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Aviation, or air transport, refers to the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, parachutes, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as 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; then a largest 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 with the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world.


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J-3 aircraft with CAP markings
The Civil Air Patrol is the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. It was created just days before the Attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and is credited with sinking at least two German U-boats during the War. It was seen as a way to use America's civil aviation resources to aid the war effort, rather than grounding them, as was the case in the United Kingdom. Today, the Civil Air Patrol is a volunteer organization dedicated to education and national service, including people from all backgrounds and all walks of life. It performs three key missions: Emergency services (including search and rescue), aerospace education for youth and the general public, and cadet programs. The September 11, 2001 attacks demonstrated the importance of the Civil Air Patrol, as it was this organization's aircraft that flew blood to victims of the attack as well as providing the first aerial pictures of the World Trade Center site.

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Credit: Senior Airman Greg L. Davis, USAF

The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft designed to provide close air support of ground forces by attacking tanks, armored vehicles, and other ground targets. It is the first US Air Force aircraft designed exclusively for close air support.

The A-10 was developed in response to the increasing vulnerability of ground attack-planes to ground air defenses. This indicated the need for a specialized, heavily armored aircraft with long loiter time and large ordnance load, much like the Ilyushin Il-2 or A-1 Skyraider.

...Archive/Nominations

Template:/box-header ...that the hyper engine was a hypothetical aircraft engine design meant to deliver 1 horsepower from 1 cubic inch of displacement?

...that Berlin Airlift "Candy Bomber" Gail Halvorsen would wiggle the wings of his plane to identify himself to children below?

... that a USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft crashed shortly after take-off at Bakers Creek, Queensland in 1943, killing 40 of the 41 service personnel on board and making it Australia's worst aviation disaster? Template:/box-footer

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The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic fighter-bomber originally developed for the U.S. Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. Proving highly adaptable, it became a major part of the air wings of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force. It was used extensively by all three of these services during the Vietnam War, serving as the principal air superiority fighter for both the Navy and Air Force, as well as being important in the ground-attack and reconnaissance roles by the close of U.S. involvement in the war.

First entering service in 1960, the Phantom continued to form a major part of U.S. military air power throughout the 1970s and 1980s, being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon in the U.S. Air Force; the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy; and the F/A-18 in the U.S. Marine Corps. It remained in use by the U.S. in the reconnaissance and Wild Weasel roles in the 1991 Gulf War, finally leaving service in 1996. The Phantom was also operated by the armed forces of 11 other nations. Israeli Phantoms saw extensive combat in several Arab–Israeli conflicts, while Iran used its large fleet of Phantoms in the Iran–Iraq War. Phantoms remain in front line service with seven countries, and in use as an unmanned target in the U.S. Air Force.

Phantom production ran from 1958 to 1981, with a total of 5,195 built. This extensive run makes it the second most-produced Western jet fighter, behind the F-86 Sabre at just under 10,000 examples.

  • Span: 38 ft 4.5 in (11.7 m)
  • Length: 63 ft 0 in (19.2 m)
  • Height: 16 ft 6 in (5.0 m)
  • Engines: 2× General Electric J79-GE-17A axial compressor turbojets, 17,845 lbf (79.6 kN) each
  • Cruising Speed: 506 kn (585 mph, 940 km/h)
  • First Flight: 27 May 1958
  • Number built: 5,195
...Archive/Nominations


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Erich Alfred "Bubi" Hartmann (19 April 1922 – 20 September 1993), also nicknamed "The Blond Knight of Germany" by friends and "The Black Devil" by his enemies, was a German fighter pilot and still is the highest scoring fighter ace in the history of aerial combat. He scored 352 aerial victories (of which 345 were won against the Soviet Air Force, and 260 of which were fighters) in 1,404 combat missions and engaging in aerial combat 825 times while serving with the Luftwaffe in World War II. During the course of his career Hartmann was forced to crash land his damaged fighter 14 times. This was due to damage received from parts of enemy aircraft he had just shot down, or mechanical failure. Hartmann was never shot down or forced to land due to enemy fire.[1]

Hartmann, a pre-war glider pilot, joined the Luftwaffe in 1940 and completed his fighter pilot training in 1942. He was posted to Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52) on the Eastern front and was fortunate to be placed under the supervision of some of the Luftwaffe's most experienced fighter pilots. Under their guidance Hartmann steadily developed his tactics which would earn him the coveted Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds on 25 August 1944 for claiming 301 aerial victories.

He scored his 352nd and last aerial victory on 8 May 1945. He and the remainder of JG 52 surrendered to United States Army forces and were turned over to the Red Army. Convicted of false "War Crimes" and sentenced to 25 years of hard labour, Hartmann would spend 10 years in various Soviet prison camps and gulags until he was released in 1955. In 1956, Hartmann joined the newly established West German Luftwaffe and became the first Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 71 "Richthofen". Hartmann resigned early from the Bundeswehr in 1970, largely due to his opposition of the F-104 Starfighter deployment in the Bundesluftwaffe and the resulting clashes with his superiors over this issue. Erich Hartmann died in 1993.


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Template:/box-header August 8

  • 2011IrAero Flight 103, an Antonov An-24, overruns the runway after landing at Ignatyevo Airport, Blagoveshchensk; all 36 on board survive with 12 suffering injuries.
  • 2009 – Hudson River mid-air collision: N71 MC, a Piper PA-32R, and N401LH, a Eurocopter AS350 collide mid-air over New York. Both aircraft crash into the Hudson River, killing all three people on board the aircraft and all six people on board the helicopter.
  • 2007 – Virgin America began operations.
  • 2007 – Launch: Space Shuttle Endeavou STS-118 at 22:36:42 UTC. Mission highlights: ISS assembly flight 13A.1: S5 Truss & Spacehab-SM & ESP3. First use of SSPTS (Station-to-Shuttle Power Transfer System).
  • 2007 – An RAF Aérospatiale-Westland Puma HC.1, ZA934, 'BZ', of 33 Squadron, crashes in a wooded area of Hudswell Grange, W of Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, UK. Two RAF crew, pilot and aircraft commander Flt. Lt. David Oxer Hanson Sale, and crewman Sgt. Phillip Anthony "Taff" Burfoot died in the crash, while Army Pvt. Sean Tait, Royal Regiment of Scotland, died two days later in hospital. Nine others injured but survive.
  • 2006 – A UH-60 Black Hawk 86-24535 from 82nd AAC (MEDEVAC) attached to 3rd MAW crashes in Anbar, killing two crew members and injuring four.[2][3]
  • 2004 – OH-58D(I) Kiowa 96-0015 made emergency landing north of Baghdad after being hit by RPG. Crew unhurt.[4]
  • 2002Rico Linhas Aéreas Flight 4823, an Embraer EMB 120 Brasília, crashes on approach in a rainstorm; the aircraft breaks up into three pieces and catches fire; 23 of 31 on board perish.
  • 1998 – An Grumman F-14A-95-GR Tomcat, BuNo 160407, 'AC 105', of VF-32, based at NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, crashes into the Atlantic Ocean, while on a routine training mission. Both crewmen eject and are rescued within 15 minutes, Navy officials in Norfolk, Virginia said. The F-14 was operating from the USS Enterprise.
  • 1993 – A Saab JAS 39 Gripen, 39-102, crashed on the central Stockholm island of Långholmen, near the Västerbron bridge, during a slow speed manoeuver during a display over the Stockholm Water Festival. Lars Rådeström, the same pilot as in the 1989 incident, ejected safely. Despite large crowds of onlookers, only one person on the ground was injured.3] This crash was, like the previous one, caused by a PIO.
  • 1989 – Launch: Space Shuttle Columbia STS-28 at 8:37:00 am EDT. Mission highlights: Fourth classified DoD mission; Satellite Data System deployment.
  • 1985 – A USAF General Dynamics F-16A Block 15F Fighting Falcon, 81-0750, of the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron, crashed during a training mission in northwest Utah, killing the pilot. Crashed onto the Utah Test and Training Range killing pilot, First Lieutenant S. Brad Peale. The aircraft suffered a controlled flight into terrain (CFIT).
  • 1985 – A USAF LTV A-7D Corsair II, 69‑6198, of the 4450th Tactical Group, lost power, caught fire and crashed into Midwest City, a suburb of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, pilot Maj. Dennis D. Nielson staying with aircraft as he attempted to steer it towards less-populous area before ejecting, but fighter impacted house, killing one, injuring one, one missing, said a United Press International report. Second victim found on 9 August. This unit was secretly operating Lockheed F-117 Nighthawks at this time.
  • 1957 – Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-50, a swept-wing, experimental high-altitude interceptor, the Ye-2 airframe modified to fit Dushkin S-155 rocket motor, with design work started in 1954, first flight in 1956. Programme terminated after crash of Ye-50/3 on this date. Test pilot N. A. Korovin, of GK NII VVS, is killed when the engine explodes, escape system fails.
  • 1955 – Internal explosion aboard Bell X-1A, 48-1384, while being carried aloft by Boeing B-29 mothership, forces NACA pilot Joseph Albert Walker to exit aircraft back into the Superfortress, which is then jettisoned due to the full fuel load it carries, the rocket-powered testcraft coming down on the Edwards AFB, California bombing range.
  • 1948 – FW ‘Casey’ Baldwin, the first Canadian to pilot an heavier-than-air flying machine, died at Neareagh, Nova Scotia.
  • 1948: Birth: Svetlana Savitskaya, cosmonaut
  • 1945 – 245 B-29 s drop 1,296 tons (1,175,723 kg) of bombs on Yawata, Japan.
  • 1943 – Axis bombers attack the American light cruiser USS Philadelphia (CL-41) off Sant’Agata di Militello, Sicily, scoring no hits.
  • 1943 – (8-17) Allied aircraft of the Northwest African Air Force attack Axis forces evacuating Sicily across the Strait of Messina to mainland Italy in Operation Lehrgang. Wellington strategic bombers average 85 sorties nightly – Attacking evacuation beaches in Sicily until the night of August 13-14, then ports in mainland Italy – And medium bombers and fighter-bombers fly 1,170 sorties. Allied planes face no Axis air opposition but face heavy antiaircraft fire and succeed in sinking only a few vessels, never endangering the success of the Axis evacuation.
  • 1942 – U. S. Marines capture the partially completed Japanese airstrip on Guadalcanal. They will rename it Henderson Field, and it will be the focal point of the six-month Guadalcanal campaign. Offshore, Rabaul-based Japanese aircraft damage a U. S. transport, which becomes a total loss.
  • 1942 – 1st Lt. Edward Joseph Peterson dies in hospital from injuries suffered in the crash this date of Lockheed F-4 Lightning, 41-2202, a reconnaissance variant of the P-38, when it suffers engine failure on take-off from Air Support Command Base, near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Field is renamed Peterson Army Air Field on 3 March 1943, later Peterson Air Force Base on 1 March 1976.
  • 1942 – The sole Republic XP-47B Thunderbolt, 40-3051, operating out of the Republic plant at Farmingdale, New York, is lost when the pilot interrupted wheel retraction, leaving the tailwheel in the superchargers' exhaust gases. This set the tire alight which ignited the magnesium hub. When the burning unit retracted into the fuselage, it severed the tail unit control rods, forcing the pilot, Fillmore "Fil" Gilmer, a former naval aviator, to bail out with the airframe crashing in the waters of Long Island Sound. Loss of prototype went unpublicized at this early stage of the war. Nothing is ever found of the wreckage.
  • 1924 – The U. S. Navy dirigible USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) docks with the airship tender USS Patoka (AO-9) while the latter is underway, showing that airships could operate from support ships far out to sea.
  • 1914 – A French aerial observer is injured by small-arms fire, becoming that nation's first casualty of air war.
  • 1910 – The first aircraft tricycle landing gear is installed on the US Army’s Wright airplane.
  • 1908 – Wilbur Wright makes his first flights at the Hunaudières racetrack at Le Mans, France. The Wright Flyer used for this and later flights had been shipped to Le Havre by Orville the previous year. It had been seriously damaged by custom officials when it arrived in France and uncrated. Wilbur spent the whole summer of 1908 rebuilding the machine and getting it into flying condition. Wilbur’s flights in this machine will have a profound effect on European aviation during the following months.
  • 1901 – Wilbur Wright achieves a flight of 389 feet (118.5 m) at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in the Wright 1901 glider.
  • 1709 – First person in flight: Bartolomeu de Gusmão in a balloon filled with heated air at the hall of the Casa da India in Lisbon. (However, this claim is not generally recognized by aviation historians outside the Portuguese speaking community, in particular the FAI.)


  1. Toliver & Constable 1986, p. 12.
  2. "2 U.S. Soldiers Missing After Helicopter Crash In Iraq". newsnet5.com. 2006-08-08. Archived from the original on March 10, 2008. Retrieved 2007-11-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "KTRE.com Lufkin and Nacogdoches – Our Apologies". Retrieved 2010-07-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "1996 USAF Serial Numbers". Retrieved 2010-02-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>



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