Questions tagged [aviation-history]

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

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51
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3answers
11k 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
217 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
votes
1answer
103 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
134 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
264 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
164 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
143 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
195 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
105 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
5k 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
178 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
388 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? ...
14
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3answers
857 views

What is this old biplane?

Can anyone identify this aeroplane? Location is Cordoba, Argentina.
1
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2answers
120 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
156 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
958 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?
4
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2answers
564 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 ...
2
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1answer
218 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 ...
11
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1answer
732 views

What is the longest time after which plane crash survivors were rescued?

I found: Aviator Bob Gauchie retains the record for solo arctic survival by a downed airman, enduring 58 days of arctic weather before his rescue in Canada 1967. After 72 days on the glacier, 16 of ...
30
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2answers
6k views

What is the purpose of the glazed round area atop the Ju 87 Stuka G?

I haven't been able to find any pictures of this feature aside from models, nor any reference to what it is. I'm going to make a complete guess and suggest it's a searchlight for night-fighting to ...
48
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3answers
78k views

Why did the Ju-87 Stuka have a siren?

Why did the Ju-87 Stuka have a siren? Was this for purely psychological reasons or did it help the pilot in some way?
11
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4answers
6k views

Why was the engine of the Ju-87 Stuka not replaced with a more powerful one?

Related to this question Why did the Ju-87 Stuka have a siren? I would like to know the reasons why they have not changed the engine of the Stuka when they realised it was easy prey for Hurricanes ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Did the Stuka Ju-87 really have a radio altimeter? If so, when?

This is what Wikipedia says near the end of its radio altimeter article: The radio altimeter first showed up in the German Junkers Ju-87 "Stuka" dive bomber which was equipped with one for ...
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 ...
7
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1answer
245 views

What uses for flight did early aviation pioneers envision?

Between 1903 and 1914, what did the aviation pioneers think flight would be used for, besides military purposes? Did they envision anything like crop dusting, commercial transportation, charting ...
1
vote
1answer
169 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 ...
4
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7answers
507 views

Was the adoption of conventional tailplanes as 'everyday aircraft' inevitable, or are there other designs that can be just as good?

I originally asked a variant of this on Worldbuilding.SE, but they didn't seem to like it. So I apologize if it's out of place even here. I ask, because I've been forming in my head an alternate ...
31
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5answers
5k views

In the early days of flight, were there any cockpit control schemes other than the modern one?

Back in the early days, what kind of control schemes were invented for aircraft, other than the modern one? (pedals to yaw, yoke to pitch and roll). I'm only interested in control schemes that can be ...
9
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2answers
753 views

Did the Douglas SBD Dauntless have a second set of controls?

In the book Never Call me a Hero, the author mentions that there were controls in the rear seat of the Douglas SBD Dauntless. However, I don't recall ever hearing this before, though I know the TBD ...
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 ...
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?
7
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2answers
379 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
258 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 ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Did WW2-era aircraft have constant-speed or variable-pitch props?

This is slightly related to my other question on variable-pitch controls. I want to know if WW2-era aircraft typically had variable-pitch or constant-speed propellers. Variable-pitch lets the pilot ...
6
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4answers
1k views

How did jet engine aircraft perform compared to the best reciprocating engine aircraft during WW2?

How did the performance of jets in World War II compare to the cutting edge propeller planes (e.g. P-51, Zero's, etc) of the day?
5
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2answers
487 views

What is the typical sink rate during a well-executed carrier landing at the moment the main wheels touch the deck?

What is the typical sink rate during a well-executed carrier landing at the moment the main wheels touch the deck? And how has this changed over the decades?
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 ...
14
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2answers
1k views

What was the flight route from New York to Paris that Air France took in 1955?

I have a photograph of me and my sister in 1955 or 1956 boarding Air France to Paris. I seem to remember the route was: New York - Gander Gander - Shannon Shannon - Orly Is that correct? I know the ...
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 ...

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