aviation

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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Chuck Yeager – Breaking the Sound Barrier

Chuck Yeager – Breaking the Sound Barrier

On October 14, 1947, US American test pilot Charles “Chuck” Yeager was the first to officially break the sound barrier with a rocket powered test aircraft Bell X-1, reaching a supersonic speed peak of Mach 1.06. Education and Military Career Charles Yaeger was born in 1923 and grew up as a curious child, hunting, fishing and hiking. Even though his overall achievements at school were only average, he excelled in everything that…
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Around the World in 175 Days – The Circumnavigation of the Earth by Plane

Around the World in 175 Days – The Circumnavigation of the Earth by Plane

On September 28, 1924, the first successful circumnavigation of the earth by plane was achieved, when after the 175 days journey a team of aviators of the United States Army Air Service landed again in Seattle. Airmen Lowell H. Smith and Leslie P. Arnold, and Erik H. Nelson and John Harding Jr. made the trip in two single-engined open-cockpit Douglas World Cruisers (DWC) configured as floatplanes for most of the journey. Four more…
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Louis Blèriot’s famous Flight across the English Channel

Louis Blèriot’s famous Flight across the English Channel

On July 25, 1909, French aviation pioneer Louis Blériot successfully crossed the English Channel from Calais to Dover Castle in a heavier than air aircraft. Louis Bleriot – Military Service and Inventions Louis Blériot studied several years at the precious École Centrale Paris before entering the military service and spending further time in the 24th Artillery Regiment stationed in the Pyrenees. The talented young man then joined an electrical engineering company, but…
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Around the World in a Balloon with Steve Fossett

Around the World in a Balloon with Steve Fossett

On June 19, 2002, American businessman, and a record-setting aviator, sailor, and adventurer Steve Fossett launched the 10-story high balloon Spirit of Freedom from Northam, Western Australia, for a journey around the world. Steve Fossett Background In his youth, Fossett’s career as an adventurer began when he joined the boy scouts. He began climbing his first mountains and through the years he seeked higher mountains, bigger adventures and longer distances. As an…
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Albrecht Berblinger, the Tailor of Ulm and His Flying Machine

Albrecht Berblinger, the Tailor of Ulm and His Flying Machine

On May 31, 1811, Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger, also known as the Tailor of Ulm, failed to give the proof that his machine was able to fly and fell into the Danube river during the demonstration. He is famous for having constructed a working flying machine, presumably a hang glider. Forced to Become a Tailor Albrecht Berblinger was born as the seventh child of the servant Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger the Elder and his…
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Elly Beinhorn and the Loneliness of the Long Distance Flights

Elly Beinhorn and the Loneliness of the Long Distance Flights

On May 30, 1907, German aviatrix and stunt pilot Elly Beinhorn was born. In the 1930s she broke several long distance flight records including flying over three continents in a single day. When it comes to the history of aviation, there seem to be less gender issues compared to other technological disciplines, as our growing list of women aviation pioneers here at SciHi blog can proof (cf. below). We already reported on Amy…
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August von Parseval and his Dirigible Airships

August von Parseval and his Dirigible Airships

On May 26, 1906, German airship designer August von Parseval succeeded launching his new airship at Berlin Tegel military field. In contrast to his rival Zepellin, Parseval’s airships – also in honor of their inventor called Parsevals – were non-rigid or semi-rigid airships, with little or no stiffening structure inside the fabric envelope. Parseval Background Parseval was the first son of the Bavarian Councillor Joseph von Parseval (1825-1887) and his wife Marie Amélie, née…
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Aviatrix Amy Johnson and the Flight to Australia

Aviatrix Amy Johnson and the Flight to Australia

On May 24, 1930, pioneering English aviatrix Ami Johnson safely landed in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia after a 18.000km flight, becoming the first woman pilot to fly solo from England to Australia. Amy Johnson – Early Years Amy Johnson was an enthusiastic sportswoman who played hockey and cricket. At the age of 14 she lost several front teeth to a cricket ball. Since she came from a not incapable family – her father was a…
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