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Admit it: Sometimes you want to skip all the technical hoo-hah and get straight to the jokes. For your enjoyment, today we're resurrecting a bit of aircraft maintenance humor that has been roaming the Internet since 1997, and circulating on hard copies before that. The jokes have been attributed to...
April 21, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
When the Hindenburg flew toward the the Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey on May 6, 1937, it was the airship's eleventh voyage to the United States. The nearly 804-foot-long ship, the pride of Nazi Germany, had been carrying passengers on excursion flights since 1910 without a single injur...
April 15, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Before the Japanese air attack on the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, less than one percent of all workers in American aeronautical factories were female. Just two years later, more than 475,000 women would help to manufacture aircraft for the war effort. Another 350,000 would ...
April 08, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Back in 1951, sci-fi author Jack Finney had a few questions for the Smithsonian, like: How exactly would someone break in?
March 24, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
With ever-mounting budget cuts, and pressure to reduce the national deficit, NASA and the FAA just don’t crash airplanes intentionally like they used to. Here’s a golden oldie of a test the two agencies jointly conducted on December 1, 1984, when they took a Boeing 720 (a smaller, faster version of...
March 23, 2011 | By Mike Klesius
"Here is a group of feminine flyers who don't just fool around with flying," reported the Los Angeles Times in January 1934. "They hardly ever powder their noses. They don't even carry mirrors. They'd rather poke their not unhandsome little noses into a balky carburetor than riffle up a pack of bri...
March 11, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
How B-29 crews trained to drop the bomb.
March 2011 | By Carl Posey
A race across the Pacific.
March 2011 | By Richard A. Durose
Emory Malick, the first African-American pilot, wasn't known to historians until recently.
March 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
When radio communication took to the air.
March 2011 | By George C. Larson, Member, NAA
And the winner is: The Boeing Company.Michael Donley, Secretary of the Air Force, announced today that Boeing will supply the U.S. Air Force with 179 tankers derived from the company's 767 widebody to replace the aging KC-135 refueler fleet. The contract is estimated at $35 billion and is expected ...
February 24, 2011 | By Mike Klesius
You're the first man to set foot on the Moon. You're also a Korean War veteran, and a former test pilot who has flown more than 200 types of aircraft. What do you do for fun?Well, we don't know what he does for fun nowadays, but for two days in February 1979, Neil Armstrong set five world records f...
February 22, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
India is an air-minded nation. Philatelist Pradip Jain notes in his 2002 book Indian Airmails that the Ramayama, the ancient Sanskrit epic, includes references to King Nala and Princess Damayanti sending "amorous messages to each other through the medium of a flying, talking swan." During the Maury...
February 18, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
The things he carried: A sack of coffee. Fifty copies of the local newspaper, the Press Democrat. Three letters.Those letters are what put Fred Wiseman into the history books. On February 17, 1911, Wiseman—authorized by the Santa Rosa, California, postmaster—carried the first mail by airplane.To ce...
February 17, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Ever wonder what kind of takeoff a Viking Twin Otter can achieve with a stiff headwind and no sumo wrestlers on board?
February 15, 2011 | By Mike Klesius
They work in all weather loading and unloading your suitcases, the mail, freight, even dead bodies and wild and domestic animals. They deice the airplane in winter, and clean it between each flight. So spare a thought for the airline industry's baggage handlers.Liesl Miller Orenic, an associate pro...
February 03, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
As in any year, there are winners and losers in the 2012 Pentagon budget announced yesterday. The Defense Department plans to buy more Reaper unmanned drones, but the Marine Corps' short takeoff and landing version of the F-35 was put on two-year "probation," and may not happen at all. Pretty stand...
January 07, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
We're still pretty blown away by this story. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has released its preliminary report on what happened shortly after takeoff on November 4, 2010, when the left inboard Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine of Qantas flight QF32, an Airbus A380 outbound from Singapore, went ...
January 05, 2011 | By Mike Klesius
Man cannot zoom by blended wing alone; he must have an engine that, well, works.
January 2011 | By Stephan Wilkinson
For U.S. airmen trapped in Yugoslavia during World War II, building a secret airstrip was their only way out.
January 2011 | By Phil Scott