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Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as hot air 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 in 1896; then a large 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 by the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world. (Full article...)

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The air flow from the wing of this agricultural plane is made visible by a technique that uses colored smoke rising from the ground. The swirl at the wingtip traces the aircraft's wake vortex, which exerts a powerful influence on the flow field behind the plane.
The air flow from the wing of this agricultural plane is made visible by a technique that uses colored smoke rising from the ground. The swirl at the wingtip traces the aircraft's wake vortex, which exerts a powerful influence on the flow field behind the plane.
Aerodynamics is a branch of dynamics concerned with studying the motion of air, particularly when it interacts with a moving object. Understanding the motion of air (often called a flow field) around an object enables the calculation of forces and moments acting on the object. Typical properties calculated for a flow field include velocity, pressure, density and temperature as a function of position and time. By defining a control volume around the flow field, equations for the conservation of mass, momentum, and energy can be defined and used to solve for the properties. The use of aerodynamics through mathematical analysis, empirical approximation and wind tunnel experimentation form the scientific basis for heavier-than-air flight.

External aerodynamics is the study of flow around solid objects of various shapes. Evaluating the lift and drag on an airplane, the shock waves that form in front of the nose of a rocket is an example of external aerodynamics. Internal aerodynamics is the study of flow through passages in solid objects. For instance, internal aerodynamics encompasses the study of the airflow through a jet engine.

The ratio of the problem's characteristic flow speed to the speed of sound comprises a second classification of aerodynamic problems. A problem is called subsonic if all the speeds in the problem are less than the speed of sound, transonic if speeds both below and above the speed of sound are present (normally when the characteristic speed is approximately the speed of sound), supersonic when the characteristic flow speed is greater than the speed of sound, and hypersonic when the flow speed is much greater than the speed of sound. Aerodynamicists disagree over the precise definition of hypersonic flow; minimum Mach numbers for hypersonic flow range from 3 to 12. Most aerodynamicists use numbers between 5 and 8. (Full article...)

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Did you know

...that Communist Romania's Foreign Minister, Grigore Preoteasa, was killed in an aircraft accident after refusing to wear a seat belt during landing? ...that the Zagreb mid-air collision over Croatia in 1976 was one of the deadliest mid-air collisions? ... that Coast Aero Center and Norving were the first airlines with scheduled services at Geilo Airport, Dagali located in Hol, Norway?

Selected Aircraft

[[File:|right|250px|]] The Tupolev TB-3 (Russian: Тяжёлый Бомбардировщик, Tyazholy Bombardirovschik, Heavy Bomber, civilian designation ANT-6) was a heavy bomber aircraft which was deployed by the Soviet Air Force in the 1930s and during World War II. It was the world's first cantilever wing four-engine heavy bomber. Despite obsolescence and being officially withdrawn from service in 1939, TB-3 performed bomber and transport duties through much of WWII. The TB-3 also saw combat as a Zveno project fighter mothership and as a light tank transport.

  • Span: 41.80 m (137 ft 2 in)
  • Length: 24.4 m (80 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 8.50 m (27 ft 11 in)
  • Engines: 4× Mikulin M-17F V12 engines, 525 kW (705 hp) each
  • Maximum Speed: 196 km/h (106 knots, 122 mph) at 3000 m (9,840 ft)
  • First Flight: 22 December 1930
...Archive/Nominations

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Selected biography

Elbert Leander "Burt" Rutan (born June 17, 1943 in Estacada, Oregon) is an American aerospace engineer noted for his originality in designing light, strong, unusual-looking, energy-efficient aircraft. He is most famous for his design of the record-breaking Voyager, which was the first plane to fly around the world without stopping or refueling, and the suborbital rocket plane SpaceShipOne, which won the Ansari X-Prize in 2004.

In the news

Today in Aviation

April 10

  • 2011 – NATO announces that its airstrikes in Libya under Operation Unified Protector have destroyed 11 Libyan government tanks near Ajdabiya and 14 near Misrata during the day.[1] Libyan rebels announce that NATO airstrikes have helped them hold Ajdabiya and drive Gaddafi's forces out during the weekend's attack.[2]
  • 2010 – Jamaican airline Air Jamaica ceased operations. All services taken over by Caribbean Airlines.
  • 2009 – A Kenyan Airforce Harbin Y-12 crashes into a hillside on approaching an airstrip near Marsabit, Eastern Province, Kenya killing 14 personnel.
  • 1986 – Johan Åhling of Sweden introduces the "Mosquito", a foot-launched powered hang glider harness.
  • 1972 – LCol Roy Windover awarded the Louis Bleriot medal by the FAI for reaching an altitude of 30,800 ft in a glider.
  • 1970 – The first of four Boeing 707‘s designated the CC 137 arrived at Trenton.
  • 1969 – The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the first European air service to take delivery of the Lockheed P-3 B Orion.
  • 1967 – Gates Rubber Company acquires a controlling interest in Lear Jet Industries.
  • 1965 – The U. S. Joint Chiefs of Staff submit a plan for Operation Rolling Thunder which includes a list of major fixed targets in North Vietnam in its section Alpha. It begins the U. S. Navy use of the term "Alpha strike", meaning a large attack by an aircraft carrier air wing.
  • 1963 – First flight of the EWR VJ 101, the world's first supersonic V/STOL aircraft
  • 1958 – A USAF Boeing B-47E-90-BW Stratojet, 52-0470, c/n 450755, the first Block E-90-BW, of the 376th Bombardment Wing (Medium) out of Lockbourne AFB, Ohio, crashes near North Collins, New York, after disintegrating in flight at ~20,000 feet (6,100 m) altitude. It had been scheduled to rendezvous with a KC-97 Stratotanker of the 341st Air Refueling Squadron, out of Dow AFB, Maine, when it exploded. The tanker was about one mile ahead of the bomber when it went down. All four crew KWF. Dead are Maj. Harold L. Kelly, aircraft commander, 34, Eugene, Oregon; Lt. Col. John R. Glyer, pilot, 38, Wilmington, Delaware; 1st Lt. Richard Tellier, co-pilot, Pompano Beach, Florida; and 1st Lt. Albert Gene Moncla, navigator, 24, Shreveport, Louisiana.
  • 1958 – A Convair F-102 Delta Dagger crashes between two houses in Rio Linda, California. A witness said he thought the pilot dove the plane to miss houses in the area. Pilot was the only casualty.
  • 1953 – No. 1 Air Division now located at new HQ at Metz, France.
  • 1948 – Eglin AFB, Florida, suffers second accident in two days when Douglas A-26 Invader from Biggs AFB, El Paso, Texas, goes down in the Gulf of Mexico S of Destin, Florida. Two of three crew survive by parachuting from stricken bomber, TDY here for firing exercises over the Gulf. First Lieutenant John Kubo and T/Sgt. Joseph A. Riley (ages, hometowns not given) are rescued by Eglin crash boats. KWF is T/Sgt. John E. Brizendine, officially listed as missing.
  • 1942 – No. 132 (Fighter) Squadron was formed at Tofino, BC.
  • 1942 – The Japanese carrier raiding force departs the Indian Ocean, having destroyed an aircraft carrier, two heavy cruisers, two destroyers, three lesser warships, 23 merchant ships, and over 40 aircraft. No Japanese aircraft carrier will operate in the Indian Ocean again.
  • 1942 – (Overnight) The Royal Air Force introduces its new 8,000-lb (3,629-kg) “Super Cookie” bomb – Its largest bomb to date and second of its “blockbuster” bombs – Into service in a raid on Essen, Germany. Too big for the bomb bay of the Stirling and Wellington, it can be carried only by the Halifax and Lancaster
  • 1940 – German Dornier Do 17 s and Heinkel He 111 s attack British towns and shore facilities in the Scapa Flow area in the Orkney Islands. Defending Gloster Sea Gladiators of the Fleet Air Arm’s No. 804 Squadron shoot down one He 111.
  • 1940 – Sixteen Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Blackburn Skua dive bombers sink the German light cruiser Königsberg at Bergen, Norway. It is the first time in history that dive bombers sink a major warship. One Skua is lost.
  • 1933 – Francesco Agello sets a new airspeed record of 682 km/h (424 mph) in the Italian Macchi M. C.72 seaplane.
  • 1931 – C. W. A. Scott breaks the record for the fastest solo flight from England to Australia. Flighing from April 1–10 in a time of 9 days 4 hr. 11 min.
  • 1930 – The English aviatrix and ornithologist Mary Russell, Duchess of Bedford, and her personal pilot C. D. Barnard make a record-breaking flight in the Fokker F.VII Spider (G-EBTS) of 9,000 miles (14,493 km) from Lympne Airport in Lympne, England, to Cape Town, South Africa, in 100 flying hours over 10 days.
  • 1926 – Lindberg becomes chief pilot for Robertson Aircraft Corp, flying a Saint Louis to Chicago mail route.
  • 1926 – Three United States Army aircraft take photographs of an eruption of Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii, providing valuable scientific information.
  • 1837 – The earliest known aeronautical experiment in Canada is conducted by Canadian schoolteacher John Rae. He successfully launches a paper balloon able to carry weight. Its lift is provided by the heating of its blackened surface by the sun.


  1. ^ Press release (10 April 2011). "NATO Strikes Hit Gaddafi Forces Around Adjabiya and Misratah". NATO. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  2. ^ Staff (10 April 2011). "Libya Live Blog – 10 April". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 12 April 20911.

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