aviation

Henri Giffard and the Giffard Dirigible

Henri Giffard and the Giffard Dirigible

On February 8, 1825, French engineer and aviation pioneer Baptiste Henri Jacques Giffard was born. He is best known for being the first who succeeded to build a steam powered and steerable aircraft, the Giffard dirigible. Henri Giffard was born in Paris. He is credited with the invention of the injector and the Giffard dirigible, an airship powered with a steam engine, and weighing over 180 kg. It is thought…
Charles Lindbergh and his Spirit of St. Louis

Charles Lindbergh and his Spirit of St. Louis

On February 4, 1902, American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist Charles Lindbergh was born. As a 25-year-old U.S. Air Mail pilot, Lindbergh emerged suddenly from virtual obscurity to instantaneous world fame as the result of his Orteig Prize-winning solo nonstop flight from New York to Paris, France in the single-seat, single-engine purpose-built Ryan monoplane Spirit of St. Louis. Charles Lindbergh was born in Detroit to a lawyer and a…
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…
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. It is believed that at the age of about 16, Anthony Fokker witnessed his first airplane flight and his enthusiasm for aviation was awakened. He enrolled in a school in Germany that offered a course in…
Hans von Ohain and the Jet Engine

Hans von Ohain and 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. Born in Dessau, Germany, Hans Ohain earned a Ph.D. in Physics and Aerodynamics from the University of Göttingen, by the time…
Wiley Post and the Jetstream

Wiley Post and the Jetstream

Wiley Hardeman Post (1898-1935) 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 helped develop one of the first pressure suits and discovered the jet stream. Wiley Post was born in Grand Saline, Texas, to cotton farmer parents William Francis and Mae Quinlan Post. His family…
Alexander Lippisch and the Delta Wing

Alexander Lippisch and the Delta Wing

Convair XF-92A Image: Nasa 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. In…
Hans Grade – German Aviation Pioneer

Hans Grade – German Aviation Pioneer

Hans Grade before takeoff, 1912 On October 30, 1909, German aviation pioneer Hans Grade won the 40.000 Reichsmark “Lanz-Preis der Lüfte”, flying a new monoplane design, the ‘Libelle’ (Dragon Fly), the first really airworthy motor plane of Germany. Most probably, you have never heard of Hans Grade, who is also scarcely known in his home country. Nevertheless, he is one of the early pioneers of aviation and today, we will tell…
Robert Goddard – the Man who ushered in the Space Age

Robert Goddard – the Man who ushered in the Space Age

Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945) On October 5, 1882, American professor, physicist, and inventor Robert Hutchins Goddard was born. He is credited with creating and building the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket, which he successfully launched on March 16, 1926. Goddard’s work as both theorist and engineer anticipated many of the developments that were to make spaceflight possible. He has been called the man who ushered in the Space Age. Moreover, I’m pretty…
Juan de la Cierva and the Autogiro

Juan de la Cierva and the Autogiro

Demonstration of Cierva C.6 autogiro at Farnborough, Oct. 1925 On September 21, 1895, Spanish civil engineer and aviation pioneer Juan de la Cierva y Codorníu was born. His most famous accomplishment was the invention in 1920 of the Autogiro, a single-rotor type of aircraft, a predecessor of today‘s helicopter. Juan de la Cierva was born in Murcia, Spain to a wealthy family. Although trained as a civil engineer, Cierva became…
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