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The Boeing 747, one of the most iconic aircraft in history.

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, 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 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.

Selected article

Air Force One
An airport is a facility where aircraft can take off and land. At the very minimum, an airport consists of one runway (or helipad), but other common components are hangars and terminal buildings. Apart from these, an airport may have a variety of facilities and infrastructure, including fixed base operator services, air traffic control, passenger facilities such as restaurants and lounges, and emergency services.

Selected image

Roulettes aerobatics display at the Melbourne Grand Prix
Credit: User:Fir0002

Roulettes aerobatics display at the Melbourne Grand Prix

...Archive/Nominations

Did you know

...that Ansett Airlines Flight 232 from Adelaide to Alice Springs in 1972 was the first aircraft hijacking to take place in Australia? ...that the Zagreb mid-air collision over Croatia in 1976 was one of the deadliest mid-air collisions? ... that Arthur Hartley developed the Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation which is credited with safely landing 2,500 aircraft during World War Two?

Selected Aircraft

Space Shuttle Discovery

NASA's Space Shuttle, officially called the Space Transportation System (STS), is the spacecraft which was used by the United States government for its human spaceflight missions. At launch, it consists of a rust-colored external tank (ET), two white, slender Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs), and the orbiter, a winged spaceplane which is the space shuttle in the narrow sense.

The orbiter carries astronauts and payload such as satellites or space station parts into low earth orbit, into the Earth's upper atmosphere or thermosphere. Usually, five to seven crew members ride in the orbiter. The payload capacity is 22,700 kg (50,000 lb). When the orbiter's mission is complete it fires its Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) thrusters to drop out of orbit and re-enters the lower atmosphere. During the descent and landing, the shuttle orbiter acts as a glider, and makes a completely unpowered ("dead stick") landing.

  • Span: 78.06 ft (23.79 m)
  • Length: 122.17 ft (37.24 m)
  • Height: 58.58 ft (17.25 m)
  • Engines: 3 Rocketdyne Block 2 A SSMEs
  • Cruising Speed: 25,404 ft/s (7,743 m/s, 27,875 km/h, 17,321 mi/h)
  • First Flight: August 12, 1977 (glider), April 12, 1981 (powered).
  • Operational Altitude: 100 to 520 nmi (185 to 1,000 km)
  • Number built: 6 (+2 mockups)
...Archive/Nominations

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Selected biography

Charles Lindbergh
Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. (February 4, 1902 – August 26, 1974), known as "Lucky Lindy" and "The Lone Eagle", was a pioneering United States aviator famous for piloting the first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, flying from Roosevelt Airfield (Nassau County, Long Island), New York to Paris on May 20-May 21, 1927 in his single-engine aircraft The Spirit of St. Louis.

He grew up in Little Falls, Minnesota. Early on he showed an interest in machinery, especially aircraft. After training as a pilot with the Army Air Service Lindbergh took a job as lead pilot of an airmail route in a DeHavilland DH-4 biplane. He was renowned for delivering the mail under any circumstances.

Lindbergh is recognized in aviation for demonstrating and charting polar air-routes, high altitude flying techniques, and increasing aircraft flying range by decreasing fuel consumption. These innovations are the basis of modern intercontinental air travel.

In the news

Wikinews Aviation portal
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Today in Aviation

March 19

  • 2012 – A Ecuador Air Force Embraer A-29B crashed on a training flight near Manta Air Base, Ecuador. The two crew ejected safely.
  • 2010 – A Turkish Army TAI/AgustaWestland T-129 (registration CSX81723) helicopter prototype lost its tail rotor at 15,000 ft (4,600 m). height at 16:30. Two people on board survived.
  • 2009 – Quito B200 King Air crash: A Beechcraft B200 King Air of the Ecuadorian Air Force crashes at Guápulo while attempting to land at Mariscal Sucre International Airport in thick fog, killing all five people on board and a further two on the ground.
  • 2007 – Airbus A380 makes first flights to the United States, with one touching down in New York at John F. Kennedy International Airport and another in California at Los Angeles International Airport.
  • 2003 – MH-53M Pave Low 67-14993 of 20th SOS carrying special forces crashes in southern Iraq. No one is killed. The craft was later destroyed to prevent capture.[5]
  • 2001 – Comair Flight 5054, an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, experiences severe atmospheric icing in flight near West Palm Beach, Florida. After a rapid loss of altitude, the crew regains control of the aircraft and makes an emergency landing at West Palm Beach Airport without injury to any of the 27 people on board. The plane suffers permanent deformation of its stabilizer and elevator.
  • 1990 – An McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle from the 3rd Wing stationed at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska accidentally fired an AIM-9M Sidewinder missile at another F-15. The damaged aircraft was able to make an emergency landing; it was subsequently repaired and returned to service.
  • 1982 – Boeing Boeing KC-135A-BN Stratotanker, 58-0031, assigned to the 108th Air Refueling Squadron, 126th Air Refueling Wing, Illinois Air National Guard, crashed near Greenwood, Illinois. The KC-135 was returning from K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan to its home base at Chicago O'Hare International Airport when an explosion occurred at 13,700 feet due to an overheated fuel pump. All four crew members and 23 passengers in the KC-135 were killed.
  • 1972EgyptAir Flight 763, a Douglas DC-9, crashes on approach to Aden International Airport, killing all 30 passengers and crew.
  • 1969 – The first scheduled jet air service inside the Arctic Circle begins as Nordair inaugurates a weekly return service between Montreal, Canada and Resolution Bay, Cornwallis Island, Canada.
  • 1965 – Final Hawker Siddeley P.1127 prototype (of six), XP984, first with new swept wing with leading edge extensions and steel cold nozzles, first flown in October 1963, is damaged in a forced landing at Thorney Island. Repaired.
  • 1964Geraldine Mock, in a Cessna 180, becomes the first woman to fly around the world.
  • 1961 – Eleventh Lockheed U-2A, 56-6684, Article 351, delivered to the CIA 18 May 1956, modified to U-2C by July 1959; returning from a night celestial nav training sortie, crashes on landing at Taoyuan Air Base, Taiwan, killing Republic Of China Air Force pilot Chih Yao Hua. During a touch-and-go landing, he applied power but lost control, the aircraft veering left, crashing and exploding. Unit was the CIA's Detachment H, ROCAF 35th Squadron.
  • 1956 – Fire at Dorval destroyed 426 Squadron’s hangars forcing 426 to relocate to Trenton.
  • 1954 – A USAF Fairchild C-119F-FA Flying Boxcar, 51-7993, c/n 10732, of the 774th Troop Carrier Squadron, Ardmore Air Force Base, Oklahoma, en route from Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, to Mitchel Air Force Base, Long Island, New York, crashes into a rain-swept cornfield 19 miles S of Annapolis, Maryland, killing all 18 on board. It had departed Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., after refueling at 2212 hrs. A watch found in the wreckage had stopped at 2229 hrs. A spokesman at Bolling said that there were twelve passengers and six crewmen aboard. There were 11 Air Force personnel, five U.S. Navy, and one Marine on board. Witnesses reported that the aircraft was on fire before the crash and appeared to have exploded. The plane grazed the edge of a wooded area just off Maryland Route 2 before it impacted. Twisted wreckage and bodies were strewn over a ten-acre area. A heavy rain aided firemen in preventing the fire from getting out of hand. A detachment of sailors and Marines from the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis stood guard over the area as a group of investigators from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, examined the wreckage for clues to the cause of the tragedy.
  • 1946 – Col. George Vernon Holloman, (1902–1946), a native of Rich Square, North Carolina, aviation instrument inventor and early experimenter with guided missiles, is killed in a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress accident on Formosa, while en route from China to the Philippines. Holloman had received the DFC for conducting the first instrument-only landing of an aircraft. Alamogordo Army Air Base, New Mexico, renamed Holloman AFB, 13 January 1948.
  • 1921 – The Douglas Cloudster broke the Pacific Coast altitude record by climbing 19,160 feet. The Cloudster was the first Douglas product. It was also the first airplane in history to airlift a useful load exceeding its own weight.
  • 1918 – U. S. airplanes in France make the first operational flights.
  • 1912 – The first of the U. S. Signal Corps Scout series capable of meeting a specification issued February 8, 1912, the S. C. No.8 is delivered to Augusta, Georgia by Curtiss pilot Charles F. Walsh. It finally passes all tests at College Park, Maryland in May with Lincoln Beachey at the controls.
  • 1909 – The International Aero and Motor-Boat Exhibition opens in London. Among the exhibits is a Wright airplane for sale at $7,000.


  1. ^ Marcus, Jonathan, "Libya: French Plane Fires on Military Vehicle," BBC News, 19 March 2011, 15:57 ET
  2. ^ "Libyan Private and State Media Slant Protest Coverage". BBC News. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  3. ^ Rayment, Sean, "Libya: Moment a Rebel Jet Crashed to Earth in Flames," The Daily Telegraph, 19 March 2011.
  4. ^ "Gaddafi Forces Encroaching on Benghazi," Al Jazeera, 19 March 2011.
  5. ^ "H53 History" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-15.

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