aviation

French Aviation Pioneer Robert Esnault-Pelterie

French Aviation Pioneer Robert Esnault-Pelterie

On November 8, 1881, French aviation pioneer Robert Albert Charles Esnault-Pelterie was born. Esnault-Pelterie improved the design of the Wright brothers 1902 glider and invented the aileron, a movable airfoil at the edge of the wing. In 1907, he built one of the first monoplanes, and proposed the idea of the ballistic missile for military bombardment. Robert Esnault-Pelterie was born on November 8, 1881 in Paris as the son of a comfortably well-off…
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Walter Dornberger and the Spaceplane

Walter Dornberger and the Spaceplane

On September 6, 1895, German Mechanical Engineer and Army artillery officer Walter Dornberger was born. Dornberger is known as a leader of Nazi Germany‘s V-2 rocket program and other projects at the Peenemünde Army Research Center. After World War II Dornberger played a major role on the creation of the X-15 aircraft and was a key consultant for the X-20 Dyna-Soar project. He also had a role on the creation of ideas…
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The Transatlantic Flight of the Double Eagle II

The Transatlantic Flight of the Double Eagle II

On August 17, 1978, Double Eagle II became the first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it landed in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours 6 minutes after leaving Presque Isle, Maine. The flight, the fourteenth known attempt, was the culmination of more than a century of previous attempts to cross the Atlantic Ocean by balloon. In 1859, John Wise, US-American pioneer in the field of ballooning, who made over 400 flights…
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New Zealand’s Aviation Pioneer Richard Pearse

New Zealand’s Aviation Pioneer Richard Pearse

On July 29, 1953, New Zealand farmer, inventor and aviation pioneer Richard William Pearse passed away. It is claimed Pearse flew and landed a powered heavier-than-air machine on 31 March 1903, some nine months before the Wright brothers flew their aircraft.[2] The documentary evidence to support such a claim remains open to interpretation, and Pearse did not develop his aircraft to the same degree as the Wright brothers, who achieved sustained controlled…
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Romanian Flight Pioneer Trajan Vuia and his Flying Machines

Romanian Flight Pioneer Trajan Vuia and his Flying Machines

On March 18, 1906, the flying machine of Romanian inventor Traian Vuia lifted briefly to a powered hop of 11 metres. Though unsuccessful in sustained flight, Vuia‘s invention influenced Louis Blériot in designing monoplanes. In difference to the flying machine of the Wright brothers that made first motor powered flight in December 1903 [2], Vuia‘s machine had the capability to take off from a flat surface, without assistance such as an incline,…
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Lawrence Hargrave and the Box Kite

Lawrence Hargrave and the Box Kite

On January 29, 1850, Australian engineer, explorer, astronomer, inventor and aeronautical pioneer Lawrence Hargrave was born. Hargrave “flew” on 12 Nov 1894, by attaching himself to a huge kite construction connected to the ground by piano wire. Due to their abilities to carry heavy payloads, steady flight, and capacity for high altitude flight, these kites have had many industrial and military uses. Early Years Hargrave was born in Greenwich, England, the second son…
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Reaching the edge of outer space – the X-15 Rocket Plane

Reaching the edge of outer space – the X-15 Rocket Plane

On October 3, 1967, the X-15 rocket plane achieved a world record speed of Mach 6.7, which is 7,274 km/h (4,520 mph or over a mile per second) with U.S. Air Force pilot Pete Knight. As by today, this record still holds for the highest speed ever reached by a manned, powered aircraft. Among the notable pilots of the X-15 was also Neil Armstrong, later a NASA astronaut and first man to set…
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Neil Armstrong – the First Man of the Moon

Neil Armstrong – the First Man of the Moon

On August 5, 1930, American astronaut Neil Alden Armstrong was born, the first person to walk on the Moon. He was also an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor. Armstrong was mission commander of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, in July 1969. Armstrong’s Youth and Education Neil Armstrong was born in Auglaize County, near Wapakoneta, Ohio to Stephen Koenig Armstrong, an an auditor for the Ohio state government and…
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Richard E. Byrd, Jr. – Aviator and Polar Explorer

Richard E. Byrd, Jr. – Aviator and Polar Explorer

On March 11, 1957, US-American explorer and aviator Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr. passed away. He claimed to be the first man to fly over both of the Earth’s poles. Richard Evelyn Byrd was born in 1888 and entered the United States Navy Academy at the age of 20. It is assumed that his passion for aviation evolved during World War I when he learned how to fly. Soon, Byrd became a flight instructor for the…
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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 to be…
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