 1936 and was trained as a fighter pilot. He was assigned to Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen" (JG 2—2nd Fighter Wing), and saw combat in the Battles of France and Britain. Promoted to Major in October 1940, he was given the position of Geschwaderkommodore (wing commander) of JG 2—the youngest in the Luftwaffe to hold this rank and position. He was shot down in the vicinity of the Isle of Wight on 28 November 1940 and posted as missing in action, presumed dead. By then he had been credited with destroying 56 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, making him the leading German fighter pilot at the time. Flying the Messerschmitt Bf 109, he claimed all of his victories against the Western Allies.

In the news

Today in Aviation

March 6

  • 2009 – VT-XRM, an NAL Saras prototype operated by the National Aerospace Laboratory, crashes 31 km (19 mi) from Bengaluru International Airport, India, killing all three crew members.
  • 2007 – ANA announces orders for 4 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
  • 2005Air Transat Flight 961, an Airbus A310, suffers rudder failure after takeoff from Varadero, Cuba; the aircraft returns to Cuba with no casulties.
  • 2003Air Algérie Flight 6289, a Boeing 737-200, veers off the runway on takeoff in Tamanrasset, Algeria; 96 of the 97 passengers and all 6 crew members perish.
  • 2003 – Hooters Air begins service, operated by Pace Airlines. The business would last less than three years.
  • 2003 – Continental launches nonstop service from its Newark Liberty International Airport hub to Geneva, Switzerland.
  • 1990 – The last flight of the SR-71 Blackbird takes place, when Lieutenant Colonels Ed Yielding (pilot) and Joseph Vida (reconnaissance systems officer) fly U. S. Air Force SR-71 A serial number 61-17972 from Palmdale, California, to Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia, setting a Los Angeles, California-to-Washington, D. C. world record time of 1 h 4 min 20 seconds at an average speed of 2,124 mph (3,420 kph). The aircraft is delivered to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum to be put on display
  • 1986 – Japan Air Lines embarks the world’s heaviest man, an 880-lb Austrian flying from Frankfurt, Germany, as a passenger; 16 seats are removed from the cabin to make room for him.
  • 1984 – First B-52 captive test of cruise missile over Primrose Lake bombing range, near Cold Lake, Alberta.
  • 1968 – First single Huey turned over to 403 Squadron in Uplands ceremony.
  • 1968Air France Flight 212 crashed into the northwestern slope of La Soufrière Mountain, in Guadeloupe with the loss of all 63 lives on board.
  • 1965 – A Sikorsky SH-3 A Sea King makes the first non-stop helicopter flight across North America. The distance traveled is 2,116 miles (3,405 km) and a new distance record for helicopters
  • 1961 – The B-52 H made its first flight. The H model is still in service today.
  • 1951 – The Martin aircraft company gains production rights to the English Electric Canberra as the B-57
  • 1944 – The Lancasters and Halifax’s of Bomber Command began an offensive against the German transport network in occupied Europe, attacking railway yards in France.
  • 1940 – France informs the Finnish government that it will dispatch an expeditionary force including 72 bombers to Finland on March 13, but the Winter War ends before the French force can begin its journey.
  • 1936 – Entered Service: Avro Anson with No. 48 Squadron, Royal Air Force
  • 1935 – ANF Les Mureaux 115R.2
  • 1935 – U. S secretary of commerce signs a special air traffic regulation that prohibits air flights over parts of Washington, D. C.
  • 1927 – Gordon Cooper, astronaut, was born (d. 2004). Gordon “Gordo” Cooper was one of the seven original astronauts in Project Mercury, the first manned-space effort by the United States. Cooper was launched into space on 15 May 1963 aboard the Mercury-Atlas 9 (Faith 7) spacecraft, the last Mercury mission. He orbited the earth 22 times and logged more time in space than all five previous Mercury astronauts combined – 34 hours, 19 min and 49 seconds, traveling 546,167 miles (878,971 km) at 17,547 mph (28,239 km/h), pulling a maximum of 7.6 g (74.48 m/s²). Cooper achieved an altitude of 165.9 statute miles (267 km) at apogee. He was the first American astronaut to sleep not only in orbit but on the launch pad during a countdown.
  • 1918 – The Finnish Air Force is founded.
  • 1918 – The first successful flight of a powered unmanned heavier-than-air craft, the Curtiss-Sperry Flying Bomb takes place. It is the precursor to modern unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
  • 1915 – First fatal accident involving Japanese Naval aviators occurs when Yokosho Navy Type Mo Large Seaplane (Maurice Farman 1914 Seaplane), serial number 15, crashed at sea with Sub-Lieuts. Tozaburo Adachi and Takao Takerube, and W/O 3/c Hisanojo Yanase on board, all KWF.
  • 1913 – The formation of the First Saskatchewan Aviation Co Ltd to teach aviation was announced at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


  1. ^ Guled, Abdi (7 March 2012). "Turkish Airlines Launches Landmark Mogadishu Flight". Travel.usatoday.com. Associated Press. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Somalia: Turkish Airlines Begins Flights to Mogadishu", BBC News, 6 March 2012, 6:55 a.m. EST.

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