Questions tagged [aviation-history]

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

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2answers
196 views

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

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 ...
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2answers
252 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?
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1answer
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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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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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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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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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50 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 ...
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1answer
165 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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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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164 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
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
99 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
218 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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131 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
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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 ...
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1answer
245 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
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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
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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 ...
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675 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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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?
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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 ...
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2answers
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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&...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
229 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
134 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) ...
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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
195 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 ...
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1answer
648 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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135 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 ...
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1answer
307 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 ...
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252 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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75 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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144 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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1answer
240 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 ...
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95 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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280 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?
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2answers
200 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, ...
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1answer
259 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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192 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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64 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
192 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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61 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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202 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
2k 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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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 ...
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1answer
254 views

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

What year did commercial airlines start using a lighted seat belt sign?
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1answer
122 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 ...

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