Aviation ErasPeriods of innovation in the history of aviation from early flight to the modern age
Ready to experience World War II in "4-D"? Head over to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans for the opening of Tom Hanks' latest production, Beyond All Boundaries.The 35-minute film takes viewers from Pearl Harbor to V-J Day, and will be shown exclusively in the museum's newly expanded ...
November 06, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
Yes, our avian brothers committed feathered mayhem in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic The Birds, but is that any reason they should continue to be chucked into aircraft engines?Here’s the deal: All aircraft have to pass certification tests proving that the airplane can continue operating in the eve...
November 03, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
Remember the Dewoitine D 26, the single-seat, single-engine parasol fighter trainer? Wondering how many were ever built? Open your trusty Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft, and you’ll learn that 11 were produced for the Swiss Air Force.Jane’s will also tell you the first flight of the Douglas B-66 De...
November 02, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
What we still have to learn about the Northern Lights.
November 2009 | By Tim Wright
In the 1950s Harvey Allen solved the problem of atmospheric entry. But first he had to convince his colleagues.
November 2009 | By Andrew Chaikin
When a Staggerwing casts its spell, it can surprise even Olive Ann Beech.
November 2009 | By James Wynbrandt
Blinding us with science: the next generation of stealth.
November 2009 | By Damond Benningfield
Lockheed P-38 Lightnings brought many a pilot home. This pilot would like to return the favor.
November 2009 | By David F. Toomey
November 2009 | By J.R. Dailey
While there are still 105 days until the opening of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, the Olympic Torch Relay has already begun.Some 12,000 people will participate in the relay, which runs from October 30, 2009 to February 12, 2010 (the longest relay in Olympic history). The relay part...
October 30, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
Two years ago, then-NASA Administrator Mike Griffin got into trouble by appearing to censor the results of a pilot survey that reportedly showed a higher than expected number of airplane accidents and near-accidents. Some accused NASA of squelching the truth to protect the airline industry. Congres...
October 29, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Remote-controlled drones are commonplace over today’s battlefields, playing an important role in U.S. air superiority. But one of the first military uses of a robot is almost completely forgotten—the story of “Boilerplate,” part of the U.S. Army’s 1st Aero Squadron.
Wait—you've never heard of Boil...
October 27, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
A hundred years ago today, the U.S. military got its first pilot. On October 26, 1909, Frederick E. Humphreys, a 26-year-old Lieutenant with the Army Signal Corps, soloed for the first time in a Wright Flyer at College Park, Maryland, under the watchful eye of no less an instructor than Wilbur Wrig...
October 26, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
What was thought to be a lock of Amelia Earhart’s hair, on display at a Cleveland museum, is merely thread. In mid-September, the International Women’s Air and Space Museum included in its e-newsletter to IWASM members an explanation of the misunderstanding:
Last week we reported that a sample of h...
October 23, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
What do you write in your logbook after you've just piloted a rocketplane past the "sound barrier" for the first time? If you're Chuck Yeager, you keep it short: "#1 ok"That's the notation (then) Captain Yeager made in the Flight and Engineering Report for Bell XS-1 Ship #1 (serial no. 6062), aka "...
October 14, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
If Richard Whitcomb wasn't the most important aerospace engineer of the past 50 years, he was certainly on the short list. The veteran of NASA's Langley Research Center died on Tuesday at the age of 88. Read about his contributions to aeronautics here, or watch a NASA-produced video at this link.By...
October 14, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Alfred Nobel, the Swedish millionaire who originated the world's most prestigious science prizes, was also a compulsive tinkerer and filer of patents. Among the fields that caught his interest was rocketry, perhaps not surprising for the man who invented dynamite.Nobel wasn't the first to think of ...
October 05, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Was it really Chuck Yeager? Or did George Welch beat him to it? If so, it happened on this day in 1947.
October 01, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Led by famed fashion photographer Edward Steichen, a group of camera men captured the action of World War II naval aviation.
October 01, 2009 | By Mark D. Faram
Old Wernher the rocket scientist, if he were alive, would want one of these babies on holiday. It's a water-powered jet pack conceived in Canada by JetLev and licensed to German company MS Watersports GmbH, and it appears to address at least two major problems of jet packs: If the engine quits, you...
September 28, 2009 | By Mike Klesius