aviation

The Aircraft of R. J. Mitchell

The Aircraft of R. J. Mitchell

On May 20, 1895, English aeronautical engineer and aircraft designer Reginald Joseph Mitchell was born. Mitchell worked for Supermarine Aviation. Between 1920 and 1936 he designed many aircraft and is best remembered for his racing seaplanes, which culminated in the Supermarine S.6B, and the iconic Second World War fighter, the Supermarine Spitfire. R.J. Mitchell joined the Supermarine Aviation Works at Southampton in 1917. Two years later, he was appointed Chief Designer,…
Walter Schirra – the only Man to fly Mercury, Gemini and Apollo

Walter Schirra – the only Man to fly Mercury, Gemini and Apollo

On March 12, 1923, American naval officer and aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and astronaut Walter Marty “Wally” Schirra was born. Schirra was one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury, United States first effort to put humans in space. He flew the six-orbit, nine-hour Mercury-Atlas 8 mission on October 3, 1962, becoming the fifth American, and the ninth human, to ride a rocket into space. He was the…
The Aircraft of Kelly Johnson

The Aircraft of Kelly Johnson

On February 27, 1910, American aeronautical and systems engineer Kelly Johnson was born. He is recognized for his contributions to a series of important aircraft designs, most notably the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird. Besides the first production aircraft to exceed Mach 3, he also produced the first fighter capable of Mach 2, and many other contributions to a large number of aircraft. Clarence Leonard Johnson was enthusiastic for aircraft…
Ernst Heinkel and His Aircraft

Ernst Heinkel and His Aircraft

On January 24, 1888, German aircraft designer an 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 was apprenticed as machinist at a foundry and later studied at the Technical Academy of Stuttgart. There Heinkel became enthusiastic for aviation and fascinated by Zeppelins. Around 1910, Heinkel built his first aircraft…
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. Sopwitth’s pioneering firm was famous for British WWI military aircraft, including the legendary Sopwith Camel. Thomas Sopwith was interested in motor cycles from early age and took part in the 100-mile Tricar trial in 1904 and was among the four medal winners. His first ascent with a hot air balloon was two years later and along with Phil…
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. 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…
The Flight of Alan Shepard

The Flight of Alan Shepard

On November 18, 1923, American naval officer and aviator, test pilot, and astronaut Alan B. Shepard was born. Shepard was one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts. In May 1961, Shepard made the first manned Mercury flight. Shepard’s craft entered space, but did not achieve orbit. He became the second person, and the first American, to travel into space, and the first person to manually control the orientation of…
French Aviation Pioneer Robert Esnault-Pelterie

French Aviation Pioneer Robert Esnault-Pelterie

On November 8, 1881, French aviation pioneer Robert Albert Charles Esnault-Pelterie was born. Esnault-Pelterie improved the design of the Wright brothers 1902 glider and invented the aileron, a movable airfoil at the edge of the wing. In 1907, he built one of the first monoplanes, and proposed the idea of the ballistic missile for military bombardment. Robert Esnault-Pelterie was born on November 8, 1881 in Paris as the son of a…
The Flight of the Double Eagle II

The Flight of the Double Eagle II

On August 17, 1978, Double Eagle II became the first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it landed in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours 6 minutes after leaving Presque Isle, Maine. The flight, the fourteenth known attempt, was the culmination of more than a century of previous attempts to cross the Atlantic Ocean by balloon. In 1859, John Wise, US-American pioneer in the field of ballooning, who made over…
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. 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…
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