aviation

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…
Aviation Pioneer Sir Geoffrey De Havilland

Aviation Pioneer Sir Geoffrey De Havilland

On July 27, 1882, British aviation pioneer and aircraft engineer. Sir Geoffrey De Havilland was born. In 1909, he constructed his first machine and through trial and error and taught himself to fly. His Mosquito has been considered the most versatile warplane ever built. In 1943, he was one of the first to make jet-propelled aircraft, producing the Vampire jet fighter. De Havilland led the world in entering the era…
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. Robert Cocking as a watercolor artist who had also developed an…
Alberto Santos-Dumont – the Brazilian Father of Aviation

Alberto Santos-Dumont – the Brazilian Father of Aviation

On July 20, 1873, Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont was born. Santos-Dumont designed, built, and flew hot air balloons and early dirigibles, his rising fame in this field culminating in his winning of the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize on 19 October 1901 on a flight that rounded the Eiffel Tower. Santos-Dumont then constructed a heavier-than-air aircraft, the 14-bis, in which on 23 October 1906, he made the first powered…
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