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History of Aviation

  • Aug 15, 1486

    The Ornithopter, First Flying Machine

    The Ornithopter, First Flying Machine
    The Ornithopter, also known as the "Flying Machine", was the first flying machine, and was created by Leonardo Da Vinci in 1486. It was never tested, but scientists believe it would be very hard to take it off the ground, but it would fly once it was in the air.
  • The Flyer

    The Flyer
    The Flyer is a very notable and famous plane that most people will recognize. It was created by the Wright Brothers in 1903, and was the first plane to succesfully take flight. Orville took off in of the Flyer at 10:35 AM and travelled 120 feet in 12 seconds at a speed of only 6.8 MPH over the ground. They later patented their airplane and modified it to be the Wright Model B.
  • The First Tactical Plane

    The First Tactical Plane
    In 1915, a couple of two soldiers invented the first Fighter Plane, which ironically, was called the Fighter Plane. It was a basic plane design, but with steel propeller blades and a machine gun attached to the front. According to EyeWitnesstohistory.com, "On his first flight Garros downed a German observation plane. Within two weeks Garros added four more planes to his list of kills." This proves that the design was effective in combat.
  • The Red Baron

    The Red Baron
    Many readers will probably know of this plane. The Red Baron (Manfred von Richthofen) was a legendary soldier who flew inside of a certain model of the Fokker Dr.I, the plane that we'll all recognize. The reason it is so popular and famous is because it gathered the most kills during WWI, with a total of what is believed to be around 90. The plane was popularized in the animated cartoon specials and movie Peanuts.
  • Boeing 242

    Boeing 242
    In 1933 William Boeing created the Boeing 242, the first model airliner. It could carry 10 passengers in comfort. The Boeing 242 was twin-engined and completely metal. This Boeing was the start to commercial airlining.
  • Amelia Earhart, The Solo Flyer

    Amelia Earhart, The Solo Flyer
    Amilia Earhart, well know as the women who tried to fly across the world. Amilia Earhart born on July 24 1897 in Atchison Kansas. When she became older she wanted to be a pilot and tried the mission of flying around the world. The first thing went wrong when her Lockheed Electra disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on June 2, 1937. Within hours, rescue workers began looking for Amilia but did not find a sign. On January 5, 1939 Amilia Earhart was declared legally dead.
  • Jet Engine

    Jet Engine
    After 7 years of hard work, Frank Wittle, with some help from Hans von Ohain, made their first test to the jet engine. The jet engine was later upgraded and tested again.
  • Boeing 307

    Boeing 307
    The Boeing Model 307 Stratoliner was the first fully pressurized airliner to enter service anywhere in the world. Being able to fly 20,000 feet higher than the 5,000 to 10,000 foot-altitude unpressurized airplanes a that time, it was said that it could "fly above the weather." It carried five crew members and 33 passengers and had a nearly 12-foot wide cabin for overnight berths. The Stratoliner was also the first land-based airplane to have a flight engineer as a member of the crew.
  • The Memphis Belle

    The Memphis Belle
    The Memphis Belle was (and is, it's still intact today) an absolutely massive war plane that completed the most missions for America during WWII. It safely completed 25 missions from November 1942 through May 1943. Quick fact: Some airplanes you see might have little crosses, circles, or Felix the Cat on them, and this originates from old-time knight heraldism.
  • Enola Gay

    Enola Gay
    The Enola Gay is a military-use Boeing B-29 Superfortress that reaped atomic destruction over the cities of Hiroshima and the accidental target Nagasaki. Code-named "Little Boy", the atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and the effect was so unbelievably bad that people's flesh melted off of their bones before their bodies hit the ground. The second time, it's target was the town of Kokura, but clouds and drifting smoke caused the bomb to drop on Nagasaki instead.
  • Sound Barrier Broken

    Sound Barrier Broken
    U.S. Air Force pilot Charles "Chuck" Yeager became the fastest man alive when he piloted the Bell X-1 faster than the speed of sound for the first time ever on October 14 over the town of Victorville, California, at an altitude of 45,000 feet.
  • The Spruce Goose

    The Spruce Goose
    The Hughes H-4 Hercules, more commonly known as the "Spruce Goose", was an almost completely wooden eight-engine plane created by Howard Hughes. It holds the record for the largest airplane ever flown, with a flight time of approximately one minute at 70 feet above the ground. It is 219 feet long and has a wingspan of 80 feet.
  • X-15

    The North American X-15 was a hypersonic rocket-powered aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as part of the X-plane series of experimental aircraft. The X-15 set speed and altitude records in the 1960s, reaching the edge of outer space and returning with valuable data used in aircraft and spacecraft design. The X-15's official world record for the highest speed ever recorded.
  • Boeing 747

    Boeing 747
    The Boeing 747 is a very large commercial airliner which held the record for largest passenger capacity until the 1990's. The plane has a distinctive "hump" shape towards the front cabin which made the plane recognizable. It is also known as Jumbo Jet or Queen of the Skies. The amount of people today flying in this plane has dropped, and the planes will soon retire.
  • Concorde

    The Concorde was a passenger plane invented in 1976. This French-British plane was luxurious and could fit 200 people. There were only 20 built and 14 went in to commission. With a take off speed of 220 knots (250mph) and a cruising speed of 1350mph – more than twice the speed of sound. Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the aviation industry after the type's only crash in 2000. A cotract was signed between Air France and the Smithsonian to put a plane in their museum.
  • B-2 Spirit

    B-2 Spirit
    The B-2 Spirit, created on July 17, 1989 is a multi-role bomber that is capable of delivering both conventional and nucular munition. The B-2 is a major help to America's Airforce.
  • US Air Force One

    US Air Force One
    The Air Force One is a truly luxurious airliner. It carries the president and all congress peoples. Some of it's features include 4,000 square feet of 3 floors, 85 telephones, 19 full, actual TVs, and an executive suite with an office and conference room. It can refuel while in flight, which makes it able to fly non-stop for large amounts of time. It was originally created as an aerial command center. The model itself is a highly customized Boeing VC-25.
  • The First Space Airliner

    The First Space Airliner
    SpaceShipOne is a very fitting name for this atmosphere-travelling jetcraft. You could call it a spaceship, a private jet, a luxury airliner, or even a mini shuttle. It made it's first private space flight in 2004, and has became the spotlight for manned spaceflight vacations until it's retirement. There is also a SpaceShipTwo, a SpaceShipThree (the first commercial orbital airliner) and a soon SpaceShipFour. Wouldn't it be so cool to go to space in that futuristic spaceship?
  • Miracle on the Hudson

    Miracle on the Hudson
    In 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 was heading towards Charlotte, NC, from New York. A seemingly normal flight. However, three minutes in, a flock of Canada Geese hit both of the plane's engines and the plane's systems started to fail. Captain Sullenberger "Sully" was rapidly trying to communicate with the airport, and the last message he sent was "I'll be in the hudson". The airplane miraculously landed in the water, floating, and all of the passengers and crew survived.
  • Airbus a350

    Airbus a350
    This commercial airliner is one of Airbus's most used planes carrying 325 people. This plane meets all its standards as some can fly for 19 hours.
  • The Future of Planes?

    The Future of Planes?
    Aircraft companies estimate a ten-fold increase in air travelling by about 2050, and a four-fold in greenhouse emissions. Flight companies want to seek a solution. But what? Fully electrify their aircraft for green energy. As stated by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, "Once batteries are capable of producing 400 Watt-hours per kilogram, with a ratio of power cell to overall mass of between 0.7-0.8, an electrical transcontinental aircraft becomes compelling." There are many designs from different companies.