Questions tagged [aviation-history]

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

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5
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0answers
91 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?
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1answer
284 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 ...
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1answer
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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
519 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?
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1answer
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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-...
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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 ...
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3answers
364 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, ...
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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 ...
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2answers
189 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 ...
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0answers
204 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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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 ...
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0answers
220 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 ...
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0answers
98 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
105 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 ...
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4answers
382 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
308 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
288 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
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3answers
186 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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3answers
191 views

Did John Stringfellow ever build an aeroplane, powered by a steam engine, that really flew?

After doing some research, I found two apparently conflicting articles. The first, dated Sep. 23, 1848, describes John Stringfellow as marching through the air in a tent. The second, published about ...
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0answers
125 views

Was Stringfellow's 1848-1868 motor a revolutionary aviation engine or just a useless low efficiency toy which never powered a flying model plane? [closed]

I took a look at the 1848 Stringfellow's aviation steam engine and I do not really understand how it was capable to power a model plane in horizontal flight as long as the motor itself was just an ...
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0answers
60 views

Identification of control column spade

I have a control column head similar to that used on the Spitfire and Hurricane but with two levers for cables coming up from the stick. I would like to find out what aircraft used this type. Markings ...
3
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1answer
194 views

Since when did European regulations require the ability to suppress alerts?

Thanks to @Gerry's comment on a recent answer of mine, the 2011 ruling on the FAA's amended 14 CFR § 25.1322 mentions: Adopting this rule also harmonizes flightcrew alerting standards between the FAA ...
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3answers
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What engine of the period 1855-1865 would have lifted one of Wright brothers' aeroplanes off the ground?

On December 13, 1905, the Wright brothers sent a letter to Georges Besançon, the editor of L’Aérophile, a leading French aeronautical journal. L'Auto, a newspaper of Paris, published a part of the ...
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0answers
165 views

Is this vintage altimeter from the Cuatro Vientos?

My father who was a pilot, passed away some years ago and I have a vintage altimeter that he told me someone gave him. They assured him that it belonged to the Cuatro Vientos airplane, but I'm not ...
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1answer
7k views

Why do airplane indicators start at 12 (o'clock), unlike cars that start at 7?

A car's speed and RPM indicators usually start at 7, lower left, but airplanes' altitude and airspeed indicators start at noon. What's the origin of this convention?
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1answer
202 views

Did any metal airplane use a Maxwell slot?

The Douglas DC-8 used leading-edge slots. Unlike slots in light planes, this one was door operated. I thought Douglas must have patented it. But as far as I searched, they did not. So it must have ...
24
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2answers
6k views

How exactly did engineers come to the final design of jets like the F-16 or SR-71?

I ask this question because I read somewhere that SR-71 was designed in 60's with hand calculations and drafters and when engineers later tried to improve the design with modern computers they found ...
2
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1answer
109 views

Was NextGen simulated/tested against alternatives?

Researchers in aviation usually test systems in simulated environments to find out the pros, cons, challenges, etc. Now ADS-B is a key component of NextGen and its European counterpart. And I've seen ...
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2answers
231 views

What justifies a biplane over a braced monoplane?

Biplanes became the first airplanes to enter service due to their structurally efficient design being more suitable for the weak materials then. This efficiency comes from the two wings acting as the ...
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0answers
132 views

How did the Wright brothers measure the maximum airspeed of their 1904 plane?

The Wright brothers used during their 1904 trials (105 in total, according with their claims) a Richard anemometer mounted on Flyer II (there are numerous pictures on the net with such a device). The ...
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1answer
2k views

Can someone identify the Make and Model of airplane that this fuselage belonged to?

This gutted fuselage remnant was photographed by my mother at Whaler's Bay on Deception Island in Antarctica in 1994. Deception Island is directly south of the Falkland Islands in the narrow area ...
2
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1answer
273 views

Can you identify this aircraft?

This photo, taken circa 1939, was taken of my uncle's aircraft at Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York. Lotar Munch and his partner operated "Munch & Romeo Flying Service" out of ...
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1answer
1k views

Can anyone identify this pusher plane from apparently the 1930s?

I have performed two searches - a photo search and also an FAA NC number search and failed at both to identify this pusher airplane. My family photo says it was taken by my mother at the Chicago ...
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1answer
1k views

Identify this USAAF biplane

I have been unable to match this USAAF biplane with a similar photo mainly due to the cockpit canopy. I've found no other like it. I believe the photo was taken at Madison, WI or Chicago, IL in the ...
8
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2answers
677 views

Can anyone help me with the Make, Model (version), and Unit of this WWII army trainer. Appears to be an AT-6 version

Location: Madison, WI Municipal Airport on May 21, 1939. Notice the straight bottom on the vertical stabilizer, crest emblem, pitot tubes, landing gear, exhaust location, antenna, etc. I have two ...
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0answers
97 views

The cost of these aircrafts in modern US dollar?

Could you tell me where I can find the development cost and market price of a Fairey Rotodyne, Convair CV-240, Martin 4-0-4, Ka-22 in current US dollar?
24
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2answers
6k views

Can anyone identify what appears to be a crashed WWII German plane?

This photograph is in my family's photo collection. The only information with the photo is, "Cousin Bud Kohl - aircraft wreck." If anyone can identify the make and model it is greatly ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Can anyone Identify this FLY FAIR seaplane?

This photograph, from my family's collection, of a high-winged, dual rotary engine, amphibious airplane, probably in the 1930's, appears to be an excursion plane at a fair since it has "FLY FAIR&...
32
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1answer
6k views

Why did flying boats in the '30s and '40s have a longer range than land based aircraft?

I just learned that until shortly after world war 2, flying boats had a longer range than land based aircraft In the 1930s, a flying boat route was the only practical means of transatlantic air ...
6
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1answer
235 views

What pattern of position lights did early Soviet jetliners use?

All aircraft that operate at night or in poor weather need position lights to make them visible to other aircraft for the purpose of avoiding mid-air collisions. On most aircraft, these follow a set ...
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2answers
135 views

Why are flight instructors in the US called CFIs?

I live in EASA-land (Europe), here we call our flight instructors simply that, "FIs". That they hold an instructors certificate is simply implied. Why are flight instructors in FAA-land (US) ...
13
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2answers
3k views

Did the Germans ever use captured Allied aircraft against the Allies?

I have noticed that during WWII the Germans captured quite a few P-47s, P-51s, Spitfires, and other Allied aircraft. I know that they tested them extensively but wanted to know if they ever used them ...
2
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1answer
202 views

Has a pilot ever been disciplined for taking a guest for a flight in a single-seat fighter aircraft?

I recall reading of a spitfire pilot who was suspended for taking a member of the WAAF up for a jaunt to impress her. She supposedly sat in the pilot's lap throughout the short flight and they were ...
4
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1answer
880 views

What is the origin of the “Pickle” switch for release of ordnance?

I am looking for proper proof of the theory that it is called so due to the Norden sight of the B17, which was said to assist the bomber in putting a bomb into a pickle jar, and hence it stuck.
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2answers
147 views

On old sectional charts, what was the purpose of the domestic ADIZ regions and what was the difference between a “Defense Area” and an “Open Area”?

Looking at an old US sectional chart from 1956, I noticed a few oddities around where Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZs) were placed. Compared to modern airspace where the US ADIZ is strictly ...
4
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1answer
317 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
274 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
76 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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149 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 ...

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