Aviation ErasPeriods of innovation in the history of aviation from early flight to the modern age
...or so thought Gemini/Apollo astronaut (and former test pilot) Michael Collins, as quoted in the 1970 book, First on the Moon:
I like fighter pilots. I really do. They're good guys. As a group, I like them better than I like any other group. They're very independent people. They're not just talke...
June 25, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Lieutenant Russell Maughan, a Utah-born Army pilot, winner of the Distinguished Service Cross in World War I, and holder of the world aerial speed record in 1923, tried twice that year to become the first person to fly cross-country in a single day. Both times he failed, brought down by a clogged g...
June 23, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
During World War II, WASPs proved that an airplane couldn’t tell the difference between a male and female pilot.
June 22, 2009 | By Jonna Dootlittle Hoppes
It took 400,000 people, working under extreme pressure, to reach the moon in 1969. Like any army, they suffered casualties.
June 18, 2009 | By The Editors
Nowadays, Amelia Earhart is remembered for her last, lost flight. But in her time, she was best known as the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, an adventure that began on this day in 1928.Earhart wasn't the pilot, but a passenger. In the months after Lindbergh-mania hit America, publisher Geor...
June 17, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
If Broadway entrepreneurs were to adapt Wolfgang Langewiesche's classic tutorial for the stage, it would be retitled...."Shtick and Rudder."Posted in honor of the late Master Punner Donald S. Lopez
June 09, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
The National Transportation Safety Board is holding three days of public hearings this week on the ditching of US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson last January. The hearings will be webcast live here.
June 09, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Now that searchers have found wreckage from Air France Flight 447, we can hope they’ll also locate the data recorders and solve the mystery of what happened, which could lead to safety improvements on future flights.But earlier this week, it appeared that just locating the downed airliner in thousa...
June 03, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
We're still in that spooked stage following the disappearance of Air France flight 447 off the coast of Brazil in the early morning hours of June 1, UTC. What's so spooky is that airplanes don't just fall out of the sky. Why this one did is far from being solved. According to a recent Boeing study,...
June 02, 2009 | By Mike Klesius
Depends on the category—and on who was watching.
May 29, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
Captain Chesley Sullenberger was thrust into the media spotlight in January, when he landed his stricken Airbus in the Hudson River and the aircrew evacuated all passengers, largely uninjured, to safety within minutes. A remarkable piece of airmanship by the entire crew, to be sure. But since then,...
May 27, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
Three distinct personalities, one goal: reach the moon.
May 21, 2009 | By Michael Klesius
The myth of the spiritual spaceman.
May 21, 2009 | By Matthew Hersch
In my last post on Neil Armstrong, I mistakenly repeated the fable that as a test pilot, Armstrong once looked out the window of his X-15 rocket plane just prior to landing, and saw the Rose Bowl instead of the Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base. Makes for good bar talk. But here's the truth...
May 20, 2009 | By Mike Klesius
What it was like, in the astronauts’ own words. Excerpts from a new book by Andrew Chaikin.
May 20, 2009 | By Andrew Chaikin with Victoria Kohl
I just read the manuscript for a book to be published in the spring of 2010 by the University of Nebraska Press. Never Land: Adventures, Wonder, and One World Record in a Very Small Plane is written by Scott Olsen, whose most recent book is Hard Air: Adventures from the Edge of Flying. (Disclosure...
May 14, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
The advent of cheap, powerful hand-held lasers has become a real problem for aviation, with daily reports of pranksters (or, according to various headlines, "thugs," "idiots" and "laser losers") shining laser penlights into cockpits and temporarily blinding pilots. The number of incidents is on the...
May 07, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Reading the stories of early aviators always makes me shake my head with admiration. Consider, for example, Amy Johnson, who on this day in 1930, set out from Croydon, England, bent on becoming the first woman to fly from England to Australia—which she did, in 19 days, alone in a de Havilland Gi...
May 05, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Dan Cherry and Hong My met in the skies over North Vietnam in 1972, then again 36 years later.
May 2009 | By Dan Cherry
The Grumman A-6 was ugly, but it sure could cook.
May 2009 | By Rafael Lima