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A Boeing 747

Aviation includes 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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J-3 aircraft with CAP markings
J-3 aircraft with CAP markings
The Civil Air Patrol is the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. It was created just days before the Attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and is credited with sinking at least two German U-boats during the War. It was seen as a way to use America's civil aviation resources to aid the war effort, rather than grounding them, as was the case in the United Kingdom. Today, the Civil Air Patrol is a volunteer organization dedicated to education and national service, including people from all backgrounds and all walks of life. It performs three key missions: Emergency services (including search and rescue), aerospace education for youth and the general public, and cadet programs. The September 11, 2001 attacks demonstrated the importance of the Civil Air Patrol, as it was this organization's aircraft that flew blood to victims of the attack as well as providing the first aerial pictures of the World Trade Center site. (Full article...)

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As N536JB's front wheels touched down, their tires were torn off, leaving sparks shooting from the wheels' metal rims as they scraped along the asphalt.
As N536JB's front wheels touched down, their tires were torn off, leaving sparks shooting from the wheels' metal rims as they scraped along the asphalt.
JetBlue Airways Flight 292, an Airbus A320-232, making an emergency landing at LAX on September 21, 2005 after the front landing gear malfunctioned. The front gear was turned perpendicular to the runway causing the tires to be torn off and sparks to fly up on impact. No one was injured during the landing and passengers began to disembark less than seven minutes later.

Did you know

...that Alejandro Maclean, Spanish television producer and Red Bull Air Race World Series pilot, is nicknamed "The Flying Matador"? ...that the Cessna 165 aircraft was instrumental in the recovery of the Cessna Aircraft Company in the years following the Great Depression? ... that former USAF officer David P. Cooley who was the chief test pilot for the F-117 Nighthawk died in March 2009 while testing the F-22 Raptor?

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The following are images from various aviation-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Selected biography

Charles Yeager
Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager (born February 13, 1923) is a retired Brigadier-General in the United States Air Force and a noted test pilot. In 1947, he became the first pilot (at age 24) to travel faster than sound in level flight and ascent.

His career began in World War II as a private in the U.S. Army Air Forces. After serving as an aircraft mechanic, in September 1942 he entered enlisted pilot training and upon graduation was promoted to the rank of Flight Officer (WW 2 U.S. Army Air Forces rank equivalent to Warrant Officer) and became a P-51 Mustang fighter pilot. After the war he became a test pilot of many kinds of aircraft and rocket planes. Yeager was the first man to break the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, flying the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1 at an altitude of 45,000 ft (13,700 m). Although Scott Crossfield was the first man to fly faster than Mach 2 in 1953, Yeager shortly thereafter exceeded Mach 2.4.[1] He later commanded fighter squadrons and wings in Germany and in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and in recognition of the outstanding performance ratings of those units he then was promoted to Brigadier-General. Yeager's flying career spans more than sixty years and has taken him to every corner of the globe, even into the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War.

Selected Aircraft

The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engined widebody commercial passenger airplane manufactured by Airbus. The latest variants (-600 & A340E) now compete with Boeing's 777 series of aircraft on long-haul and ultra long-haul routes.

The A340-600 flies 380 passengers in a three-class cabin layout (419 in 2 class) over 7,500 nautical miles (13,900 km). It provides similar passenger capacity to a 747 but with twice the cargo volume, and at lower trip and seat costs.

The A340-600 is more than 10 m longer than a basic -300, making it the second longest airliner in the world, more than four meters longer than a Boeing 747-400.

  • Span: 63.45 m (208 ft 2 in)
  • Length: 75.30 m n(246 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 17.30 m (56 ft 9 in)
  • Engines: four 56,000 lbf (249 kN) thrust Rolls-Royce Trent 556 turbofans
  • Cruising Speed: Mach 0.83 (885 km/h, 550 mph)
  • First Flight: October 25, 1991
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Today in Aviation

December 8

  • 2009 – In the United Kingdom, Coventry Airport announces that it is to close with immediate effect due to its owners being wound up in the High Court.
  • 2009 – A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Sikorsky HH-60H Seahawk Helicopter crashed and sank off the coast of Nagasaki. Two crewmembers were killed, while a third was rescued.
  • 2008 – San Diego F/A-18 crash was the crash of a United States Marine Corps (USMC) F/A-18 Hornet in a residential suburb of San Diego, California. The pilot, First Lieutenant Dan Neubauer (28) from VMFAT-101, was the only crewmember on board the two-seat aircraft; he ejected successfully, landing in a tree. The jet crashed into the University City residential area, destroying two houses and damaging a third. A total of 4 residents in one house, two women and two children, were killed.
  • 2005Southwest Airlines Flight 1248, a Boeing 737-700, slides off the runway during landing at Chicago Midway International Airport in Chicago in heavy snow. None of the people on board are injured, but the plane hits two automobiles on the ground, killing a six-year-old boy.
  • 1988 – Remscheid A-10 crash occurred when a United States Air Force attack jet, an A-10 Thunderbolt II crashed onto a residential area in the city of Remscheid, West Germany. The aircraft crashed into the upper floor of an apartment complex. In addition to the pilot, five people were killed. Fifty others were injured, including many seriously.
  • 1987 – Alianza Lima air disaster: A Peruvian Navy Fokker F27-400 M chartered by Peruvian football club Alianza Lima crashes in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru. The aircraft was having mechanical difficulties and executed a flyby of the control tower so it could be visually confirmed that his landing gear was down and locked. Once proven it he affirmative, the aircraft went to go around to land, lost altitude and hit the water. Of the 44 people on board, only one of the pilots survived.
  • 1983 – Landed: Space shuttle Columbia STS-9 at 18:47:24 EDT (23:47:24 UTC) Edwards AFB, Runway 17. Mission highlights: First Spacelab mission.
  • 1972United Airlines Flight 553, a Boeing 737, crashes after aborting its landing attempt at Chicago Midway International Airport, killing 43 of 60 people on board and 2 people on the ground; among those killed was Dorothy Hunt, wife of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt. The crash is the first fatal crash involving the 737-200.
  • 1972 – Seven members of the Eritrean Liberation Front attempt to hijack Ethiopian Airlines Flight 708, a Boeing 720-060 B with 87 other people on board, minutes after it departs Haile Selassie I International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Security guards on board open fire, killing six of them and mortally wounding the seventh. There are no other fatalities.
  • 1969Olympic Airways Flight 954, a DC-6, crashed into Mt. Parnes while on approach to Athens-Ellinikon International Airport. All 90 passengers and crew on board are killed.
  • 1968 – Lunar Landing Training Vehicle No. 1 crashes at Ellington AFB, Texas. NASA Manned Spacecraft Center test pilot Joseph Algranti ejects safely.
  • 1967 – The first African-American NASA astronaut, Maj. Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr., is killed in the crash of a Lockheed F-104D Starfighter, 57-1327, of the 6515th Organizational Maintenance Squadron, while practicing zoom landings with Maj. Harvey Royer at Edwards AFB, California. Lawrence was flying backseat on the mission as the instructor pilot for a flight test trainee learning the steep-descent glide technique intended for the cancelled Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar program. The pilot of the aircraft successfully ejected and survived the accident, but with major injuries. The F-104 they were flying came in too low and hit the runway. Royer ejected, but Lawrence was killed. He left behind a wife and one son.
  • 1964 – A United Lines Caravelle makes the first landing in the USA completely controlled by computer (automatic touchdown).
  • 1964 – USAF Convair B-58A-15-CF Hustler, 60-1116, of the 305th Bomb Wing, taxiing for take-off on icy taxiway at Bunker Hill AFB, Indiana, is blown off the pavement by exhaust of another departing Convair B-58 Hustler, strikes a concrete manhole box adjacent to the runway, landing gear collapses, burns. Navigator killed in failed ejection, two other crew okay. Four B43 nuclear bombs and either a W39 or W53 warhead are on board the weapons pod, but no explosion takes place and contamination is limited to crash site.]
  • 1963 – Lightning strikes the Pan American World Airways Boeing 707-121 Clipper Tradewind, operating as Pan Am Flight 214, igniting fuel vapor and causing an explosion which blows part of the left wing off the aircraft. The plane crashes near Elkton, Maryland, killing all 81 people on board. As a result of the tragedy, the U. S. Federal Aviation Administration orders the installation of lightning discharge wicks or static dischargers on all commercial jets flying inside U. S. airspace.
  • 1962 – British troops are airlifted to Borneo to quell uprisings in the region
  • 1949 – Muroc Army Airfield is renamed Edwards Air Force Base in honor of test pilot Glen Edwards.
  • 1944 – In an attempt to stop Japanese air attacks on Saipan from staging through Iwo Jima, the U. S. Army Air Forces and U. S. Navy conduct a joint attack against Iwo Jima. After a morning fighter sweep by 28 P-38 Lightnings, 62 B-29 s and 102 B-24 s bomb the island, dropping 814 tons (738,456 kg) of bombs, after which U. S. Navy surface ships bombard Iwo Jima. All Iwo Jima airfields are operational by December 11, but Japanese attacks on Saipan come to a halt for 2½ weeks. Seventh Air Force B-24 s will continue to raid Iwo Jima at least once a day through February 15, 1945.
  • 1943 – Aircraft from the U. S. Navy carriers USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) and USS Monterey (CVL-26) strike Nauru in cooperation with a bombardment by surafce warships; eight or ten of the 12 Japanese planes on the island are destroyed.
  • 1941 – Randall “Duke” Cunningham, US Navy fighter pilot and Congressman, was born.
  • 1941 – The United States declares war on Japan.
  • 1941 – Japanese air attacks destroy half the aircraft of the United States Army Air Forces’ Far East Air Force in the Philippine Islands. Japanese aircraft also begin attacks on Hong Kong, Guam, and Wake Island.
  • 1940 – The New York City experiences its first blackout and anti-aircraft exercise, around the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
  • 1938 – The Arado Ar 196 V4, D-OVMB, the second Ar 196B, with a single main float and two outrigger floats, suffers failure of engine mounts during taxi testing at Travemünde for seaworthiness trials. Engine drops down towards centreline float, fire breaks out, crew of two with Helmut Schuster at the controls goes over the starboard side to avoid flames. This test sealed the fate of the center float Ar 196.
  • 1938 – Deutsche Werke launches Germany’s first aircraft carrier, Graf Zeppelin, at Kiel. She will never be completed.
  • 1936 – Spanish Republican pilots flying Soviet-made fighters shoot down a plane carrying International Red Cross envoy Georges Henny over northern Spain while Henny is carrying a report on the Paracuellos massacre of Nationalists by Republicans that he intends to present to the League of Nations. The crash badly injures Henny, preventing his report to the League, and fatally injures the French Paris Soir correspondent Louis Delaprée.
  • 1903 – Second attempt by Charles Manly to fly Langley’s repaired full-sized aerodrome. As with the October 7 attempt the machine failed to fly tripping on its launch gear and somersaulting into the Potomac River nearly killing Manly. A surviving photograph captures the machine upended on its side as it falls off the houseboat. Langley himself was absent at this attempt but the machine’s failure to fly ended his government (i. e. U. S. Army) funded attempts at building a successful full sized man-carrying flying machine.


  1. ^ Yeager, Chuck and Janos, Leo. Yeager: An Autobiography. p. 252 (paperback). New York: Bantam Books, 1986. ISBN 0-553-25674-2.