aviation

Henri Farman and the first long-distance Passenger Airliner

Henri Farman and the first long-distance Passenger Airliner

On May 26, 1876, Anglo-French pilot, aviator and aircraft designer and manufacturer Henri Farman was born. As an aircraft designer he developed ailerons to solve the enormously difficult and dangerous problems of lateral control. The Farman “Goliath” produced by his aircraft manufacturing company was the first long-distance passenger airliner, beginning regular Paris–London flights on 8 Feb 1919. Background Henri Farman Henri Farman was born in 1876 in Paris. His family was quite…
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Otto Lilienthal, the Glider King

Otto Lilienthal, the Glider King

On May 23, 1848, German aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal was born, who was the first person to make well-documented, repeated, successful gliding flights. For his contributions to aviation he is often referred to as “The Father of Flight.” Otto Lilienthal – Early Years Otto Lilienthal received a good education at a grammar school in Anklam despite the sudden death of his father and the financial struggles of his family. Flight tests and experiments…
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The Seaplanes of Claude Dornier

The Seaplanes of Claude Dornier

On May 14, 1884, German airplane builder and entrepreneur Claudius Dornier was born. His legacy remains in the few aircraft named after him, including the Dornier Do 18 and the 12-engine Dornier Do X flying boat, for decades the world’s largest and most powerful airplane. Background Claudius Dornier Dornier studied engineering at the Technical University of Munich and began his career in Karlsruhe in 1907. Unfortunately, his father fell very ill and could not take…
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Igor Sikorsky and the Perfection of the Helicopter Design

Igor Sikorsky and the Perfection of the Helicopter Design

On May 13, 1940, Russian American aviation pioneer Igor Ivanovitsch Sikorsky made the maidenflight with his newly developed helicopter VS-300, which led to the R-4, the world’s first mass-produced helicopter in 1942. Sure we all know helicopters today. They have become an everyday object, although not everybody of us already had the chance to fly with a helicopter. Actually, I had the pleasure to fly as helicopter passenger during my time of…
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Harriet Quimby – the First Woman to Fly Across the English Channel

Harriet Quimby – the First Woman to Fly Across the English Channel

On April 16, 1912, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. She was the the first woman to gain a pilot’s license in the United States. Although Quimby lived only to the age of thirty-seven, she had a major influence upon the role of women in aviation. Harriet Quimby Background Harriet Quimby was born into a farmer’s family in Michigan and moved to San Francisco in order…
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Samuel Pierpont Langley and his Aviation Work

Samuel Pierpont Langley and his Aviation Work

On February 27, 1906, American astronomer, physicist, inventor of the bolometer and pioneer of aviation Samuel Pierpont Langley passed away. Langley attempted to make a working piloted heavier-than-air aircraft. His models flew, but his two attempts at piloted flight were not successful. Background Samuel Pierpont Langley Samuel Pierpont Langley was born in 1834 in Roxbury. He started his education at the Boston Latin School and was interested in astronomy immediately. His brother helped him…
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Charles Green and his Record Balloon Flight

Charles Green and his Record Balloon Flight

On January 31, 1785, Charles Green was born, who was United Kingdom’s most famous balloonist of the 19th century. He experimented with coal gas as a cheaper and more readily available alternative to hydrogen for lifting power. In 1836, Green set a major long distance record in the balloon “Royal Vauxhall”, flying overnight from Vauxhall Gardens in London to Weilburg, Duchy of Nassau (Germany) a distance of 770 km. This record was not broken until…
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George Cayley and the Science of Aeronautics

George Cayley and the Science of Aeronautics

On December 27, 1773, English engineer and important pioneer of aeronautics Sir George Cayley was born. Many consider him the first true scientific aerial investigator and the first person to understand the underlying principles and forces of flight. About 100 years ago, an Englishman, Sir George Cayley, carried the science of flight to a point which it had never reached before and which it scarcely reached again during the last century. – Wilbur Wright, 1909…
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The Dream of the Largest Aircraft ever built – H-4 Hercules

The Dream of the Largest Aircraft ever built – H-4 Hercules

On November 2, 1947, business magnate, investor, aviator, aerospace engineer, film maker and philanthropist Howard Hughes performs the maiden (and only) flight of the Spruce Goose or H-4 Hercules; the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built. Wait, this is not true anymore. In terms of wingspan, it was the largest aircraft ever flown until it was replaced by the Scaled Composites Stratolaunch on April 13, 2019. Since the only flight of the H-4 took place…
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André-Jacques Garnerin and the First Parachutes

André-Jacques Garnerin and the First Parachutes

On October 22, 1797, French balloonist and inventor André Garnerin, made the first safe descent with a silk parachute from a ballon at Parc Monceau, Paris. Bold Garnerin went up  Which increased his Repute  And came safe to earth  In his Grand Parachute. André Garnerin was a student of Jaques Charles. Charles was a well known ballooning pioneer and launched along with the Robert brothers the very first unmanned hydrogen filled balloon…
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