Questions tagged [aviation-history]

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

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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 ...
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2answers
556 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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1answer
261 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 ...
8
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1answer
417 views

Where can I find the full report of this controlled F-4 fighter jet impact?

I found the following video on YouTube They used an F-4 Phantom jet as a test article in a crash into a concrete wall at 500 mph. It wasn't actually a crash because ...
8
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1answer
408 views

What daily commercial flight is the oldest / has been running the longest?

Out of curiosity, what flight, currently still operating, has the earliest inception? There are several ways to define this, and I expect available information will determine what definition is most ...
8
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1answer
868 views

Is there ATC audio from the Sled Driver Speed Check story?

I love this story, like a lot of people, but is it possible to find the actual ATC recording from that story? Excerpt: Then, I heard it. The click of the mic button from the back seat. That was the ...
8
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1answer
406 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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1answer
2k views

What were the 20 airspace classes in the US before 1993?

ICAO adopted the current airspace classification in 1990. The US followed suit in 1993. But, I found this: In case you didn't know, the U.S. had 20 different types of airspace designations prior ...
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1answer
2k views

What made 800 feet and later 1,000 feet attractive as the standard traffic pattern altitude?

The value of a commonly understood traffic pattern altitude is obvious, but what is the history behind TPA of eight hundred feet in particular? Why not 700 or 900? Was the later move to 1,000 AGL ...
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3answers
703 views

What happened to the Ju 52 (“Aunt Ju“)?

I remember when I was a child, my parents and me often saw the Aunt Ju flying. But about 5 years later it disappeared. We never saw it again. Does anybody know what has been the use of the Ju 52 ...
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5answers
2k views

Were WW2 American fighters designed to operate from dirt airstrips?

Fighter or fighter-bomber planes built in America during WW2, such as the P-36, P-39, P-47, P-51. Were these designed to takeoff and land on dirt airstrips? My impression, and correct me if I'm wrong,...
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3answers
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Why do ATC instructions to change level include the words “climb” or “descend”?

ATC instructions to change level include the words "climb" or "descend" depending on the direction of the vertical maneuver. For example, "Descend to 2500 feet" or "Climb to FL70". For comparison, ...
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1answer
2k views

Has an unauthorized civilian ever tried to land on an aircraft carrier?

Has there ever been an attempt by a civilian 'daredevil' to land a plane on a US aircraft carrier? I came across the Red Square Landing and coupled with this video it made me wonder if there was ...
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1answer
466 views

What is this c. 1930 beautiful monoplane seen in Oakland?

Photo from Denny Wright's album. He piloted for Clyde Sunderland. This photo has no stamp or markings. Anyone recognize this aircraft?
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1answer
475 views

What is this closed cabin / open cockpit biplane from the 1910s?

This photo was taken when Lieutenant Marix RNAS visited his old school, Radley College in Oxfordshire on 30 May 1914. Marix was awarded in October 1914 the DSO for bombing the Zeppelin sheds in ...
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2answers
704 views

Why do older planes not have a middle hand luggage compartment?

Why do older planes not have a middle hand luggage compartment? Where are the oxygen masks for the people in the middle rows? L-1011 Interior: 777 Interior:
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1answer
1k views

What was the first jet-powered supersonic aircraft?

Just to clarify: I am explicitly not referring to the Bell X-1, or any other early experimental supersonic aircraft that were rocket-powered. I'm curious as to the first supersonic aircraft powered by ...
7
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2answers
248 views

Do “Civil Aviation Regulations” and “Aeronautics Bulletins” still have any legal authority today?

This is a history of the FAA from their site. In the U.S., we had the original set of aviation laws known as aeronautical bulletins back in the 1920's and 1930's. Later (in 1938) we had the Civil ...
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2answers
441 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

Who was the oldest pilot ever so far?

Based on any historical records, who has been the oldest pilot ever? "Pilot", I mean, somebody who managed to take off, return to the airport and land without help. That much is probably not possible ...
7
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1answer
582 views

Can you identify this plane?

Can you identify this plane? Unknown airplane I have just found the photo on a CD together with many other planes and helicopters. I have no clue regarding the place where the picture was taken, the ...
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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
896 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
542 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
502 views

How did ATC procedures and airspace structure change after San Diego PSA collision?

In 1978, a Pacific Southwest Airlines aircraft collided with a Cessna 172 while approaching the San Diego airport in California. The GA aircraft was piloted by a student, and crossed the approach ...
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1answer
467 views

What was the first aircraft fitted with both an FDR & CVR?

What was the first production aircraft to be fitted with a Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) as standard by the manufacturer?
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1answer
2k views

How much did Avgas cost in 1940?

I am interested in historic fuel prices; How much did Avgas cost in 1940?
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1answer
275 views

How did the service ceiling certification change in the 70s?

According to this video (at 4:30-4:45) the "later" Cessna T337 and P337 were limited to 20,000 feet whereas the older models "had no such limitation - a quirk in changes in the certification standards ...
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1answer
585 views

What are these wheel-chocks made of and what color do they most probably have?

I found a new hobby of mine: Colorizing black and white photos. My first project was a B-17 and now I'm working on a He 162 Volksjäger. The plane is on ground and fixed with wheel-chocks. Now the ...
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2answers
787 views

What instruments were “standard” in WWI aircraft?

What instruments made up a typical panel of a WWI airplane? Did any country regulate the required cockpit instruments prior to the United States "Air Commerce Act" of 1926?
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1answer
190 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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1answer
257 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 ...
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0answers
155 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 ...
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0answers
192 views

Who is this flyer seen in Oakland c. 1929?

Looking for identification of the man on the left. Second from left is W.A. "Sandy" Sanders, third is Denny Wright, and fourth is Clyde Sunderland. Oakland, around 1929.
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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 ...
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 ...
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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?
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3answers
5k views

Why did Air France retire Concorde? [closed]

It was developed by British Airways and Air France in the 1970s as the first supersonic passenger/civilian airplane.
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2answers
16k views

Why has the maximum service ceiling of Boeing and Airbus products remained about the same for 30 years? [duplicate]

When Boeing introduced the 747-100 in 1969, its maximum ceiling was 45,100 feet; half a century later, when Boeing introduced the 777x, its maximum ceiling was 43,100 feet. Similarly, the maximum ...
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2answers
2k views

What material is used for the floor panels in the main cabin for Boeing 747-400?

Just conducting some research into materials used in construction for Boeing 747-400 and Douglas DC-3. I just found out that in a DC-3 the floor panels in the main cabin and companionway are of ...
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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 ...
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2answers
8k views

How many 747-200 are still in service?

I'm wondering how many 747-200's are still in service? I know for sure Rolls Royce is using one for testing purposes. And the one from the US Forces. Are there any civilian operated ones left? Does ...
6
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1answer
306 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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3answers
704 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 ...
6
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3answers
397 views

Was a 7300-mile non-stop flight possible in 1979?

I'm listening to the On Wings of Eagles audiobook by Ken Follett and found some information about a non-stop transatlantic flight between Teheran (IKA) and Dallas (DFW). GCM says that this is 7,300 ...
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2answers
843 views

What is the record length of time for single-occupant flight?

What is the longest flight time for a single pilot alone in an aircraft?
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4answers
2k views

How did ww1 pilots handle G-forces?

The wikipedia page on G-forces, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-force, lists that WW1 aircraft encountered 4.5-7g during dogfights. This made me wonder, how did pilots in the early days of aviation ...
6
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2answers
476 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 ...
6
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1answer
421 views

What is this WW1 era plane?

I'm trying to identify this plane from an old family photograph. Is it possibly a DH4? The tail number doesn't bring any success (well, at least not that I can find). Any info would be much ...
6
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1answer
500 views

Are any Boeing 720s still flying?

A Boeing 720 looked like a 707 but was the size of a 737. I flew in one in 1961. I did not travel regularly until 1970 but I do not remember ever seeing a 720 again. Was it intended to have limited ...

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