Questions tagged [aviation-history]

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

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4
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1answer
278 views

Why was the Sikorsky Firefly built but never flown?

Sikorsky Firefly is the electric helicopter that has been built but never flown. How do such histories happen? If the design looked so unsafe that there was not enough courage of trying, why this was ...
6
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1answer
218 views

What use was there for Boeing to include customer numbers in their aircraft model names, and why did they end this practice?

Inspired by this question (thanks Hot Network Questions!). The tl;dr is that Boeing included a unique numeric model number designation, referring to the customer that had purchased a particular plane, ...
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1answer
67 views

When was the first manned rocket-propelled plane launched? [closed]

I believe that it's an issue of some interest in the history of aviation.
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130 views

What's the highest altitude ever achieved by a (rocket-?)plane for level flight?

As probably most of us know, the SR-71 Blackbird holds the altitude record for leveled flight for (manned) jet planes (and ground-launched planes) at 90,000 ft MSL. However, the very altitude record ...
2
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1answer
156 views

Is there any clear picture or drawing, of a Wright brothers' plane, published before August 12, 1908?

Based on a video and two articles, one form May 1904, and the other from December 1951, both of them quoting people who personally knew the Wright brothers (see the explanations below), I have reached ...
2
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0answers
91 views

What is the first recorded instance of simulating weightlessness in an airplane?

I wonder what the first instance ever has been of a controlled creation of weightlessness onboard an aircraft, like during a parabola or flying nose-down ~90 degrees. Do we have a record of the first ...
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2answers
274 views

Before COVID, what was the largest aviation crisis ever? [closed]

The Covid-19 pandemic is the worst crisis aviation has ever faced. Which one was the biggest one before that pandemic?
2
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2answers
163 views

I calculated that Flyer I and II (1903-04) of the Wright brothers were underpowered. Are there better (drag, lift) coefficients than those of Culick?

Based on what the Wright brothers said in a few letters and two article (all relevant excerpts have been attached to this post), and also using the experimental data in the study "AERODYNAMICS, ...
9
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1answer
253 views

When was the concept of V1 introduced?

When was V1 speed first introduced? Was it the result of a particular accident or series of accidents?
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2answers
183 views

Writing Research: What stick sensation would you expect in an Su-15 with a total hydraulic flight system failure?

The title pretty much says it all. I have a very specific research question in relation to a writing project I'm working on. The main character is in an Su-15 performing low flying military training, ...
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3answers
2k views

Is it possible for a plane to accelerate easily from 30 to 45 mph in flight while it struggles to reach 30 mph (the engine runs at constant power)?

In two letters sent to Dr. G. A. Spratt (an aviation enthusiast), Wilbur Wright reported the progress he and his brother had made, up to September 10, 1904, regarding Flyer II, a plane powered by a 16-...
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0answers
61 views

What were the rules about night flights from LHR in the 80s?

I was just reading a question over on movies.SE: How could Ryan land in New York in early morning?, and the accepted answer suggests that Jack Ryan's plane takes off from LHR at about 4am. One of the ...
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1answer
165 views

Does anyone know more about the 1958 Heinkel-211 project?

Industria Aeronáutica Argentina worked in the 50s in a Jet airliner, Kurt Tank design, the IA-36, 'Cóndor', with simmilarities to 1958 Heinkel-211 project, turbines intake aspirating fuselage boundary ...
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0answers
57 views

To which side did the first Cierva autogyros fall?

The first Cierva autogyros, before the introduction of the flapping articulation, fell to the right when the take-off was attempted, according to witnesses. That had an explanation, as the rotor ...
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2answers
143 views

How can I find a deregistered airplane?

I'm trying to find a 1959 C172 tail number N7393T. It was my grandfather's and the last registered record of it was near Glendale AZ. It was deregistered in 2015 and I found out that since it cannot ...
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1answer
1k views

Did Japan actually use any production aircraft with inverted gull wings during WW2?

The anime film The Wind Rises presents a fictionalized account of Jiro Horikoshi and the development of the Mitsubishi A5M. Throughout most of the anime, Jiro visualizes the plane with this shape: I ...
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3answers
12k views

The F-16s that were scrambled to intercept United 93 did not have time to arm the jets, so the pilots were going to “ram it” how does that work?

The Wikipedia page says Two F-16 fighter pilots from the 121st Fighter Squadron of the D.C. Air National Guard, Marc Sasseville and Heather "Lucky" Penney, were scrambled and ordered to ...
12
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1answer
223 views

What year did the seat belt sign come in to use?

What year did commercial airlines start using a lighted seat belt sign?
5
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1answer
107 views

What happened with the balloons of project Excelsior?

After the flight to the ISS yesterday I am reading more stuff about mankind in the universe. Reading about the Excelsior project makes me wonder what happened with the helium balloon after Joseph ...
7
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0answers
153 views

What is this extension at the tip of the Supermarine Southampton's wing?

Looking at this Wikipedia image of the Supermarine Southampton flying boat, I noticed what at first looked like a small wheel. But then I thought it couldn't be, as a wheel would be pointless in a ...
5
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1answer
172 views

What was the average duration of a Me-262 combat mission during WWII?

Me 262 in 1945 Maximum speed: 900 km/h Range: 1,050 km Service ceiling: 11,450 m Rate of climb: 20 m/s at max weight of 7,130 kg Thrust/weight: 0.28 Could a Me-262 fight for (1050 km) / (900 km/...
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4answers
157 views

When was the first THS (Trimmable horizontal stabilizer) used and on what aircraft?

When was the first THS (Trimmable horizontal stabilizer) used and on what aircraft? Has any UL or GA trimmable stabilizer?
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2answers
202 views

Why did the Wright brothers take steps to increase the amount of vertical surface area forward of the CG on some of their aircraft?

Why did the Wright brothers take steps to increase the amount of vertical surface area in front of the CG on some of their aircraft? Could this have actually improved the flight characteristics in ...
4
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1answer
167 views

In what order were the runways built at Paris Charles de Gaulle?

At its commission time (in 1974), Roissy-CDG airport did not have all its runways in service. As an example, I found an article (fr) saying the fourth (and last) runway was built in 2000. But this ...
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5answers
271 views

Can a company be both an airplane manufacturer and an airline?

It may be advantageous for a company that manufactures its own aircraft to also be an airline. For example, the airline business would likely have reduced maintenance and parts costs relative to other ...
5
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1answer
183 views

What is the historical reasons to start Belgians registrations with “OO-”?

For many countries, the registration number begins with a obvious letter (F for France, D for German (Deutschland I guess), C for Canada,...). For other, historical reasons have already been covered ...
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2answers
147 views

When was the first picture of the Wright brothers' 1903 plane published?

In their January 6, 1904, press release, the Wright brothers said they flew 4 times on December, 17, 1903, and gave a short description of each trial (see the article below). However, the text ends ...
16
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1answer
2k views

What is this board given to world war II pilot?

What is this board given to world war II pilot?
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1answer
159 views

What is (or was) the “international frequency”?

I have recently read a book about Douglas BADER. This pilot has lost his legs (because of accident in 1931) but after (thanks to his single-mindedness) he takes up the "broomstick" again and became a ...
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4answers
9k views

Why is paragliding not an old invention?

Paraglider looks like a rather simple device for me. It does not have a complex engine that needs lots of technology to be built. It also does not need a powered aircraft just to be launched. Looking ...
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0answers
56 views

How did lateral and longitudinal separation minima evolve?

What is the evolution in time of lateral and longitudinal separation minima?
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2answers
570 views

Why does the Yak-28 cockpit have two attitude indicators?

Why are there two attitude indicators in the cockpit of the Yak-28? Below is a picture from this YouTube video.
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2answers
3k views

Is it common for aircraft tugs to work from under the aircraft?

I came across this photo showing a tug attached in a way I have never seen before. I assume it was used to allow the aircraft closer to the terminal. Did this require special equipment or ...
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3answers
3k views

Did people really hand-start big bombers in WWII?

I am not a pilot so I don't know anything about hand starting propeller aircraft. But I wonder how easily can the propeller fire up unexpectedly during the procedure even if it's done right. Whenever ...
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1answer
175 views

How low was the Hong Kong Kai Tak landing approach over the city?

Hong Kong's Kai Tak approach was famous for its unique approach, including the "checkerboard" and its low altitude when passing over Kownloon. The latter has been memorialized in innumerable photos ...
3
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1answer
240 views

Who was the air traffic controller voice?

I recall reading somewhere that the 'Air traffic controller' voice (you've heard it on TV on many occasions) started with one specific person and his mannerisms have been copied by many air traffic ...
2
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1answer
220 views

What happens when an airplane is retired? [duplicate]

With launch of new models every few years, what happens to the older airplanes which was in service for more than decades? Where does it get stored. Who buys old airplanes? Does manufacturers buys ...
3
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1answer
150 views

Did older Airliners use a pitot-static system?

Aircraft like the B707, how would the aircraft gather speed and altitude data? And if they used pitot static system by that time, was there ever anything else that gathered the speed data?
6
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1answer
2k views

Are there any aircraft that were grounded and later approved for flight?

Last year the Boeing 737 Max 8 was grounded after two fatal crashes. Historically, are there any other commercial aircraft which were grounded (due to safety issues), and later “fixed” by ...
7
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2answers
441 views

Why was the A340 developed with four engines?

The predecessor to the A340 program begun in 1982, when Airbus released the first specification of the designated TA9 and TA11 programmes and in 1986 the TA9/TA11 programmes were officially launched ...
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1answer
271 views

Has any accident been caused by poor time management, despite a perfectly done checklist?

This is a question I've heard from an aviation psychologist. I've searched on that but couldn't find a satisfying example. The full question is: Has there been any accident which was caused by poor ...
29
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2answers
7k views

In WW2 aircraft, where were gun cameras mounted, and did they suffer performance penalties?

During WW2, some aircraft had gun cameras that activated whenever the guns fired, so that people on the ground could evaluate performance and help with kill ratios and other statistics. These were ...
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0answers
51 views

Did the Wright brothers patent their Wing Warping method in Germany?

I know that the Wright brothers patented their Wing Warping method for controlling the roll of a plane or glider in Great Britain, France, United States, Austria, Italy,... but did they obtain a ...
2
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3answers
170 views

Could Henri Farman have steered his plane with ailerons on January 13, 1908?

It is known that Henri Farman flew (over) 1 km in a circuit on January 13, 1908, and gained a 50000-franc prize. Orville Wright even witnessed Farman on November 18, 1907, attempting to make the full ...
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3answers
2k views

Has the “Foote takeoff” technique really existed, and how did it work?

Reading The Crash Detectives: Investigating the World's Most Mysterious Air Disasters by Christine Negron, I came across the following description, in relation to some early de Havilland Comet ...
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4answers
230 views

Would the front rudder of the Wright brothers really have helped in recovering the glider from a stall?

I have found a paragraph in the 1904 British patent of the Wright brothers (see the citation below) and it seems, from what they explain, that the two inventors believed the front rudder could have ...
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4answers
426 views

Did the Wright brothers discover the three-axis control system for airplanes/gliders and the adverse yaw?

1) Various sites like this one: Orville and Wilbur Wright, The Inventors of the 3-axis Flight Control System, 9 Months before their powered flight at Kitty Hawk say that the two brothers invented the ...
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1answer
157 views

Was the Coanda effect known in 1868 to Matthew Piers Watt Boulton (the one who described the first ailerons)?

Matthew Piers Watt Boulton is known as the inventor whose 1868 British patent No. 392 nullified any claim of the Wright brothers that they discovered the ailerons (see FIG. 5-7). It seems now that ...
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1answer
2k views

What was in the noses of airliners before the weather radar?

At the time of the first Lockheed Constellations, airliners fitted with a weather radar were not common, and the navigator was not placed in the airplane nose. Thus, the nose seems to be mostly dead ...
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1answer
1k views

What is this aircraft and its submarine?

I got this picture from an anonymous source and I'm curious to learn more about its mission and I want to know if it's a genuine picture. It happens to be a submarine aircraft carrier.

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