aviation

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 moved to…
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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 1909, Lippisch…
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Hans Grade – The forgotten German Aviation Pioneer

Hans Grade – The forgotten German Aviation Pioneer

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 his story. Early Life and first Aviation…
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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 sure that…
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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 interested in…
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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. 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 care of his…
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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 was born into a farmer’s family in Michigan and moved to San Francisco in order to become an…
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George Cayley and the Science of Aeronautics

George Cayley and the Science of Aeronautics

George Cayley (1773 – 1857) On December 27, 1773, English engineer and important pioneer of aeronautics Sir George Cayley was born. Many consider him the first true scientific aerial investigator and the first person to understand the underlying principles and forces of flight. George Cayley was the son of the 5th baronet and inherited several estates himself. He started several engineering projects during his early years, like self-righting lifeboats or caterpillar tractors which he…
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The World’s Fastest Aircraft – Lockheed SR-71

The World’s Fastest Aircraft – Lockheed SR-71

The SR-71B Blackbird, flown by the Dryden Flight Research Center as NASA 831 slices across the snow-covered southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California On December 22, 1964, the Lockheed SR-71 Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft started for her maidenflight. Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft. The SR-71’s predecessor was the reconnaissance aircraft U-2. But it was known to be very slow and was mostly…
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