engineering

The Dream of the Largest Aircraft ever built – H-4 Hercules

The Dream of the Largest Aircraft ever built – H-4 Hercules

On November 2, 1947, business magnate, investor, aviator, aerospace engineer, film maker and philanthropist Howard Hughes performs the maiden (and only) flight of the Spruce Goose or H-4 Hercules; the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built. Wait, this is not true anymore. In terms of wingspan, it was the largest aircraft ever flown until it was replaced by the Scaled Composites Stratolaunch on April 13, 2019. Since the only flight of the H-4 took place…
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The Birth of the Internet

The Birth of the Internet

On October 29, 1969, the very first message between two distant computer nodes, from the Network Measurement Center at the UCLA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and SRI International (SRI) was sent. This is to be considered the birth of the ARPANET, which should become the Internet. Origins of the Internet What was the reason for the development of the Internet? Especially in the 1960s, when computers were absolutely not widespread…
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Chuck Yeager – Breaking the Sound Barrier

Chuck Yeager – Breaking the Sound Barrier

On October 14, 1947, US American test pilot Charles “Chuck” Yeager was the first to officially break the sound barrier with a rocket powered test aircraft Bell X-1, reaching a supersonic speed peak of Mach 1.06. Education and Military Career Charles Yaeger was born in 1923 and grew up as a curious child, hunting, fishing and hiking. Even though his overall achievements at school were only average, he excelled in everything that…
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John Vincent Atanasoff and the first Electronic Digital Computer

John Vincent Atanasoff and the first Electronic Digital Computer

On October 4, 1903, American physicist and inventor John Vincent Atanasoff was born. He is best known for being considered as one of the inventors of the electronic digital computer. Even computer scientists most probably haven’t heard anything of this computer pioneer. Of course you will have heard about Alan Turing [5] or John von Neumann,[6] who are traditionally referenced as being the fathers of modern computers. Maybe, in case you are German, then you might…
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Hans Lippershey and the Telescope

Hans Lippershey and the Telescope

On October 2, 1608,  German-Dutch lensmaker Hans Lippershey applied to the States-General of the Netherlands for a patent for his instrument “for seeing things far away as if they were nearby”. Telescope History Even though scientists of the middle ages never heard of telescopes and most of them did not know specific laws of optics, they started laying the foundations for telescopes as we know them today. Before the invention of the telescope…
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Tōkaidō Shinkansen – the World’s First High Speed Train

Tōkaidō Shinkansen – the World’s First High Speed Train

On October 1, 1964, the world‘s first high speed train, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen started operation between Tokyo and Osaka. With more than 400,000 passengers per working day, it is considered to be the world’s busiest high-speed line. The Origin of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen Even though construction work started in 1959, the plans for the high speed train were made in the 1940s. It was planned to achieve a maximum speed of 150 km/h…
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Ferdinand Porsche – Innovation as a Principle

Ferdinand Porsche – Innovation as a Principle

On September 3, 1875, Austrian-German automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche was born. He is best known for creating the first hybrid vehicle (gasoline-electric), the Volkswagen Beetle, as well as the first of many Porsche automobiles. Porsche designed the 1923 Benz Tropfenwagen, which was the first race car with mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. “If one does not fail at times, then one has not challenged himself.” (Ferdinand Porsche) Ferdinand Porsche Background Today, Porsche is…
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Whitcomb L. Judson and the Invention that holds our life ‘together’

Whitcomb L. Judson and the Invention that holds our life ‘together’

On August 29, 1893, American machine salesman, mechanical engineer and inventor Whitcomb L. Judson receives the patent for a “Clasp Locker”, today better known as the zipper, the mechanical little wonder that has kept so much in our lives ‘together.’ But first, the new invention showed only little commercial success. It took almost 80 years that the magazine and fashion industry made the novel zipper the popular item it is today. Whitcomb…
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The Hyperbolic World of Vladimir Shukhov

The Hyperbolic World of Vladimir Shukhov

On August 28, 1853, Russian engineer-polymath, scientist and architect Vladimir Grigoryevich Shukhov was born. He is renowned for his pioneering works on new methods of analysis for structural engineering that led to breakthroughs in industrial design. He was one of the most outstanding designers and constructors of the 19th and 20th century. Moreover, he is considered as one of Russia‘s most important engineers. Vladimir Shukhov Background and Early Career Shukhov, son of…
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Making Photography Really Operational – Louis Daguerre

Making Photography Really Operational – Louis Daguerre

On August 19, 1839, French artist and physicist Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, after announcing his invention to the French Academy of Sciences, went public with his newly developed photographic process called Daguerrotype, the wold‘s first practicable photographic process. The Invention of Photography Actually, Louis Daguerre did not invent photography, but, in 1829, he partnered with Nicéphore Niépce,[4] an inventor who had produced the world’s first heliograph in 1822 and the first permanent…
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