Questions tagged [aviation-history]

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

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14
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1answer
856 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" ...
7
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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 ...
5
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1answer
477 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Although the Lockheed Constellation (like the other late, large piston airliners) was superseded in the 1960s and 1970s by newer jets (plus turboprops for shorter/lighter routes), it hung on into the ...
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0answers
262 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 ...
6
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1answer
514 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 ...
10
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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 ...
24
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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 ...
2
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0answers
101 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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0answers
68 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
214 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
974 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 ...
39
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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 ...
3
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2answers
344 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 ...
5
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7answers
539 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 ...
7
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1answer
551 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 ...
1
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1answer
155 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?
7
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1answer
310 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 ...
11
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1answer
967 views

Can anyone identify the plane in this old photo?

It belonged to my uncle. May have been 1930s vintage.
1
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2answers
439 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
239 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 ...
4
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3answers
280 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 ...
8
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1answer
269 views

Was the foil in older FDRs reused when it ran out, or replaced?

Before magnetic tape became the standard recording medium for flight data recorders, most FDRs used a long strip of metal foil that had altitude, airspeed, etc. traces scratched into it by a set of ...
2
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1answer
212 views

First airplane to use a flight simulator?

Icarus, Pegasus, da Vinci's flying machine and Wright brothers airplane probably didn't have a flight simulator, since computer science was not yet developed enough (Antikythera ancient analogue ...
0
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1answer
197 views

Where can I find complete aircraft blueprints for the purpose of study?

Where can I find aircraft blueprints for the purpose of study? I find that I learn a lot more when I am able to get the big picture of a machine that is used in real life (for example, to understand ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Has turbulence ever killed a passenger?

The question is on my mind, because many passengers think there is no need to wear the seatbelt when the seatbelt sign is not illuminated.
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2answers
477 views

What is this flyer in a 1911 short film?

In the very first instants of the 1911 comedy short film Robinet aviatore (or Tweedledum Aviator) by Michel Fabre, which can be watched here, on the background some kind of flyer can be seen. Does ...
11
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1answer
881 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 ...
10
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5answers
3k views

Why didn't Boeing or Douglas make a jet airliner before the British DH Comet?

I was looking at the history of commercial aircraft and was wondering why UK-based De Havilland was the first to produce a jet powered airliner (the DH 106 Comet) when the US had a much bigger civil ...
4
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1answer
411 views

What was the lift equation used by the Wright brothers?

NOTICE: The modern lift equation and the lift equation used by the Wright brothers in 1900 are slightly different. The lift coefficient of the modern equation is referenced to the dynamic pressure ...
2
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2answers
440 views

Has a passenger or cabin crew member ever flown an airliner?

Is there any documented case, excluding hijacking, where a passenger or cabin crew member had to fly an airliner (hands on yoke/stick) – even if just briefly – due to an emergency (pilot ...
38
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2answers
2k views

How can I find my grandmother's OLD instrument rating documentation?

This is my grandmother, Nathalie Myrtle Brown: The big-eared kid she's posing with is my dad. She has a claim to fame in that she was the first female instrument-rated pilot in the state of Iowa, a ...
6
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3answers
711 views

Which aircraft had the shortest operational life?

I read in Wikipedia that the operational life of Consolidated B-32 was limited to just a handful of months (January to August 1945). Please note that B-32 wasn’t an experimental model, but an ...
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0answers
115 views

Why did biplanes and triplanes go away? [duplicate]

Why did multi-wing aircraft (two or three stacked wings) eventually fade off to single-wing aircraft?
3
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1answer
205 views

What was the first Russian jet designed with the use of area rule?

What was the first Russian jet designed with the use of area rule? Also, how did the Russians acquire the knowledge of this design method? Was Whitcomb's discovery public?
44
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4answers
15k views

Why was Concorde never sold as a private business jet?

Airliners like Boeing 747 and even Airbus 380 are at times considered as personal jets for extremely wealthy people. Looking from the side, Concorde was ideal for this role: while not very big, it ...
2
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1answer
480 views

Lindbergh's panel— Ryan NYP— what is this instrument and how was it useful?

Lindbergh's panel-- Ryan NYP-- what is this instrument and how was it used? See this link-- it should allow you to zoom in by mousing around https://www.amazon.com/Instrument-Successfully-Atlantic-...
3
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2answers
230 views

Re old (1993) US VFR sectional charts— when did the term “Class E” first appear?

When did the phrase "Class E" or "Class E airspace" first appear on the legend of US VFR sectional charts, to identify the meaning of the thin dashed magenta line? I'd like to narrow down the date as ...
5
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2answers
312 views

What was the first aircraft designed with a plug-system fuselage, and why?

Nearly all modern transport aircraft are designed with a plug-system fuselage, allowing longer and shorter variants to be built by adding or removing plugs. In addition, the plug system simplifies ...
2
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1answer
325 views

Why wasn't Saint-Exupéry able to cover more distance before his 1935 desert crash?

Is there any source that provides more details on Saint-Exupéry's desert crash in 1935 than Wikipedia does: On 30 December 1935, at 2:45 a.m., after 19 hours and 44 minutes in the air, Saint-...
8
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1answer
425 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? ...
2
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2answers
209 views

What was the first control room--used for flight test--established in aerospace history?

The control room for space missions in Houston is probably the best, most widely known example of a control room. It is an operations center used in support and execution of flight and space missions....
3
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1answer
184 views

What would have been the other stops of Amelia Earhart's ill fated last voyage?

Having just watched Amelia - A tale of two sisters, I wondered whether, had she landed successfully on Howland Island, what, or where, would the remaining subsequent stops for the rest of her ...
9
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1answer
4k views

How did the term PAN PAN originate?

Where did the phrase " pan pan" when declaring an emergency originate?
4
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4answers
1k views

Which fonts were used in old (1930s) aircraft cockpit displays and instruments?

This is probably more of a graphic design question than aviation but maybe a few hangar rats around here know the answer. What type fonts were used on the old instruments in aircraft from the 1930s ...
14
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2answers
2k 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 ...
10
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1answer
2k views

What did the “gear warning horn” on the North American P-51 sound like?

I'm working on a sound project for a P51 simulation and I'm having real trouble trying to find a reference on how the P51 gear warning horn sounded like. What mechanisms were used in the '40s to make ...
2
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1answer
273 views

How much extra weight is added by strengthening a piston-prop fighter for carrier landings?

To land on a carrier, an aircraft must be strong enough to withstand sudden deceleration by the tail hook catching the arresting wire. I think it also requires strengthening the undercarriage to ...
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 ...
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)
33
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5answers
8k views

Why, until recently, were smooth nose sections not popular?

Why, until recently, were smooth nose sections not popular? By smooth I mean without a break between the nose and windshield. (The question focuses on airliners.) Seeing the Starliner (left) and DC-7 ...

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