Born August 19, 1871(1871-08-19)
Died January 30, 1948 (aged 76)
Occupation printer/publisher, bicycle retailer/manufacturer, airplane inventor/manufacturer, pilot trainer
Born April 16, 1867(1867-04-16)
Died May 30, 1912 (aged 45)
Occupation printer/editor, bicycle retailer/manufacturer, airplane inventor/manufacturer, pilot trainer
The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two Americans who are generally credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903. In the two years afterward, the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.
The brothers' fundamental breakthrough was their invention of three-axis control, which enabled the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium. This method became standard and remains standard on fixed-wing aircraft of all kinds. From the beginning of their aeronautical work, the Wright brothers focused on unlocking the secrets of control to conquer "the flying problem", rather than developing more powerful engines as some other experimenters did. Their careful wind tunnel tests produced better aeronautical data than any before, enabling them to design and build wings and propellers more effective than any before. Their U.S. patent 821,393 claims the invention of a system of aerodynamic control that manipulates a flying machine's surfaces.
They gained the mechanical skills essential for their success by working for years in their shop with printing presses, bicycles, motors, and other machinery. Their work with bicycles in particular influenced their belief that an unstable vehicle like a flying machine could be controlled and balanced with practice. From 1900 until their first powered flights in late 1903, they conducted extensive glider tests that also developed their skills as pilots. Their bicycle shop employee Charlie Taylor became an important part of the team, building their first aircraft engine in close collaboration with the brothers. The Wright brothers' status as inventors of the airplane has been subject to counter-claims by various parties. Much controversy persists over the many competing claims of early aviators.
The brothers flew the glider only a few days in the early autumn of 1900 at Kitty Hawk. In the first tests, probably October 3, Wilbur was aboard while the glider flew as a kite not far above the ground with men below holding tether ropes. Most of the kite tests were unpiloted with sandbags or chains (and even a local boy) as onboard ballast. The 1900 glider. No photo was taken with a pilot aboard.They tested wing-warping using control ropes from the ground. The glider was also tested unmanned while suspended from a small homemade tower. Wilbur made about a dozen free glides on only a single day. For those tests, the brothers trekked four miles (6 km) south to the Kill Devil Hills, a group of sand dunes up to 100 feet (30 m) high . Although the glider's was less than expected , the brothers were encouraged because the craft's front elevator worked well and they had no accidents. However, the small number of free glides meant they were not able to give wing warping a true test. The pilot lay flat on the lower wing, as planned, to reduce aerodynamic drag. As a glide ended, the pilot was supposed to lower himself to a vertical position through an opening in the wing and land on his feet with his arms wrapped over the framework. Within a few glides, however, they discovered the pilot could remain prone on the wing, headfirst, without undue danger when landing. They made all their flights in that position for the next five years.
Orville at Kitty Hawk with the 1901 glider, its nose pointed skyward; it had no tail.Hoping to improve lift, they built the 1901 glider with a much larger wing area and made 50 to 100 flights in July and August for distances of 20 to 400 ft (6 to 122 m). The glider stalled a few times, but the parachute effect of the forward elevator allowed Wilbur to make a safe flat or "pancake" landing, instead of a nose-dive. These incidents wedded the Wrights even more strongly to the canard design, which they did not give up until 1910. The glider, however, delivered two major disappointments. It produced only about one-third the lift calculated and sometimes failed to respond properly to wing-warping, turning opposite the direction intended—a problem later known as adverse yaw. On the trip home after their second season, Wilbur, stung with disappointment, remarked to Orville that man would fly, but not in their lifetimes. The poor lift of the gliders led the Wrights to question the accuracy of Lilienthal's data, as well as the "Smeaton coefficient" of air pressure, which had been in existence for over 100 years and was part of the accepted equation for lift.
A Wright engine, serial number 17, circa 1910, is on display at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
Original 1903 Wright Flyer in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
The original Wright brothers aeroplane. The world's first power-driven heavier-than-air machine in which man made free, controlled, and sustained flight Invented and built by Wilbur and Orville Wright Flown by them at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina December 17, 1903 By original scientific research the Wright brothers discovered the principles of human flight
As inventors, builders, and flyers they further developed the aeroplane, taught man to fly, and opened the era of aviation.
Amelia Mary Earhart c. 1935
Full name Amelia Mary Earhart
Birth July 24, 1897, Atchison, Kansas, USA
Death Unknown, missing 2 July 1937 en route to Howland Island, declared dead 5 January 1939
Spouse George P. Putnam
Known for First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and setting many aviation records.
Amelia Mary Earhart (born July 24, 1897; missing July 2, 1937; declared legally dead January 5, 1939) was a noted American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for becoming the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. Earhart joined the faculty of the world-famous Purdue University aviation department in 1935 as a visiting faculty member to counsel women on careers and help inspire others with her love for aviation. She was also a member of the National Woman's Party, and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.
During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10 Electra, Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. Fascination with her life, career and disappearance continues to this day.
At the age of 34, on the morning of May 20, 1932 Earhart set off from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland with the latest copy of a local newspaper (the dated copy was intended to confirm the date of the flight). She intended to fly to Paris in her single engine Lockheed Vega 5b to emulate Charles Lindbergh's solo flight. Her technical advisor for the flight was famed Norwegian American aviator Bernt Balchen who helped prepare her aircraft. He also played the role of "decoy" for the press as he was ostensibly preparing Earhart's Vega for his own Arctic flight. After a flight lasting 14 hours, 56 minutes during which she contended with strong northerly winds, icy conditions and mechanical problems, Earhart landed in a pasture at Culmore, north of Derry, Northern Ireland. The landing was witnessed by Cecil King and T. Sawyer. When a farm hand asked, "Have you flown far?" Amelia replied, "From America." The site now is the home of a small museum, the Amelia Earhart Centre.
Amelia Earhart, Los Angeles, 1928
Through a series of misunderstandings or errors (the details of which are still controversial), the final approach to Howland Island using radio navigation was not successful. Fred Noonan had earlier written about problems affecting the accuracy of radio direction finding in navigation. Some sources have noted Earhart's apparent lack of understanding of her Bendix direction-finding loop antenna, which at the time was very new technology. Another cited cause of possible confusion was that the USCG cutter Itasca and Earhart planned their communication schedule using time systems set a half hour apart (with Earhart using Greenwich Civil Time (GCT) and the Itasca under a Naval time zone designation system). Motion picture evidence from Lae suggests that an antenna mounted underneath the fuselage may have been torn off from the fuel-heavy Electra during taxi or takeoff from Lae's turf runway, though no antenna was reported found at Lae. Don Dwiggins, in his biography of Paul Mantz (who assisted Earhart and Noonan in their flight planning), noted that the aviators had cut off their long-wire antenna, due to the annoyance of having to crank it back into the aircraft after each use.
Lockheed Vega 5b flown by Amelia Earhart as seen on display at the National Air and Space Museum
Last Radio signals
Earhart in the Electra cockpit, c.1936During Earhart and Noonan's approach to Howland Island the Itasca received strong and clear voice transmissions from Earhart identifying as KHAQQ but she apparently was unable to hear voice transmissions from the ship. At 7:42 a.m. Earhart radioed "We must be on you, but cannot see you—but gas is running low. Have been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet." Her 7:58 a.m. transmission said she couldn't hear the Itasca and asked them to send voice signals so she could try to take a radio bearing (this transmission was reported by the Itasca as the loudest possible signal, indicating Earhart and Noonan were in the immediate area). They couldn't send voice at the frequency she asked for, so Morse code signals were sent instead. Earhart acknowledged receiving these but said she was unable to determine their direction.
In her last known transmission at 8:43 a.m. Earhart broadcast "We are on the line 157 337. We will repeat this message. We will repeat this on 6210 kilocycles. Wait." However, a few moments later she was back on the same frequency (3105 kHz) with a transmission which was logged as a "questionable": "We are running on line north and south." Earhart's transmissions seemed to indicate she and Noonan believed they had reached Howland's charted position, which was incorrect by about five nautical miles (10 km). The Itasca used her oil-fired boilers to generate smoke for a period of time but the fliers apparently did not see it. The many scattered clouds in the area around Howland Island have also been cited as a problem: their dark shadows on the ocean surface may have been almost indistinguishable from the island's subdued and very flat profile.
Whether any post-loss radio signals were received from Earhart and Noonan remains controversial. If transmissions were received from the Electra, most if not all were weak and hopelessly garbled. Earhart's voice transmissions to Howland were on 3105 kHz, a frequency restricted to aviation use in the United States by the FCC. This frequency was not thought to be fit for broadcasts over great distances. When Earhart was at cruising altitude and midway between Lae and Howland (over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from each) neither station heard her scheduled transmission at 0815 GCT. Moreover, the 50-watt transmitter used by Earhart was attached to a less-than-optimum-length V-type antenna.
The last voice transmission received on Howland Island from Earhart indicated she and Noonan were flying along a line of position (taken from a "sun line" running on 157–337 degrees) which Noonan would have calculated and drawn on a chart as passing through Howland. After all contact was lost with Howland Island, attempts were made to reach the flyers with both voice and Morse code transmissions. Operators across the Pacific and the United States may have heard signals from the downed Electra but these were unintelligible or weak.
Some of these transmissions were hoaxes but others were deemed authentic. Bearings taken by Pan American Airways stations suggested signals originating from several locations, including Gardner Island. It was noted at the time that if these signals were from Earhart and Noonan, they must have been on land with the aircraft since water would have otherwise shorted out the Electra's electrical system. Sporadic signals were reported for four or five days after the disappearance but none yielded any understandable information. The captain of the Colorado later said "There was no doubt many stations were calling the Earhart plane on the plane's frequency, some by voice and others by signals. All of these added to the confusion and doubtfulness of the authenticity of the reports."
Here we have a photograph of a multi-winged glider, intended to be pedaled like a bicycle.
Above is pictured a German experimenter Cessna airplane Photo of "Silver Wings,"
with his three-by-four-yards, motorless a Cessna monoplane in flight.Date: 1911
Navy plane one of the first to be built. Laird Swallows 1886-1982, the first Swallow was
built for the commercial market in 1920 by Laird
Albin Longren's first airplane
View of Albin Longren's first airplane in Winfield, Kansas.
Date: November 25, 1911
A6M2 Model 21 on display at the Pacific Aviation Museum, Pearl Harbor, HI
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) introduced in the 1930s.
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt in the early 1930s.
The A340 was launched in June 1987 as a long-range complement to the short-range A320 and the medium-range A300. At the time, Airbus's twinjets were at a disadvantage against aircraft such as the Boeing 747 because of the ETOPS problem as defined by the regulations: twin-engined aircraft had to stay within 60 minutes' flying distance of a suitable diversion airport, which prevented them from competing on long over-water routes. Furthermore, the existing ETOPS-immune wide-bodies in the 250-300 seat range, the trijet DC-10 and L-1011, were aging, as they had been in service since the early 1970s.
Cubana's Ilyushin Il-96 economy class cabin.
Airbus A330 Business Class (Avianca).
Getting ready to land
One take's off and one lands
The first twinjet widebody (1972), the Airbus A300
British Airways Airbus A319
The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engined wide-body commercial passenger airliner manufactured by Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It seats between 261 and 380 passengers, and has a range between 6,700 and 9,000 nmi (12400 to 16600 km). It is similar in design to the twin-engined A330 with which it was concurrently designed. Initial A340 versions share the fuselage and wing of the A330 while later models are longer and have larger wings.
A Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet -Air New Zealand,- Lockheed L-1011 TriStar of Royal Jordanian Airlines ,- The Boeing 787
Singapore Airlines Airbus A 380.
United Airlines Size comparison between a Boeing 737-300 (narrow-body) and a Boeing 777 (widebody aircraft)
At its heyday TWA operated a fleet of 747-100 aircraft.
Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow (British Airways) and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (Air France) to New York JFK and Washington Dulles, flying these routes at record speeds, in less than half the time of other airliners.
With only 20 aircraft built, the development phase represented a substantial economic loss. Additionally, Air France and British Airways were subsidised by their governments to buy the aircraft. As a result of the type’s only crash, (on 25 July 2000), economic effects arising from the September 11 attacks, and other factors, operations ceased on 24 October 2003. The last "retirement" flight occurred on 26 November 2003. Regarded by many as an aviation icon, Concorde has acquired an unusual nomenclature for an aircraft. In common usage in the United Kingdom, the type is known as "Concorde" rather than "the Concorde" or "a Concorde".
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a German World War II fighter aircraft. It was one of the first true modern fighters of the era, including such features as an all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, and retractable landing gear. The Bf 109 was the most produced warplane during World War II, with 30,573 examples built during the war, and the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced up to April 1945.
The Chance Vought F4U Corsair was a carrier-capable fighter aircraft that saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War. Goodyear-built Corsairs were designated FG and Brewster-built aircraft F3A. The Corsair served in smaller air forces until the 1960s, following the longest production run of any piston-engined fighter in U.S. history (1942–1952). Some Japanese pilots regarded it as the most formidable American fighter of World War II. The U.S. Navy counted an 11:1 kill ratio with the F4U Corsair.
Introduced February 1943
The Macchi C.205 (also known as MC.205, "MC" standing for "Macchi Castoldi") Veltro (Italian: Greyhound) was an Italian World War II fighter aircraft built by the Aeronautica Macchi. Along with the Reggiane Re.2005 and Fiat G.55, the Macchi C.205 was one of the three "Serie 5" Italian fighters built around the powerful Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine. The C.205 was a development of the earlier C.202 Folgore.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 was a jet fighter developed for the USSR by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich. The MiG-15 was one of the first successful swept-wing jet fighters, and it achieved fame in the skies over Korea, where early in the war, it outclassed all straight-winged enemy fighters in daylight. The MiG-15 also served as the starting point for development of the more advanced MiG-17 which was still an effective threat to supersonic American fighters over North Vietnam in the 1960s.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-19) (NATO reporting name: "Farmer") is a Soviet second-generation, single-seat, twin jet-engined fighter aircraft. It was the first Soviet production aircraft capable of supersonic speeds in level flight. A comparable U.S. "Century Series" fighter was the F-100 Super Sabre, although it would primarily oppose the more modern F-4 Phantom II and F-105 Thunderchief over North Vietnam.
MiG-29G/MiG-29GT -It was an upgrade standard for the German Luftwaffe's MiG-29 / 29UB, inherited from the former East Germany to the NATO standards. Works was done by MiG Aircraft Product Support GmbH (MAPS), a joint venture company form between MiG Moscow Aviation Production Association and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace in 1993.
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental (VFX) program following the collapse of the F-111B project. The F-14 was the first of the American teen-series fighters which were designed incorporating the experience of air combat against MiGs during the Vietnam War. Introduction September 1974
The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was a World War II American fighter aircraft built by Lockheed. Developed to a United States Army Air Corps requirement, the P-38 had distinctive twin booms and a single, central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament. Named "fork-tailed devil" by the Luftwaffe and "two planes, one pilot" by the Japanese, this unique aircraft was used in a number of different roles including dive bombing, level bombing, ground strafing, photo reconnaissance missions, and extensively as a long-range escort fighter when equipped with drop tanks under its wings. Introduction 1941.
The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, also known as the "Jug," was the biggest, heaviest, and most expensive fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single reciprocating engine. It was one of the main United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters of World War II, and served with other Allied air forces. The P-47 was effective in air combat but proved especially adept at ground attack. It had eight .50-caliber machine guns, four per wing. When fully loaded the P-47 could weigh up to eight tons. A modern-day counterpart in that role, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, takes its name from the P-47. Introduction 1942.
The Sukhoi PAK FA ,Future Frontline Aircraft System is a fifth-generation jet fighter being developed by Sukhoi OKB for the Russian Air Force. The current prototype is Sukhoi's T-50. The PAK FA when fully developed is intended to replace the MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker in the Russian inventory and serve as the basis of the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA project being developed with India. A fifth generation jet fighter, it is designed to directly compete with Lockheed Martin's F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. The T-50 performed its first flight January 29, 2010. Its second flight was on February 6 and its third on February 12. As of June 17'th, it has made 16 flights in total.
The Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut (Russian: Су-47 Беркут - Golden Eagle) (NATO reporting name Firkin), also designated S-32 and S-37 (not to be confused with Su-37) during initial development, is an experimental supersonic jet fighter developed by Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. A distinguishing feature of the aircraft is its forward-swept wing, similar to that of the Tsybin's LL-3. The sole aircraft produced is an advanced technology demonstrator prototype and manufacture of a planned second flying prototype is under question due to recent MIG developments of 5th generation Jet fighters. This aircraft is sometimes confused with the single-engined delta canard design offered by Sukhoi in the early 1990s under the S-37 designation.
The Sukhoi Su-37 (NATO reporting name: Flanker-F) is a Russian experimental multi-role jet fighter aircraft. It is a single seat fighter modified from the 1st generation Su-35 prototypes for thrust vector control testing. The Su-37 is not to be confused with the S-37 Berkut (Su-47) forward-swept wing technology demonstrator or the single engined S-37 canard delta naval fighter proposed by Sukhoi in the early 1990s.
The Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23 was an American prototype fighter aircraft designed for the United States Air Force. The YF-23 was a finalist in the U.S. Air Force's Advanced Tactical Fighter competition. Two YF-23s were built and were nicknamed "Black Widow II" and "Gray Ghost", respectively. The YF-23 lost the contest to the Lockheed YF-22, which entered production as the F-22 Raptor. First flight 27 August 1990 -Status Canceled.
The Grumman F4F Wildcat was an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy (as the Martlet) in 1940. Although first used in combat by the British in Europe, the Wildcat was the only United States Navy or Marine fighter in World War II 1941–42 in the Pacific Theater besides the brief appearance of the F2A Buffalo. With a top speed of 318 mph (512 km/h), the Wildcat was outperformed by the more nimble 331 mph (533 km/h) Mitsubishi Zero, but its ruggedness and tactics such as the Thach Weave resulted in an air combat kill-to-loss ratio of 5.9:1 in 1942 and 6.9:1 for the entire war.
The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a supersonic jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979. As the first of the Century Series collection of USAF jet fighters, it was capable of supersonic speed in level flight. The F-100 was originally designed as a higher performance follow-on to the F-86 Sabre air superiority fighter. Adapted as a fighter bomber, the F-100 would be supplanted by the Mach 2 class F-105 Thunderchief for strike missions over North Vietnam. The F-100 flew extensively over South Vietnam as the Air Force's primary close air support jet until replaced by the more efficient subsonic A-7 Corsair II. The F-100 also served in several NATO air forces and with other US allies. In its later life, it was often referred to as "the Hun," a shortened version of "one hundred."
The Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, military, tiltrotor aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft. The V-22 originated from the United States Department of Defense Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program started in 1981. The team of Bell Helicopter, and Boeing Helicopters was awarded a development contract in 1983 for the tiltrotor aircraft.
Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling (IFR), air-to-air refueling (AAR) or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft (the tanker) to another (the receiver) during flight. Applied to helicopters, it is known as HAR for Helicopter Aerial Refueling.
The procedure allows the receiving (generally military) aircraft to remain airborne longer, extending its range and therefore those of its weapons or its deployment radius. A series of air refuelings can give range limited only by crew fatigue and engineering factors such as engine oil consumption.
Because the receiver aircraft can be topped up with extra fuel in the air, air refueling can allow a take-off with a greater payload which could be weapons, cargo or personnel: the maximum take-off weight is maintained by carrying less fuel and topping up once airborne. Alternatively, a shorter take-off roll can be achieved because take-off can be at a lighter weight before refueling once airborne.
The two main refueling systems are probe and drogue, which is simpler to adapt to existing aircraft, and the flying boom, which offers greater fuel transfer capacity, but requires a dedicated operator station and specially designed receiving receptacle. Usually, the aircraft providing the fuel is specially designed for the task, although refueling pods can be fitted to existing aircraft designs if the "probe and drogue" system is to be used .
The cost of the refueling equipment on both tanker and receiver aircraft and the specialized aircraft handling of the aircraft to be refueled (very close "line astern" formation flying) has resulted in the activity only being used in military operations. There is no known regular civilian in-flight refueling activity. Originally employed to extend the range of intercontinental strategic bombers, air refueling since the Vietnam War has been extensively used in large-scale military operations for many different aircraft and helicopters.
For instance, in the Gulf War and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the Iraq War, all coalition air sorties were air-refueled except for a few short-range ground attack sorties in the Kuwait area. Some of the earliest experiments in aerial refueling took place in the 1920s; two slow-flying aircraft flew in formation, with a hose run down from a hand-held fuel tank on one aircraft and placed into the usual fuel filler of the other. The first mid-air refueling between two planes occurred on June 27, 1923, between two Airco DH-4B biplanes of the United States Army Air Service.
An endurance record was set by three DH-4Bs (a receiver and two tankers) on August 27–28, 1923, in which the receiver airplane remained aloft for more than 37 hours using nine mid-air refuelings to transfer 687 gallons of aviation gasoline and 38 gallons of engine oil. The same crews demonstrated the utility of the technique on October 25, 1923, when a DH-4 flew from Sumas, Washington, on the Canadian border to Tijuana, Mexico, landing in San Diego, using mid-air refuelings at Eugene, Oregon, and Sacramento, California.
An air show is an event at which aviators display their flying skills and the capabilities of their aircraft to spectators in aerobatics. Air shows without aerobatic displays, having only aircraft displayed parked on the ground, are called "static air shows".
Some air shows are held as a business venture or as a trade event where aircraft, avionics and other services are promoted to potential customers. Many air shows are held in support of local, national or military charities. Military air firms often organise air shows at military airfields as a public relations exercise to thank the local community, promote military careers and raise the profile of the military.
Air show "seasons" vary around the world. Whereas the United States enjoys a long season that generally runs from March to November, other areas often have much shorter seasons. The European season usually starts in late April or Early May and is usually over by mid October. The Middle East, Australia and New Zealand hold their events between January and March. However, for many acts the "off season" does not mean a period of inactivity, they use time for maintenance and practice.
The type of displays seen at an event are constrained by a number of factors, including the weather and visibility. Most aviation authorities now publish rules and guidance on minimum display heights and criteria for differing conditions. In addition to the weather, pilots and organizers must also consider local airspace restrictions. Most exhibitors will plan "full," "rolling" and "flat" display for varying weather and airspace conditions.
The types of shows vary greatly. Some are large scale military events with large flying displays and ground exhibitions while others held at small local airstrips can often feature just one or two hours of flying with just a few stalls on the ground. Air Displays can be held during day or night with the latter becoming increasingly popular. Shows don't always take place over airfields; some have been held over the grounds of stately homes or castles and over the sea at coastal resorts.
Before the Second World War, air shows were associated with long distance air races, often lasting many days and covering thousands of miles. While the Reno Air Races keep this tradition alive, most air shows today primarily feature a series of aerial demos of short duration.
Most air shows will feature warbirds, aerobatics, and demonstrations of modern military aircraft, and many air shows offer a variety of other aeronautical attractions as well, such as wing-walking, radio-controlled aircraft, water/slurry drops from firefighting aircraft, simulated helicopter rescues and sky diving.
Specialist aerobatic aircraft have powerful piston engines, light weight and big control surfaces, making them capable of very high roll rates and accelerations. A skilled pilot will be able to climb vertically, perform very tight turns, tumble his aircraft end-over-end and perform manoeuvres during loops.
RAAF F-111 performing a dump-and-burn fuel dump at the Australian International AirshowSolo military jet demos, also known as tactical demos, feature one aircraft, usually a strike fighter or an advanced trainer. The demonstration focuses on the capabilities of modern aircraft used in combat operations.
The display will usually demonstrate the aircraft's very short (and often very loud) takeoff rolls, fast speeds, slow approach speeds, as well as their ability to quickly make tight turns, to climb quickly, and their ability to be precisely controlled at a large range of speeds.
Manoeuvres include aileron rolls, barrel rolls, hesitation rolls, Cuban-8s, tight turns, high-alpha flight, a high-speed pass, double Immelmans, and touch-and-gos. Tactical demos may include simulated bomb drops, sometimes with pyrotechnics on the ground for effect.
Aircraft with special characteristics that give them unique capabilities will often display those in their demos; For example, Russian fighters with Thrust vectoring may be used to perform Pugachev's Cobra or the Kulbit, among other difficult manoeuvers that cannot be performed by other aircraft.
Similarly, an F-22 pilot may hover his jet in the air with the nose pointed straight up, a Harrier or Osprey pilot may perform a vertical landing or vertical takeoff, etc.
Air shows present some risk to spectators and aviators. Accidents occur, sometimes with a large loss of life, such as the 1988 disaster at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and the 2002 air show crash at Lviv, Ukraine. Because of these accidents, the various aviation authorities around the world have created set rules and guidance for those running and participating in air displays. Air displays are often monitored by aviation authorities to ensure safe procedures.
Rules govern the distance from the crowds that aircraft must fly. These vary according to the rating of the pilot/crew, the type of aircraft and the way the aircraft is being flown. For instance, slower lighter aircraft are usually allowed closer and lower to the crowd than larger, faster types. Also, a fighter jet flying straight and level will be able to do so closer to the crowd and lower than if it were performing a roll or a loop.
A sea plane is a fixed-wing aircraft capable of taking off and landing (alighting) on water. Seaplanes which can also take-off and land on airfields are a small subclass called amphibian aircraft. Seaplanes and amphibians are usually divided into two categories based on their technological characteristics: floatplanes and flying boats, which are generally far larger and can carry far more. These aircraft were sometimes called hydroplanes.
The Canadair CL-215 ("Scooper") was the first model in a series of firefighting flying boat amphibious aircraft built by Canadair and later Bombardier. The CL-215 is a twin-engine, high-wing aircraft designed to operate well at low speed and in gust-loading circumstances, as are found over forest fires. It is also able to land and take off from short, unpaved airstrips.
Arising from an earlier 1960s research study at the company, the original concept was for a twin-engined floatplane transport, that was altered into a "firefighter" as a result of a request by forestry officials in the Quebec Service Aérien (Quebec Government Air Service) for a more effective way of delivering water to forest fires. The preliminary design, the CL-204 was a purpose-designed water bomber that evolved into an amphibian flying boat configuration, powered by two 2,100 hp (1,566 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800 piston engines, shoulder-mounted. The definitive design known as the CL-215 received a program go-ahead in February 1966 with its maiden flight on 23 October 1967. The first delivery was to the French civil protection agency (Sécurité Civile) in June 1969. Production of CL-215s progressed through 5 series ending in 1990.
A floatplane (or pontoon plane) is a type of seaplane, with slender pontoons (known as "floats") mounted under the fuselage; only the floats of a floatplane normally come into contact with water, with the fuselage remaining above water. By contrast a flying boat uses its fuselage for buoyancy like a ship's hull.
The de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter is a single-engined, high wing, propeller-driven, STOL aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada. It was conceived to be capable of performing the same roles as the earlier and highly successful Beaver, but was overall a larger plane First flight 12 December 1951 - Introduced 1953
The de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver is a single engined, high wing, propeller-driven, STOL aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada, primarily known as a bush plane. It is used for cargo and passenger hauling, aerial application (crop dusting and aerial topdressing), and has been widely adopted by armed forces as a utility aircraft. The U.S. Army Air Corps purchased several hundred; nine DHC-2s are still in service with the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol) for search and rescue. A Royal New Zealand Air Force Beaver supported Sir Edmund Hillary's expedition to the South Pole. Over 1,600 Beavers were produced until 1967 when the original line shut down. Due to its success, the Royal Canadian Mint commemorated the Beaver on a special edition Canadian quarter in November 1999.
The DHC-6 Twin Otter is a Canadian 20-passenger STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) utility aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada and currently produced by Viking Air. The aircraft's fixed tricycle undercarriage, STOL abilities and high rate of climb have made it a successful cargo, regional passenger airliner and MEDEVAC aircraft. In addition, the Twin Otter has been popular with commercial skydiving operations, and it is used by the United States Army Parachute Team.
Development of the aircraft began in 1964, with the first flight on May 20, 1965. A twin-engined replacement for the single-engined Otter had been planned by de Havilland Canada.
A floatplane (or pontoon plane) is a type of seaplane, with slender pontoons (known as "floats") mounted under the fuselage; only the floats of a floatplane normally come into contact with water, with the fuselage remaining above water. By contrast a flying boat uses its fuselage for buoyancy like a ship's hull.
The Hughes H-4 Hercules (registration NX37602) ("Spruce Goose") was a prototype heavy transport aircraft designed and built by the Hughes Aircraft company. The aircraft made its only flight on November 2, 1947. Built from wood because of wartime raw material restrictions on the use of aluminum, it was nicknamed the "Spruce Goose" by its critics. The Hercules is the largest flying boat ever built, and has the largest wingspan and height of any aircraft in history. It survives in good condition at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, USA. Despite its nickname, the H-4 was built almost entirely of birch, rather than spruce. The plywood and resin "Duramold" process, a form of composite technology, was used in the laminated wood construction, which was considered a technological tour de force. The aircraft was not finished in time for use in World War II and never advanced beyond the single prototype produced.
The Dornier Do X was the largest, heaviest, and most powerful flying boat in the world when it was produced by the Dornier company of Germany in 1929. First conceived by Dr. Claudius Dornier in 1924, planning started in late 1925 and after over 240 thousand work hours it was completed in June 1929.
The Do X was financed by the German Transport Ministry and manufactured in a specially designed plant at Altenrhein, on the Swiss portion of Lake Constance, in order to circumvent the Treaty of Versailles which forbade any aircraft exceeding set speed and range limits to be built in Germany after World War I . While the type was popular with the public, a lack of commercial interest and a number of (non-fatal) accidents prevented more than three models from being built.
While begun for practical reasons of identifying friendly units, the practice evolved to express the individuality often constrained by the uniformity of the military, to evoke memories of home and peacetime life, and as a kind of psychological protection against the stresses of war and the probability of death. The appeal, in part, came from nose art not being officially approved, even when the regulations against it were not enforced.
Because of its individual and unofficial nature, it is considered folk art, inseparable from work as well as representative of a group. It can also be compared to sophisticated graffiti. In both cases, the artist is often anonymous, and the art itself is ephemeral. In addition, it relies on materials immediately available.
Nose art is largely a military tradition, but civilian airliners operated by the Virgin Group feature "Virgin Girls" on the nose as part of their livery. In a broad sense, the tail art of several airlines such as the Eskimo of Alaska Airlines, can be called "nose art", as are the tail markings of present-day U.S. Navy squadrons. There were exceptions, including 8th Air Force B-17 "Whizzer", which had its girl-riding-a-bomb on the dorsal fin.
The practice of putting personalized decorations on fighting aircraft originated with Italian and German pilots. The first recorded piece of nose art was a sea monster painted on the nose of an Italian flying boat in 1913. This was followed by the popular practice of painting mouths underneath the propeller spinner, initiated by German pilots in World War I.
The cavallino rampante (prancing horse) of the Italian ace Francesco Baracca was another well-known symbol, as was the red-painted aircraft of Manfred von Richthofen. However, nose art of this era was often conceived and produced by the aircraft ground crews, not by the pilots.
The deadliest aviation-related disaster of any kind, considering fatalities on both the aircraft and the ground, was the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001 with the intentional crashing of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 by Al-qaeda terrorists. The crashes killed 2,988, most of them occupants of the World Trade Center towers or emergency personnel responding to the disaster.
A CGI rendering of the two 747s that were destroyed in the Tenerife Disaster.The March 27, 1977, Tenerife disaster remains the accident with the highest number of airliner passenger fatalities. In this disaster, 583 people died when a KLM Boeing 747 attempted take-off and collided with a taxiing Pan Am 747 at Los Rodeos Airport. Pilot error, ATC error, communications problems, fog, and airfield congestion due to a bombing and a second bomb threat at another airport, which diverted air traffic to Los Rodeos, all contributed to this catastrophe.
The crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123 in 1985 is the single-aircraft disaster with the highest number of fatalities. In this crash, 520 died on board a Boeing 747. The aircraft suffered an explosive decompression from a failed pressure bulkhead repair, which destroyed its vertical stabilizer and severed hydraulic lines, making the 747 virtually uncontrollable.
Turkish Airlines Flight 981 The world's deadliest mid-air collision was the 1996 Charkhi Dadri mid-air collision involving Saudia Flight 763 and Air Kazakhstan Flight 1907 over Haryana, India. The crash was mainly the result of the Kazakh pilot flying lower than the altitude for which his aircraft was given clearance. Three hundred and forty-nine passengers and crew died from both aircraft. The Ramesh Chandra Lahoti Commission, empowered to study the causes, also recommended the creation of "air corridors" to prevent aircraft from flying in opposite directions at the same altitude.
On March 3, 1974, Turkish Airlines Flight 981, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, crashed in a forest northeast of Paris, France. The destination was London but the plane crashed shortly after taking off from Orly airport. There were a total of 346 people on board; all of them perished in the crash. It was later determined that the cargo door had detached which caused an explosive decompression which in turn caused the floor just above to collapse. When the floor collapsed it severed the control cables, which left the pilots without control of the elevators, the rudder and the No. 2 engine. The plane entered a steep dive and crashed. It was the deadliest plane crash of all time until the Tenerife disaster in 1977.
On June 23, 1985, Air India Flight 182 crashed off the southwest coast of Ireland when a bomb exploded in the cargo hold. On board the Boeing 747-237B were 307 passengers and 22 crew members, all of whom were killed when the plane disintegrated. One passenger checked in as "M. Singh". He didn't board the flight but his suitcase that contained the bomb was loaded onto the plane. Mr. Singh was never identified and captured. It was later found out that Sikh extremists were behind the bombing and that it was a retaliation for the Indian government's attack on the sacred Golden Temple in the city of Amritsar, which is very important for the Sikhs. This was, at the time, the deadliest terrorist attack involving an airplane.
On September 1, 1983, a Soviet Sukhoi Su-15 shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007 killing all 269 passengers and crew.
Iran Air Flight 655 was a civilian airliner shot down by US missiles on Sunday 3 July 1988, over the Strait of Hormuz killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 66 children, ranking it seventh among the deadliest airline disasters.
Pan Am Flight 103 was a Boeing 747-121 that was destroyed by a terrorist bomb over the town of Lockerbie, Scotland on the 21st December 1988. The crash killed all 243 passengers, all 16 crew and 11 people on the ground (all of whom were residents of Sherwood Crescent, Lockerbie), making it the worst terrorist attack involving an aircraft in the UK.
In August 1985 Delta Air Lines Flight 191 was brought down by a microburst in Dallas Texas. Flight 191 was arriving at DFW around 6 o'clock and entered a thunderstorm just north of DFW. The plane struck the ground the first time in a field just north of the airfield. The plane then bounced back in the air and came down a final time on highway 114. It struck a car killing its driver then went on to smash head on into two huge water tanks.
Aircraft Crashes Record Office (ACRO)
The Geneva-based Aircraft Crashes Record Office (ACRO) compiles statistics on aviation accidents of aircraft capable of carrying more than six passengers, not including helicopters, balloons, or fighter airplanes. The ACRO announced that the year 2007 was the safest year in aviation since 1963 in terms of number of accidents. There had been 136 accidents registered (compared to 164 in 2006), resulting in a total of 965 deaths (compared to 1,293 in 2006). 2004 was the year with the lowest number of fatalities since the end of World War II, with 771 deaths. The year with most fatalities was 1972, with 3,214 deaths.
Aircraft boneyard is an American term for a storage area for aircraft that are retired from service. Most aircraft at boneyards are either kept for storage or turned into scrap metal. Deserts, such as those in the Southwestern United States, are good locations for boneyards since the dry conditions reduce corrosion.
While some are privately owned and operated, others belong to the military, such as the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona.
After aircraft are put into boneyards, many are stripped of useful parts. Engines, most electronics, munitions, and wiring are removed to be recycled or to be kept in warehouses.
These may serve as replacement parts for aircraft that are still flying or may be used for reconditioning if and when the aircraft are called back into active duty. These parts along with the stripped aircraft may be sold to other countries.
Depending on the demands of the military or for commercial purposes, an aircraft or a whole squadron of them may be put back into active duty. The aircraft have to be reconditioned and tested so they are safe to fly.
The reconditioning process includes putting in new avionics, electronics, safety measures, testing and painting. Reconditioning of old aircraft is usually a cheaper way of getting more aircraft into service than buying new ones, and saves the United States billions of dollars annually.