Aviation ErasPeriods of innovation in the history of aviation from early flight to the modern age
In late 2001, as a cost-cutting measure, Delta Air Lines decided to replace its first-class linen tray cloths with paper placemats. As flight attendant Jewel Van Valin told the Los Angeles Times in July 2008, the first time she set down a paper mat, a disgruntled passenger “stared at it and then ro...
December 29, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
Frequent contributor Stephen Joiner writes: “The 737 runway overshoot in Jamaica on December 8 reminds me of our Boeing Aircraft On Ground article (“Airliner Repair 24/7,” Oct./Nov. 2008), where Boeing’s Jim Testin told me gravely, “Something will ALWAYS happen on Christmas eve” (and then it did.) ...
December 25, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
On this day in 1910, Theodore "Spuds" Ellyson, a 25-year-old Navy Lieutenant from Richmond, Virginia, was ordered to report to Glenn Curtiss's flying school in San Diego as the first Naval officer assigned to aviation."What was accomplished is now history," Ellyson wrote later, "namely the develop...
December 23, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
The pioneering cosmonaut who dreamed of interstellar flight.
December 18, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Flexible blimps are bending the rules on UAV design.
December 18, 2009 | By Michael Klesius
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner made its long-awaited first flight yesterday. The Seattle Times has full coverage here.Watch Boeing's video here (click on Webcast), or see just the takeoff (below) courtesy of the Everett (Washington) Daily Herald.
December 16, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
The latest Internet tsunami flooding e-mail boxes is the work of Young C. Park, who constructs magnificently intricate airplane models of aluminum. Several of his models are on display at the Craftsmanship Museum in Vista, California, which maintains a web version of the exhibit with photos of doze...
December 15, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
A loud thud. A shower of purple-white sparks. This can't be good.
December 14, 2009 | By Randy Gordon
Speaking of the land down under, on this day in 1919 brothers Ross and Keith Smith landed their Vickers Vimy bomber in Port Darwin to claim a £10,000 prize as the first to fly from England to Australia in less than 30 days. The challenge had come from Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes, who sti...
December 10, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
The September 2009 issue of Australian Aviation magazine contains the country’s Aircraft Census as of July 21. Some random selections:1 Airbus A319
38 Rotorway Exec 162Fs
4 Beech 17 Staggerwings
1 Bell 206A JetRanger
1 Boeing 707
111 Boeing 737s
207 de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moths
1 Douglas C-54
December 09, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
Think of Bombardier Aerospace, and one of the company's business airplanes—they build Learjet aircraft—might come to mind. But the well-known transportation and aerospace firm also designed the torch for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.The torch, which will twist and turn its way across Canada’s wintry...
December 09, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
NORAD, according to this history, has been tracking Santa since 1955, when a child's call to Sears Roebuck was mistakenly directed to the Continental Air Defense Command instead.Inevitable, I suppose, that in 2009 you can follow Santa on Facebook, YouTube, Google Earth and Twitter.
December 08, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Bravo’s got nothing on THIS runway supermodel: Chicago’s Wright auction house, which specializes in contemporary design, will feature in its December 8 Important Design auction a cast aluminum wind tunnel model of a Douglas BTD Destroyer—along with a Mercedes 230SL convertible and a Czechoslovakian...
November 24, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
The next time you book a flight online and print your own airline ticket, give a moment of thanks to IBM and American Airlines. If it weren’t for those two companies, we’d still be carving our tickets out of stone tablets.Commercial travel was so simple back in the 1920s. One airmail plane, one ava...
November 23, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
Size matters. (Well, at least in the surveillance world.)And three projects under way take dimensions to whole new lengths. The LEMV (it stands for Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle) is a mammoth hybrid airship championed by the U.S. Army as part of a future fleet of reconnaissance vehicles...
November 17, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
A hundred years ago, the International Air Meet gave spectators a look into the future.
November 17, 2009 | By Paul Hoversten
Watch a 57-year-old warbird go from Winona rags to Blue Angel royalty.
November 17, 2009 | By Michael Klesius
Workers at the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory announced on November 12 that through the use of submersibles, they had located at 2,600 feet two Japanese submarines that the U.S. military had scuttled off Oahu in 1946 after post-war assessment. One, the I-14, was designed to carry two Aichi M6A...
November 16, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
According to a report in Flight International, India’s defense ministry is buying Russian-built MiG-29K fighters as "part of a 2004 order...that was incorporated into a deal for the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov.”Wait—India has an aircraft carrier?That navy workhorse, the aircraft carrier, has ...
November 12, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
NASA's Mars rover prepares to escape the worst trouble of its life.
November 09, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt