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Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as hot air balloons and airships.

Aviation began in the 18th century with the development of the hot air balloon, an apparatus capable of atmospheric displacement through buoyancy. Some of the most significant advancements in aviation technology came with the controlled gliding flying of Otto Lilienthal in 1896; then a large step in significance came with the construction of the first powered airplane by the Wright brothers in the early 1900s. Since that time, aviation has been technologically revolutionized by the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world. ( Full article...)

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Air Force One
Air Force One
An airport is a facility where aircraft can take off and land. At the very minimum, an airport consists of one runway (or helipad), but other common components are hangars and terminal buildings. Apart from these, an airport may have a variety of facilities and infrastructure, including fixed base operator services, air traffic control, passenger facilities such as restaurants and lounges, and emergency services. ( Full article...)

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The Controlled Impact Demonstration was a joint project between NASA and the FAA in which a Boeing 720 was deliberately crashed in order to test the ability of the fuel additive FM-9, to inhibit the ignition and flame propagation of Jet-A fuel.

Did you know

...that George H. W. Bush flew a TBF Avenger while he was in the U.S. Navy? ...that Roy Marlin "Butch" Voris, founder of the United States Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team, chose the name based on a nightclub advertisement in The New Yorker magazine? ...that during Operation Deep Freeze II in 1956, US Navy Rear Admiral George J. Dufek commanded the first aircraft to land at the South Pole, the C-47 Skytrain “Que Sera Sera”?

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Space Shuttle Discovery

NASA's Space Shuttle, officially called the Space Transportation System (STS), is the spacecraft which was used by the United States government for its human spaceflight missions. At launch, it consists of a rust-colored external tank (ET), two white, slender Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs), and the orbiter, a winged spaceplane which is the space shuttle in the narrow sense.

The orbiter carries astronauts and payload such as satellites or space station parts into low earth orbit, into the Earth's upper atmosphere or thermosphere. Usually, five to seven crew members ride in the orbiter. The payload capacity is 22,700 kg (50,000 lb). When the orbiter's mission is complete it fires its Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) thrusters to drop out of orbit and re-enters the lower atmosphere. During the descent and landing, the shuttle orbiter acts as a glider, and makes a completely unpowered (" dead stick") landing.

  • Span: 78.06 ft (23.79 m)
  • Length: 122.17 ft (37.24 m)
  • Height: 58.58 ft (17.25 m)
  • Engines: 3 Rocketdyne Block 2 A SSMEs
  • Cruising Speed: 25,404 ft/s (7,743 m/s, 27,875 km/h, 17,321 mi/h)
  • First Flight: August 12, 1977 (glider), April 12, 1981 (powered).
  • Operational Altitude: 100 to 520 nmi (185 to 1,000 km)
  • Number built: 6 (+2 mockups)
...Archive/Nominations

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Jeana Yeager (born May 18, 1952 in Fort Worth, Texas) is an aviator, most famous for flying with Dick Rutan on a non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world in the Voyager aircraft from December 14 to December 23, 1986. The flight took 9 days, 3 minutes, and 44 seconds and covered 24,986 miles (40,211 km), more than doubling the old distance record. She received the US annual Harmon Trophy for outstanding international achievements in the aeronautics, and is the first woman recipient of the Collier Trophy for "the greatest achievement in aeronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety" of aircraft.

Despite her surname, Jeana Yeager is not related to Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier in level flight.

In the news

Wikinews Aviation portal
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Today in Aviation

June 20

  • 2012 – A Sudanese Air Force PT-6A crashed at Port Sudan city airport, two crew killed.
  • 2009 – Deceased: American aviator Kenneth L. Reusser, 89.
  • 1996 – Launch: Space Shuttle Columbia STS-78 at 10:49:00.0075 a.m. EDT. Mission highlights: Spacelab mission.
  • 1979 – Nikola Kavaja, a Serbian nationalist and anti-communist, hijacks American Airlines Flight 293, a Boeing 727, shortly before it lands in Chicago, Illinois, intending to gain control of an aircraft that he can crash into Yugoslav Communist Party headquarters in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. He allows the passengers and most of the crew to debark, then orders the crew to fly the 727 to LaGuardia Airport in New York City. There he demands and receives a Boeing 707, which he orders to be flown to Shannon, Ireland, where he intends to take control of the 707 for the suicide flight to Belgrade, but the hijacking ends when he surrenders to authorities in Shannon.
  • 1973Aeroméxico Flight 229, a Douglas DC-9, crashes into the side of Las Minas Mountain while on approach to Lic. Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport; all 27 on board die.
  • 1972 – Airline pilots hold a worldwide strike, calling for tighter security
  • 1956Linea Aeropostal Flight 253, a Lockheed L-749 Constellation, crashes into the Atlantic Ocean off Asbury Park, New Jersey. All 74 passengers and crew on board are killed.
  • 1955 – Exercise Carte Blanche. It was the largest NATO air defence exercise, involving all 12 RCAF Air Division squadrons. Some 300 aircraft took part, nearly 2500 RCAF sorties.
  • 1951 – First flight of the Bell X-5, first aircraft with swing wings flies for 30 min at Edwards, California.
  • 1951 – The first aircraft completely designed and built in Canada, the first example of the Orenda-powered Avro Canada CF-100 Mk 2 Canuck, flies for the first time at Malton, Ontario.
  • 1944TWA Flight 277, a Douglas C-54 Skymaster, crashes into Fort Mountain, Maine, in severe weather, killing all 7 passengers and crew on board.
  • 1944 – On the second and final day of the Battle of the Philippine Sea, 216 Task Force 58 aircraft make the only raid of the battle against the Japanese fleet at extremely long range at sunset, sinking the aircraft carrier Hiyo and damaging the aircraft carriers Zuikaku and Chiyoda, battleship Haruna, and heavy cruiser Maya. In addition to 20 aircraft missing and presumed shot down, Task Force 58 loses 80 planes, which ditch due to fuel exhaustion or crash while attempting night landings on U. S. carriers. During the day, the Japanese lose another 65 carrier aircraft, leaving them with only 35; during the two days of battle, they have lost 476 carrier- and land-based aircraft and battleship- and cruiser-based floatplanes.
  • 1944 – Los Negros-based U. S. Army Air Forces B-24 Liberators of the Thirteenth Air Force bomb Woleai.
  • 1944 – Allied aircraft begin concentrated attacks on Japanese forces on Noemfoor. By July 1, they will have dropped about 800 tons (725,755 kg) of bombs on the island.
  • 1942 – In North Africa, Axis forces begin the final phase of the Battle of Gazala with a massive aerial bombardment of Tobruk by between 296 and 306 aircraft. Tobruk surrenders the next day.
  • 1941 – The United States Department of War creates the United States Army Air Forces, with General Henry H. Arnold as its first commander. As part of the reorganization, General Headquarters Air Force is renamed Air Force Combat Command; the new Army Air Forces organization consists of Air Force Combat Command (its combat element) and the United States Army Air Corps (its logistics and training element).
  • 1939 – Test flight of first rocket plane using liquid propellants.
  • 1935Douglas Y1O-35, 32-319, c/n 1119, of the 88th Observation Squadron, suffers loss of power on right engine during takeoff from Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California, for a flight to Rockwell Field, San Diego, California, at ~1000 hrs. Pilot, Cadet Tracy R. Walsh, manages to hop over soldiers breaking camp alongside runway but does not have sufficient flying speed. Airplane crashes through a tent, a fence, and into an automobile, demolishing itself, the vehicle, and killing three civilians in the car. Three crew on plane unhurt. O-35 surveyed and dropped from records at March Field, 15 October 1935.
  • 1926 – The United States Coast Guard opens the first permanent Coast Guard Air Stations.
  • 1925 – Off New England, a United States Coast Guard Vought UO-1 becomes the first aircraft to pursue a rum-runner.
  • 1917 – The British war cabinet decides to increase the size of the Royal Flying Corps from 108 to 200 squadrons, with most of increase coming in bomber squadrons.
  • 1914 – While the Austro-Hungarian airship Militärluftschiff III (or M.III) hovers over Fischamend testing new camera equipment, an Austro-Hungarian Army pilot tries to loop M.III in a Farman biplane. The airplane strikes the top of the airship, tearing a hole and igniting the escaping hydrogen gas. Both aircraft are destroyed, and both men in the airplane and all seven men aboard M.III are killed. It is the end of the Austro-Hungarian airship program.
  • 1913 – First fatality in U.S. Naval aviation occurs when flight instructor Ens. William Billingsley is thrown from pilot seat of the second Wright CH seaplane, B-2, at height of 1,600 feet in turbulent air over Annapolis, Maryland. The passenger, Lt. John Henry Towers, stays with airplane, sustaining injuries when it hits water. Design was modified conversion of Wright Model B with two pusher propellers driven through chains connected to a 60 hp (45 kW) Wright engine.
  • 1897 – Percy Pilcher is towed about 750 feet in the Hawk, the fourth of his hang gliders
  • 1540João Torto, in Viseu, Portugal, builds two pairs of cloth-covered wings, an upper and lower, which are connected by iron hoops. While preparing to jump from the town’s cathedral to the nearby St. Matthew’s fields, he is killed when the elaborated helmet slips over his eyes and he falls onto a roof.


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