Questions tagged [aviation-history]

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

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2answers
221 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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3answers
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Was a six-engine 747 ever seriously considered by Boeing?

The Boeing 747 can carry a fifth engine on the side. As the airframe looks quite symmetric, I think that it would not be big work to hang a sixth engine on the side as well. From here, we seem to be ...
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2answers
471 views

What methodology did ICAO use to create the overall code nomenclature for airports?

If an airport is from North America, then it starts with K and so on. How did ICAO get the letters from? Why does the Philippines region starts with A? Why do airports in Izmir have LTBx prefix? Did ...
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2answers
391 views

What was the first aircraft equipped with a RAT?

RAT are common in airliners today to provide emergency electrical and hydraulic power. Yet, firsts airliners (prior to WWII) may not require the same amount of power than today's airliners (which are ...
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1answer
963 views

What is the aircraft type in the movie 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

The new movie Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood has a few scenes in a Pan American Airways aircraft. The movie is set in the late 60s, looking at their fleet from that time, it looks like it was either ...
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1answer
182 views

When were checkerboard fiducial markers first used in aircraft development?

It's common to put checkerboard fiducial markers on aircraft to help analyze rates and orientations from photographs and film. When was this practice first used on aircraft? Flight test versions ...
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0answers
83 views

Why did Curtiss put his Model F's ailerons on the interplane struts?

Glenn Curtiss's 1912-1918 Model F biplane flying boat has large ailerons on the struts between the wings, not contiguous with any other flying surface. Did this aileron position have any advantage? ...
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1answer
3k views

Why are electric shavers specifically permitted under FAR §91.21

This struck me as a bit strange, 91.21 which covers electronic devices that can be used during IFR flight has some exceptions, one through three make logical sense (not really sure why portable voice ...
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Expendable wingspan, long range early airplanes

Reading this question, I was wondering if, at some point early in aviation history there may have been airplane designs or concepts replacing or anticipating variable swept wing by "expendable ...
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1answer
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How much maintenance time did it take to make an F4U Corsair ready for another flight?

A coworker I worked alongside once told me that during his time in the Navy, he was responsible for taking care of maintenance on F-22s. He stated that every F-22 required 10 hours of maintenance for ...
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3answers
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What are the abandoned technologies in aviation industry [closed]

And technologies has come to end of to their life cycle Especially technologies that developed for aviation. This could be a manufacturing technology or an engine rather than avionics or sensors.
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2answers
386 views

Any biplane flying wings after 1914?

Were any biplane flying wings built and flown after the 1912-1914 variants of the Dunne D.8? If not, why? Wikipedia mentions merely that this type was too stable and insufficiently controllable, but ...
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2answers
381 views

Historical gap in high aspect ratio wing transport aircraft

Reading about recent Boeing's high aspect ratio wing concepts for commercial aircraft, such as TTBW and SUGAR, I couldn't help but think of the Hurel-Dubois aircraft, where similar aerodynamic choices ...
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13answers
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Other than a swing wing, what types of variable geometry have flown?

We're well familiar with swing wings, on small and large aircraft from both the east and west. What other types of variable geometry have been tried?
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1answer
366 views

What is this old biplane on a float?

I'm hoping for some help in identifying the plane in these two photographs I found in my father's collection.
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1answer
1k views

What's the story behind U-2 flying from aircraft carriers?

This video from the CIA YouTube channel shows U-2 aircraft launching via catapult and trapping with a tailhook: The description only offers this: After stopping U-...
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2answers
483 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?
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1answer
358 views

Was the F4F-1 Wildcat ever built?

The original design for the F4F Wildcat was as a biplane, but with the -2 model, it was redesigned as a monoplane. I am wondering if the -1 model was ever actually built, or did it remain as a ...
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13answers
14k views

Have any large aeroplanes been landed — safely and without damage — in locations that they could not be flown away from?

And, what was done with them subsequently?
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2answers
749 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 ...
8
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1answer
994 views

Why was the An-225 built when the VM-T Atlant already did the job?

The Soviet Buran program decided to use a carrier aircraft to move their orbiter and Energia tanks similarly to the American Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. However, the Soviet Union built two types to do ...
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0answers
51 views

What is the best reliable weight/power ration achieved by a pre-1911 plane?

From the article "DAYTON BOYS EMULATE GREAT SANTOS-DUMONT" that appeared on December 18, 1903, it can be calculated that the apparatus, which took off one day before, flew 700 lb / 16 hp = ...
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1answer
444 views

Are requests for an emergency landing ever refused?

Under what circumstances might it happen that a pilot's request to make an emergency landing is refused? Is such a thing known to have occurred?
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3answers
207 views

What are some of the longest flights without modern navigation systems?

Context: As a private pilot, I enjoy preparing my flights with a mix of paper charts and iPad apps. In flight, my navigation is now often very assisted by the G1000 or iPad, relegating the paper maps ...
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7answers
6k views

What is the largest (size) solid object ever dropped from an airplane to impact the ground in freefall?

What is the record for the largest single solid item that has ever been dropped from an airplane at free fall to the ground? Here, "free fall" means falling vertically, or nearly vertically falling ...
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1answer
3k views

Why were early aviators' trousers flared at the thigh?

For example, these dapper outfits: (Credit History Bunker) What purpose does the extra volume down to the knee serve? Why don't modern pilots wear similar jodhpurs?
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2answers
386 views

Has a small airplane ever been air launched from a heavy-lift helicopter?

I would like to know if a small airplane, like a Cessna, has ever been air launched from a heavy-lift helicopter, perhaps as a stunt or as an aviation experiment? I think it would have been a simple ...
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2answers
9k views

Has a commercial or military jet bi-plane ever been manufactured?

Are there any, or have there ever been any commercial/military jet bi-planes? What would be some of the major advantages vs disadvantages if one was built? Electric radio controlled ducted fan model. ...
4
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1answer
440 views

When was Kai Tak permanently closed to cargo service?

Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong was closed to both passenger and cargo service early in the morning of 6 July 1998, with all flights moving to the brand-new airport at Chek Lap Kok. However, shortly ...
14
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1answer
798 views

Did the FAA order the installation of “Cooper vanes?”

On November 24, 1971, a man hijacked a Boeing 727 and parachuted away, never to be found. According to Wikipedia, this prompted (together with 2 other hijackings) the installation of "Cooper vanes" ...
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1answer
1k views

Is it unprecedented for an F-16 to get hit by its own bullet(s)?

According to Dutch state broadcaster NOS, an F-16 was hit by its own bullet(s) in a training exercise: De F-16 die in januari aanzienlijke schade opliep tijdens een oefening boven Vlieland blijkt ...
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1answer
427 views

What safety issues led the FAA to ban Constellation flights into/out of the U.S.?

Although the Lockheed Constellation (like the other late, large piston airliners) was superseded in the 1960s and 1970s by newer jets (plus turboprops for shorter/lighter routes), it hung on into the ...
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224 views

Why were there so few general-aviation aircraft in South Korea in the late 1990s?

While reading the AAIB report on the crash of KAL 8509, I came across (in section 1.17.11, “Korean aviation statistics”) this surprising information regarding the South Korean aircraft population in ...
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1answer
495 views

Why did the Mercure fail?

The Dassault Mercure was a French regional jet that first flew in 1971 and received its type certificate in February 1974; it resembled an enlarged, shorter-range 737-200, and was designed to serve ...
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2answers
2k views

Did Kai Tak have a straight-in approach to runway 13 for higher-performance aircraft?

Runway 13 at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Airport (closed in 1998 and replaced by the current airport at Chek Lap Kok) had a hideously difficult approach in which pilots would fly in from the west, following ...
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1answer
4k views

When and why was runway 07/25 at Kai Tak removed?

Wikipedia states that Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong originally had two runways, both built under Japanese occupation during World War II: ... In 1942, the Japanese army expanded Kai Tak, using many ...
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0answers
99 views

How was the navigation managed on jetliners before having programmable routes?

This in-flight photo provides a look into the pre-FMS era (also pre-INS), i.e., not having a programmable route. How was the navigation managed back then? (Question limited to 2-crew jetliners, or ...
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63 views

I want to find out more about Raab Schwalbe Reg SX-AAG

According to the records on the web, Raab Schwalbe 11 reg SX-AAG was built in Greece in 1935 and sold abroad in 1937. I know that it was destroyed in a crash on landing in Palestine but I am not ...
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2answers
204 views

Did the Doolittle raid run their engines over square?

My flight instructor made a comment when talking about complex airplanes that "never over-square an engine" is a good rule of thumb but secondary to POH instructions. The POH, (I presume) is the best-...
7
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1answer
828 views

How did aircraft flying in formation use flares to communicate with each other?

The image shown in the question Which aircraft had such a luxurious-looking navigator's station? (also below) shows a flare gun with several flares. A comment below the question says: On the ...
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1answer
7k views

Which aircraft had such a luxurious-looking navigator's station?

I'm reading the BBC's How Fiji changed the way we travel; The little Pacific island nation was the first to incorporate GPS into its aviation system – and in doing so forever changed the way we get ...
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2answers
334 views

What did Fiji have to do when it incorporated GPS into its aviation system?

I'm reading the BBC's How Fiji changed the way we travel; The little Pacific island nation was the first to incorporate GPS into its aviation system – and in doing so forever changed the way we get ...
4
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7answers
505 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 ...
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1answer
526 views

What is this aircraft from ca. 1925 (crash included)?

I recently found the following family pictures from ca. 1925 and have been trying to identify the aircraft in them: A second picture of the same aircraft was taken shortly after the first one: Both ...
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1answer
147 views

Who made the first high-wing jet airliner?

I thought the only high-wing jet airliners were made by the Soviets but the British Aerospace RJ-100 and Dash 6 series twizzled my mind. So who made the first high-wing jet airliner?
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1answer
300 views

If Floyd Bennett Field failed due to its remoteness and isolation, how has JFK been so successful?

Floyd Bennett Field was built at the end of the 1920s in order to give New York City its own airport and avoid having to rely on Newark; however, despite its superb airport facilities, Floyd Bennett ...
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1answer
951 views

Can anyone identify the plane in this old photo?

It belonged to my uncle. May have been 1930s vintage.
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2answers
419 views

Did Boeing or Lockheed ever seriously consider releasing a widebody airliner powered by low-bypass engines?

During the 1960s race to build the first widebody jetliner, each of the three major engine manufacturers was racing to put out a high-bypass engine for one of those jumbo jets: Boeing went with Pratt ...
2
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1answer
201 views

Why did Lockheed abandon the Constellation II?

It’s well known that Lockheed never designed a first-generation jetliner. Not as well known: they actually did! The L-193 Constellation II, a quadjet with four tail-mounted engines (a configuration ...
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3answers
275 views

Are there statistics showing the relationship between safety and the age of aircraft?

Some people seem to believe that some airplanes are less safe to fly just because they are older than others. As a pilot myself who has learned that the safety of aircraft is nothing to do with their ...

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