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Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as hot air balloons and airships.

Aviation began in the 18th century with the development of the hot air balloon, an apparatus capable of atmospheric displacement through buoyancy. Some of the most significant advancements in aviation technology came with the controlled gliding flying of Otto Lilienthal in 1896; then a large step in significance came with the construction of the first powered airplane by the Wright brothers in the early 1900s. Since that time, aviation has been technologically revolutionized by the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world. (Full article...)

Selected article

Kai Tak Airport in 2009
Kai Tak Airport in 2009
Kai Tak Airport (Chinese: ?) was the international airport of Hong Kong from 1925 until 1998. It was officially known as the Hong Kong International Airport (Chinese: ) from 1954 to July 6, 1998, when it was closed and replaced by the new Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok, 30 km to the west. It is often known as Hong Kong Kai Tak International Airport (Chinese: ), or simply Kai Tak, to distinguish it from its successor which is often referred to as Chek Lap Kok Airport (Chinese: ).

With numerous skyscrapers and mountains located to the north and its only runway jutting out into Victoria Harbour, landings at the airport were dramatic to experience and technically demanding for pilots. The History Channel program Most Extreme Airports ranked it as the 6th most dangerous airport in the world.

The airport was home to Hong Kong's international carrier Cathay Pacific, as well as regional carrier Dragonair, freight airline Air Hong Kong and Hong Kong Airways. The airport was also home to the former RAF Kai Tak. (Full article...)

Selected image

1997 F-4 Heritage Flight over Florida-edit 1.jpg
Credit: Master Sergeant Michael Ammons
A formation of F-4 Phantom II fighter aircraft fly in formation during a heritage flight demonstration here. The heritage flight program was established in 1997 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force.

Did you know

...that sailplane winglets were first successfully implemented by American inventor Peter Masak? ...that Roy Marlin "Butch" Voris, founder of the United States Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team, chose the name based on a nightclub advertisement in The New Yorker magazine? ... that the price war started by Color Air in 1998 led to its bankruptcy after 14 months?

Selected Aircraft

Colour avrocar 59.jpg

The VZ-9 Avrocar (full military designation VZ-9-AV) was a Canadian VTOL aircraft developed by Avro Aircraft Ltd. as part of a secret U.S. military project carried out in the early years of the Cold War.[1] The Avrocar intended to exploit the Coand? effect to provide lift and thrust from a single "turborotor" blowing exhaust out the rim of the disk-shaped aircraft to provide anticipated VTOL-like performance. In the air, it would have resembled a flying saucer. Two prototypes were built as "proof-of-concept" test vehicles for a more advanced USAF fighter and also for a U.S. Army tactical combat aircraft requirement.[2] In flight testing, the Avrocar proved to have unresolved thrust and stability problems that limited it to a degraded, low-performance flight envelope; subsequently, the project was cancelled in 1961.

  • Diameter:18 ft (5.486 m)
  • Height: 3 ft 6 in (1.1 m)
  • Engines: 3 x Turbomeca Marboré Continental J69-T-9
  • Max Speed: 300 mph (482 km/h)
  • First Flight: 12 November 1959
  • Number built: 2

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Selected biography

Charles Lindbergh
Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. (February 4, 1902 – August 26, 1974), known as "Lucky Lindy" and "The Lone Eagle", was a pioneering United States aviator famous for piloting the first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, flying from Roosevelt Airfield (Nassau County, Long Island), New York to Paris on May 20-May 21, 1927 in his single-engine aircraft The Spirit of St. Louis.

He grew up in Little Falls, Minnesota. Early on he showed an interest in machinery, especially aircraft. After training as a pilot with the Army Air Service Lindbergh took a job as lead pilot of an airmail route in a DeHavilland DH-4 biplane. He was renowned for delivering the mail under any circumstances.

Lindbergh is recognized in aviation for demonstrating and charting polar air-routes, high altitude flying techniques, and increasing aircraft flying range by decreasing fuel consumption. These innovations are the basis of modern intercontinental air travel.

In the news

Wikinews Aviation portal
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Today in Aviation

September 20

  • 2012 - At least 71 people die in Raqqa, Syria, when a Syrian Air Force plane bombs a gasoline (petrol) station.[3]
  • 2009 - One U.S. service member was killed and 12 others are injured when a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter goes down inside of Joint Base Balad.[5]
  • 1999 - A Swedish Air Force Saab JAS-39 Gripen, 39156, '56', of F7 Wing, 2nd Sqn., crashes into Lake Vänern at about 1430 hrs. during an air-to-air combat exercise. Aircraft sank in about 260 feet of water (80 m). Pilot ejected safely and was recovered by Hkp 10 SAR helicopter. The accident was caused by a design flaw in the plane's control system, rendering it in a stalled mode after passing another plane's vortex. This was the first loss of a Gripen since the type became operational.
  • 1995 - Just after making a supersonic pass close by the starboard side of the USS John Paul Jones, Grumman F-14A-110-GR Tomcat, BuNo 161146, 'NH 112', of VF-213 from the USS Abraham Lincoln, explodes in flight from catastrophic compressor failure, both crew ejecting, suffering burns to the upper body. Crew recovered. Plane goes down in the Central Pacific, ~800 miles W of Guam, and 55 miles from the carrier. Footage: http://www.popflock.com/video?id=7qMtnFtB38I
  • 1993 - Erich Alfred "Bubi" Hartmann, German pilot died (b. 1922) Nicknamed "The Blond Knight Of Germany" by friends and "The Black Devil" by his enemies, Hartmann is the most successful fighter ace in the history of aerial combat. He scored 352 aerial victories (of which 345 were flown by the Soviet Air Force, and 260 of which were fighters) 1,404 combat missions and engaging in aerial combat 825 times while serving with the Luftwaffe in World War II.
  • 1989 - USAir Flight 5050, a Boeing 737, overruns the runway after a tire on a nosewheel bursts; two passengers die.
  • 1969 - An Air Vietnam Douglas C-54D-10-DC Skymaster), XV-NUG, c/n 10860, collided on approach to landing with an American USAF McDonnell F-4 Phantom II near Da Nang, Vietnam. 77 died.
  • 1965 - A UH-2 Seasprite makes the U. S. Navy's first helicopter rescue of a pilot downed in North Vietnam.
  • 1958 - A Rolls-Royce test pilot, Mr. K.R. Sturt, flying the prototype Avro Vulcan VX770 in an airshow at RAF Syerston pulls up too hard after a high-speed flyby and exceeds the airframe's structural limits, collapsing the plane's right wing. The craft spirals out of control and crashes, killing the entire aircrew and 3 people on the ground. VX770 was known to have had a weaker wing structure then production aircraft. The aircraft had been testing the Rolls-Royce Conway installation and was returning from a test flight via-Syerston.
  • 1948 - First prototype USAF North American XB-45 Tornado, 45-59479, in a dive test at Muroc Air Force Base, California, to test design load factor, suffers engine explosion, tearing off cowling panels that shear several feet from the horizontal stabilizer, aircraft pitches up, and both wings tear off under negative g load. Crew has no ejection seats, and George Krebs and Nick Piccard are killed.
  • 1943 - (overnight) To disrupt the German evacuation of Corsica, Allied Northwest African Air Force Wellington, Mitchell, and Liberator bombers begin strikes against airfields, shipping, and port facilities at Bastia, Corsica, and Leghorn and Pisa, Italy.
  • 1939 - Sgt F Letchard a gunner of the RAF 88, in a Fairey Battle, claimed the first RAF victory of the war after he shot down a German Bf 109 during a patrol near Aachen.
  • 1936 - Tupolev TB-3-4AM-34FRN with A. B. Yumashev at the controls set a payload-to-altitude record of 12,000 kg (26,455 lb) to 2,700 m (8,858 feet).
  • 1929 - Western Canada Airways pilot ?Punch? Dickins began operations to locate and bring out the missing MacAlpine Survey. The group was ultimately successfully rescued and all members of the expedition and the crews of the rescue aircraft were brought out safely.
  • 1902 - The Wright brothers make the first of nearly 1,000 glides on their modified No. 3 glider in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. It is this glider, made of spruce wood and cloth, which incorporates for the first time the flight controls of the modern airplane.
  • 1874 - Du Temple builds a steam-powered monoplane which achieves a short hop after gaining speed by rolling down a ramp. It carries a human passenger whose identity is no longer known.


  1. ^ Yenne 2003), pp. 281-283.
  2. ^ Milberry 1979, p. 137.
  3. ^ "Syria Today; Local coordination committees of Syria". Lccsyria. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  4. ^ "PICTURES: Circumstances of Syrian A320 collision remain hazy". Flight global. 2012-10-04. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "U.S. soldier killed, 12 wounded in downed aircraft incident". Aswat al-Iraq. 2009-09-20. Retrieved .

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