Questions tagged [aviation-history]

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

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6
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2answers
848 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?
6
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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 ...
6
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1answer
428 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
519 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 ...
6
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1answer
293 views

What does the letter D on the underside of the wing stand for?

Below is a picture of the Junkers F.13. What does the letter D on the underside of the wing stand for? (Image Source)
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2answers
1k views

Where does the water salute come from?

Water salutes by the fire crew are regulary done for certain events like plane retiring, or an new airplane delivered and much more. But where does it come from? And why should the fire service do a ...
6
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1answer
515 views

What alternative designs competed for the C-130 in the 1950s?

Which manufacturers and aircraft entered the U.S. government design competition back in the 1950s in which the Lockheed C-130 was selected? Were they all clean sheet designs, modified versions of ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What was the range of a low-frequency radio range station?

The low-frequency radio range is a historic navigation aid that was in use from the 20's to the 70's. I find it quite interesting. Using AM frequencies, what was the range of a high power LFR station?...
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3answers
900 views

Airport Security Pre-1970-s?

I just accidentally discovered a few pictures on the web, that seem to imply, that there were some sort of airport security checks on passengers all the way back in the 1960-s. It was always my ...
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1answer
912 views

Which aircraft is depicted on 1941 U.S. Post Office airmail stamps?

Between June 25, 1941 and October 29, 1941 a tri-tailed “Twin Motored Transport Plane” was featured on U.S. airmail stamps in 6-, 8-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 50-cent dominations. Source Was the aircraft ...
6
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1answer
604 views

Pre-50's, how was electricity generated without using an Integrated Drive Generator?

The question How do airplanes regulate the output frequency of AC generators? here on SE already answers why we need an IDG with a constant speed drive on airliners. [IDG's] have been used in ...
6
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1answer
227 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, ...
6
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2answers
430 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 ...
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 ...
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1answer
202 views

Did old propeller aircraft begin takeoff off-center to counter p-factor?

I have tried to ask this in chat and I have been invited to ask a full fledged question here. Is it true that an old (say about between the two world wars) take-off technique, to compensate for the p-...
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1answer
162 views

Does a full set of legible structural engineering drawings for the Hughes H-4 Hercules still exist?

I am not looking for unreadable images or pictures of images, but a fully legible copy or print.
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1answer
385 views

Who first coined the phrase “aviate, navigate, communicate”?

The phrase "aviate, navigate, communicate" describes the priorities of tasks for a pilot. It is applicable to a wide variety of situations, including military scenarios and emergencies. Who first ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the incidence angle of a propeller in the terminology of the Wright Brothers and how did they obtain it?

What is the angle of incidence of a propeller in the terminology of the Wright Brothers and how did they obtain it? In Feb. 1903 (see Screw Test 1903, page 8), using a 0.58 hp engine, the Wright ...
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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 ...
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2answers
688 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?
5
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3answers
786 views

Was the F-4 Phantom the only fighter to be in service for the US Navy, Air Force and Marines?

As is stated here: Furthermore, the F-4 came in both ground- and carrier-based models and served in the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines. The only other frontline fighter to serve in all three ...
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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 ...
5
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1answer
780 views

Which “pilotless aircraft” did the authors of the 1944 Chicago convention have in mind?

The Convention on International Civil Aviation (a.k.a. the "Chicago convention"), includes right from its first version, signed in 1944, an article about "pilotless aircraft". The ...
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1answer
1k views

What is this aircraft and its submarine?

I got this picture from an anonymous source and I'm curious to learn more about its mission and I want to know if it's a genuine picture. It happens to be a submarine aircraft carrier.
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2answers
294 views

What ground-based, airline job in the 1940s could have involved radio communications?

My mom worked for United Airlines in the mid 1940s in some communications capacity: she communicated by radio with United aircraft only, and she wasn't an air traffic controller. She went to school ...
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2answers
1k views

What noise reduction measures were taken in the time between hush kits and chevrons?

In older jets such as 727 hush kits are used in the engines to reduce noise. In very modern jets such as 787 or 747-8F, chevrons are used for the same purpose. What happened in between? The switch to ...
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1answer
173 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/...
5
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1answer
536 views

Is this WWI movie scene realistic?

In a poignant scene of 1933 WWI film The Eagle and the Hawk (not to be confused with the same-name 1950 western film), while the pilot played by Fredric March performs a loop-the-loop in his – I ...
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2answers
393 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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1answer
479 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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5answers
301 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 ...
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2answers
315 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 ...
5
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1answer
385 views

How are rotary engines controlled?

Listen closely to the engine sound here. It seems to me all rotaries continuously sound on/off. Is that a pilot application to manage the engine's torque (with the whole block rotating), or as ...
5
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2answers
494 views

Does Smeaton's coefficient have a modern accepted value or it is dependent of the air density?

Does Smeaton's coefficient, k, have a modern value or it is dependent of the air density? Why is the accepted value of k so high? In various texts about the Wright brothers (see 1 and 2) one can read ...
5
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1answer
468 views

How big was the F-14 fleet compared to other US carrier-based aircraft in 1981?

Back in the 80's I was away jesting about the F-14 are here to protect the carriers and the carriers to deploy F-14. I know there are a number of other aircraft here for other purposes but I really ...
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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)...
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1answer
1k views

Does a 1lb crow expend only 7.68 Watts to fly at 37 km/h?

The Wright brothers and the 1 pound crow that flies at 37 km/h expending just 7.68 W In an 1905 letter to Octave Chanute, Wilbur Wright evaluated the power, used by a 1 lb bird to fly at 34 ft/s, ...
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1answer
113 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 ...
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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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1answer
268 views

When were airbrakes used for the first time in aviation?

I would like to have some information about the history of airbrakes.
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2answers
1k views

What were the typical dimensions of a WW2 US bomber formation?

The idea behind daylight raids was that bombers were more accurate when they could actually see targets so the damage inflicted would be concentrated more so that a night time carpet bombing.* All of ...
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1answer
241 views

When were commercial pilots first allowed to use glasses?

Currently, pilots with defective (but correctable) vision are allowed to pilot airliners if they have at least two pairs of their corrective lenses (typically glasses) with them on board. Was there a ...
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1answer
310 views

How did the windshield technology evolve?

I would really appreciate it if someone could please explain the differences and similarities between the cockpit windows of a Boeing 747-400 and Douglas DC-3. I am just trying to figure out how the ...
5
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1answer
391 views

When did pilots start making announcements to passengers?

It's common practice now, and maybe required for most airlines. But I don't think that earlier pilots made the same announcements that they do today. When did pilots start making in-flight ...
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1answer
2k views

What was the first commercial scheduled flight to Australia from another continent (except Asia)?

Australia has been a very isolated country, ships being the only possibility to get there from another continent if someone was not too much in a hurry. Aviation did add a new and radically different ...
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2answers
372 views

What is the date of first use of the TAF format?

Unlike METAR and NOTAM, I cannot find any history on Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF). Any hint as to the age of the format would be appreciated.
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1answer
1k views

Who invented the canard wing?

Who invented the canard wing? I know that early planes like those built by Santos Dumont and the Voisin brothers used canard wings but who invented the canard wing? Update The plane built by Hiram ...
5
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1answer
185 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 ...
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1answer
321 views

When was trim on airplanes used for the first time?

I would like to know when trim control was set for the first time on airplanes.. thank you!
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1answer
788 views

What was the first supersonic wind tunnel?

What was the world's first supersonic wind tunnel? Who built it and how did it work? All I've found so far is this Wikipedia article that says: By the end of the war, Germany had at least three ...

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