Main page   Categories & Main topics   Tasks and Projects


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

Aviation is 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.

Selected article

Rear view of CFM56-5
The CFM International CFM56 series is a family of high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines made by CFM International with a thrust range of 18,500 to 34,000 pound-force (lbf) (80 to 150 kilonewtons (kN)). CFMI is a 50–50 joint-owned company of SNECMA and GE Aviation. Both companies are responsible for producing components and each has its own final assembly line. The CFM56 first ran in 1974 and, despite initial political problems, is now one of the most prolific jet engine types in the world: more than 20,000 have been built in four major variants. It is most widely used on the Boeing 737 airliner and under military designation F108 replaced the Pratt & Whitney JT3D engines on many KC-135 Stratotankers in the 1980s, creating the KC-135R variant of this aircraft. It is also one of two engines used to power the Airbus A340, the other being the Rolls-Royce Trent. The engine is also fitted to Airbus A320 series aircraft. Several fan blade failure incidents were experienced during the CFM56's early service, including one failure that was noted as a cause of the Kegworth air disaster, and some variants of the engine experienced problems caused by flight through rain and hail. However, both these issues were resolved with engine modifications.

Selected image

LAPD Bell 206 Jetranger.jpg
Credit: User:Mfield

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Bell 206 Jetranger helicopter

...Archive/Nominations

Did you know

...that in 1943 British Overseas Airways Corporation Flight 777 was shot down by German Junkers Ju 88s, killing actor Leslie Howard and leading to speculation that it was an attempt to assassinate Winston Churchill? ...that Pepsi offered a Harrier fighter jet in their Pepsi Billion Dollar Sweepstakes game and the Pepsi Stuff game for people accumulating a certain number of points? ... that Walter Borchers was one of three brothers, all three received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II?

Selected Aircraft

An ERJ-145 of BA CitiExpress (now BA Connect) takes off from Bristol Airport (UK)

The Embraer ERJ-145 is a regional jet produced by Embraer, a Brazilian aerospace company. The ERJ 145 is the largest of a family of airliners, which also includes the ERJ 135, ERJ 140, and Legacy. All aircraft in the series are powered by two turbofan engines. It is one of the most popular regional jet families in the world with primary competition coming from the Canadair Regional Jet.

The first flight of the ERJ 145 was on August 11, 1995, with the first delivery in December 1996 to ExpressJet Airlines (then the regional division of Continental Airlines). ExpressJet is the largest operator of the ERJ 145, with 270 of the nearly 1000 ERJ 145s in service. The second largest operator is American Eagle, with 206 ERJ 145 aircraft. Chautauqua Airlines also operates 95 ERJ 145s through its alliances with American Connection, Delta Connection, US Airways Express and United Express. By some accounts, the ERJ 145 has a cost of ownership of about $2,500,000 per year.

  • Span: 20.04 m (65 ft 9 in)
  • Length: 29.9 m (98 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 6.76 m (22 ft 2 in)
  • Engines: 2× Rolls-Royce AE 3007A turbofans, 33.0 kN (7,420 lbf) thrust each
  • Cruising Speed: 834 km/h (518 mph, Mach 0.78)
  • First Flight: August 11, 1995
  • Number built: ≈1000

Related portals

Selected biography

Francis Gabreski color photo in pilot suit.jpg
Francis Stanley "Gabby" Gabreski (Franciszek Gabryszewski) (28 January 1919 - January 31, 2002) was the top American fighter ace in Europe during World War II, a jet fighter ace in Korea, and commanded numerous fighter squadrons, groups, and wings during his Air Force career.

Assigned as a P-40 pilot with the 45th Fighter Squadron of the 15th Fighter Group at Wheeler Field, Hawaii, 2nd Lt. Gabreski witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but did not become airborne in time to engage the attackers.

In March 1943 Gabreski became part of the 56th Fighter Group, flying the P-47 Thunderbolt, and in May was promoted to Major and named commander of the 61st Fighter Squadron, which included six Polish nationals as pilots in 1944. He made his 28th kill on July 5, 1944, passing Eddie Rickenbacker's record from World War I to become America's top ace (although several pilots passed him by the end of the war).

Col. Gabreski flew combat again during the Korean War, as commander of the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, piloting an F-86 Sabre. He was credited with 6.5 MiG-15 kills, making him one of seven U.S. pilots to be aces in more than one war (the others are Col. Harrison Thyng, Col. James P. Hagerstrom, Major William T. Whisner, Col. Vermont Garrison, Major George A. Davis, Jr., and Lt.Col. John F. Bolt, USMC).

He ended his career as a commander of several tactical and air defense wings, his last assignment being commander of the 52d Fighter Wing at Suffolk County Air Force Base in Westhampton Beach, New York.

In the news

Today in Aviation

September 25

  • 2011Buddha Air Flight 103, a Beechcraft 1900D, crashes while attempting to land in dense fog at Kathmandu Tribhuwan International Airport, killing all 16 passengers and 3 crew members.
  • 2010PIA Flight 782, carrying 273 people bound from Toronto for Karachi, landed at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport on September 2010 because of a "hoax" bomb threat on board. After evacuating the passengers from the plane, a thorough check was made to find any explosives, if present, on the aircraft. Police operation leader Stephan Radman said later that no explosives were found on board.[2]
  • 1998PauknAir Flight 4101, a BAe 146, leaves Málaga but never reaches its destination in Melilla. All passengers and crew perish.
  • 1997 – Launch: Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-86 at 10:34:19 pm EDT. Mission highlights: Shuttle-Mir docking.
  • 1978PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727, collides with a Cessna 172 over San Diego, California, United States; all 135 aboard the airliner, both pilots of the Cessna, and 7 people on the ground are killed, making this the worst aviation disaster in California history.
  • 1975 – A flight of four Lockheed F-104G Starfighters of the Aeronautica Militare Italiana (Italian Air Force) crash in formation into a field near the village of Ralingen near the border with Luxembourg, ~12 miles S of Bitburg, West Germany, shortly after take-off from Bitburg Air Base, killing all four pilots. The four jets flown by an Italian Air Force lieutenant colonel and three captains came down just five minutes after departing. The Bitburg control tower operated by the United States Air Force in Europe said that radio contact with the flight was lost almost immediately after they took off into overcast skies. "They crashed in line, the four craters being within an area of one square kilometer (about four-tenths of a square mile)," a German defense ministry spokesman said. The last crash of a formation of Starfighters occurred in West Germany in 1962 when an American pilot teaching stunt flying to three Germans led his formation in a dive into an abandoned strip mine near Cologne.
  • 1964 – The No. 412 (T) Squadron became the first Regular Force squadron in the Royal Canadian Air Force to complete twenty-five years of service and to receive its squadron standard.
  • 1960 – A U. S. Navy F4H-1F Phantom II sets a world speed record over a 100-km (62.1-mi) closed-circuit course, averaging 1,390.24 mph (2,237.27 km/hr). FAI Record File Number 8898.
  • 1959 – A United States Navy Martin P5M-2 Marlin, BuNo 135540, SG tailcode, '6', of VP-50, out of NAS Whidbey Island, Washington on Puget Sound, is forced to ditch in the Pacific Ocean, about 100 miles (160 km) W of the Washington-Oregon border after fire in the port engine, loss of electrical power. A Betty depth bomb casing is lost and never recovered, but it was not fitted with a nuclear core. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Yocona, out of Astoria, Oregon, rescues all ten crew after ten hours in a raft. A Coast Guard Grumman UF Albatross amphibian directed the vessel to the crew. The press was not notified at the time.
  • 1958 – Supermarine Scimitar F.1, XD240, 'V-145', of 803 Naval Air Squadron, arriving aboard from RNAS Lossiemouth via RNAS Yeovilton, falls off the side of HMS Victorious at low speed into the English Channel off Portsmouth after failure of the No.1 arrestor wire upon landing. The pilot, Cdr. John Desmond Russell, the Squadron CO, is unable to open the canopy, and trapped in the cockpit, he drowns when the airframe sinks to the seabed, despite efforts of plane guard crewmen Lt. R. A. Duxbury from the rescue Westland Whirlwind. Members of the press had been invited along to watch 803 Squadron embark. Nose of aircraft and pilot's body recovered four weeks later.
  • 1955 – The Royal Jordanian Air Force is founded.
  • 1953 – The last Boeing B-29 Superfortress to be delivered, Boeing-Wichita-built B-29-100-BW, 45-21872, in September 1945, converted to a WB-29, was destroyed in a crash this date near Eielson AFB, Alaska, while assigned to the 58th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium), Weather.
  • 1943 – (25-26) Allied aircraft attack airfields on Corsica and ferry traffic between Corsica and Italy, and shoot down four German transport aircraft.
  • 1942 – S/L KA Boomer, CO of No. 111 Squadron, destroyed a Japanese Nakajima A6 M2-N (Ruff) fighter over Kiska, Alaska. This was the only RCAF air combat in the North American theatre of war.
  • 1940 – The bombers of the Corpo Aereo Italiano (Italian Air Corps) arrive at their base in Belgium to participate in the Battle of Britain. The fighters will arrive later.
  • 1939 – Nicola di Mauro of Italy sets a world seaplane altitude record of 13,542 m (44,429 feet) in a Caproni Ca.161Idro. This record still stands for piston-engined seaplanes.
  • 1918 – Chief Machinist's Mate Francis E. Ormsbee went to the rescue of two men in a plane which had crashed in Pensacola Bay, Florida. He pulled out the gunner and held him above water until help arrived, then made repeated dives into the wreckage in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the pilot. For his heroism, Chief Ormsbee was awarded the Medal of Honor.
  • 1912 – Charles Voisin dies and Raymonde de Laroche suffers serious injuries in an automobile accident near Lyons, France.
  • 1909 – French Army airship La République crashes over Avrilly, Allier, killing its crew of four. It was caused by a broken propeller which sheared through the envelop causing rapid leakage. This crash marks the first military airship fatalities.
  • 1903 – The Wright brothers arrive at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to begin tests of their first powered aircraft.


  1. ^ "Anonymous, "China Navy's First Aircraft Carrier Commissioned After Sea Tests,"". Bloomberg News (Bloomberg.com). September 25, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
  2. ^ "Plane from Canada to Pakistan grounded in Sweden after bomb threat on board". Daily Mail. UK: dailymail.co.uk. 25 September 2010. Archived from the original on 28 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources

Travel guides