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Questions tagged [aviation-history]

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

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1answer
136 views

First airplane to use a flight simulator?

Icarus, Pegasus, da Vinci's flying machine and Wright brothers airplane probably didn't have a flight simulator, since computer science was not yet developed enough (Antikythera ancient analogue ...
0
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1answer
121 views

Where can I find complete aircraft blueprints for the purpose of study?

Where can I find aircraft blueprints for the purpose of study? I find that I learn a lot more when I am able to get the big picture of a machine that is used in real life (for example, to understand ...
4
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1answer
127 views

Has turbulence ever killed a passenger?

The question is on my mind, because many passengers think there is no need to wear the seatbelt when the seatbelt sign is not illuminated.
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2answers
385 views

What is this flyer in a 1911 short film?

In the very first instants of the 1911 comedy short film Robinet aviatore (or Tweedledum Aviator) by Michel Fabre, which can be watched here, on the background some kind of flyer can be seen. Does ...
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0answers
134 views

What is the longest time after which plane crash survivors were rescued?

I found: Aviator Bob Gauchie detains the record for solo arctic survival by a downed airman, enduring 58 days of arctic weather before his rescue in Canada 1967. After 72 days on the glacier, 16 of ...
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5answers
3k views

Why didn't Boeing or Douglas make a jet airliner before the British DH Comet?

I was looking at the history of commercial aircraft and was wondering why UK-based De Havilland was the first to produce a jet powered airliner (the DH 106 Comet) when the US had a much bigger civil ...
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0answers
146 views

What was the lift equation used by the Wright brothers?

NOTICE: The modern lift equation and the lift equation used by the Wright brothers in 1900 are slightly different. The lift coefficient of the modern equation is referenced to the dynamic pressure ...
2
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2answers
280 views

Has a passenger or cabin crew member ever flown an airliner?

Is there any documented case, excluding hijacking, where a passenger or cabin crew member had to fly an airliner (hands on yoke/stick) – even if just briefly – due to an emergency (pilot ...
39
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2answers
2k views

How can I find my grandmother's OLD instrument rating documentation?

This is my grandmother, Nathalie Myrtle Brown: The big-eared kid she's posing with is my dad. She has a claim to fame in that she was the first female instrument-rated pilot in the state of Iowa, a ...
6
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3answers
528 views

Which aircraft had the shortest operational life?

I read in Wikipedia that the operational life of Consolidated B-32 was limited to just a handful of months (January to August 1945). Please note that B-32 wasn’t an experimental model, but an ...
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0answers
94 views

Why did biplanes and triplanes go away? [duplicate]

Why did multi-wing aircraft (two or three stacked wings) eventually fade off to single-wing aircraft?
3
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1answer
162 views

What was the first Russian jet designed with the use of area rule?

What was the first Russian jet designed with the use of area rule? Also, how did the Russians acquire the knowledge of this design method? Was Whitcomb's discovery public?
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4answers
12k views

Why was Concorde never sold as a private business jet?

Airliners like Boeing 747 and even Airbus 380 are at times considered as personal jets for extremely wealthy people. Looking from the side, Concorde was ideal for this role: while not very big, it ...
2
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1answer
187 views

Lindbergh's panel— Ryan NYP— what is this instrument and how was it useful?

Lindbergh's panel-- Ryan NYP-- what is this instrument and how was it used? See this link-- it should allow you to zoom in by mousing around https://www.amazon.com/Instrument-Successfully-Atlantic-...
2
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2answers
98 views

Re old (1993) US VFR sectional charts— when did the term “Class E” first appear?

When did the phrase "Class E" or "Class E airspace" first appear on the legend of US VFR sectional charts, to identify the meaning of the thin dashed magenta line? I'd like to narrow down the date as ...
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2answers
164 views

What was the first aircraft designed with a plug-system fuselage, and why?

Nearly all modern transport aircraft are designed with a plug-system fuselage, allowing longer and shorter variants to be built by adding or removing plugs. In addition, the plug system simplifies ...
2
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1answer
196 views

Why wasn't Saint-Exupéry able to cover more distance before his 1935 desert crash?

Is there any source that provides more details on Saint-Exupéry's desert crash in 1935 than Wikipedia does: On 30 December 1935, at 2:45 a.m., after 19 hours and 44 minutes in the air, Saint-...
6
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1answer
265 views

When did the military/Air Force start measuring fuel in pounds instead of gallons?

Watching a training film for the B-47 from 1951, they mention (around 12:30) that the fuel is now measured in pounds instead of gallons on the instruments. Was that a new concept with jet aircraft? ...
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2answers
175 views

What was the first control room--used for flight test--established in aerospace history?

The control room for space missions in Houston is probably the best, most widely known example of a control room. It is an operations center used in support and execution of flight and space missions....
2
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1answer
137 views

What would have been the other stops of Amelia Earhart's ill fated last voyage?

Having just watched Amelia - A tale of two sisters, I wondered whether, had she landed successfully on Howland Island, what, or where, would the remaining subsequent stops for the rest of her ...
8
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1answer
490 views

How did the term PAN PAN originate?

Where did the phrase " pan pan" when declaring an emergency originate?
3
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4answers
535 views

Which fonts were used in old (1930s) aircraft cockpit displays and instruments?

This is probably more of a graphic design question than aviation but maybe a few hangar rats around here know the answer. What type fonts were used on the old instruments in aircraft from the 1930s ...
13
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2answers
539 views

What was the flight route from New York to Paris that Air France took in 1955?

I have a photograph of me and my sister in 1955 or 1956 boarding Air France to Paris. I seem to remember the route was: New York - Gander Gander - Shannon Shannon - Orly Is that correct? I know the ...
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1answer
2k views

What did the “gear warning horn” on the North American P-51 sound like?

I'm working on a sound project for a P51 simulation and I'm having real trouble trying to find a reference on how the P51 gear warning horn sounded like. What mechanisms were used in the '40s to make ...
1
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1answer
168 views

How much extra weight is added by strengthening a piston-prop fighter for carrier landings?

To land on a carrier, an aircraft must be strong enough to withstand sudden deceleration by the tail hook catching the arresting wire. I think it also requires strengthening the undercarriage to ...
4
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3answers
570 views

Did WW2-era aircraft have constant-speed or variable-pitch props?

This is slightly related to my other question on variable-pitch controls. I want to know if WW2-era aircraft typically had variable-pitch or constant-speed propellers. Variable-pitch lets the pilot ...
12
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4answers
713 views

Has an airplane ever been launched from a train?

Presumably helicopters have landed and lifted off railroad flat cars. Has an airplane ever been launched from a train? (my artwork) F-84 during project ZELL testing (info provided by jwenting)
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5answers
8k views

Why, until recently, were smooth nose sections not popular?

Why, until recently, were smooth nose sections not popular? By smooth I mean without a break between the nose and windshield. (The question focuses on airliners.) Seeing the Starliner (left) and DC-7 ...
1
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1answer
145 views

Are there any airliner crashes that can be definitively attributed to Mach tuck?

Mach tuck (the tendency of aircraft to develop an increasingly nose-down pitching moment at speeds above its critical mach number) caused a number of crashes of high-speed fighter aircraft before the ...
4
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0answers
128 views

Who is this flyer seen in Oakland c. 1929?

Looking for identification of the man on the left. Second from left is W.A. "Sandy" Sanders, third is Denny Wright, and fourth is Clyde Sunderland. Oakland, around 1929.
7
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1answer
383 views

What is this c. 1930 beautiful monoplane seen in Oakland?

Photo from Denny Wright's album. He piloted for Clyde Sunderland. This photo has no stamp or markings. Anyone recognize this aircraft?
4
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1answer
310 views
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1answer
302 views

How big was the F-14 fleet compared to other US carrier-based aircraft in 1981?

Back in the 80's I was away jesting about the F-14 are here to protect the carriers and the carriers to deploy F-14. I know there are a number of other aircraft here for other purposes but I really ...
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1answer
196 views

Were there any folding wing biplanes?

Given that several nations had operational carriers by 1920 and biplanes were still in military service, were there any folding wing biplanes? Wikipedia: United States first purpose built aircraft ...
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1answer
1k views

What means of navigation did commercial Soviet airplanes use in the 50s-90s?

Nowadays, practically all Western commercial airplanes use some kind of GNSS/GPS as primary means of navigation, sometimes paired with inertial navigation systems and user-friendly computer interfaces ...
4
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0answers
103 views

What uses for flight did early aviation pioneers envision?

Between 1903 and 1914, what did the aviation pioneers think flight would be used for, besides military purposes? Did they envision anything like crop dusting, commercial transportation, charting ...
7
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2answers
417 views

What instruments were “standard” in WWI aircraft?

What instruments made up a typical panel of a WWI airplane? Did any country regulate the required cockpit instruments prior to the United States "Air Commerce Act" of 1926?
28
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4answers
4k views

In the early days of flight, were there any cockpit control schemes other than the modern one?

Back in the early days, what kind of control schemes were invented for aircraft, other than the modern one? (pedals to yaw, yoke to pitch and roll). I'm only interested in control schemes that can be ...
2
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1answer
110 views

More information on PanAm's first trans-Pacific flight

I have came across this answer, about PanAm's first trans-Pacific flight (SFO-MNL route via HNL, MDY, AWK and GUM). For the text, I'm working on, I was wondering, if there is any source that can ...
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3answers
4k views

Why didn't early jetliners use turbofans?

For subsonic operation, high-bypass turbofans seem to have essentially only advantages for efficiency, noise and takeoff thrust, at least until they reach the size where ground clearance or LP/fan ...
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3answers
495 views

Airport Security Pre-1970-s?

I just accidentally discovered a few pictures on the web, that seem to imply, that there were some sort of airport security checks on passengers all the way back in the 1960-s. It was always my ...
5
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1answer
155 views

How did the windshield technology evolve?

I would really appreciate it if someone could please explain the differences and similarities between the cockpit windows of a Boeing 747-400 and Douglas DC-3. I am just trying to figure out how the ...
7
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1answer
382 views

What is this closed cabin / open cockpit biplane from the 1910s?

This photo was taken when Lieutenant Marix RNAS visited his old school, Radley College in Oxfordshire on 30 May 1914. Marix was awarded in October 1914 the DSO for bombing the Zeppelin sheds in ...
5
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2answers
988 views

What material is used for the floor panels in the main cabin for Boeing 747-400?

Just conducting some research into materials used in construction for Boeing 747-400 and Douglas DC-3. I just found out that in a DC-3 the floor panels in the main cabin and companionway are of ...
4
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1answer
268 views

What is this WW1 era plane?

I'm trying to identify this plane from an old family photograph. Is it possibly a DH4? The tail number doesn't bring any success (well, at least not that I can find). Any info would be much ...
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6answers
2k views

Has there been an aircraft with multiple type of engines? [duplicate]

Has there ever been an aircraft that can fly using at least two different type of engines? For example, a piston engine and a turbine engine, or a piston engine and a electric motor. To clarify the ...
3
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2answers
167 views

Would an Area-Ruled fuselage improve MiG-15 and MiG-17 performance?

The top speed range of these Mig 15-17 airplanes is in the close trans-sonic region, but when first drawings came, Area Rule was unknown. Even if owning a jet fighter is not exactly 'Maintaining pilot'...
11
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2answers
510 views

What is this old biplane?

Can anyone identify this aeroplane?
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5answers
674 views

Which aircraft have fought against its own type in active combat?

The criteria for this question are The aircraft has to be the same type (but not necessarily the same mark) The two opposing sides are actively hostile; but not restricted to nation states (so civil ...
5
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1answer
366 views

Are any Boeing 720s still flying?

A Boeing 720 looked like a 707 but was the size of a 737. I flew in one in 1961. I did not travel regularly until 1970 but I do not remember ever seeing a 720 again. Was it intended to have limited ...