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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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BAE Systems is a British defence and aerospace company headquartered at Farnborough, UK, which has worldwide interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is the world's third-largest defence contractor and the largest in Europe. BAE was formed on 30 November 1999 by the £7.7 billion merger of two British companies: Marconi Electronic Systems, the defence electronics and naval shipbuilding subsidiary of The General Electric Company plc (GEC) and aircraft, munitions and naval systems manufacturer British Aerospace (BAe). It has increasingly disengaged from its businesses in continental Europe in favour of investing in the United States. Since its formation it has sold its shares of Airbus, EADS Astrium, AMS and Atlas Elektronik. BAE Systems is involved in several major defence projects, including the F-35 Lightning II, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. The company has been the subject of criticism, both general opposition to the arms trade and also specific allegations of unethical and corrupt practices, including the Al Yamamah contracts with Saudi Arabia that have earned BAE and its predecessor £43 billion in twenty years.

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Boeing-Stearman NS-1 Bi-plane
Credit: U.S. Navy

Boeing-Stearman Model 75's. Taken in 1936 at NAS Pensacola during training of the first class of the Naval Aviation Cadet program. Photo includes Boone Guyton (plane in rear) who later became a test pilot for Chance-Vought (Vought Sikorsky) in 1939.

...Archive/Nominations

Template:/box-header ...that Ansett Airlines Flight 232 from Adelaide to Alice Springs in 1972 was the first aircraft hijacking to take place in Australia?

...that the Cessna 165 aircraft was instrumental in the recovery of the Cessna Aircraft Company in the years following the Great Depression?

... that in the middle of building Fagernes Airport, Leirin, the authorities changed their minds and gave the airport more than twice the runway length? Template:/box-footer

Selected Aircraft

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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Infrastructure Transport US Air Force Royal Air Force


Selected biography

Orville Wright
Wilbur Wright

The Wright brothers, Orville Wright (August 19, 1871 - January 30, 1948) and Wilbur Wright (April 16, 1867 - May 30, 1912), are generally credited with making the first controlled, powered, heavier-than-air flight on December 17, 1903. In the two years afterward, they developed their flying machine into the world's first practical airplane, along with many other aviation milestones.

In 1878 Wilbur and Orville were given a toy "helicopter" by their father. The device was made of paper, bamboo and cork with a rubber band to twirl its twin blades, and about a foot long. The boys played with it until it broke, then built their own. In later years, they pointed to their experience with the toy as the initial spark of their interest in flying.


Wikinews Aviation portal
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Template:/box-header May 23

  • 2013 – Solar Impulse aircraft HB-SIA completes the second and longest leg of its trip across the continental United States, arriving at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas after a 957-mile (1,541-km) flight from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, at an average speed-over-ground of 52 mph (83.7 km/h), reaching an altitude of 27,000 feet (8,230 meters). The flight, which takes 18 hours 21 minutes, sets a new world distance record for a solar-powered flight, exceeding the previous record, also established by HB-SIA, in a flight from Switzerland to Spain on 25 May 2012.[1][2]
  • 2012 – A Pakistan Army School of Aviation Schweizer 300C crashed into the Chenab river in Pakistan, two occupants killed.
  • 2011 – France and the United Kingdom announce that they will begin to use attack helicopters in Libya to increase the accuracy of NATO airstrikes and allow more precise strikes against urban targets.[3]
  • 2006 – A Greek Lockheed Martin F-16C Block 52 Fighting Falcon, 514, of 343 Mira, and Turkish Lockheed Martin F-16C Fighting Falcon, 93-0684, of 192 Filo, collide over the Aegean Sea as the Greek pilot attempts to intercept the Turkish, after an alleged airspace violation. The Greek pilot, Flight Lieutenant Konstantinos Iliakis, is presumed dead, but the Turkish pilot, 1st Lieutenant Halil Ibrahim Ozdemir, is rescued.
  • 1969 – A drunken U.S. Air Force assistant crew chief, Sgt. Paul Adams Meyer, 23, of Poquoson, Virginia, suffering anxiety over marital problems, starts up a Lockheed C-130E Hercules, 63-7789, c/n 3856, of the 36th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 316th Tactical Airlift Wing, on hardstand 21 at RAF Mildenhall and takes off in it at 0655 hrs. CET, headed for Langley AFB, Virginia. At least two North American F-100 Super Sabres from RAF Lakenheath, a C-130 from Mildenhall, and two RAF English Electric Lightnings are sent aloft to try to make contact with the stolen aircraft. The Hercules crashes into the English Channel off Alderney (5000N, 0205W) ~90 minutes later. In the last transmission from Meyer, to his wife, in a link-up over the side-band radio, he stated "Leave me alone for about five minutes, I've got trouble." There is speculation whether the Hercules was shot down. Some wreckage was recovered but the pilot's body was never found. Meyer had been arrested for being drunk and disorderly earlier in the morning in the village of Freckenham and had been remanded to quarters, but sneaked out to steal the Hercules.
  • 1967 – President Lyndon B. Johnson‘s administration prohibits any American air attacks within a 10-mile (16-km) radius of Hanoi.
  • 1966 – A Learjet 24 takes off for a round the world flight as a demonstration of its capabilities.
  • 1966 – (23-26) Round-the-world demonstration flight by a new Learjet 24 to exhibit its capabilities; flight time was 50 hours and 20 min.
  • 1958 – Flying a Douglas F4D-1 Skyray, USMC Major Edward N. LeFaivre breaks 5 world climb-to-height records, including 15,000 m (49,221 feet) in 2 min 36 seconds.
  • 1958 – A Nike Ajax missile of Battery B, 526th AAA Missile Battalion, exploded accidentally at a battery at Site NY-53 near Leonardo, New Jersey at 1315 hrs. on this date, setting off six other missiles of A Section, killing 6 soldiers and 4 civilians. The nearest missile in B Section had its booster ignited by flying shrapnel and it flew into a nearby hill, but the warhead fortunately failed to explode. This was the first fatal Nike Ajax accident. A memorial can be found at Fort Hancock in the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area.
  • 1958 – First flight of The PZL-102 Kos, Polish two-seat touring and training monoplane.
  • 1958Explorer 1 (first Earth satellite of the USA) stopped transmission of data when its batteries died. It remained in orbit for more than 12 years
  • 1950 – AWhile flying Supermarine Attacker F.1, WA469, to test airbrakes, Supermarine pilot Leslie R. Colquhoun makes a high-speed run over South Marston airfield, experiences a sudden nose-down pitch as the starboard wingtip folds upwards. Using only the rudder - the ailerons had jammed - he makes a wide circuit and touches down at ~200 knots (370 km/h), coming to a stop just short of the end of the runway with a burst tyre. He receives the George Medal for saving the aircraft under daunting circumstances.
  • 1948 – In the early evening, ex-RAF Handley Page Halifax C.MK 8, registered G-AIZO, ex-PP293, and operated by Bond Air Services Ltd. carrying a cargo of apricots from Valencia, Spain, crashes at Studham, Bedfordshire while on a Standard Beam Approach (SBA) to RAF Bovingdon in bad weather. After a steep turn to port and losing height rapidly, the Halifax sideslips towards the ground until, seeming to recover and flying straight and level and with engines at full power, the aircraft strikes the ground flat and disintegrates, breaking into its component sections. Miraculously, the crew escape alive. After initial suspicions that the cargo may have shifted in flight, the subsequent AAIB report blames loss of control by the pilot while the aircraft was too close to the ground for recovery.
  • 1947 – First flight of the SNCAC NC.1070, French twin engine carrier born bomber prototype.
  • 1945 – (23-25) The seventh Kikusui attack off Okinawa involves 165 kamikazes. They sink a destroyer-transport and two smaller ships and damage a destroyer and a destroyer-transport on May 25.
  • 1944 – First flight of the British Martin-Baker MB 5 (actually second Martin-Baker MB 3), prototype fighter aircraft.
  • 1943 – An aircraft sinks an enemy submarine with air-to-surface rockets for the first time, as a Fairey Swordfish from the British escort carrier HMS Archer sinks the German submarine U-752 in the Atlantic.
  • 1941 – German aircraft attack British positions around Fallujah for the first time, with little effect.
  • 1940 – S/L FM Gobeil, an RCAF exchange officer and CO of No. 242 Squadron RAF, was the first RCAF officer to enter combat. He engaged a Messerschmitt Bf 109 near Berck, France.
  • 1933 – Birth of Bruce A. Peterson, American engineer and NASA test pilot. He flew a wide variety of airplanes including the F5D-1, F-100, F-104, F-111 A, B-52, NT-33 A Variable Stability Trainer, the wingless lifting bodies and numerous general aviation aircraft as well as several types of helicopters and sailplanes.
  • 1925 – Death of Rudolf Rienau, German WWI flying ace, Post War instructor, killed in a flying accident.
  • 1924 – The first scheduled air service in Canada began. Laurentide Air Service Ltd. (which still exists today) offered flights between Angliers, Lake Fortune and Rouyn, Quebec.
  • 1923 – Birth of Walter Wolfrum, German WWII fighter ace (127 credited), and later a successful aerobatics pilot, winning the German Championship in 1962 and taking second place in 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1966.
  • 1915 – Italy enters World War I, declaring war on Austria-Hungary.
  • 1914 – Death of Gustav Hamel, pioneer British aviator, over the English Channel while returning from Paris in a new 80hp Morane-Saulnier monoplane he had just collected
  • 1908 – Crash of the AEA White Wing (or Aerodrome #2), early US aircraft. Unusual for aircraft of its day, it featured a wheeled undercarriage. The wings were equipped with ailerons controlled by a harness worn around the pilot's body; leaning in one direction would cause the aircraft to bank to follow.
  • 1908 – First Airship disaster in the USA. A Morrell airship, 450 ft. long, collapsed 300 ft. above the earth, hurling its 16 occupants at Berkekey Ca.
  • 1908 – Birth of Hélène Boucher, French aviatrix who set altitude and speed records, pupil of Michel Detroyat.
  • 1848Otto Lilienthal, key figure in the history of flying, is born in Anklam, Germany. He became the first man to fly (glide) with both regularity and control. The Wright brothers regarded his 1899 book as their bible.


  1. Chow, Denise, "Solar Plane Completes Longest Leg of Cross-Country Flight," LiveScience.com via Yahoo News, May 23, 2013.
  2. solarimpulse.com Dallas
  3. Irish, John; Abbad, Mohammed (23 May 2011). "France and Britain To Use Attack Helicopters in Libya". Reuters. Retrieved 15 August 2011.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>



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