Questions tagged [aviation-history]

Questions about aviation history, starting from kites, balloons, airplanes, helicopters and rockets.

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9
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9answers
3k views

Novel Research: Best way to sabotage a Hawker Hurricane in 1940/41?

Essentially, one of the central events in my work-in-progress novel is the sabotage of a Hawker Hurricane in Malta by a member of groundcrew. I originally had this as him loosening an aileron so that ...
-1
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0answers
115 views

Do the rule-making docs preceding the 9-16-93 "alphabet" airspace re-designation indicate that these phrases were meant to exclude E3/E4 "extensions"?

Note-- this question is specifically about the content in the rule-making documents leading up to the September 16 1993 "alphabet" airspace re-designation, which is when the terms "...
0
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1answer
57 views

Are there any published travel guides for GA Pilots? [closed]

Are there any published travel guides for GA Pilots specific to the US? Kind of like Michelin Guides, except for airplanes instead of cars and highlight scenic, historic or notable routes?
0
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1answer
124 views

How many nuclear weapons have been lost- and not located or recovered-- from aircraft in crashes or other mishaps? [closed]

How many nuclear weapons have been lost- and not located or recovered-- from aircraft in crashes or other mishaps?
4
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1answer
222 views

Why in the past were weather radars not used on fighter jets?

As far as I know, the weather radar is something that has been implemented very recently in fighters jets, from what I understand in modern radars it is possible to switch in various modes including ...
5
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1answer
194 views

When was a multi-engine rating first required?

For the United States, does anyone know how this progressed over time / when? Was it always a rating? Was it an endorsement at some time? Called something else? Any history out there? Thanks
5
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1answer
182 views

The Fokker Universal has a crank you have to spin rapidly upon startup. What is it?

The Fokker Universal is one of my favorite aircraft. There is only one complete representation of it in existence at a museum in Canada. A video series I saw on YouTube tells the story of its ...
0
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1answer
110 views

Which aircraft is easier to land-- Supermarine Spitfire or North American P-51 Mustang? [closed]

Which aircraft is easier to land (without ground-looping)-- the Supermarine Spitfire or the North American P-51 Mustang? If the answer is different depending on conditions (e.g. no-wind versus ...
3
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1answer
103 views

Early "digital" rotating digit wheel type gauges

The XB-70 has a "digital" gauge showing the total fuel quantity using six rotating digit wheels (as in mechanical counters, odometers etc), and another showing the fuel quantity in the tank ...
13
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1answer
276 views

Can anyone identify this biplane with distinct wind screen?

I'm trying to identify the aircraft in this photo of my great grandfather. The photo would have been taken during the mid to late 1920s, possibly early 1930s. He lived in Utah (not sure this helps?). ...
11
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1answer
412 views

What inspired the unique design of the F-105 Thunderchief intakes?

The horizontally forward-swept intakes of the Republic F-105 Thunderchief is not a design emulated in other production aircraft of the time, or I think at any time. If viewed as a more typical intake ...
10
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2answers
3k views

Did commercial air planes in 1972 really not have some sort of automatic distress call equipment?

I've recently watched the 1993 movie Alive, "based on" the real events of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571. I don't know how accurate it was, but the basic idea is that the pilots did a ...
4
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0answers
185 views

Who was the first person to break the sound barrier?

While watching this video on Wikipedia of Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 in level flight, I noticed the narrator say: "For the first time, except in dive, a man has flown ...
4
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1answer
303 views

What is this biplane from an old photo?

Can anyone identify this biplane.
9
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1answer
2k views

Were the original gyroscopic artificial horizons "upside-down"?

Looking at an article in Flight magazine from March 1945 titled "Sperry Attitude Gyro" that you can find online, the picture of the instrument is interesting: It seems that the orientation ...
6
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3answers
2k views

When did Piccard reach his record altitude of 23 km (75,500 ft)?

Swiss physicist and balloonist Auguste Piccard reached world altitude records of 15.8 km (51,800 ft) in May 1931 and 16.2 km (53,000 ft) in August 1932, accompanied by Paul Kipfer in the former and by ...
1
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0answers
155 views

Why does Fairbanks, AK have a terminal area chart?

It's a relatively uncluttered airspace. Why have a TAC? FAI Terminal Area Chart Arguably, Louisville, KY has at least the same complexity, and since it's UPS's hub it's far more active. Plus, it's a ...
0
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0answers
86 views

What's the altitude and velocity record for a ground-launched rocket plane?

Most rocket planes are air-launched but there were/are a few ground-launched rocket planes as well, such as the Messerschmitt Komet. What's the altitude and airspeed record for a ground-launched ...
0
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1answer
257 views

Why did Japanese aircraft carriers in WW2 carry both high and normal octane aviation fuels?

According to Parshall & Tully's Shattered Sword, the four Japanese aircraft carriers lost at the Battle of Midway (1942) carried both high and normal octane aviation fuel. Does anyone here know ...
12
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1answer
2k views

What is the vertical rod on this Swissair DC-3 drawing?

What is this large protruding rod in the frontal dorsal section of this drawing of a Swissair DC-3: The small rod extending from the nose I am assuming holds the pitot tube and serves as a mount for ...
1
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1answer
220 views

What were the typical military training aircraft of the mid- to late-1930s in USA?

I am writing a novel that includes 1939 to present. I am interested in what pilots in training first used when they were entering flight school during the mid-late 1930s in USA. Can you advise me?
9
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1answer
4k views

Did WWII fighters do a roll before engaging to identify themselves to radar operators?

There's some folklore in the radar world about the Nazi fighters doing a roll before engagement to mark them to a German radar operator. This makes a lot of sense because it allows you to change your ...
3
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0answers
106 views

Which was the first aeroplane to have fuel tanks within its wings?

Wings with substantial thickness start appearing after WW1, with Junkers pioneering all-aluminium aircraft such as the Junkers F 13 (1919). It as a far from universal trend, however; compare with the ...
1
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1answer
254 views

When in 1982 did ICAO start using three-letter airline codes?

All airlines have an alphabetic identification code issued by ICAO. From 1947, when ICAO was formed, until 1982, ICAO codes were two letters long;1 in the latter year, due to the increasing number of ...
11
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1answer
410 views

What did seat belts look like in 1940s aircraft?

I first flew back in the 1940s as a four or five year old. I have a vague memory of a seat belt locked with a wooden peg inserted into a webbing loop. The aircraft was probably a Vickers Viking, a ...
9
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1answer
282 views

What does it mean exactly when an aircraft is "35% unstable"? (aircraft stability factor)

CNN's Grumman X-29: The impossible fighter jet with inverted wings contains several interesting photos, and says: It was unflyable -- literally -- without a digital flight computer on board, which ...
6
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2answers
287 views

What sort of briefing and planning information would an airline pilot in the 1960-70s have used?

Slightly related: Do airliners get substantially different weather briefings from the rest of us? Highly related: How was the navigation managed on jetliners before having programmable routes? Highly ...
1
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1answer
176 views

Were there civilian female test pilots in the 60's?

In 1962, women couldn't become astronauts because NASA had a requirement that astronauts be experimental jet test pilots. In the 60's, were there any civilian test pilots that tested planes that weren'...
4
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2answers
214 views

External stores on the A-10 Warthog

I would like to understand the hardpoint use for the A-10A during the 1980s. From various official and model-building sources, there are eight wing and three fuselage pylons, all permanently installed,...
8
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1answer
380 views

Can anyone identify this 1920's era biplane bomber?

What is the aircraft in this photo? My great uncle is in the back row second to the right. He was born in 1900, so I think this photo is from around 1920. I think he was based at Kelly Field in San ...
1
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0answers
101 views

Why doesn't the -30% SFC fully account for the dramatic reduction in fuel consumption compared to the 1960s?

In looking at the specific fuel consumption (SFC) of some aero engines I find that for example, the Rolls Royce Conway turbofan engine had typical cruise SFC of 0.874 lb/(h lbf) whilst the most modern ...
6
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0answers
119 views

Why was the minimum turbulence intensity that commercial airliners have to withstand increased?

From 50 fps turbulence intensity at VC to 90-100 fps turbulence intensity at VC. The amended FAR design criteria was introduced in 1980 or 1981 for commercial airliners. What prompted this change?
0
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1answer
332 views

What is the origin of the following aviation slang terms?

I'm researching some aviation slang terms. I have difficulty in finding the origin of the following words and phrases. I would be grateful if you can help me. The words and the phrases and their ...
6
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1answer
197 views

Why is there a "-D" circling-only approach at an airport that does not have corresponding -A, -B, and -C approaches?

There are three instrument approaches at SEE (as of 17 June 2021): RNAV (GPS) RWY 09L RNAV (GPS) RWY 17 LOC-D The two RNAV approaches are straight-in to runways 09L and 17, respectively. The LOC-D ...
5
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1answer
3k views

Why (and when) did people start meowing on guard frequency?

meow Some love it, some hate it, but we've all heard it - that's right, pilots meowing on guard frequency (121.5). When did it start? Does (or did) it represent something? Does ATC ever do it?
14
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1answer
2k views

How much oil did Charles Lindbergh have to bring along to fly the Atlantic?

A study of the Wright Whirlwind 200 hp J5 made me wonder if it could be matched to a Cessna 172 airframe. Radials have the ability to run on much lower grade 50 octane gasoline and have great air-...
13
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9answers
7k views

Were propeller airplanes significantly more "scary" to fly in compared to modern jet ones?

I've flown exactly once in my life. It was in 2004, with a commercial jet. Not a "jumbo", but a normal-sized jet plane in common use for cheap flights in that year. (Well, twice if you ...
6
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3answers
586 views

Did the jet stream really stop the B-29, or was it just bad luck?

The B-29 bomber, used in WWII, was designed as a high altitude bomber, capable of operating from altitudes in excess of 30,000 feet. However, starting with their first missions to Tokyo in Nov 1944, ...
31
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12answers
10k views

Is there an example of a classic aviation engineering moment when engineers had to discard all their work due to the wrong approach?

Is there any classic aviation/space engineering moment where the engineers had been working on a concept for months and then realised that their approach to the problem wasn't quite right and so had ...
6
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2answers
201 views

Could Sudden Decompression Cause You to be Shot Out of the Tunnel on a B-29?

One of the features of the WWII B-29 bomber was that it was pressurized. The aircraft had pressurized areas in the front and the back of the aircraft. Connecting the two was a pressurized tunnel over ...
0
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0answers
220 views

Does this Max Faget April 1, 1969 design for the Space Shuttle look familiar? Is it similarity to existing aircraft at the time?

This answer to Who are the actual lead designers of manned spacecraft? in Space Exploration SE says (in its entirety): Max Faget was involved in the design of every US manned spacecraft flown to date....
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0answers
227 views

Tail Warning Radar on the P-51

One of the "features" of the P-51 was a tail warning radar that was supposed to let pilots know if an enemy fighter was on your tail. However, a P-51 pilot told me that they generally ...
24
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1answer
4k views

Did LeMay actually require crews to remove their guns on B-29s?

There is a persistent rumour/storyline that, during and after the successful low-level raids on Tokyo in March 1945, LeMay ordered that all B-29s remove their guns, except for the tail gun. However, I ...
6
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0answers
249 views

How did Soapy get to fly Hornets?

Allegedly, in early June 1983, while flying a Sea Harrier during a NATO exercise off the coast of Portugal, Royal Navy's Sub-Lieutenant Ian "Soapy" Watson found himself in a rather ...
2
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0answers
108 views

P-51 Supercharger Loops

A WWII pilot once told me that, for fun, they would sometimes take their P-51s up and perform what he called "supercharger loops". They would climb to an altitude below where the ...
2
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1answer
113 views

Is there independent evidence that the Wright brothers celebrated Roosvelt's election in 1904 by a flight of over 5 minutes?

In a letter addressed to Octave Chanute, Wilbur Wright made the following statement: Wilbur Wright, “Letter to Octave Chanute”, Dayton, November 15, 1904. “On the 9th we went out to celebrate ...
3
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4answers
394 views

Would this mechanical apparatus be a new means of creating aerodynamic lift? [closed]

I recently came up with a conceptual idea for creating aerodynamic lift which would use an unconventional centrifugal impeller. I would like to know if this conceptual design of mine is something that ...
5
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2answers
666 views

What is the altitude record for the F/A-18 Hornet?

Does anyone know how high (above MSL) the F/A-18 ever went? Its service ceiling is 50,000 ft, but when going up steeply, is it able to surpass 100,000 ft altitude?
5
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1answer
298 views

Need help identifying civilian small aircraft from old turkish movie

I need help identifying a plane from an older 1977 turkish comedy movie for a personal project, these are the best (and only) shots it can be seen. Flyby Front Angle Close up cockpit outside
5
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3answers
204 views

Is there strong evidence that Clement Ader flew a plane on Oct. 9, 1890 or at any date before 1897?

About Clement Ader it is often said that on October 9, 1890, he flew a man carrying plane for a distance of about 50 meters. After searching the archives the best evidence I found, in support of this ...

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