Questions tagged [aviation-history]

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

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12
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1answer
208 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
94 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 ...
5
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0answers
126 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
159 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/...
3
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4answers
136 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?
0
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2answers
189 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
88 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 ...
5
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5answers
257 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
177 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
118 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?
1
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1answer
155 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 ...
39
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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 ...
2
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0answers
55 views

How did lateral and longitudinal separation minima evolve?

What is the evolution in time of lateral and longitudinal separation minima?
4
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2answers
560 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.
14
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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 ...
16
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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 ...
1
vote
1answer
166 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
227 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
217 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
147 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
368 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 ...
1
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1answer
254 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 ...
1
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0answers
50 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
156 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 ...
2
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4answers
219 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 ...
1
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4answers
384 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
146 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 ...
8
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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 ...
5
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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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0answers
83 views

Who was Penrose's mystery pioneer?

In his autobiography Adventure with Fate, test pilot Harald Penrose records an undated meeting with a "remarkable old gentleman" at Burton Bradstock in Dorsetshire, England: Directed to a ...
3
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1answer
398 views

Was destruction of SR-71-related tools really extraordinary?

While reading about Lockheed SR-71 on Wikipedia I was baffled by a piece of information regarding Robert McNamara's order to destroy tools used to create Blackbirds, which took place in 1968 (at the ...
5
votes
1answer
211 views

When were commercial pilots first allowed to use glasses?

Currently, pilots with defective (but correctable) vision are allowed to pilot airliners if they have at least two pairs of their corrective lenses (typically glasses) with them on board. Was there a ...
15
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1answer
3k views

Can anyone identify the aircraft in the background of this photo?

This photo was found in some family belongings and we're trying to date it to identify the family member who may have been in his tri-service imaged. So, can anyone identify the plane in the ...
1
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4answers
216 views

Why are early wing planforms mostly rectangular?

I am looking at the history of wing planforms, and I am having trouble finding reasons for why the wright flier and other early aircraft were built with rectangular wings. I thought it was due to ...
4
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4answers
225 views

Keeping the engine under the wings, doesn't hurt the lift as the airflow speed is higher under the wings?

To create a lift, the airflow speed on top of the wings should be higher than the airflow speed on the bottom of the wings. But when you keep the engine on the bottom of the wings, wouldn't it hurt ...
4
votes
1answer
300 views

Can you identify the plane with number NC 14959 photographed in Boston in 1937?

I have a photo of a plane with the number NC 14959 taken in Boston on December 31, 1937. The hanger behind it says "Occidental Airlines". I am trying to find out what kind of plane this is? I am ...
3
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1answer
147 views

Why was a CFM56 conversion never offered for the short-body DC-8s?

A major part of why the DC-8 hung on well into the 21st century (albeit almost entirely in cargo service) was the late-1970s/1980s conversion of 110 DC-8-60s (out of a total of 262) into DC-8-70s; the ...
15
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3answers
995 views

Where does the 90 seconds limit for plane evacuation come from?

New airplanes have to confirm that all passengers have to be evacuated within 90 seconds or they wouldn't be certified by aviation authorities. But where does the 90 seconds limit come from? Why isn't ...
32
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11answers
10k views

How could “aggressor” pilots fly foreign aircraft without speaking the language?

Context I watched a couple documentaries recently and found one where they were mentioning the training of American forces against Mi-24 that were captured and brought back to the US to test fly them....
0
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1answer
123 views

Aviation history. My dad PM of F-14 [closed]

My father was Prog mgr of F14. Where can I sell or donate his memorabilia or where is site to help?
0
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1answer
274 views

How did the term 'Buttered the bread' originate?

I've heard this term used a few times to describe an exceptionally smooth landing
9
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3answers
4k views

What is this WWII four-engine plane on skis?

I've seen this plane but I don't know its name:
8
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1answer
216 views

Why were the ailerons of the Fokker Dr. I (Red Baron) located on the top wing?

Photos' source are here: Fokker Dr. I (Red Baron), and here: a Sopwith triplane. They are probably not the actual airplane but only (claimed) authentic models. It makes sense to me that the Sopwith ...
1
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0answers
103 views

What airplane model was this historic propeller attached to?

I have a 9-foot historic wooden biplane propeller with brass edges. It does have a serial number, but it is tough to read. 2250 DN 152 6' 6" is what it appears to say. I am attaching a photo of it. ...
5
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1answer
535 views

Is this WWI movie scene realistic?

In a poignant scene of 1933 WWI film The Eagle and the Hawk (not to be confused with the same-name 1950 western film), while the pilot played by Fredric March performs a loop-the-loop in his – I ...
3
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2answers
220 views

Where did the SOE agents sit in the 161 squadron Short Stirlings?

I asked this question on history.se, where it was recommended I repost here. During World War II Special Operation Executive (SOE) agents were dropped into occupied Europe by No. 161 squadron of the ...

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