History of Aviation

Ask questions here about the invention and development of aircraft, notable events and famous people involved in aviation history.

Asked in Flight Times, Maps and Directions, History of Aviation

Why do planes fly over Czech republic?

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Unless the country in question forbids foreign aircraft to enter their airspace, international flights will pass over many nations on their way to their destination.
Asked in Airplanes and Aircraft, Boeing, History of Aviation

Can you refuel an airplane in flight?

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Most military aircraft, heliocopters and fixed-wing aircraft, are equipped and the pilots trained to allow them to be refueled in-flight. Civilian aircraft are not designed to be refueled in-flight. == In-flight refueling was a concept that dates back to the earlies days of aviation. The weight of the aircraft was so critical, this sometimes limited the fuel and therefore the range of the aircraft. On November 21, 1921, a unique method was tried. Frank Hawks flew his Lincoln Standard biplane over Long Beach, California. Wesley May, a barnstorming wing walker, crawled up onto its top wing. With a five-gallon can of gasoline strapped to his back, May started walking toward the edge of the right wing. Meanwhile, Earl Daugherty, perhaps America’s greatest stunt pilot, eased his Curtiss Jenny just above the Lincoln. When Daugherty got his lower left wing within range, May reached up and grabbed a loop on its lower edge. Then Daugherty eased away, with May and his gas can hanging below. May climbed up onto the lower wing and eventually poured the gasoline into Daugherty’s tank. November 18, 1923, some aviators attempted refueling over Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, as part of a carnival exhibition. The hose from the tanker caught in the propeller of the receiver, and the tanker crashed. And in July 1935 a pair of brothers, Fred and Algene Key, of Mississippi, set a record that still stands by keeping "Ole Miss", a Curtiss Robin J-1, in the air for 653 hours and 34 minutes, more than 27 days. During the 1970's, the Shah of Iran was head of one of the most weathiest oil-producing countries. He contracted with several US companies and especially aviation companies for business. When the US Air Force was designing a Boeing 747-200 for the E-4 Airborne Command Post (military predecessor of the current Air Force One), he asked if Boeing could incorporate the refueling receptable of the E-4 into his civilian Boeing 747s. A gallon of aviation fuel weighs about six and a half pounds, which is enough to fly 1909 Wright Signal Corps airplane for 16 minutes OR a World War II B-24 for 18 seconds, OR a modern F-15 fighter for about 6 seconds.
Asked in Wright Brothers, History of Aviation

How long did it take the Wright brothers to invent their airplane?

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It took them one year, 2 months and approximately 22 days.
Asked in Inventions, Wright Brothers, History of Aviation

Did the wright brothers have another job while building the first airplane?

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Yes. In 1892 the brothers formed the Wright Cycle Company and for the next ten years they designed, built, and sold bicycles while developing their skills in designing airplanes
Asked in Inventions, Boeing, History of Aviation

What was the first airplane made?

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A bit hard to pin down which airplane was the first. Many designs were built before the first successful flight, but generally Hiram Maxim's 1894 3.5 ton design is often considered one of the first built. It was powered by a 360-horsepower steam engines. While it did gain some height, it careened out of control before it actually took flight and crashed.
Asked in Germany in WW2, New York, History of Aviation

Did the Nazi's actually fly over New York on one occasion during 1945 in a JU-390?

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There is ample skepticism that any such flights took place at all, and with the exception of the US prisoner interrogation of Unterofficer Wolfgang Baumgart in August 1944 who claimed to have participated in the February 1944 flight, the only sources of information are undocumented or anecdotal. --- Not in 1945. The original claim from interrogation of a German POW was for a Ju-390 flight to New York in early February 1944. Since then, someone in US calling himself Jim Newsom (who declines to identify himself or establish his credentials) has been responsible for generating many claims about a woman by the name Anna Kreisling. The Kreisling claim has become a lightning rod for many nutcase claims both for and against such a flight. This Kreisling person, whether she really exists, or not, has since attracted a worldwide online following. The person claiming to be Kreisling claims to be an elderly former Nazi era female test pilot. She claims to have co-piloted the aircraft from Norway to Wisconsin and then to have flown back to a military airfield in France near Paris, via the New York area. This differs with the Baumgart interrogation which implies an outbound flight from Mont de Marsan near Bordeaux in Feb 1944. Kreisling, or perhaps Newsom writing as the Kreisling persona, originally made a claim at the Aviastar website in 2007 insisting that Kreisling flew a Ju-390 over Michigan and New York in August 1943. Critics claim this claim was implausible. In October 1943 however the Japanese embassy in Berlin sent an encrypted signal to tokyo giving Ju-390 performance details furnished by the Germans. In that signal which was intercepted by the Allies the maximum fuel range of the Ju-390 (without extra fuel tanks) was given as 29 hours worth at 186 knots plus a two hour reserve. The average fuel consumption of a BMW 801D engine at 1700 rpm and altitudes of 6,000-12,000 feet was 50 US gals per hour. The main impediment for the Ju-390 was excessive fule consumption over 21,000 feet. Typically Ju-290 aircraft operating maratime patrols over the atlantic operated at 6,000 feet. Given such statistics a long range flight would not be impossible. German wartime records identify the Ju-390 prototype first flew on 20 October 1943, which if correct make the Kreisling claim impossible. It is fair to say the New York flight was hotly debated before Newsom introduced a claim about Kreisling. Now it attracts nothing but ridicule to an issue of genuine historical interest. It is not unlikely that the whole Newsom/Kreisling claim has been invented to discredit genuine debate over the Ju-390. Quite independent of this debate, in 1998 a man from Burlington VT, Ruben P. Whittemore (then 44) made some enquiries online if anyone knew much about the wreckage of a six engined German aircraft in the sea 2.5 miles SW of Owl's Head, Maine, USA. Another person "PLouise" responded that she had dived the wreck and recovered artifacts including an RMZ constructors plate with the word "Junkers" on it, suggesting possibly a Junkers Ju-390 attempted the flight and failed. Whittemore, who appears not have had any agenda said in 1998 that he had relatives who witnessed the bodies of three German aviators recovered from the sea on 28 September 1944 following the crash of this aircraft on or about 18 September 1944. --- John Newsom published his interview with former German test pilot and wartime Luftwaffe transport pilot Anna Kreisling, known as the White Wolf of the Luftwaffe. It is claimed that she flew supply missions into the beleaguered German garrison at Stalingrad. Unfortunately Newsom has not provided any contact details with himself or Kreisling therefore it is extremely hard to verify the claim to the standards demanded by most historians. This is such a vital part of WW2 history that it is almost criminal if her information goes to the grave when she dies. We can only hope she will leave us something for posterity which can be verified independently. According to Newsom, Anna Kreisling claims she was the co-Pilot of a six engined Junkers JU-390 reconnaissance bomber that took off from Norway on 27 August 1943 and flew first to Lake Michigan and then passed close by New York heading out to the Atlantic for a military airfield near Paris (Le Bourget?) This aircraft certainly had the endurance for such a flight. It could operate up to 12,000 ft with fuel consumptions between 250 liters/hr (230kts)- 275 litres/hr (270kts). Fuels capacity is thought to have been 52,800 lb, though this was increased in April 1944 when it's weights were re-certified. Newson claims the Ju-390 overflew Canada and then photographed defence plants in Michigan which were vital to the United States. At noon on August 28 the Junkers passed right over New York above the Empire State Building at an altitude of 14,000 feet. Many important pictures of New York were taken. The difficulty Historians would have with this claim is that officially the Ju-390's maiden flight was 20 October 1943 flown by Capt Hans Joachim Pancherz. There are claims however that an even earlier flight was made by Hans Werner Lerche of another prototype on an unspecified date in August 1943 at Bernberg. The claim of this earlier flight arises from Russian historical sources. Still this suggests a flight to USA before the aircraft could not have been properly tested if we are to accept the maiden flight occured in October 1944. Some evidence however suggests the Ju-390 aircraft flew as early as November 1942 from a photo taken of the JU-390 with registration markings RC+DA. This aircraft had a white band around it's fuselage ahead of the tail. This marking was known as the Afrika band, only used by Axis aircraft during the north Africa campaign. In the case of the Ju-390 if it was in use in north Africa it would likely have been attached to LTS.290 operating to Tunisia. The photo of "RC+DA" was taken from a ship attacked during Operation Torch landings and the original is from an album owned by a veteran living near Sydney Australia. Ju-390 test pilot Hans Werner Lerche refers to the same photo from the collection of the Deutsches Museum, Munich in his autobiography. If the JU-390 aircraft attacking the Operation Torch convoy in 1942 was "RC+DA" then this implies that RC+DA was in fact the V1 prototype and not the V2 as often claimed. On 29 July 1944 Junkers was paid by RLM for completing seven Ju-290 aircraft. There is no detailed Quartermaster record of these seven aircraft being taken on Luftwaffe strength, however 80 percent of Luftwaffe records were destroyed or lost at the end of the War (most likely confiscated by US forces at Linz and their existence denied ever since) and no records remain of RLM which may not have had aircraft listed by the Quartermaster General at all. It would be useful if Newsom, or Ana Kreisling who should know might shed further light on this point? In 1955 correspondence began between William Green, then editor of the RAF Review and an unnamed person writing from New York who claimed personal knowledge of wartime Ju-390 flights to New York. It is interesting to speculate whether this was correspondence with Kriesling herself? In November 1955 an article by Dr Kenneth P Werrell appeared in the RAF Review on the subject. Werrell however referred to a Luftwaffe photographer Unteroffizer Wolf Baumgart who was attached to the long range reconnaissance unit FAGr.5 at Mont de Marsan. As a prisoner of war, Baumgart was interrogated in August 1944 by the US Ninth Air Force, cited in A.P.W.I.U. Report 44/1945. Baumgart's interrogation was one of two POW interrogation reports cited in British Intelligence reports dated from August 1945 entitled "General Report on Aircraft Engines and Aircraft Equipment." Green later published details of the in his two books Warplanes of the Second World War (1968) and Warplanes of the Third Reich (1970). Green asserted the Allies learned of the mission in June 1944, whilst Werrell claimed they originated with interrogations of two German POWs in August 1944. Baumgart's claim appears to differ from Ana Kreislings'. According to Kenneth Werrell Baumgart talked of a New York flight about early February 1944. Ju-390 pilot Hans Pancherz himself claimed to have performed an astonishing Ju-390 flight to Cape Town, South Africa in January 1944 Baumgart asserts In February 1944 another Junkers Ju-390 checked out the air defenses of New York by flying within 12 miles of the city. Photographs were taken of the New York skyline, but these have never come to light. The third Ju-390 prototype was a bomber intended to deploy tiny Me 328 parasite fighters against New York, but tests revealed the wings were not strong enough to support the laden weight of a New York mission and these miniature aircraft. The Mission was intended to deploy nuclear weapons. When the Ju-390 proved inadequate for this bombing mission focus shifted to developing the Heinkel He-274 at Tolouse in France to become the trans Atlantic nuclear bomber. The prototype He-274 was captured intact in 1944 and later used by the French Air Force. This aircraft was mentioned by a captured Luftwaffe general as the intended New York bomber.
Asked in Airplanes and Aircraft, Air Travel, History of Aviation

Who had the first successful powered airplane flight?

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Orville Wright piloted Flyer 1, the world's first powered aeroplane to fly successfully, at Kitty Hawk, NC, on 17th Dec 1903
Asked in Wright Brothers, History of Aviation

The Wright brothers flew the first airplane?

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The Wrights did NOT fly the 'first airplane' . The Wright brothers were the first to achieve controlled powered flight. Gliders, man-made wings, and balloons were around long before the flight of the Wright Brothers flying machine, the Flyer I, on December 17, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk NC.
Asked in Airplanes and Aircraft, History of Aviation

When was the first airplane flight?

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The first powered, controlled, heavier-than-air airplane flew at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903. This "first" is recognized by both the NAA (National Aeronautic Association) and the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale), international record keeping organizations for aviation and aerospace records. However, there have been numerous attempts at powered flight prior to the Wright Brothers, some with limited success. == == <><><> The first person to fly a powered, heavier than air vehicle (aeroplane) was Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim. Allegedly in the year 1903 by the Wright Brothers.
Asked in Inventions, History of Aviation

Who were the first humans to fly?

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The first generally recognized and substantiated human flight took place in Paris in 1783. Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes went 8 km (5 miles) in a hot air balloon invented by the Montgolfier brothers. The balloon was powered by a wood fire.
Asked in India, History of Aviation

What is the first airplane introduce in India?

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first flight brought in India was from Lahore to Mumbai via Ahmdabad. it was brought by J.R.D Tata
Asked in Airplanes and Aircraft, History of Aviation

What was the first airplane used for the US Air-force?

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When the United States Air Force was formed on September 18, 1947 it was already flying numerous types of aircraft that were flown during the Second World War. The Predecessor of the US Air Force was the United States Army Air Forces, and prior to that, the United States Army Air Corps. The Aeronautical Division of the US Army, the earliest ancestor of the US Air Force, was formed in 1907 with three uniformed personnel. Their first airplane was a "Model 1905" Wright Flyer, an updated model of the Wright Brothers original powered flying machine. The airplane was delivered in August 1909 and was used for observation. Thus the first US military airplane was a reconnaissance airplane. But it crashed three months later, essentially eliminating the entire US Air Power.
Asked in History, Politics & Society, History of Science, Famous People, History of Aviation

Who was the first pilot to break the sound barrier?

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The first pilot to break the sound barrier is Charles Elwood Yeager Aka Chuck Yeager. This happened on October 14, 1947 at a speed of 662 miles per hour at an altitude of 40,000ft.
Asked in India, Women in History, History of Aviation

Who was the first Indian woman to receive a pilot's license?

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Urmila K. Parekh became the first Indian woman to get a pilots license in 1932.
Asked in Airplanes and Aircraft, History of Aviation

What was the purpose of making the first airplane?

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To fly from one place to another. the purpose was to create a faster way of travel than sailing and using hot air balloons because hot air balloons would only move with wind planes have engines for direction and speed.
Asked in History of Australia, History of Aviation

Who was Sir Charles Kingsford Smith?

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Charles Kingsford Smith, nicknamed 'Smithy', was born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia in 1897. He was always very interested in flying and mechanics from a young age and became one of Australia's best-known aviators, though not the first. Smithy completed the first non-stop crossing of the Australian mainland and the first flight from Australia to New Zealand. In 1930 he flew 16 000 kilometres single handedly and won the England to Australia air race. Kingsford Smith is particularly well-known for being the first to cross the Pacific from the United States to Australia, which he did in 1928, in the Southern Cross, a Fokker FVII-3M monoplane. The flight was in three stages, from Oakland, California to Hawaii, then to Suva, Fiji, and on to Brisbane, where he landed at Eagle Farm Airport on 8 June 1928. Kingsford Smith disappeared in 1935 in the Bay of Bengal whilst flying from England to Australia in the Lady Southern Cross. Wreckage from the aircraft was located off the south coast of Burma eighteen months later, but no evidence of the crew was ever found.
Asked in Inventions, Airplanes and Aircraft, Mechanical Engineering, History of Aviation

Who discovered the first airplane?

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"Discovered" is not the proper term. Properly speaking neither is "invented." Like many complex machines, the airplane was developed - expanding on, improving and modifying existing technology. Credit is almost universally given to The Wright Brothers. However there are other contenders such as Karl Jatho, William Pearse and Gustave Whitehead. However these early airplanes lacked the qualities which made the Wright's craft successful: Control. The three crucial qualities of aircraft control are roll, pitch and yaw. The Wrights, after considerable experimentation, achieved all three in their 1903 Flyer. In addition the Wrightssuccessfullymarketed their aircraft - something which previous airplane developers had failed to do. The Wrights deserve credit not only because their aircraft was successful but because of their exhaustive research and development. They designed and built their own lightweight aluminum engine and conducted some of theearliestwind tunnel testing (with a wind tunnel which they also designed and built). Upon discovering that the aeronautical data upon which they had been basing their glider tests (data gathered by Otto Lilienthaland Octave Chanute) was not accurate, the Wrights decided to disregard existing data and conduct their own research. Credit should also be given to the Wrights for the independentfinancing of their project. No government money was used. The funds came largely from the proceeds of their bicycle shop.SamuelLangley, on the other hand was funded by the federal government to the tune of $70,000.00 - an astronomical sum at that time.Langleyfailed toachieveflight. Given their experience as bicycle mechanics, the Wrights realized that an aircraft must operate in more than two dimensions - it must be able to bank; lean into turns, like a bicycle. On December 17, 1903 the Wright Flyer lifted itself into the air, piloted by Orville Wright at KilldevilHill Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Asked in History of Science, Jokes and Riddles, Famous People, History of Aviation

What was the first thing to break the sound barrier?

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The first human invention to break the sound barrier was the whip. The "crack" of the whip is a sonic boom.
Asked in Airlines, Industries and Professions, History of Aviation

Advantages of aviation?

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Aviation made it possible to reach remote places that normally couldn't be reached by boat, rail, or automobile. It also sped up the transportation of goods, essentials, and people. The military benefited from aviation by being able to observe the enemy, mount offensive attacks and safeguard friendly assets. Airplanes also serve as a form of entertainment such as airshows, air races, and flight demonstrations. Aviation in addition helps with farming, power line and oil pipe management, as well as wildlife observation. One of the greatest benefits of aviation is that it made the world a much smaller place, you can be in Paris one day and in New York just hours later.
Asked in Inventions, Airplanes and Aircraft, History of Aviation

Who invented the first airplane that didn't fly?

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Although many people credit the Wright brothers with inventing the first airplane, they were not the first. The first was Leonardo da Vinci, who invented a flying machine. A model of his invention was never built, therefore, it didn't fly.
Asked in History of Science, Famous People, History of Aviation

Who was the first man to break the sound barrier?

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Chuck Yeager was the first man to break the sound barrier in 1947. He flew in the Bell X-1.
Asked in Family Travel, Distances and Travel Times, Airplanes and Aircraft, History of Aviation

Generally how high and how fast do airplanes travel?

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A typical commercial aircraft will travel at around 35,000 feet and will be moving at an airspeed of roughly 500-550 miles per hour, depending on the plane.