aviation

Hugo Junkers and the all-metal monoplane

Hugo Junkers and the all-metal monoplane

On February 3, 1859, German engineer and aircraft designer Hugo Junkers was born. Junkers is generally credited with pioneering the design of all-metal airplanes and flying wings. As founder of the Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke AG, he was one of the mainstays of the German aircraft industry in the years between World War I and World War II. Amongst the highlight of his career were the Junkers J 1 of 1915, the…
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Ernst Heinkel and His Obsession with Highspeed Aircraft

Ernst Heinkel and His Obsession with Highspeed Aircraft

On January 24, 1888, German aircraft designer and manufacturer Ernst Heinkel was born. Heinkel’s company Heinkel Flugzeugwerke produced the Heinkel He 178, the world’s first turbojet aircraft and jet plane, and the Heinkel He 176, the first rocket aircraft. Ernst Heinkel – Early Years Ernst Heinkel was born in Grunbach, today a part of Remshalden, Germany. As a young man he was apprenticed as machinist at a foundry. In the autumn semester of 1907 Ernst Heinkel…
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Thomas Sopwith and his legendary Aircrafts

Thomas Sopwith and his legendary Aircrafts

On January 18, 1888, English aviation pioneer and yachtsman Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith was born. Sopwith’s pioneering firm was famous for British WWI military aircraft, including the legendary Sopwith Camel. Thomas Sopwith’s Early Years Thomas Sopwith was born in Kensington, London, UK, as the eighth child and only son of Thomas Sopwith, a civil engineer and managing director of the Spanish Lead Mines Company, Linares, Jaén, Spain, and his wife Lydia Gertrude née Messiter. When he…
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Amelia Earhart – Record-breaking Aviation Pioneer

Amelia Earhart – Record-breaking Aviation Pioneer

On January 11, 1935, American aviatrix Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California across the Pacific ocean. “Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” — Amelia Earhart, 1937 [1]…
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The Airplanes of Glenn Luther Martin

The Airplanes of Glenn Luther Martin

On December 5, 1955, American aviation pioneer Glenn Luther Martin passed away. Martin designed and built his own aircraft and was an active pilot. He founded his own aircraft company in 1912 which today through several mergers is amalgamated into the Lockheed Martin company. Early Years Glenn Luther Martin was born in Macksburg, Iowa, USA, on January 17, 1886 to Minta and Clarence Martin. At the age of two, Martin’s family moved to…
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Hans Grade – The forgotten German Aviation Pioneer

Hans Grade – The forgotten German Aviation Pioneer

On October 30, 1909, German aviation pioneer Hans Grade won the 40.000 Reichsmark “Lanz-Preis der Lüfte“, flying a new monoplane design, the ‘Libelle’ (Dragon Fly), the first really airworthy motor plane of Germany. Most probably, you have never heard of Hans Grade, who is also scarcely known in his home country. Nevertheless, he is one of the early pioneers of aviation and today, we will tell his story. Early Life and first Aviation…
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Wildwest Showman Samuel Cody and the First Flight in England

Wildwest Showman Samuel Cody and the First Flight in England

On October 16, 1908, US Wild West showman and early pioneer of manned flight Samuel Cody succeeded with the first officially recorded powered flight in England with a length of 420 metres. Samuel Cody – A Wildwest Showman Samuel Cody was born Samuel Franklin Cowdery in 1867 in Davenport, Iowa, USA and attended school until he was probably 12. Not much is known about the early life of Cody, but he later…
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Eugen Sänger and Rocket Propulsion Engineering

Eugen Sänger and Rocket Propulsion Engineering

On September 22, 1905, Austrian rocket propulsion engineer Eugen Sänger was born. Sänger is best known for his contributions to lifting body and ramjet technology. Sänger also perfected a “regeneratively cooled” liquid-fueled rocket engine that used its own fuel, circulating around the combustion chamber, to control engine temperatures. By Rocket into Planetary Space After the early loss of his father, Eugen Sänger attended elementary schools in Budapest and Kelenföld. As early as 1918, Sänger…
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New Zealand’s Aviation Pioneer Richard Pearse

New Zealand’s Aviation Pioneer Richard Pearse

On July 29, 1953, New Zealand farmer, inventor and aviation pioneer Richard William Pearse passed away. It is claimed Pearse flew and landed a powered heavier-than-air machine on 31 March 1903, some nine months before the Wright brothers flew their aircraft.[2] The documentary evidence to support such a claim remains open to interpretation, and Pearse did not develop his aircraft to the same degree as the Wright brothers, who achieved sustained controlled…
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Robert Cocking’s Parachuting Accident

Robert Cocking’s Parachuting Accident

On July 24, 1837, watercolour artist and amateur scientist Robert Cocking died in an early aviation accident. Cocking was the first person to be killed in a parachuting accident. Following Cocking’s accident parachuting became unpopular, and was confined to carnival and circus acts until the late 19th century when developments such as the harness and breakaway chutes made it safer. A Watercolor Artist with Enthusiasm for Science Robert Cocking as a watercolor artist…
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