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
279 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 ...
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?
-3
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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.
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, ...
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 ...
0
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0answers
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 ...
39
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6answers
32k views

Why don't passenger aircraft use the trijet configuration anymore?

As a kid I distinctly remember seeing aircraft like the bright blue KLM MD-11 having the prominent third engine on the tail. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KLM_MD_11_AMS.jpg However, I don'...
9
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2answers
5k views

Why are airplanes called ‘she’?

What is the reason that airplanes in English have a female gender? Please illuminate the historical or scientific reason.
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 ...
15
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7answers
11k views

Why do older airplanes have a wing on both the top and the bottom of the aircraft?

The first airplane by the Wright brothers had a double wing. This concept continued through World War 1 and into the 1930s - why was this concept popular?
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, ...
0
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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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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 ...
18
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4answers
990 views

What is this old biplane?

Can anyone identify this aeroplane? Location is Cordoba, Argentina.
11
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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-...
4
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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, ...
8
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2answers
315 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 ...
3
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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 ...
19
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2answers
4k views

What is this aircraft with pipes at the flight deck windows?

This image comes from a site about aircraft tractors: What could be the reasons for this old aircraft to have pipes at the flight deck windows and to be moved near a forest?
11
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2answers
3k views

How did the Wright plane takeoff/land?

I don't understand exactly how the Wright brothers handled takeoff with the first gliders and powered plane. I know it has something to do with an elevated rail track. Also, if the flying position was ...
5
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1answer
193 views

What were the historical safety statistics of airplanes?

There's lots of debates in the Space world about the safety margins of modern rockets (specifically the fact that the ITS isn't planned to have an abort mode as (in the words of many SpaceX supporters)...
3
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1answer
200 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 ...
0
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0answers
58 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 ...
6
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3answers
2k views

How did the 747SR fly from Qatar to London?

The following photo on the Boeing 747 Wikipedia article reads: Qatar Airways 747SR-81 landing at London Gatwick Airport in 1996. How did the 747SR manage this flight [on a regular basis]? The only ...
0
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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 ...
5
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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 ...
51
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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 ...
20
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9answers
5k views

Why are airships not more popular?

There is this question but I am hoping for more general answers to why airships are not more commonplace. The previous question does bring up the cost of production (mainly because of hi-tech fibers ...
17
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5answers
1k 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)
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
154 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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5answers
272 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 ...
57
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9answers
14k views

Why was the P-51 Mustang not adopted by the U.S. Navy?

I've heard from many WWII aviation hobbyists and WWII vets that the P-51 was essentially the pinnacle of U.S. piston-engine fighter design; it was fast, maneuverable, long-range, well-armed, allowed ...
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/...
3
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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?
0
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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 ...
14
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6answers
3k views

Can biplane or triplane designs be revived with modern materials?

With the new-age technologies and cutting-edge composite materials etc available currently, is it possible that biplane and triplane designs will make a comeback in the near future?
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....
4
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1answer
168 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 ...
16
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2answers
6k views

What was Boeing's competitor to the C-5?

Doing some of my airplane learning, I have come across a point many times that the engines for the Boeing 747 (at least partially) came from Boeing's competitor to the C-5 Galaxy. What was this plane ...
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 ...
8
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1answer
404 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
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?
1
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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 ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Was “the right stuff” ever really the right stuff? [closed]

In the history of the culture of aviation, to what extent has the popular image of "the right stuff" required of a pilot ever matched the characteristics actually sought in aviation? In this popular ...
40
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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 ...
15
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3answers
962 views

What is currently the longest commercial flight in terms of distance?

Flightradar24 has announced few hours ago, that Qantas QF7 is taking off for its 13,804 km long flight and named it the longest commercial flight (by distance). Is that correct? I was more than sure, ...
2
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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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