aviation

The Controversial Flights of Gustave Whitehead

The Controversial Flights of Gustave Whitehead

On January 1, 1874, German-born aviation pioneer Gustav Albin Weißkopf was born. He emigrated from Germany to the United States and called himself Gustave Whitehead. He designed and built gliders, flying machines, and engines between 1897 and 1915. Controversy surrounds published accounts and Whitehead’s own claims that he flew a powered machine successfully several times in 1901 and 1902, predating the first flights by the Wright Brothers in 1903.[1] Gustav Weißkopf –…
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Anthony Fokker and his Famous Aircrafts

Anthony Fokker and his Famous Aircrafts

On December 23, 1939, Dutch aviation pioneer and aircraft manufacturer Anton Herman Gerard “Anthony” Fokker passed away. He is most famous for the fighter aircraft he produced in Germany during the First World War. Anthony Fokker and the Fokker de Spin Anthony Fokker was born in Kediri on Java. His father Herman Fokker, owner of a coffee plantation on Java, returned with the family to Haarlem in the Netherlands in 1894. It is believed that…
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The World’s Fastest Aircraft – Lockheed SR-71

The World’s Fastest Aircraft – Lockheed SR-71

On December 22, 1964, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft started for her maidenflight. Since 1976, it holds the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft. Predecessors The SR-71’s predecessor was the reconnaissance aircraft Lockheed U-2. But it was known to be very slow and was mostly used by CIA. Shortly after the introduction of the U-2, the CIA began to have serious doubts about its ability to fly over…
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Hans von Ohain and the Invention of the Jet Engine

Hans von Ohain and the Invention of the Jet Engine

On December 14, 1911, German engineer Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain was born, who designed the first operational jet engine. Von Ohain independently developed the first jet engine during the same period that Frank Whittle was doing the same in the UK, their designs an example of simultaneous invention.[5] Hans Ohain – Early Years Born in Dessau, Germany, Hans Ohain earned a Ph.D. in Physics and Aerodynamics from the University of Göttingen, by…
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Wiley Post and the Discovery of the Jet Stream

Wiley Post and the Discovery of the Jet Stream

On November 22, 1898, US-American aviator Wiley Hardeman Post was born. Post was the first pilot to fly solo around the world and is also known for his work in high-altitude flying, where he helped to develop one of the first pressure suits and discovered the jet stream. “I cut the emergency switch just in time to keep ‘Winnie Mae’ from making an exhibition of herself by standing on her nose. That would…
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Alexander Lippisch and the Delta Wing Design

Alexander Lippisch and the Delta Wing Design

On November 2, 1894, German pioneer of aerodynamics and aviation Alexander M. Lippisch was born. He made important contributions to the understanding of flying wings, delta wings and the ground effect. His designs of tailless and delta-winged aircraft in the 1920s and 1930s were important in the development of high-speed jet and rocket airplanes. His most famous design is the Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket-powered interceptor. Alexander Lippisch – First Aircraft Designs Alexander…
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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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