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Tyler Gonzalez: U.S Aviation History 1865-2001

  • Wright Brothers Aeroplane Patent

    Wright Brothers Aeroplane Patent
    On this day in history, Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright from Dayton, Ohio file a patent for their flying machine with the help of their attorney Harry A. Toulmin. In order to make sure that their flying machine wouldn’t be copied or face a potential lawsuit Harry A. Toulmin suggested patenting the three-axis control system which was a very important system that allowed for stable control of the flying machine. (wrightstories) On May 22, 1906 patent number 821,393 was granted (invention.psycholo
  • Wright Brothers Cont.

    we got up, a wind of between 20 and 25 miles was blowing from the north” (Wright Diary) Later that day three more attempts were made before the aircraft sustained major damage after the last flight.
  • Wright Brothers Patent Cont.

    number 821,393 was granted (invention.psychology) to Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright with the help of their attorney, with Harry A. Toulmlin. Sometime in the 1980’s the physical patent was lost while being transported to and from museums, but the patent still remains valid. To this day every aircraft manufactured features the Wright brother’s three-axis control system.
  • Wright Brothers First Flight

    Wright Brothers First Flight
    On a sunny clear windy day in North Carolina on December 17, 1903 the first ever man powered airplane took flight. Pilot Orville Wright piloted the aircraft 20 feet in the air for a distance of 120 feet, which lasted an amazing 12 seconds. The location of the first flight was selected on a beach in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina because of the large amounts of sea breeze that was available. This was required to produce the lift for the airplane wings. "When we got up, a wind of between 20 and 25 mil
  • First Air Mail Delivery

    First Air Mail Delivery
    On February 18, 1911, French pilot Henri Pequet carried the first official mail flown by an airplane. The flight occurred took place in India. Henri Pequet carried a total of 6,000 cards and letters on his Humber biplane. The airplane flew a distance of five miles, from an Allahabad polo field, over the Yamuna River, to Naini. (postalmuseum) Even though many other pilots around the world had carried mail in their aircraft, this was the first time the mail was official and provided by the governm
  • First Mail Delivery Cont.

    was official and provided by the government. Each piece of letter carried on this flight received a special stamp that was stamped showing the date and a special insignia.
  • First Flight Over North Pole

    First Flight Over North Pole
    On May 9th, 1926 Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett, became the first men to fly over the north pole in their Fokker tri-motor airplane. Flying the plane threw the atmospheric conditions was brutal. Both pilots had to deal with Arctic winds that could easily throw the plane off course. Navigating from the air was also hazardous, since the dazzling white of ice and snow or the Arctic fog made the land seem horizon less against the sky. (history.net) The flight only took eight hours and 25 minutes
  • First Private Pilot Certificate Issued

    First Private Pilot Certificate Issued
    The United States began licensing pilots as a result of the Air Commerce Act of 1926. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover established the Aeronautics Branch to carry out the Department’s aviation regulatory responsibilities. On April 6, 192 the newly established Aeronautics Branch of the Department of Commerce (avstop) issued the first private pilot certification. This recipient was the chief of the Branch, William P. MacCracken. Orville Wright was offered the first private pilot certificate a
  • First Pilot Liscence Cont.

    Wright was offered the first private pilot certificate at no cost to him. Wright declined because he no longer flew and did not think he needed a Federal license to show that he had been the first man to fly. (faa.gov)
  • First Women’s Trans-Atlantic Solo Flight

    First Women’s Trans-Atlantic Solo Flight
    On May 20, 1932 Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in her Lockheed Vega aircraft. She began her flight at Harbor Grace in Newfoundland. Her total flight time was 14 hours and 56 minutes. She later landed in London Derry. (pbs.org) For her major accomplishment she was presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross by the United States Congress. The French government awarded the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor to her for her accomplishment. Presiden
  • First Womens Cont.

    Cross by the United States Congress. The French government awarded the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor to her for her accomplishment. President Hoover later awards her with the National Geographic Society Gold Medal making her the first woman to ever receive this award. (Pbs.org)
  • Boeing 247 Lifts Off

    Boeing 247 Lifts Off
    The Boeing 247 was the first real commercial passenger aircraft to be developed and mass manufactured. Boeing developed the aircraft in 1933. The design was simple but revolutionary for its time it was an all-metal, twin-engine aircraft. It had a gyro panel for instrument flying, an autopilot, pneumatically operated de-icing equipment, a variable-pitch propeller and retractable landing gear. (boeing.com) It took the Model 247 20 hours, with seven stops, to fly between New York and Los Angeles. A
  • B247 Cont.

    fly between New York and Los Angeles. A total of 75 aircraft were built. Many United States airline companies used these aircraft including many foreign companies such as Lufthansa.
  • Howard Hughes Breaks Speed Record

    Howard Hughes Breaks Speed Record
    On the Morning of January 19, 1937 Howard Hughes at the age of 32 takes off from Martin Field in Los Angles, California in his homebuilt monoplane. His destination is Newark, New Jersey. Howard sets the record for this flight making to New Jersey in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds. He averaged 332 miles an hour during the 2,490 mile journey. (nytimes.com) This was one of the most challenging flights for the young Hughes, he nearly passes out and crashes his plane while adjusting his oxygen du
  • Howard Hughes Cont.

    passes out and crashes his plane while adjusting his oxygen during flight. During his faintness Hughes had screamed to equalize the pressure from within his head and the rarified air outside and was beginning to feel better during his oxygen lost event. (nytimes.com)
  • Zeppelin Hindenburg Crashes

    Zeppelin Hindenburg Crashes
    On My 6, 1937 in Lakehurst New Jersey the German zeppelin Hindenburg explodes killing 33 passengers and crew. 79 passengers and crew escape the disaster. One of the survivors was Captain Ernst Lehmann who was the pilot of the Hindenburg. “I couldn’t understand it,’ as he staggered out of the burning control car. He died next day due to his burn injuries. (nytimes) Due to deteriorating weather conditions the landing was rushed. During the final decent a mistake was made and the Hindenburg hit apa
  • Hindenburg Cont.

    hit apart of the landing structure and due to the flammable hydrogen in the zeppelin the entire airship caught fire within minutes. After this incident all airships were grounded permanently.
  • Amelia Earhart Goes Missing

    Amelia Earhart Goes Missing
    On July 2, 1937 Amelia Earhart and her lover Fred Noonan depart for the last time from Lae. Amelia and Fred set their destination to Howland Island. During the flight Amelia and Fred lose radio contact frequently and begin to run low on fuel and become very lost. The Coast Guard ship Itasca , who they had been trying to stay in contact with the whole fly eventually loose pernmant contact. The last message that was received by the shipped seemed like a desperate call for help. Amelia and Fred dis
  • Amelia Goes Missing Cont.

    that was received by the shipped seemed like a desperate call for help. Amelia and Fred disappear somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. President Roosevelt issues a massive search for Amelia and Noonan, and George Putnam finances his own search until October 1937, but their efforts are unsuccessful. (biography.org)
  • Tuskegee Airmen

    Tuskegee Airmen
    On July 19, 1941 the United States Army Corps began to accept and train African Americans as pilots. During World War II many civil rights groups and organizations placed pressure on United States of America President Roosevelt and Congress to amend the rules to allow African Americans to support the war efforts. The Tuskegee Airmen was assigned to the 99th Pursuit Squadron. The Tuskegee Airment were equipped with P-40 Tomahawk fighters. The Tuskegee Airmen saw combat in Tunisia in North Africa
  • Tuskegee Airmen Cont.

    Tomahawk fighters. The Tuskegee Airmen saw combat in Tunisia in North Africa in 1943. On 2 June, they first experienced combat in a dive-bombing mission against the German-held island of Pantelleria. (olive-drab.com) During World War II many airmen said that no bomber escorted by the 332d was lost in combat. By the end of World War II, 992 men had graduated from pilot training and 450 were sent overseas. About 150 lost their lives while in training or on combat flights.
  • Spruce Goose Lifts Off

    Spruce Goose Lifts Off
    On November 2, 1947 the enormous aircraft the Spruce Goose takes off from Long Beach Harbor traveling an amazing one-mile. The aircraft was contracted to be built by Howard Hughes for military transport for the United States Military. The United States government invested $22 million dollars into the building of the aircraft and Howard Hughes invested $18 million of his own money. Since metal was very rare during World War II, the aircraft was planned to be built fully out of laminated birch w
  • Spruce Goose Cont.

    weighs 400,000 pounds empty and can fly to a service ceiling of 20,900 feet. Its famous wings are longer then the aircraft’s hull, with a wingspan of 319 feet it is a record setter.
  • DeHavilland Comet Takes Off

    DeHavilland Comet Takes Off
    On May 2, 1952 the First De Havilland Comet Takes off from Johannesburg. This is the first every jet engine powered commercial airliner. The only aircraft to have been using jet engines were military aircraft as the airliners didn’t see jet powered commercial airlines to be economical due to the high rate of fuel ingestion. The comet was a success to passengers and airliners and placed Britain as number one for jet commercial aircraft. The success was short lived. Soon Comet aircraft literally b
  • Comet Cont.

    aircraft. The success was short lived. Soon Comet aircraft literally began falling out of the sky’s. Extensive investigation revealed a devastating design flaw, metal fatigue. The constant re-pressurization of the aircraft would weaken areas of the fuselage near the Comet's square-shaped windows. The Comet's thin-skin exterior would become so stressed that high pressure cabin air would burst through the slightest fracture, ripping a large slice in the aircraft's wall. (pbs.com) All Comets were
  • Comet Cont Cont.

    were grounded until the a solution could be decided and fixes made to the Comets. By the time the Comet was allowed to re-enter service other makers such as Boeing and Douglas had began producing jet airliners that the comet had no chance of surviving.
  • Jacie Cochran First Women to Break Sound Barrier

    Jacie Cochran First Women to Break Sound Barrier
  • Challenger Cont.

    they had found due to unusual cold temperatures in Florida the important O-rings froze and failed during the launch. These O-rings sealed the joints of the shuttle’s solid rocket boosters, without the seal they became very hazardous and exploded. During the investigation it was found that Morton Thiokol, the company that designed the solid rocket boosters, had ignored warnings about the O-ring failure. NASA managers were also aware of these design problems but also failed to take action. Famousl
  • Challenger Cont Cont.

    , scientist Richard Feynman, a member of the commission, demonstrated the O-ring flaw to the public using a simple glass of ice water. (history.com) After the accident, NASA suspended Space Shuttle flights into space for two years while it redesigned numerous shuttle features. NASA began to fly the Space Shuttles again in September 1988 with the successful launching of Space Shuttle Discovery.
  • Boeing 747 Takes Flight

    Boeing 747 Takes Flight
    On February 9, 1969 Boeing produces the 747 and it takes flight. The 747 took years to design, test and build. The 747's final design was offered in three configurations: all passenger, all cargo and a convertible passenger/freighter model. The freighter and convertible models loaded 8- by 8-foot cargo containers through the huge hinged nose. (boeing.com) The 747 can carry a maximum of 660 passengers and 33 crew members. This aircraft helped change the airline industry by allowing them to carry
  • 747 Cont.

    helped change the airline industry by allowing them to carry more passengers to farther destinations.
  • Concorde Takes Flight

    Concorde Takes Flight
    On April 9th 1969, Pilot Brian Trubshaw made the first flight in the British-built prototype Concorde. The flight lasted 27 minutes which left from Filton, United Kingdom near Bristol and landed at the Royal Air Force base in Fairford. The pilot, Andre Turcat, said on his return to the airport: "Finally the big bird flies, and I can say now that it flies pretty well." (bbc.com) The test flight reached 10,000ft, reaching a speed of 300mph. The British government was responsible for the major deve
  • Concorde

    hoped that Concorde would begin flying commercially in 1973, which would cut the flying time between London and New York from seven hours 40 minutes to three hours 25 minutes. (bbc.com) The first commercial flight took place in 1976 when British Airways flew from London Heathrow to Bahrain. Due to rising fuel costs and safety concerns Concorde's final commercial flight was on October 23, 2003.
  • Airline Deregulation Act

    Airline Deregulation Act
    On December 31, 1984 the Airline Deregulation Act went into place. Until then the Civil Aeronautics Board strictly controlled the market of airlines and fares. (econlib.com) When the bill was passed new airlines were allowed to enter the market and set their own fares to compete with legacy carriers such as Pan Am, TWA and Eastern. With more airlines getting into the market the capacity of the airports needed to change. More airports were built, increase of hiring of Air Traffic Controllers an
  • Airline Deregulation Act Cont.

    were built, increase of hiring of Air Traffic Controllers and more renovations were needed at current airport to accommodate the increase traffic loads. Legacy carriers such as Pan Am, TWA, Eastern and National either filed for bankruptcy or merged with other carriers. The Airline Deregulation Act changed to feel and style of flying and had turned the market in a low cost carriers choice.
  • Space Shuttle Challenger Explodes

    Space Shuttle Challenger Explodes
    On January 28, 1986 NASA’s space shuttle Challenger breaks up mid-air killing its crew of 7 astronauts including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffle. Christa had been chosen to serve as an astronaut on the shuttle to bring back teachings of the space shuttle to her students in New Hampshire. An investigation was ordered by Ronald Regan, the president at the time to determine what had gone wrong. During NASA’s finding they had found due to unusual cold temperatures in Florida the important O-rings
  • Pan Am Flight 103

    Pan Am Flight 103
    Pan Am Flight 103 leaves London on December 21, 1988 its destination is New York. Mean while inflight over Lockerbie, Scotland the Boeing 747 aircraft explodes at 31,000 feet killing all 259 passengers aboard and 11 residents on the ground. During the investigation it is found that a bomb was placed in a piece of luggage inside the cargo hold that caused the explosion. Investigators identified Libyans Abel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimh as suspects in the terrorist act. The Libya
  • Pan Am Cont.

    Lamen Khalifa Fhimh as suspects in the terrorist act. The Libyan government refused to turn over the suspects to the United States so they wouldn’t be tried in America. (washingtonpost.com) On January 31, 2001, Megrahi was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Fhimah was acquitted.
  • TWA Flight 800

    TWA Flight 800
    Trans World Airlines flight 800 departs John F. Kennedy International Airport on July 17, 1996 with 212 passengers aboard and 18 crewmembers. Its destination is Charles DeGaulle International Airport in Paris, France. (ntsb.gov) Shortly after take off over the Atlantic Ocean near East Moriches, New York the Boeing 747 explodes inflight killing all 230 people aboard. Due to a delay at John F. Kennedy Airport the aircraft sat on the tarmac with it’s air conditioners on waiting for take off this p
  • TWA 800 Cont.

    with it’s air conditioners on waiting for take off this produced a lot of head in the holds. The investigation found that large amounts of fuel vapor had been collecting in the fuel tanks which piping for the air conditioners went under helped to heat. Due to a faulty wiring a spark was ignited over the center wing fuel tank resulting in the fuel vapors combusting.