aviation

Umberto Nobile and his Airships

Umberto Nobile and his Airships

On January 21, 1885, Italian aeronautical engineer and Arctic explorer Umberto Nobile was born. He was a developer and promoter of semi-rigid airships during the Golden Age of Aviation. Nobile is primarily remembered for designing and piloting the airship Norge, which may have been the first aircraft to reach the North Pole. Early Years Born in Lauro, southern Italy, the son of Vincenzo Nicolò Francesco Nobile delle Piane, descendant of a cadet…
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Jean-Pierre Blanchard and the Balloonomania

Jean-Pierre Blanchard and the Balloonomania

On January 7, 1785, French inventor, aviation pioneer and balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard crossed the English channel in a balloon flying from Dover Castle to Guînes for the first time. After the first balloon flights of the Montgolfier brothers a veritable “baloonomania” evolved with all manner of objects decorated with images of balloons or styled au ballon, from ceramics to fans and hats. Balloonomania Just two years before, the two brothers and business partners, Joseph-Michel…
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The Wright Brothers Invented the Aviation Age

The Wright Brothers Invented the Aviation Age

On December 17, 1903, the brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright wrote history with the first flight of their Flyer One, the very first successful powered aircraft in the sands south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, U.S. “Isn’t it astonishing that all these secrets have been preserved for so many years just so we could discover them!” – Orville Wright Prior Attempts Although the Brothers Montgolfier had ascended in their first hot air balloon…
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More than just hot air – the Montgolfier-Balloons

More than just hot air – the Montgolfier-Balloons

The two brothers and business partners, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier changed history on June 4, 1783, when they presented their hot air balloon for the first time to the public of Annonay, France. The Montgolfiers and the Invention of Aviation Joseph, Ètienne, and their 14 siblings were the children of paper manufacturer Pierre Montgolfier. After the death of the oldest brother Raymond in 1772, it was Ètienne’s turn to run the family…
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Aviatrix Wilhelmine Reichard

Aviatrix Wilhelmine Reichard

On April 16, 1811, Wilhelmine Reichard launched to her first solo flight in a gas balloon, thus becoming Germany`s very first female balloonist. You might remember that in 1783 the brothers Montgolfier already launched the very first balloon, as we reported in our recent blog post ‘More than just Hot Air…‘. [3] Actually, the first passengers were a sheep, a rooster, and a duck that were given the honor to take part…
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The First Non-stop Westbound Flight over the North Atlantic

The First Non-stop Westbound Flight over the North Atlantic

On April 13, 1928, German pilots Hermann Köhl and Ehrenfried Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld together with their Irish co-pilot James Fitzmaurice succeeded in crossing the Atlantic from east to west in an airplane. 36 hours after their take off in Baldonnel, Ireland, they landed with their Junkers W33 aircraft called ‘Bremen‘ on the Canadian island Greenly Island. Transatlantic Flights The possibility of transatlantic flight by aircraft emerged after the First World War, which had…
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Amelia Earhart – Record-breaking Aviation Pioneer

Amelia Earhart – Record-breaking Aviation Pioneer

On January 11, 1935, American aviatrix Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California accross the Pacific ocean. “Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” — Amelia Earhart, 1937 [1]…
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Dora Dougherty Strother, Helicopter Test Pilot

Dora Dougherty Strother, Helicopter Test Pilot

On November 27, 1921, U.S. military pilot, human factors engineer, instructor and test pilot Dora Dougherty Strother was born. Dougherty Strother achieved two world records for women helicopter pilots, previously held by Russians. She is best known as a Woman Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and B-29 Superfortress demonstration pilot. Early Life Dora Jean Dougherty Strother was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and lived in Garden City Long Island, New York, and Winnetka, Illinois, before…
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Jack Northrop and the Flying Wing Design

Jack Northrop and the Flying Wing Design

On November 10, 1895, American aircraft industrialist and designer Jack Northrop was born. Northrop was an early advocate of all-metal construction and the flying wing design. He founded the Northrop Corporation in 1939. A Boy of Restless Ambition John “Jack” Knudsen Northrop was born in Newark, New Jersey, USA, and grew up in Santa Barbara, California. The course for his life was set in 1911 upon watching a visiting pilot fly a pusher…
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Floyd Bennett and his North Pole Flight

Floyd Bennett and his North Pole Flight

On October 25, 1890, American aviator Floyd Bennett was born. BennettBennett claimed, along with Richard E. Byrd, to have made the first flight to the North Pole in 1926.[1] However, their claim to have reached the pole is disputed. During the First World War Floyd Bennett joined the Navy. Initially working as a mechanic, he later completed flight school. In 1925 he made a reconnaissance flight with Richard E. Byrd over Greenland. The following…
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