Aviation ErasPeriods of innovation in the history of aviation from early flight to the modern age
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
The most celebrated American aviator of 1910 took up flying as an act of revenge.
December 30, 2010 | By Gavin Mortimer
Proceed direct to National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. The 1980 movie, "Airplane!" is one of 25 films judged to be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically" significant and therefore added to the Film Registry in 2010. The spoof of 1957's "Zero Hour" was named number 10 on the Amer...
December 29, 2010 | By Pat Trenner
For 27 years, the Concorde carried passengers across the Atlantic Ocean at twice the speed of sound, on the very edge of space. A flight from New York to London took a mere 3 ½ hours; the supersonic aircraft flew so high and so fast that American spyplanes were ordered to stay out of the Concorde’s...
December 27, 2010 | By Rebecca Maksel
Every December 17, National Air and Space Museum senior curator Tom Crouch attends the annual wreath-laying ceremony in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, to mark the anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight. This year I tagged along. Our first stop was the Outer Banks History Center in near...
December 23, 2010 | By Caroline Sheen
The story of a jet flight in 1910, just seven years after Kitty Hawk, may be too good to be true.
December 06, 2010 | By Frank H. Winter
Here's some interesting video taken by a passenger aboard the Quantas A380 that had a Trent 900 engine blow shortly after taking off on a flight from Singapore to Sydney on November 4:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4Pv9u_yHwIAnd later, the landing:
November 23, 2010 | By Mike Klesius
John Cunningham's wartime nickname concealed a vital military secret—the invention of airborne radar.
November 19, 2010 | By Gavin Mortimer
Walter Soplata, a carpenter who saved numerous World War II aircraft and engines from the cutting torch and amassed a legendary collection on his Ohio property, died on Friday, November 5, at age 87. His son, Wally, wrote about his father in the November 2007 issue of Air & Space. Today, he wri...
November 15, 2010 | By Pat Trenner
The famed Douglas aircraft reigned supreme as a civilian and military transport.
November 15, 2010 | By Bruce McAllister
Newsreels brought the excitement of aviation to millions of moviegoers in the 1930s. Now read the lost scripts.
November 12, 2010 | By Phillip W. Stewart
On November 15, 2010, Bonhams & Butterfields in San Francisco will auction this dark grey-green canvas fuselage insignia panel from a Spad VII flown by the Lafayette Escadrille, featuring the familiar Indian-head insignia. The panel, says the company's press release, was collected by Sergeant E...
November 03, 2010 | By Rebecca Maksel