aviation

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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Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin and his Rigid Dirigible Airships

Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin and his Rigid Dirigible Airships

On July 8, 1838, German aviation pioneer Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin was born. After retiring from his military carreer, he built the first rigid dirigible airships, named Zeppelin, and founded the Zeppelin airship company. Ferdinand von Zeppelin – Early Years Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin was born on the Dominican Island in Constance in what is now the Inselhotel. He was the son of Count Friedrich Jerôme Wilhelm Karl von Zeppelin (1807-1886), the former…
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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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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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