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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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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. 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.

Selected picture

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

Luftschiff Haenlein.jpg

... that Paul Haenlein was the first to create a dirigible airship powered by an internal combustion engine?

...that the BAE Systems HERTI is the first and only fully autonomous UAV to have been certificated by the United Kingdom?

... 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?

Selected Aircraft

C-GSYN Adlair Aviation Ltd Beechcraft King Air 100 (BE10) 03.JPG

The Beechcraft King Air is a line of twin-turboprop aircraft produced by the Beech Aircraft Corporation (now the Beechcraft Division of Hawker Beechcraft). The King Air has been in continuous production since 1964, the longest production run of any civilian turboprop aircraft. It has outlasted all of its previous competitors and as of 2006 is one of only two twin-turboprop business airplanes in production (the other is the Piaggio Avanti).

Historically, the King Air family comprises a number of models that fall into four families, the Model 90 series, Model 100 series, Model 200 series, and Model 300 series. The last two types were originally marketed as the Super King Air, but the "Super" moniker was dropped in 1996. As of 2006, the only small King Air in production is the conventional-tail C90GT.

  • Span: 50 ft 3 in (15.33 m)
  • Length: 35 ft 6in (10.82 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 3 in (4.35 m)
  • Engines: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-21 turboprops , 550 shp (410 kW) each
  • Cruising Speed: 284 mph (247 knots ,457 km/h)
  • First Flight: May 1963
...Archive/Nominations

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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

February 27

  • 2009 – A Polish Army Mil Mi-24 Hind Helicopter crashes in bad weather into a forest near Toruń, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Province, Poland. The aircraft from the 49 Regiment combat helicopters Pruszcz Gdański was on a night training flight for service in Afghanistan resulting in 2 crew injured and 1 fatality.
  • 2006 – Death of Robert Lee Scott Jr., Brigadier General in the United States Air Force. Scott is best known for his autobiography 'God is My Co-Pilot' about his exploits in WWII with the Flying Tigers and the United States Army Air Forces in China and Burma.
  • 2003 – A Canadian Forces Air Command Sikorsky CH-124B Sea King helicopter, 12401, of 12 Wing, crashes on the deck of HMCS Iroquois in the Persian Gulf. No one was killed, but the ship's mission in the Gulf was postponed.
  • 2002 – Ryanair Flight 296 catches fire in London Stansted Airport. Subsequent investigations criticize Ryanair’s handling of the evacuation.
  • 1993 – The USAF begins supply drops into Bosnia
  • 1991 – An American OV-10D Bronco becomes the last Coalition aircraft lost in combat during the Gulf War.
  • 1987 – Royal Air Force Boeing Chinook HC.1 ZA721 crashed in the Falkland Islands, all seven on board killed.
  • 1980 – A China Air Lines Boeing 707 originating from Taipei crash landed in Manila, Philippines and was destroyed by fire. All 124 passengers and 11 crew members exited the plane and survived.
  • 1970 – Hawker Siddeley begins buying back surplus Hawker Hunters from the Royal Air Force to remanufacture for new customers.
  • 1969 – Beagle Aircraft Limited, British light aircraft manufacturer gets into voluntary liquidation.
  • 1961 – Max Conrad takes off from Miami in a PA-23 Aztec named New Frontiers (registration N4445P) for an Around-the-world record.
  • 1958 – In the Winter Hill air disaster, a Silver City Airways Bristol 170 Freighter travelling from the Isle of Man to Manchester Ringway Airport crashes into Winter Hill, Lancashire, killing 35 people and injuring seven.
  • 1945 – First flight of the Curtiss XF15C, a US mixed-propulsion (propellor and turbojet engines) fighter prototype.
  • 1945 – Off Iwo Jima, the U. S. Navy tank landing ship USS LST-776, specially equipped with booms and cables for launching light aircraft, achieves the first successful launch of a Piper OY-1 Cub observation plane.
  • 1943 – USAAF bomber aircraft made their first raid on Germany.
  • 1942 – The aircraft tender USS Langley (AV-3), which once had been the U. S. Navy’s first aircraft carrier as USS Langley (CV-1), is sunk by Japanese aircraft in the Indian Ocean while trying to deliver Curtiss P-40 fighters from Australia to Java.
  • 1938 – 6 USAAC B-17 Flying Fortresses lands after a goodwill tour of Latin America, traveling 12,000 miles (19,312 km) to Lima, Buenos Aires, Santiago and back.
  • 1936 – During the Second Battle of Tembien, Italian aircraft drop 200 tons (181,439 kg) of high-explosive bombs on forming-up areas for Ethiopian troops and kill many Ethiopians fleeing the battlefield as they ford the Takkaze River.
  • 1935 – Latècoère’s giant seaplane Santos Dumont lands with a cargo of mail after a record flight of 53 hours 4 min from Natal, Brazil to Paris, with two stops en route.
  • 1928 – Commander Theodore Gordon Ellyson, the first Naval Aviator, Lieutenant Commander Hugo Schmidt and Lieutenant Rogers Ransehounsen, crash to their deaths in the sole Loening XOL-7 amphibian, A7335, (an OL-6 modified with an experimental thicker wing), in the lower Chesapeake Bay while on a night flight from Norfolk, Virginia, to Annapolis, Maryland. The Navy searches for the lost aircraft for a month without success. On 11 March the office of the Secretary of the Navy cables Helen Ellyson, "Very reluctantly yesterday the Secretary came to the conclusion that it was necessary for us to declare the officers who were lost in the plane with your husband officially dead. We had hoped against hope that something might be found of those officers living but it does not seem now that there is any hope left." On 11 April, Ellyson’s body washed ashore in the lower Chesapeake Bay.
  • 1924 – Death of Hans Georg Friedrich Groß, German balloonist and airship constructor.
  • 1921 – Birth of Theodore Van Kirk, American navigator of the Enola Gay when it dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
  • 1920 – Piloting a United States Army Air Service Packard-Le Peré LUSAC-11 fighter equipped with one of the first turbochargers, Major Rudolf Schroeder sets a new world altitude record of 10,099 m (33,113 feet). His oxygen system fails and he passes out; he regains consciousness only very near the ground and lands safely, but is hospitalized.
  • 1918 – Birth of Harold Brownlow Morgan "Micky" Martin, Australian WWII bomber pilot (who flew with the 'Dambusters' 617 Squadron) and RAF post-war High-ranking officer.
  • 1917 – The first military flying in Canada took place when the RFC Canada began training with three Curtiss JN-4 aircraft at Long Beach Aerodrome near Toronto.
  • 1916 – Birth of Giuseppe Cenni, Italian Spanish war and WWII pilot
  • 1910 – Birth of Clarence Leonard "Kelly" Johnson, American aircraft engineer and aeronautical innovator, member of the Lockheed Skunk Works. While at Lockheed, Johnson designed the P-38 Lightning fighter, made Fowler flaps work on the Model 14 Super Electra, and played a major role in converting the type into the Royal Air Force's Lockheed Hudson on short notice in 1938. He worked on the development of the Constellation for Howard Hughes' TWA airline.
  • 1906 – Death of Samuel Pierpont Langley, American astronomer, physicist, inventor of the bolometer and pioneer of aviation.
  • 1898 – Birth of Maryse Bastié, French aviatrix. Born Marie-Louise Bombec. Aerobatic, raid and record Pilot.
  • 1890 – Birth of Arthur Roy 'Art' Smith, early American aviator, aircraft designer who also perfected the art of night time sky writing, WWI Instructor, and Airmail pilot.
  • 1887 – Birth of Pyotr Nikolayevich Nesterov, Russian WWI pilot, aircraft technical designer and aerobatics pioneer.1
  • 1885 – Birth of Theodore Gordon 'Spuds' Ellyson, USN pilot, first United States Navy officer designated as an aviator ("Naval Aviator No. 1").


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

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