The evolution of airway lights and electronic navigation aids

The History of Airway Lighting and Radar Navigating Aids There were no navigational aids, during the beginning days of flying, to help the pilots navigate. The pilots flew watching their window of the cockpit or visual cues with map in hand. These visual cues also called as maps were acceptable for the day flights, but airmail would operate at all hours. In July 1923, windsocks enlightened place, and beacons rotating on the tower had taken root. During 1923, the Postal Service has been working to finish a transcontinental air tag on towers that are spaced between 15 and 25 miles from each other, bright enough to be noticed from 40 miles away in the clear weather. The postal service began regular operations by the first week of July, 1924, through parts of the route. The Departments of Aeronautics and Commerce had taken the responsibility to build airways with lights in 1926. By June, 1927, approximately 4,121 miles of runways had lights. In 1933, 18000 miles (28968 kilometers) of runway and 1500 beacons had been placed. In October of1928, the Department of Aeronautics installed a new group of radio stations in order to accompany the seventeen they had acquired from Postal Services. There were sixty eight different stations, which would enable pilots get navigation application by radio contact. The Department of Standards had also developed radio navigation beacons. During 1929, the Department of Aeronautics standard four during which pilots range radio would listen to the audio signals in order to determine whether they are on track. The Directorate of Aeronautical accelerated the ability to install four ranges of radio-race; this technology had become the standard for public aviation through the Second World War. In May of 1941, the CAA (Civil Aeronautics Administrations) opened the first radio-frequency ultra-high range for the air navigation system planned, possibly extending the use of this type of equipment at thirty five thousand miles of federal airspace. In 1944, during the war with the progress of radios, the CAA has tested static-free and very-high - frequency (VHF) omni-directional radio ranges (VOR), which has allowed the pilots that navigate watching the dial on the dashboard rather than listening to radio signals. By mid-1952, 45000 miles (72420 kilometers) of airways and VHF VOR, called Victor airway, supplements the 70000 miles (112654 km) of the Federal Act has remained at low frequency airway. The CAA has begun to close the low frequency and medium radio frequencies over four bands. In October of 1969, the 16 waterways surfaces have been developed. Before, pilots flew straight toward or retreated from the radio that was on the ground. This aid has sent a journey along the lines called radial invisible. In 1973, almost one hundred fifty six high-altitude navigation zone legs were available. In October of 1994, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has asked the government and industrial studies of the concept of Free Flight, which may enable pilots, would pick the most effective routes needing to fly routes between aids to navigation. The FAA and the industries partners had begun to limit the applications of some functions associated with this concept. More navigation technologies were partial for use or development, to include Global Positioning Systems at the same time to help locate and control aircraft satellite, for prospective Air Navigation Systems for flights ocean and distant, and communications, navigational and surveillance systems to help air traffic control. Word Count 565

The history of the airplane

The History of the Airplane (The Wright Brothers - First Flight) The Wright Brothers’ first aircraft blueprint was born in 1899. This followed a formal request for flight experiment data submitted to the Smithsonian Institution. This blueprint was based on the Wright Brothers’ theory of wing warping, where the adjustment of the wingtips could manipulate the rolling motion and balance of an aircraft. This resulted from the Wright Brothers’ careful study of the flight of birds, where they could achieve their flight patterns through constant warping of their wings. The end result was a biplane glider slight in build, and tested while flying it like a kite. Wilbur and Orville Wright’s ideas continued to evolve over the next three years. These came in the form of different gliders, both manned and unmanned. They also constantly studied different flight researchers such as Cayley, Langley and Otto Lilienthal. Extensive discussions were conducted with Octave Chanute, as the Wright Brothers continued to search for the solution to the critical issue of flight control. Choosing Kitty Hawk, North Carolina as their test site for a physically comparative biplane glider that weighed 50 pounds, the Wright Brothers achieved their first breakthrough result from a piloted flight of any kind in 1900. The glider was the first piloted glider in history and featured a 17-foot wingspan with the brothers’ trademark wing-warping controls. Thereafter, they proceeded to work on the development of an even larger glider, but with more sophisticated controls and landing gear. The result was a 100 pound glider with a 22-foot wingspan and landing skids, in 1901. Unfortunately, in flight tests conducted at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, the glider encountered numerous problems such as pitch control issues, flights that spun out of control and weak lifting capability. Demoralized, but not disheartened, by the test results, the Wright Brothers continued to analyze their work. The root of the problem was traced to inaccurate design calculations. Using a wind tunnel to experiment with various wing designs, a brand new glider was created which had a strong foundation built on accurate workings of airfoil mechanisms. It included a tail for flight stabilization and measured 32 feet in its wingspan. Another breakthrough followed the testing of this glider in 1902. The tests gave the brothers’ fresh insights on how an adjustable tail could add turning ability and balance to a flying object. These were confirmed through further wind tunnel experiments, which eventually morphed into the Wright Brothers’ first ever aircraft that was motor-powered, aptly named - the Flyer. Using a movable track for the Flyer to build airspeed, Orville Wright made the first ever piloted flight in history in a powered aircraft, on December 17, 1903. This flight lasted all of 12 seconds, and came on only its second attempt. The Flyer II quickly followed into the record books on November 9, 1904, when Wilbur Wright flew it for more than five minutes. Tragedy struck in 1908 as the first recorded flight fatality resulted in the death of a passenger – Signal Corps Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge. The plane was manned by Orville Wright who miraculously survived the crash on September 17. This, however, did not discourage the U. S. Government from their first purchase of a Wright Brothers biplane on July 30, 1909. Attaining speeds greater than 40 mph, the brothers received a $5,000 bonus on top of the $25,000 sale. This preceded the first machine gun propped airplane that took off from a College Park, Maryland airport in 1912. And the brothers’ association with the government continued, when on July 18, 1914, the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps was created and filled with airplanes bearing the Wright Brothers’ inventive hands and main rival, Glenn Curtiss. Glenn Curtiss was the unfortunate loser in a heated patent suit brought against him by the Wright Brothers in the same year. His creations were borne from his idea of ailerons, which meant “little wing” in French. While decidedly different compared to the Wright Brothers’ wing-warping controls, the U. S. Court ruled that they violated the Wright Brothers’ ownership over lateral controls in flight. Over the next four years from 1909, the Wright Brothers’ creations continued to make their mark. The plane that acquired its name from a grape soda, Vin Fiz became the first aircraft to complete a fight across the United States over 84 days, but spent more time on the ground due to numerous crash landings. This 1911 incident perhaps encapsulated in a nutshell, the fascinating brilliance and sometimes oddity, of the Wright Brothers’ in the history of the airplane. PPPPP Word Count 760

Helicopters at war

Helicopters at War From World War II, helicopters were largely insignificant in usage. While they were often used for supply and rescue missions in the China-Burma-India Theater, their limited design restricted their usage for greater depth. This continued in the Korean War, as helicopters were kept away from combat missions. Greater deployment for troop ferrying was disallowed by law, but on November 4, 1952, via an agreement signed by the Army and Air Force, the helicopter began its evolution in increasing roles played in combat zones. Significantly, before the Korean War ended, the 6th Transportation Company with Sikorski H-19s was deployed via helicopter to Korea. The Vietnam War saw the United States greatly increase the usage of air mobility in their war strategies. Troops from the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN) were sent to fight Viet Cong guerillas in 1962 using helicopters. This enjoyed initial success, before the guerillas found ways to combat this during the crucial AP BAC stand. They were taught how to shoot down the H-21 and Huey helicopters, and the air threat was greatly reduced as a result. In spite of this, the U. S. Army broadened their scope of ground attacks via airborne vessels (in the shape of helicopters). With their increasing involvement in the Vietnam War by the mid-1960’s, the Army’s helicopters now not only ferried huge troop forces, but also larger fleets combined with bomb and rocket carpeting of opposing armies by fixed-wing airplanes. Using the helicopter, the U. S. Army could engineer rapid deployment and withdrawal of troops into, and from, enemy territory, which was a far cry from slow engagement over ground forces. It could also launch surprise attacks on enemies with less reaction time. The Ch-47 Chinook and UH-1 Huey were widely used for such purposes with great success. Armed helicopters evolved as well, providing cover and support for ground troops against enemy troops. Helicopter gunships such as the AH-1 Cobra featured wide-ranging artillery including grenade launchers and guided missiles. Before long, the helicopter as a weapon of war was as much a fixture as the tank, armored personnel carrier and jeep. The Vietnam War had its greatest representative weapon in the Huey. The number of air casualties was massive during the Vietnam War. There were a total of 4,869 American helicopters lost in the war zone over the course of 1962 to 1973. Curiously, forty-seven percent of the losses came from operational mishaps, which resulted from poorly maintained war-time helicopters. The thick Vietnam jungle landscape also proved an obstacle to damaged helicopters, leading to multiple crashes. By achieving reasonable success in the usage of helicopters in war conflict, other countries like Great Britain and the ex Soviet Union copied the U. S.’s lead. However, most countries limited it to troop deployment over combat zones against rebel groups, primarily using U. S. helicopters. With the end of the Vietnam War, the U. S. Army continued to refine its combat aviation capabilities as they became less reliant on the U. S. Air Force. The looming threat in Europe of a Soviet ground offensive became their focus, and once again, the helicopter was the primary weapon. The HueyCobra with heavy artillery was used against deep enemy targets. Utilizing greater American technology that facilitated attacks under night cover, such as “Nap of the Earth” (NOE) flying where helicopters could fly hidden amidst trees and hills and infrared and night imaging gadgets, the Army obtained an advantage over the larger numerical Soviet ground forces and bombarded them with missiles. Helicopters equipped with sophisticated laser-guided missiles to cripple tanks became a fixture in the 1980s. The benefits of these strategic developments were shown in all their glories in the Persian Gulf War. Iraqi ground troops and artillery were crushed through tactical maneuvers that hinged on the mobility provided by U. S. attack helicopters. These results encouraged other countries to do the same. Helicopters have not contributed much beyond infantry warfare, due to comparative disadvantages in speed, protection and weight management capability to conventional fixed-wing aircrafts. From its infancy, helicopters with greatly developed navigation capabilities have been a mainstay in Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions. Notable results were achieved during the East European wars such as the Bosnia crisis and the Yugoslavia bombing in 1999, while Vietnam offered more than its share of highlight reels. The helicopter has also proved to be the perfect tool in submarine hunting and anti-shipping missions, over-the-horizon targeting and deep sea mine clearing. They provide a more mobile solution compared to ships and cannot be targeted by enemy submarines. Helicopters can also escape detection by ships’ sensors as they are sited beyond the horizon, providing ally ships with target data. They are also safe alternatives to deep sea mine clearing by keeping a distance above water. Despite increasing military usage, the helicopter still lacks in speed, range and lifting capabilities. However, with continued research and development by aircraft manufacturers worldwide to meld its attributes with the finer points of conventional aircraft, the helicopter could see an even wider future role and greater impact in the field. Word Count 842

Air power developments between the wars

Strategic Air power Development in between World War 1 & 2 When the truce to resolve World War 1 was signed, nations prepared for the next war. Fighter planes were re-built to become deadlier. It was made to fly higher, and farther more agile in combat. The planes were equipped with gun turrets, bombsights, air-cooled engines, cantilevered wings, retractable landing gear, and all new metal construction. When World War II was declared, the planes were ready. And with the US becoming a part of the war, every “first of its kind” airplane was already used for combat. The economic depression that the world experienced in the 1920s made the military spending during peacetime look excessive. World War I drove aviation and pilots for improvement in flying skills and technology both for civil and military. This gave the military room to develop technology for war without being noticed. The spitfire fighter was developed from a civilian racing plane, seeing its potential for war. In 1938 for instance a Seversky pursuit plane manned by a civilian won the Bendix Race. The military saw its abilities and immediately ordered same type of planes eventually developed into Republic P-47 Thunderbolt the most preferred plane for war. Acquiring technology from civilian gave the military operational and logistical experience. Middle of 1920s, Germans started rearmament. Lufthansa, their leading airline, was nationalized to train pilots and set the aviation industry in motion. Transformation of Luftwaffe was the highest priority since the Nazi party came to power in 1930. All the nations started assembling their own air fleets the arms race has begun. Everyone learned from the first war the value of superior air power. This means better airplanes, top of the line, can be repaired easily and can be mass-produced. The focus was on development of fighters and bombers. In the middle of the 1930s came all-metal monoplanes. British had two, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire. Machineguns installed in the wings enable the Hurricane constant firing. It had a Rolls Royce Merlin engine. Eight machineguns were installed on the Spitfire, It can fly as fast as 355 mph, and good handle at high altitudes. The deadly Messerschmitt Me.109 can fly at speeds up to 342 mph. It can do fierce dives and quick climbs. This is Germany’s response to the Spitfire. It has the smallest possible airframe equipped with a Mercedes-Benz liquid–cooled engine. Bombers were built with capacity for long distance travel and to carry heavy bomb loads. The technology of revolving gun turrets eliminated the need for having several guns because it can cover for the range of several. These bombers are equipped with multiple engines. The Japanese has long-range bomber escort called Mitsubishi A6M Reisen Zero. It had great maneuverability at fast speeds and high ceiling. There is no protective armor for pilots because of the heavy weight. The Boeing B-17 was developed in 1935. It has four engines; it has a capacity of 17,600 pounds of bombs, and 12 guns. The Boeing B-17 was planned to be the strategic bomber during the Second World War. Hugh Trenchard of the British Royal Air Force built several bombers such as the Avro Lancaster, the Wellington, the Stirling, and the Halifax. The fighter plane for the Italians was the S. M.79 a trimotor. By the time we had reached the year 1939, Military aviation took a big leap in technology with use of faster metal monoplanes. Germany and England is developing the jet engine. Word Count 577

1905 the first practical airplane

1905 – The First Practical Airplane The first practical airplane took shape in May 1905, when the Wright Brothers started building the new Flyer III. It was based on the Flyer II’s components, but enhanced to eradicate its problems. The airplane’s pitch and yaw control were improved, featuring a bigger elevator and rudder. Semi-circular “blinkers” were inserted between elevator surfaces to prevent the Flyer III from sideway shifts whilst turning. Small tabs were included on the trailing propeller blade edges to maintain thrust. Most crucially, the rudder could be completely controlled by the pilot, separately from the elevator. The first primitive Flyer III was flown on June 23, 1905 by Orville Wright. Over eight flight attempts, with all experiencing damages to the aircraft, little success was achieved. Their best result lasted all but 20 flight seconds. Testing of the Flyer III took a near-tragic turn on July 14, when Orville crashed it at speeds exceeding 30 miles per hour. Thankfully, Orville survived, but it left the brothers with a serious re-look at their creation. To improve safety and control, the plane’s elevator was enlarged to 83 square feet and shifted away from the wing’s leading edge by almost 12 feet. The result was a series of successful, and safe, flight attempts around Huffman Prairie, beginning from late August. More notable results came from Wilbur’s 18 minute flight on September 26 and another flight of 26 minutes on October 3, manned by Orville. This was immediately improved upon on October 4, when Orville flew for 33 minutes. The Wright Brothers had in the Flyer III, a potential practical airplane. This news spread like wildfire. Wilbur then made history with the longest flight ever recorded up till then on October 5 when, in front of a small crowd and the presence of Torrence Huffman and Dave Beard, he remained airborne in the Flyer III for 39.5 minutes over 30 circuits and a distance of 24 miles. The Flyer III was thus the first practical airplane ever invented. It was stable, had great control, smooth circling and could achieve flights of more than 24 miles. The Wright Brothers had seen their efforts come to fruition and great satisfaction. Despite much attention from the Dayton media, due to poor weather, the Wright Brothers failed to demonstrate the aircraft to their greatest supporter, Octave Chanute, or any larger audience. This was to prove a critical cause for their failed attempts at selling their invention to the Europeans in 1905. When the U. S. Secretary of War was disinterested in purchasing the Flyer III, the Wright Brothers resolved to conceal their invention from the public as much as possible to protect their patent bids and commercial possibilities. Exposure to media and publications were not entertained to safeguard the Flyer III’s configuration. All test flights were scraped before a patent and commercial deals were obtained. The Flyer III was dismantled and stashed away on November 5, 1905. It did not reemerge until 1908. Throughout 1905, the brothers continued to peddle their creation to Europe. In continued attempts to protect their patent bid, they offered deals where buyers were to purchase the aircraft without any demonstrations. Refunds were guaranteed if results were not satisfactory. Despite some interest, the War Office in Great Britain and the French turned them down. The French were particularly indignant in their reaction. Without any corroborated proof of the Flyer III’s flight results in the American press and regardless of positive feedback from their own Dayton field reports, the French ridiculed the Wright Brothers asking price of $200,000. This came amidst a backdrop of a surge in growth and advancement of the aviation industry in France. Ernest Archdeacon became the first person to launch and land his glider at an Issy-les-Moulineaux aerodrome in March 1905, the precursor to the airfield and airport. The classic Voisin configuration which featured stability with an absence of lateral control, followed in June, when the float-gliders – a Voisin-Archdeacon model and Voisin-BI, riot design - featured Lawrence Hargrave’s box-kite configuration. Word Count 668

The history of the hot

The Hot - Air Balloon History Before the Wright brothers, there were the Montgolfier brothers and they had the idea of flight a hundred years earlier. And before you had the airplane, the flight tool of choice was the hot air balloon, invented by the Parisian siblings in the 1700’s. The Montgolfier brothers, Joseph and Йtienne, had opposing personalities. One lived on ideals and invention, while Йtienne represented the practical and business-minded. Though their father left the family business in the hands of their elder brother Raymond, the latter passed away not before long and Йtienne took over with much success, based on relentless technology implementation and public acclaim and recognition. The hot air balloon was said to be Joseph’s idea, dreamt up while observing drying laundry over fire. The hot air pockets that collected under the wet cloth led him to wonder if troops carried by aircrafts founded on such an observation, could bring down the fortress of Gibraltar. Joseph’s mental tinkering did not end there, as he proceeded to build his first balloon based on a lightweight wooden box covered with taffeta. When he simulated hot air from an underlying piece of burning paper, the device rose into the ceiling. This excited Joseph so much that he prompted Йtienne to come over with more taffeta and rope. What resulted next was a squarish three metre balloon that saw incredibly positive results from a sophomore experiment. The balloon sped into the air on its debut test flight on December 1782 and crashed in a field two kilometres away. This eventually led to numerous public demonstrations of their invention, including one for French dignitaries in June 1783, which saw the balloon soaring to 2,000 metres. This revelation proceeded to sweep across France. Next on the agenda were attempts to create the first manned hot air balloon. The lack of scientific knowledge of the atmosphere raised questions of its suitability for human life in its upper reaches. Criminals were suggested as test subjects, but the brothers settled on using animals. The first flight with a live being was tested in September 1783, when the Montgolfier brothers floated a basket with a sheep, duck and rooster to over 450 metres and across 3 kilometres, before seeing it crash due to a lack of sufficient compensation for the additional weight. Having established the rarefied atmosphere as relatively safe for human consumption, the Montgolfier brothers embarked on designs for a human manned hot air balloon. Original designs featured ground tethered balloons, but November saw the first untethered hot air balloon flight, with a doctor and army officer as its voluntary passengers. The two men manned the balloon for 25 minutes at heights of 100 metres and traveled 9 kilometres before ending the flight due to the balloon cloth starting to burn. The flight ended since they had to prevent the cloth from burning and landed in a field. The Montgolfier brothers did face competition from inventors who attempted to use the newly discovered element of hydrogen to power balloons. It was a discovery that eventually pushed hot air balloons to the backbench as a form of flight technology. Despite this, hot air balloons continue to exist in modern times. Its original design first met with an update by Ed Yost in 1960, when he lined the balloon with plastic and used kerosene burners. Yost even made several successful jaunts in his balloon such as that of over the English Channel. He failed in his bid to cross the Atlantic (although someone else eventually did with the same design), but Yost’s balloon continued to achieve many records for flight time and distance. The modern day hot air balloon now feature rip-stop nylon and propane burners, which has greatly improved its safety aspect. While a far cry from its humble beginnings of taffeta and raw fire, the hot air balloons continue to astound with its longevity in the face of its more illustrious technologically advanced flight cousins. Word Count 659

The history of business aircraft

The History of Business Aircraft When you realize that there are only 500 airfields in the U. S. offering scheduled passenger service, it is no wonder that personal and corporate flights have become an industry in itself. Whether it is the Learjet of a shipping magnate, media mogul with a partly owned Cessna Citation X or the tough talking politician in his Piper Navaho, business aircraft facilitates convenience and efficient travel to engage in and meet important business or personal appointments. Business aircrafts come in all models, from the single-engine Cessnas and Pipers to twin light planes and the Learjets. Post-war development has equipped planes with the necessary radio communication and navigational capabilities to make round-the-clock, all season business flying a reality. Business flying first came into being in the late 1920. Open-cockpit biplanes and Stinson, Fairchild and other enclosed cabin designs were employed, but it was the unique Beech planes that became early pacesetters on efficient private flying. The Beech Model 17 “Staggerwing” from 1932 was a picture of luxury and comfort with leather and mohair fitted cabins that could seat 5 passengers. Its cousin, the Model 18 Twin Beech from 1937, was created for the purpose of economy business flying and could seat up to 9 passengers. Its popularity was established with a production line spanning 32 years and over 7,000 units manufactured. The Grunman-built Gulfstream business aircraft line debuted in 1958 and was widely acknowledged as the “Rolls Royce” of business flying, no doubt due in part to leveraging on its twin Rolls Royce Dart turboprop engines. The $1-million price tag of the Gulfstream I did not deter buyers and steadily established itself in the business aviation market, while a increased performance delivery came with the creation of the Gulfstream II in 1964. And who could forget the Learjet – William P. Lear Sr.’s innovation from 1963 that is now synonymous with all things business flying, an icon of luxurious business travel. The Learjet 23 was the first mass-produced and individually built and financed small jet aircraft, and was delivered by the Chemical and Industrial Corporation of Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 13, 1964. March 1966 saw the introduction of the higher performance Learjet 24 which would be the first business aircraft to fly round the world, within 4 days. Record breaking sales were established with the production of the Learjet 35/36 – a modified Learjet 25 with stretched turbofans. The Learjet 36 saw a 1976 global goodwill trip piloted by world famous golfer Arnold Palmer. The Piper PA-31 Navaho entered the business aviation market in 1964, staking its claim on the twin-engine quarters. It came in three versions that catered for various needs in seating capacity and arrangements, outfitted with user-friendly cabin features including the ability to carry luggage in the engine nacelles. The same year saw the unveiling of Beech’s Model 90 King Air, another twin-engine aircraft that could ferry eight passengers in comfort. As evidenced by its eventual 90 percent share of the market within its class, the King Air quickly became a mainstay for corporate flight departments. Beech continued to innovate and produced the Beech Model 2000 Starship in 1983. The brainchild of Voyager creator Burt Rutan was a statement of innovative aircraft design with comparable speeds to small business jets, but the Starship flopped commercially. Too expensive at $5 million, only 53 Starships were produced. Meanwhile, the Gulfstream III, Learjet 55 and Learjet 60, introduced over the years from 1979 to 1990, established winglets which greatly reduced drag and thus saving fuel. This resulted in increasing intercontinental flying ranges of 4,174 miles with the former and continues to see improvements today. In between in 1985, the Gulfstream IV was released to the industry and immediately shook its foundations and grabbed it by the neck. Ferrying up to 19 passengers in luxurious interior fittings such as luscious sofas and oak furnishings, it was built with celebrities and business moguls in mind. The Gulfstream IV and IV-SP were the result of customized user requirements. Built at a cost of $24-million, it made possible cost-effective long distance flights of close to 7,223 miles, with lengthier fuselage and less moving parts on its wings. To add to its legend, Gulfstream chairman Allen Paulson sensationally broke and established countless flight records whilst flying across the world, such as clocking in 8.5 hours faster than the Boeing 747SP jumbo jet for a trip around the world in January 1988 that lasted under 37 hours. Beech continued to establishing itself as a source of cost-effective and reliable business aircrafts above the turboprop aircraft market via its Model 400/400A Beechjet, with the acquisition of the Mitsubishi Diamond production rights. Their competitor Cessna also made its mark with the Citation X, as it became recognized as a speedy production aircraft, clocking speeds of Mach 0.92. Prices of business aircrafts continue to escalate while striving to satisfy ever-changing market demands for comfort and speed. Compared to a Beech Staggerwing which cost only $15,000 in 1932, $30-million is the asking price of many a business jets today. However, there is no visible lack of demand despite prohibitive costs, as in any business – where there is demand, the sales will come. Word Count 863

Balloons and airships

19th Century Airships and Balloons In the 1800s, we saw advances in ballooning, subsequent to the flight of the Montgolfier in 1783. Thus, it was popular all over the world by mid century. Jean-Pierre Blanchard was famous for his balloon flights all over Europe and America even though he failed at innumerable attempts to create the ornithopter. In 1785, John-Pierre with John Jeffries, a physician crossed the English Channel. They also did the exhibition ascent in Philadelphia in 1793, no less than George Washington was there to witness the event. John Wise is the first balloonist in America and had the privilege of being trained by Jean-Pierre. John Wise went on to train many others in America. This spurred the interest of the whole of America in ballooning. Jean-Pierre died in an experimental parachute jump from his balloon in 1809. During the civil war, the four balloons were placed in strategic places to enable to observe below and communicate telegraphically with the rest of the balloons. The confederacy realized the potential of ballooning for reconnaissance; they tried to put up a program but never succeeded. To make the balloon an observation area is Thaddeus Lowe’s idea and it was used as a pivot in telegraph mail between the White House and the balloon. Balloons with propellers were developed after Jean-Pierre and John Jeffries crossing of the English Channel. The English Channel also became famous and found its mark in the history of aviation. The art of aerial photography high up in a balloon was credited to Felix Tournachon (Nadar) of France. A whole photographic laboratory was even brought on a huge balloon. Felix was more known during the siege in the year 1870, where he ballooned mail and passengers out of Paris. During the end of the 19th century, an attempt was made to balloon pass the North Pole. Attempt was made July 11, 1897 by Salomon August Andree and two others, launching from Spitzbergen. The trio never came back until an expedition in 1930 found their frozen bodies. It was realized that the balloon crashed on ice and that they froze while attempting to walk back to civilization. Propeller systems for balloons enabled a balloon to be controlled to where it has to go. Many engineers saw it fit to put propellers and started work right away. This gave birth to the dirigible. First successful flight was on September 24, 1852. Henri Giffard conceptualized the cigar shaped design. It is filled with hydrogen and possesses a steam engine. As expected, it runs at gentle speeds of 5 miles per hour. Thaddeus Lowe built the initial balloons that were used for observation during the Civil War at Virgina in Fair Oaks. The LZ4 was Germany’s pride but during an attempt to break an endurance record it got destroyed. During this Civil War, an army general from Germany known as Ferdinand von Zeppelin had noticed the extensive use of balloons. The Count von Zeppelin along with chief engineer Ludwig Durr, created a 420-feet airship, it is designed to carry multitudes of people. A number of victorious dirigible flights happened towards the end of the 1880s. This moved the Germans to thinking of the possibility of using the airship as a means of traveling. Experiments went on with two models, one with gasoline engine and the other covered with aluminum sheet. Unfortunately, both crashed while doing test flights in 1897. Word Count 568

History of aircraft circa 1930

History of Aircraft Circa 1930 One of the most important things in the history of mankind is the history of flight. It is responsible for the globalization of the world that we enjoy today. However, the history of commercial flight didn’t enjoy the success in 1920 s and 1930’s that it enjoys today especially 1930’s when commercial flights really started was a hectic time, full of confusion and failures. In the end of 1920’s and in the beginning of 1930’s commercial flights were very rare and almost non existent. The reason for that was the fact that the flights were not safe and they were extremely uncomfortable. Especially the planes would get very cold and because the planes flew at low altitudes, they would be privy to all sorts of weather patterns like snow, rain, hail, and cold winds. It would get very scary and very uncomfortable in a plane at that time. In addition, because the insulation technology that we enjoy today didn’t exist at the time, the sounds in the planes could get unbearable at times due to high creaking and groaning from the powerful vibrations that shook the plane when the engines were working. In addition, it was a very unsafe procedure to fly and many accidents or at the least malfunctions occurred at the time of take offs and landings. In short, it was the Dark Ages for commercial flights. Thus although there was a lot of expectations for a commercial flight; the technology and the budgets at the time just were not enough. As a response to this situation many governments like the British Government and the American Government quickly realized that they would need to subsidize the flight sector, if they needed some advancements. As a result, governments started to pay money to the flight sector for the performance of special tasks. These tasks included such flight like postal flights to deliver the mail, instead of sea courier, transportation of troops and equipment for military purposes, purchasing of aircrafts for governmental use and similar tasks to subsidize the flight sector. Very soon, the effects of the flight subsidies started to show effect as the flight sector was getting better and better toward the 1930’s. It even started to show small profits near the decade of the 1930’s. However, it will be safe to say that the real boom of the flight sector occurred in the Second World War. Although it was a dark time in the world’s history, with the technological advancements at the aeronautical race between the Germans and the Americans, big milestones were achieved in the history of flight. It can even be safely said that the flight history of the Second World War was responsible for even the Space Age with the advent of the V2 Rockets. However, even at the beginnings of World War II in 1938, flight technology was being used for aggressive means besides transport. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was in the stance of sharing all flight information with the world so that peace can be achieved and this technology can be used for peaceful purposes. However, the Germans and the Japanese were already using the technology to further their means for war and the peace efforts of NACA were fruitless. But still it can be said that with the combined military efforts along with the commercial efforts like the Transatlantic Flights; the history of flight was on its way to a successful boom. Word Count 578

History of aircraft landing aids

Evolution of Aircraft Landing Assistance Devices The most tedious tasks for a pilot to perform are to make a soft landing and to do it safely. Initially pilots used to land on open fields and used to maneuver the plane in a direction that gave them a better angle relative to the direction of the wind. Aides to the landing have been developed to help find the right course and landing to make sure of the landing. In the later 1920’s, airports began using lamps, when the landing grounds were marked by rotating so they can be found after sundown. In early 1930, airports installed the early forms of approach lights. Both projects have demonstrated the proper angles of descent, and if the pilots hit the targets. Their approach paths were drawn to the glide path or glide. Air Mail Service intermediary, landing grounds that were established near the route used electric rotating lights and beacons that have been placed on the outside of the field. Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) used the best features of both radio beacons and approach lights with a higher frequency of the transmissions. The tests of these systems began, and the Civil Aeronautics Administrations (CAA) has authorized the installation of this system in six locations. Nine CAA operating systems and 10 other sites were being constructed in 1945. 50 others were being built. The American Army has submitted an ILS with a higher frequencies to reduce the static and more right to set up courses, called Army Air Force System instrument approach Signal Set fifty-one. The Organization of International Civil Aviation (ICAO) adopted this standard for the army to all member countries in 1949. In the 1960's, the first of the ILS equipment for landing totally blind became available. The development radars during the Second World War, led to developing a new beam precision landing aids approach. In 1948, a distance measuring equipment (DME) is used to provide data on the plane distance from the ground. Installation of other radars continued with air-road type of radar surveillance and the airport surveillance radars, which were installed in a number of airports in the mid-1950s. These air traffic controllers contributed with their work. Microwave Landing System (MLS) were developed in the 1980's. These systems would allow pilots to choose a course best suited to their model of aircraft. Having different modes of landing can help reduce the noise around the airports and keep smaller aircraft away from larger aircraft. In the U. S. the FAA has stopped the engineering of MLS in 1994. The FAA has considered the use of technology that is based on global positioning systems (GPS) instead of the microwave system. GPS uses satellite for navigation between the airports; it is extremely accurate. Lighting still plays an important role in the landing. Approach modern lights can be directed to take into account all barriers near the airports that the pilots might need to avoid before starting its approach to the runway. Lighting can be fixed at different angles for larger aircraft, as these cockpits are much farther from ground level and the angles of descent are different to the pilots of those planes. Those pilots flying in the fields with no other staff can turn landing lighting off or on themselves or can change the brightness by tuning the radio to a designated frequency and by clicking on its transmitter. Word Count 565

The earliest airports

The Earliest Airports Open spaces such as racetracks, golf courses, polo fields and fairgrounds made for the earliest airfields. These offered flat and smooth surfaces with predictable winds, which were essential for initial gliders and fixed-wing aircrafts to take flight. Together with locations situated on prairies or close to water where winds could be predicted, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, were popular choices for early controlled and powered flights. While Huffman Prairie near Dayton, Ohio entertained the Wright Brothers’ groundbreaking 1905 flights of the Flyer 3, and the Parisian ground of the Champ de Maneoeuvres, Issy-les-Moulineaux witnessed Louis Blйriot’s pre-1910 flight models, neither of these grounds facilitated passenger flights. The first commissioned airports were in Germany in 1910, which were primarily for the Delag-operated Zeppelin airships. Delag then constructed airship sheds in many German cities situated near rail hubs from 1913. These could handle passengers and maintenance of their airships. Prior to War World I in 1914, close to 34,000 passengers across 1,600 flights had been attended to in these airports. By 1912, the United States had 20 airports, which were mostly converted from fields and country clubs. In comparison, over the course of World War I, 67 military airfields were established on farms and parks, although with the understanding that most would be reconverted when the war ceased. There was even a failed attempt at a passenger service in South Florida in 1914, where a waterside building was modified to cater to passengers and aircraft supplies. With the close of World War I, 980 fields were listed as official airfields. Yet, unfriendly golf courses and insufficient racetracks rendered most of them unusable by aircraft. The first regular airmail flight took place in May 15, 1918, on a polo field situated in downtown Washington, D. C. Dry Nevada lake bottoms, gas stations found on roadways, and even packing crates which housed airplane deliveries, served as “aerial garages”, otherwise known as hangars and maintenance shops. The post-World War I military parade grounds of Le Bourget and Tempelhof were converted into airports. By 1919, five air stations, including emergency stops, were constructed by the U. S. Postmaster Otto Praeger between New York and Chicago. The Federal Government convinced local Chicago businessmen to contribute to a $15,000 hangar, with potential profits from passenger travel. In 1920, scheduled international flights became commonplace in the United States with passengers traveling by Aeromarine West Indies Airways between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba. With 145 airports by the end of 1920, the airport system slowly began to take shape across the nation. Early Post Office air stations featured 2 perpendicular runways and a tower with a light beacon of the intensity of 500,000-candlepower. These stations eventually evolved into 2,000-foot by 2,000-foot square designs by 1924, which facilitated multi-directional takeoff and landing regardless of the wind. Airport fields were typically the size of 70 to 100 acres, with gravel or cinder covered surfaces to assist drainage. The fields were relatively bare, commonly with only one hangar, and bare essentials such as gasoline and oil storage, and telephone connection – all spread out to guard against fire or crash accidents. Most were built on the square postal air station design, although variety came in the form of perpendicular T-shaped strips or rectangles. From the 1930s prior to World War II, pilots relied on airmarking to fly during the day. To aid navigation and identification of airports, rooftops or hillsides were visually marked. The 50,000-candlepower beacons were used for night flight instead. The growth of airports began slowly in Canada, but it eventually grew to 77 air harbors by 1930 from an initial 37 in 1922. The Prairie Air Mail Service started to link Winnipeg with Calgary and Edmonton, where its older municipal airport opened its doors in January 1927. Across the world, airports continued to experience growth. Australia saw 181 public airports with passenger flights and support capabilities by April 1936. This was on top of the 200 designated open landing areas. The Soviet Union had a massive airport linking system, which stretched across Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Leningrad, Kiev and Tashkent, north of Afghanistan. The Soviet airline Aeroflot served the world’s biggest domestic air network, with over 500 million passengers catered to by 1975. Despite the majority of airlines preferring to fly from grass or water, and perhaps protestations from Henry Ford, the first laid hard surfaced runway in the U. S. was publicly unveiled in Newark, New Jersey, on October 1, 1928. It measured 1,600 feet in length. In 1929, Pan Am became the first airline in the U. S. to build its own airport – the Pan American Field. Part of the 116-acre field was rented to its competitor Eastern Airlines. As a precursor to radio communication between airplanes and ground staff, Pan Am used a radio station for Morse code signaling in 1930. The Berlin Zentralflughafen Tempelhof was widely recognized as one of the world’s largest building in 1938. With simultaneous boarding facilities available for 300 planes and a handling capacity of 300,000 passengers annually, the Tempelhof roof could also accommodate 100,000 visitors watching airplane arrivals and departures. Its model of charging visitors admission fees was duplicated by countless airports trying to cash in on the public’s growing flight fascination. Word Count 869

History of ornithopters

History of Ornithopters and Helicopters One of the first designed or at least imagined flying machines was the ornithopter. In essence, when mankind gazed at the skies, he saw that the birds were flying and thus mankind realized if he wanted to have the domain of the skies, he would have to fly like a bird. Thus since the dawn of the civilization, mankind with, its quest for dominion over nature, has tried to repeat the design and the behavior of the natural flying species. Besides the mankind’s formal history, the legends go back far describing the mankind’s quest for flying. The first reference to an ornithopter and a real reference to flying is in the legend of Daedalus and Icarus. When Icarus was held captive by the Gods on top of a mountain fortress, he used big wings tethered to his body by wax. However because he flew too close to the sun, according to the legend his wings melted away from his body and he plunged into the deep abyss of death. Although it is a tragic myth, it symbolizes the quest for the man’s attempt to fly and thus control the forces of nature. As mankind advanced further and further, throughout history there were lots of trials and designs for flying machines. In order to establish flying, mankind looked at the only available example of flying: namely the birds. Thus, everyone was trying to copy the designs of the birds to design a flying machine that paralleled their development: The Ornithopter. In essence, an ornithopter was a machine that had birdlike wings and a place for the operator to be attached. The operator would flap his arms and the wings of the ornithopter would be flapped also. In essence, mankind would fly by simulating the flapping of the bird’s wings. However, since the principles of aerodynamics was not discovered, no one was aware of the ratio of the wing to muscle power and thus all of these projects and attempts were doomed to fail. Perhaps the most serious thoughts came from the famous thinker and designer Leonardo Da Vinci. He drew many representations of the birds to correctly understand the principle. Thus, as a result he designed may ornithopters design and a helicopter design which was a vehicle that can take off vertically from a ground y the use of blades that are horizontal to the ground. In fact, it can be said that an ornithopter is the father of helicopters. During the history of mankind there were hundreds of ornithopter and even helicopter designs which never had a chance of flying off the ground. Especially the 19th century was filled with many inventors competing for the design of the successful ornithopter. In fact even the great inventor Thomas Edison tinkered with an ornithopter ad even received a patent.(although the design was not feasible and thus it never got ff the ground) When it was realized that the power to flap the wings was just not enough in humans, new designs were introduced that utilized mechanical energy for flying. In 1870, the French inventor Gustave Trouve designed an ornithopter that received its power to flap wings from an internal combustion engine. The flight was a partial success as the ornithopter that he designed flew 70 meters off the ground. The final result was that although people tried to fly ornithopters, it just wasn’t a viable aerodynamic design. Although in the 20th century some successful ornithopters were built, it was discontinued as an idea. Then the power to flight was concentrated on glided flight (not flapped wings flight) and thus the Wright Brothers were able to fly creating a huge industry in the 20th century. However, the efforts for the Ornithopter were not in vain, as it was in principle the founding stone of the helicopter. Word Count 638

The history of aerobatic flight

The history of Aerobatic Flight All eyes below are fixated to the antique World War II as Stearman falls from above, the downward spiral towards disaster. The vintage biplane fell faster and faster still, the growl of its powerful motor grows louder. The pilot was obviously doomed looses control and almost crashed when suddenly, a few inches from the tarmac, the Stearman roared into the blue sky to the cheering crowd below. This is the exciting world of acrobatic flight! Aerobatic flight, a special area of aviation, is defined as "precise maneuvering in the three-dimensional space." Maneuvering is broken into three components - position, speed and the altitude. A manual aerobatic plane's position is to be precisely controlled in all three axes (yaw, roll and pitch) and could quickly be shifted to any of the other positions. Lincoln Beachey has been widely recognized to be the "father" aerobatic flight, even if none other than the Wright Brothers as a first step dismissed his exploits as mere "optical illusions." All these skeptics were changed during a now legendary-multi-city tour Barnstorming during 1914 when Beachey, then known as "the crazy flyer", dazzled crowds all over the country waterfalls at the wheel of his aircraft, Little Looper. Lighting like Thomas Edison or even Carl Sandburg also became aerobatics fans and even the Wright Brothers recanted his original comment, saying Beachey's exhibitions such as poetry. Evolving from the air at the beginning of the race and had military training, these first aerobatic planes are generally oversized but short. These factors produced a performance aerobatic rather dull (today's standards) for handling aircraft was slow and the ability to mount vertically was challenged. Despite the improvements of equipment that allows flight capacity reversed (such as improved wings, oil and fuel systems), even the best aerobatic aircraft can not fly for long periods in attitudes abnormal flight. The engine speed and wash from the spinning propeller as a result of an airplane react differently when maneuvered going right than when going to the left of aerobatics-forcing the pilot to learn from their maneuvers in both direction. These limitations are as that no aerodynamic aerobatic plane produced can effectively fight on the side of the claim of the glowing "knife edge" rises or turns notwithstanding. Strong aerobatic biplanes, Gulfhawk II, aroused much enthusiasm on the air circuit in 1936 until 1948, performing in the World's Fair, Cleveland Air Race, and All-America’s Miami Air Shows. Originally designed by Grumman, Gulfhawk II has been specially designed to support under the high structure stress aerobatic flight and then changed to support upside-down flying for periods of no more than 30 minutes. The face of aerobatic flight was changed forever around 1945; Curtis Pitts made the first airplane designed specifically for aerobatics, the Pitts’ Special S-1. Pitts had envisioned an aircraft that would defy gravity and meet its controls, on a smaller plane that war era biplane, which could roll, climb, and maneuver quickly. Pitts has dismissed the concept of big radial engines and designed a sweep-winged aircraft powered by a small, light, horizontally opposed motor with the centre of gravity that made it possible to snap tight Line Pitts aerobatic aircraft-small (with only 17 feet (5 meters) wingspan), light and very agile with great power-weight-soon dominated aerobatics challenges. The more famous of the Pitts planes, a hand-crafted S-1C known as Little Stinker, flown by another pioneer of aerobatics, Betty Skelton, who did win her first wife's International Aerobatic Championship at the age of 23 and she won again the next year. At that time there were few women that were aerobatic pilots. A Dictionary of acrobatic flight, first published in 1961, all securities listed aerobatic maneuver and definition of the position at that time, 3000 in all. Today, that list has grown to more than 15000 maneuvers that the pilots test the capabilities of their aircraft. This shows that the aerobatic maneuvers conform to the natural evolution of the leak that occurred in the course of history - which the planes continue to improve the capabilities; skilled pilots learn to exploit these improvements. Word Count 682

Commercial aviation 1920 to 1930

Commercial Aviation from the 1920’s-1930 The start of scheduled passenger services in the United States was not known, according to Roger Bilstein an aviation historian. Passengers were transported by Silas Christofferson via hydroplane from San Francisco to Oakland harbors in 1913. A Benoist flying boat successfully flew passengers from Tampa to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1914. Lawson C-2 was the first multiengine airplane designed for commercial air travel. Alfred W. Lawson built it in 1919. Since there are cheaper military airplanes available the Lawson C-2 did not become successful. Lawson built another model called L-4; this can carry 34 passengers and about 6,000 pounds of mail. It crashed on its test flight and discouraged the development of large planes. Inglis Uppercu a Florida entrepreneur began scheduled international passenger flights in 1920, initially from Key West, Florida to Havana, Cuba. Soon other routes were added such as, between Miami and the Bahamas, between New York and Havana. There is also a Midwest, between Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan. His company was named “Aeromarine airways” it has 15 flying boats and made 2,000+ flights with 10,000 passengers. A plane crash killing four people made Aeromarine Airways lose business in 1924. The birth of U. S. commercial air transportation and United Airlines was when Walter T. Varney began contract airmail services from Pasco, Washington, and Elko, Nevada, through Boise, Idaho. Seven years after the first official airmail flight, 1925, U. S. Post Office airplanes sent 14 million letters, packages a year. Airmail was very popular with bankers and businessmen. It was in 1926 when Air Commerce Act was implemented, this authorized the Secretary of Commerce to plan air routes, build up air navigation systems, test and license pilots and aircrafts, and investigate accidents. The carriers were then obliged by law to base pay to the weight of mail. This all started with the appointment of Dwight Morrow to develop a national aviation policy. In the 1920s, Harry Guggenheim a multimillionaire and aviation enthusiast started a foundation, which aims on teaching aeronautical engineers and developing flight instruments. He gave funding to the Western Air Express to check if airlines can live on passenger fares alone, but the company barely made enough money without airmail. Investments in aviation stocks significantly rose between 1927 and 1929. This was brought about by Charles A. Lindbergh’s solo flight to Paris. Travelers could cross the country faster by train than by air at the end of 1920s. It was not comfortable to travel by plane because of the un-insulated thin sheets of metal that made noise in the wind. The cabins were not pressurized. In spite of this, airline passengers in the U. S. grew in number from 6,000 to 173,000 in the span of 1926 to 1929. Majority were businessmen. U. S. Airlines’ planes have enough capacity for 15 passengers. Fuselage has a corrugated design and the plane depends on a Ford Trimotor 5-AT. In the 1920s, manufacturers transferred near airports. There were aeronautical schools that taught airplane engineering, design, and operation. New technologies were being developed that gave potential for commercial aviation expansion. Harry Guggenheim set up a full flight laboratory, which developed very helpful navigational tools like the barometer, artificial horizon and gyroscope and radio direction beacon for landing. In September 1929 James Doolittle a U. S. army lieutenant benefited from these tools when he had to land the plane without his vision. Huge progress as it may seem still did not make passenger travel exclusive airlines profitable up to the 1930’s. Word Count 581

The first powered flight

1903 – The Initial Engine Powered Flight Orville and Wilbur Wright, by June 1903, have completed the design and construction of their power machine. The Flyer’s wingspan was just over 40 feet, over an area of 510 square feet and weighed 625 pounds. The brothers built as much as they could in Dayton, Ohio, and then shipped the rest to Kitty Hawk, NC for the final assembly. The brothers departed for Kitty Hawk, NC on Sept. 23rd and arrived at Kill Devil Hill, 2 days later. While they were waiting for the shipment, they repaired the hangar and construct a new shop. After the shipment was delivered, the Wrights took 3 weeks to construct the Flyer. Everything they did, they practiced gliding using the 1902 glider, gliding longer hours and increasing the control the glider. Weather that day was cold and stormy-horrible. They had been working on assembly and had the Flyer completed early in November. November 5, the brothers tested the engine. The result was not pleasing. The motor almost did not work as had been expected. Its excess vibration damaged shafts, which was shipped to Dayton for repairs. They tested the motor again on November 28. Again they had issues with a crack in the propeller shaft. Orville returned to Dayton, to construct new shafts of spring steel firm. On December 12 the Flyer is ready for the flight, but the wind was too light for takeoff. They did not want a flight on Sunday; because they told their father they would never fly on the Sundays. Their first attempt at powered flight would be on Monday, Dec. 14. They threw a coin to choose who would be the pilot. Wilbur won and climbed onto the Flyer. After a difficult start, it began to scoot down the rails, and then began to rise from its path. Wilbur misjudged and turned up too early, without realizing the efficiency of the rise. The Flyer rose slightly, stalled, and then came to rest near the foothills. The machine had slight damage. Nevertheless, the Flyer had flown off of the ground under its own power, which was a hopeful start. Both the brothers were positive that the machine would fly. The repairs took a couple of days, and the flyer was ready again late December 16. Dawn of December 17 had a stout wind blowing in from the northeast and rain pounding down. The brothers had to wait till 10am, hoping the winds would die a little. When it didn’t, they chose to continue anyway. They sent signals to the rescue station to come help them carry their Flyer area top of the hill. It was now Orville's time to fly; he climbed up into the Flyer. It rose rapidly once they had estimated the power of the rise. For the first time, a motorized flying machine took off from the ground; it traveled under the control of its pilot. Not pleased, the brothers wanted to again try. They had to repair the runners’ cracks, and at nearly 11:20, Wilbur then made the second flight travel nearly 175 feet. With the assistance of the rescue crew, they then carried the Flyer to its original starting point and again tried. Orville made their third flight, twenty minutes later, and landed nearly 200 feet from its start point. The fourth attempt began at almost noon; Wilbur was at the controls. The flight started like any other-with the Flyer pitching upwards and downwards. After about 300 feet, Wilbur regained control and began to travel on the same secure course. It proceeded in this manner until he had gotten about 800 feet. Then, the new Flyer began to buck and suddenly dove into the ground. The front was badly damaged, but the body was intact. He had traveled close to 852 feet in about 59 seconds. After lunch, the two brothers contacted their father, "Successful four flights Thursday morning with average speed through the air of thirty one miles". Word Count 662

The history of bush flying

The History of Bush Flying Remember pilots pictured with silk scarves fluttering in the wind, flying their vintage airplanes on adventures to dangerous corners of the world, saving people? “Busy flying” might be legendary in its illustration, but it is very much alive and true in its representation. One of the last visages of pre-modern aviation, bush flyers are a precious commodity in Canada, Australia, Alaska and the jungles of South America and Africa, providing isolated communities with supplies of food and medicine, and communication with the outside world. Not only do their planes have to be adaptable to the tough and changing terrains and seasons in each country through periodic mechanical changes, bush pilots have to brave the same harsh elements, lack of work safety quotient and uncertain financial rewards. The challenging life of a bush pilot was perhaps best summed up by C. H. “Punch” Dickins, a veteran Canadian bush pilot, as, “a pilot and mechanic, who is ready and willing to take any kind of a load to any destination, on or off the map, within the limits of their aircraft, and the financial resources of the customer.” Bush flying became a popular post-war option for the bravest and thrill-seeking veteran American and Canadian military pilots as they sought an income from their technical abilities. However, only those who could handle and maintain their aircrafts would become fixtures on the bush flying circuit, despite the relatively low barrier to entry in obtaining low cost aircrafts for use like the Curtiss JN-4 Jennys and HS-2L flying boats. Imagine a situation where a bush pilot were to be stranded in uninhabited regions such as the Artic tundra or empty desert with its relentless heat. Plane repair abilities would be of life-saving importance and many modern bush flights include flight engineers. In October 1920, a fur buyer requested the Canadian Aircraft in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to fly him home to The Pas, in one of the first documented paid bush flight. The journey included harrowing flights over swirling lakes, thick jungle bushes and deep swamps and bogs, before becoming the first plane to touch ground on the final destination. This opened up the possibilities of exploring uncharted global territories such as the Artic regions. It also presented greater markets for bush pilots, including oil exploration in the Artic Circle, mine claims, forest fire patrols, timberland and waterway aerial mapping. Bush flying extended the reach of airmail service to isolated regions and provided medical transport for the same workers and hunters. These developments called for better and more reliable aircrafts for bush flying, in order to push the commercial viability of bush flying. The result was the 1926 creation from the Atlantic Aircraft Corporation, of a markedly improved and safer single-seat high-cabin monoplane known as the German Fokker Universal. The steady plane with strong wooden wings and a tough steel tube fuselage consisted of a revolutionary shock absorber that allowed landing on uneven terrains and simultaneous floating or skiing capabilities. On a plane driven by the Pratt & Whitney radial engine, a bush pilot would fly in an open cockpit with passengers or cargo stored in cabins built under the aircraft’s wings. From 1926 to 1931, over half of the 44 Fokker Universals made in the U. S. were used by bush pilots, preceding wide-spread usage by U. S., Canadian and foreign airlines. November 12, 1935, witnessed the first flight of the reliable Noorduyn Norseman from Canada, created specifically for bush flying. The aircraft facilitated long-distance flights and delivery of fuel to isolated regions with cargo room designed to accommodate an industry standard 45-gallon fuel drum and up to ten passengers. Convenience was also a key feature with pilots having ease of cockpit entry and exit without having to climb over cargo. To date, many of the 900 manufactured Noorduyn Norseman are still being flown. Today, using aircrafts such as the Beech Staggerwings and Bonanzas and even helicopters, bush flying now includes flying big game hunters, nature photographers and archaeologists to exotic locations, on top of the now common flights to remote settlements for supply deliveries. The sturdy and versatile de Havilland Beaver is a huge favorite of bush pilots, with its adaptability in skis, floats and wheels usage. The dangers that bush pilots brave have made them a no-no for insurance companies. However, it is the same dangers that so attract bush pilots to take up the challenge of venturing into the unknown. In bush flying, what you do not know may kill you, but what you may find certainly enriches and brings excitement to your life. Word Count 763

Early history of flight

History of Flight - Man tries to fly like the birds In China about 400 BC People have always been fascinated by the idea of flying. Seeing kites flown by Chinese further influenced our thinking. Chinese kites are both used in recreation and for observance of religious ceremonies. There is a special kind of kite for testing weather conditions. The idea of gliders and balloons started from a kite, hence, it is important in mans quest for flight. Man’s attempt at flight Man’s idea of flight came from observing flying birds. They even tried to copy the way a bird flies. Man copied the bird’s wings and used different materials. Expectedly man won’t be able to fly with wings like birds. Our bodies are not designed to be like that. Aeolipile An ancient Greek engineer, Hero of Alexandria work with different sources of power, he created the Aeolipile. It produces rotary motion once steam jets are applied to it. He used a kettle with water place just above fire. The Aeolipile was placed on top of the kettle. When water turns to steam it goes to the sphere and rotates it. This is important because it was the very first engine. Engines are important to the history of flight. 1485 – Leonardo da Vinci studies flight Leonardo da Vinci was the first man to study flight. He even drew the Ornithopter in the 1480’s. He made over a hundred illustrations about his ideas on bird flight and mechanical flight. The drawing consists of machines that carry people to flight, equipment used to test wings and wings and tails of birds. Leonardo drew the Ornithopter to show his idea on how man could fly but it was never made. The very first inventors of the airplane studied Leonardo’s drawings. The ornithopter paved the way for the modern helicopter. The first hot air balloon flight was made on 1783, by Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier. The very first hot air balloon was invented by Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier. The balloon was made of silk bag attach to a basket carrier. Smoke from a fire caused hot air to blow into the silk bag and created conditions for the silk bag to be lighter than air. A duck, rooster and sheep were the very first passengers of the balloon. It reached an altitude of 6,000 feet and went over a mile distance. Due to the success of their trial flight, the brothers sent people up in their hot air balloons. Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent were in the first manned flight made on November 21, 1783. George Cayley and the glider, 1799-1850 The father of aerodynamics, Sir George Cayley, distinguished the forces that act on object in flight. These are lift, drag, thrust, and gravity. He tried different shapes of wings. He thought of the controls like vertical tail surfaces, steering rudders, rear elevators ad airscrews. He had many versions of gliders. Body movements attain control. His glider is the first to carry humans in flight. Over 50 years, Sir George Cayley further improved his glider. He made wing modifications to make the air flow on the wing properly. To attain stability a tail was added. To add strength to the glider a biplane design was incorporated. He recognized that for his glider to stay aloft for a long time machine power was necessary. Word Count 561

The history of great airships

The History of Great Airships The history of the airship was often filled with 2 main technical issues – that of the combustible nature of its buoyancy agent, hydrogen, and its fragile structure. At the same time, they were essential in ensure the airship could float, travel light and maintain reasonable speeds, yet be able to withstand wind and rain. Engineers sought to resolve these challenges by first resorting to helium as a hydrogen alternative. However, the natural supply and prohibitive cost in the 1920s hardly justified its commercial usage, which sometimes resulted in costs of $300,000 per airship. Despite measures taken by the government to alleviate this by 1925 where prices per cubic foot dropped to a penny, helium was still a costly substitute. In comparison, being at the mercy of the elements, the structural nature of dirigibles created more problems between 1919 and 1937. The horrifying Hindenburg disaster put it all into perspective, even though the tragedy was traced to an explosion resulting from highly inflammable paint layered on the dirigible. With the close of World War I, six Zeppelins, including the L49, were captured by the Allied Forces. They also featured the L72 which was constructed originally to bomb New York City. The Allied nations proceeded to duplicate the Germans’ dirigible blueprint in creating several record-breaking airships. They became so brazen that advice from German pilot Ernst Lehmann to establish landing bases to avoid airship accidents were ignored and ridiculed. What followed was an incredible number of airships which met with untimely ends. The English ZR-2 had to be taken apart, resulting in wasted resources on the new Lakehurst, New Jersey hangar. Hypocrisy was also rampant, with the British refusing permission for the Germans to cross the Atlantic in their L72, but doing the same themselves in a copycat airship, the R-34. In the midst of some high-profile dirigible accidents, the U. S. Navy Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, Admiral William A. Moffet stubbornly supported airships and attempted to qualify its program and human casualties by learning through the mistakes of the ZR-2. Yet airship pilots were often taken to task to cover up for the lack of substantial answers from airship accidents. Moffet continued to be in denial as high profile deaths such as Richard Byrd were narrowly avoided during the ZR-2 mishap, as was on the Roma when it was driven into high voltage lines by a sudden down-draft. More disasters followed as the C-2, then the largest airship in U. S. Army history, blew up while leaving its hangar on October 1922. A French maneuvered L-72, the Dixmude, was destroyed by harsh elements flying to Africa in 1923, and ended up wrecked in the Mediterranean. Finally heeding Lehmann’s advice, the U. S. stopped short of destroying the Lake Constance and Friedrichshafen Zeppelin factories and hangars. The Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation was soon formed in 1923, to tap into German expertise and discovery of the alloy duralumin in the creation of new airships such as the U. S. ZR-1 and ZR-3 in 1924. These 2 dirigibles turned to helium as the buoyancy agent, although the still prohibitive cost of the element saw the airships sharing its use and alternated flights. The ZR-1 Shenandoah flew across the western states in several test landings on moorings and airfields. The Los Angeles ZR-3 was to follow up with a promotion of commercial airship travel, but once again, it encountered technical issues and the Shenandoah took its place instead, when tragedy struck. Zachary Lansdowne, then the Shenandoah’s commander, highlighted the ship’s shortcomings in dealing with the Midwest line squalls and thunderstorms but was ignored. On September 3, 1925, a storm struck down the dirigible in Ohio, which resulted in 14 deaths, including Lansdowne. The survivors had landed safely whilst holding on for their lives on gas supplies they had earlier been tasked to retrieve. This sad incident forced Brigadier General Billy Mitchell to criticize the Navy’s airship program, and support for airships visibly dropped with the release of the disaster’s photos which garnered widespread public disgust and sympathy for its victims. This did not deter the Naval Court of Inquiry from pronouncing a verdict which put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Lansdowne, based partly on statements under duress by Lieutenant Rosendahl (a survivor of the accident) from Moffett, and despite testimonials from Lansdowne’s widow that highlighted his misgivings. Following the incident, Congress proceeded to give the go-ahead for three new replacements for the Shenandoah. Ironically, only one, the ZMC-2, still remained in use come World War II, as airships began to fade into history’s pages as a viable flight tool of choice. Word Count 769

Europe spreads its wings

Europe Spreads Its Wings In 1906, Octave Chanute highlighted the speed at which the rest of the aviation industry, particularly Europe, was snapping at the Wright Brothers’ heels. Danish J. C.H. Ellehammer achieved a 140-feet circular hop on a craft attached to a central pole, while Voison and Louis Blйriot successfully flew their own glider creations. Ironically, an American, Samuel F. Cody, flew the first aircraft in England with his own British Army Aeroplane No. 1. Romanian Trajan Vuia maneuvered his carbolic acid motor-powered monoplane over multiple short hops and Leon Levavasseur invented the two “Antoinette” engines with 24 and 50 horsepower, which would be the key components of early European airplanes. The Wright Brothers recognized this and initiated discussions with aviation enthusiasts, one of which was a New Yorker, Glenn H. Curtiss. Working under Alexander Graham Bell as an engine-builder in the Aerial Experiment Association, Curtiss’s first meeting with the Wright Brothers in 1906 was the first of many more to come. The American aviation industry continued to acknowledge the brothers’ achievements, such as the Aero Club of America’s resolution splashed across many newspapers. The scientific community also got in on the act, with Scientific American eating their earlier anti-Wrights words and declaring them worthy of the highest honor in creating the first successful aircraft. Yet, before the Wright Brothers’ obtained Patent Number 821,393 for a Flying Machine from the U. S. Patent Office on May 23, 1906, and forever changed the course of the aviation industry, they would face little results, much opposition, and ridicule from Europe despite their achievements. Deals with the British military, which was keen on the Flyer III, and the French War Ministry, were aborted over refusals to perform flight demonstrations and the planes’ prices. The Europeans were quick to put down the Wright Brothers and continued to call their bluff, questioning the legibility of their flight claims. The New York Herald in Paris even went as far as to imply that the pair was liars and had not shown any evidence of an aircraft that could fly. The European aviation community encouraged invention and progress through various rewards put up by rich enthusiasts, most of which were from France. These included: * The silver Coupe d’Aviation Ernest Archdeacon trophy for the first 25 meter flight by a powered aircraft; * 1,500 francs from the Aйro-Club de France for the first flight spanning 100 meters (330 feet); and * The Grand Prix d’Aviation with a reward of 50,000 francs for the first pilot to lay claim to a one-kilometer circular flight. The French-based Brazilian, Alberto Santos-Dumont, became the darling of the European aviation community. The creator of the Demoiselle prototyped in November 1907 and history’s first ultra-light airplane molded from bamboo, Santos-Dumont won the Grand Prix d’Aviation with a flight round the Eiffel Tower in 1901. It was a visit to the St. Louis Exposition in the United States where the gifted engineer began his fascination with flight, after witnessing demonstrations of Chanute’s gliders. Early experiments included curiously built motorized dirigibles which he guided over Paris’ rooftops. However, it was Santos-Dumont’s 14-bis (“14 encore”) that first propelled him into the European limelight in 1906. The Airship No. 14 was as much a curious sight to behold and n unconventional aircraft. It was with a 50-horsepowered 14-bis that Santos-Dumont flew 198 feet – a feat which bagged him the Archdeacon trophy on October 23. He next secured the 1,500 franc reward from the Aйro-Club with a 726-feet flight on November 12. By then, the 14-bis had seen a further manifestation with ailerons. It was a design which had become impractical, but no one cared in Europe. Santos-Dumont had attempted – and succeeded – in flying in public, and it made the French proud. Santos-Dumont is commonly regarded as the first man to pilot a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft. However, at the end of the day, the Wright Brothers had the last word. The Europeans cheered Santos-Dumont. But Santos-Dumont’s record-breaking ideas were rooted in the brothers’ theories and inventions. This was revealed in Alexander Graham Bell’s interview with the New York Herald’s Paris edition. While it not only attributed the Wright Brothers’ contribution to aeronautics, it eventually became a key factor in their successful patent award in 1906 with a little help from their greatest detractors – Europe. Word Count 715

National advisory committee for aeronautics

National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics or NACA was founded on 1915. Its main purpose was to do pioneering research on the field of Aeronautics to improve the quality and the quantity of flight and also to regulate the academic and technological work on Flight Related Issues. As NACA got off a start, its purpose would also become to regulate the budgeting, to regulate, and govern the policy for aeronautical research and flight. When NACA was founded in 1915, it was allotted a budget of $5000 per year. This budget would stay constant for 5 years and then it was to show a dramatic increase in the 1920’s as research got off to a big start. When it was first founded, NACA was to be regulated by a committee of 12 people who would not get paid for their work. They would be drafted from the War Department, from the NAVY, from the Weather Bureau and from the Bureau of Standards along with other prominent members of the Aeronautical community. It was perhaps this spirit that arose from doing un paid but pioneering work that made NACA and consequently the United States a leader in aeronautics and aerospace which it still enjoys as a country even today with unparalleled and unmatched success. Although the role of NACA and its executive committee was advisory only, it was destined for NACA to gain control of the aeronautical sector and be more than an advisory committee but become a fully functional and powerful executive government agency. Thus, it was destined to become NASA, which has turned into the world’s most powerful aerospace research and policy agency. The first employee was hired in 1915. However, the first executive director would not be appointed until 1919 when George W. Lewis would become the first director of NACA. He would be mainly staying in Washington for politics while the rest of NACA scientific staff prospered and focused on pure and practical research. The facilities of NACA were founded in Langley, Virginia as the first real aeronautical wind tunnel was constructed there. The facility soon became the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory which would be intact with a fully equipped aeronautical wind tunnel for testing wing performance and their aerodynamics, propulsion laboratory for testing various engines and an airstrip to test run the various apparatus and planes there. NACA attracted all kinds of brilliant and successful engineers from all over the country. It was a sign of prestige to work at NACA and many mechanical and electrical engineers were recruited. In time as Aeronautical Engineers became more found, there would be an influx of Aeronautical Engineers to Langley facility. However, the main task force never exceeded 100 people for a long time. This was perhaps the reason for the success of the NACA to be the leading edge of technology at the time. As the staff was less, the relationship between the senior members of the staff and the junior members of the staff were very strong and informal. This caused a free flow of exchange of ideas, which resulted in technological breakthroughs. It was very common for senior and junior engineers and other staff members to exchange ideas over lunch or over a cup of coffee. In fact, as long as nothing sensational was done, everyone was free to pursue their ideals and their research as they saw fit. Although at the time only NACA enjoyed such freedom in a Government Agency, with the Era at the time, it proved to be the right thing to do as NACA prospered and the lead in flights research was to be the Americans until today from that day forward. Especially at the Wartime, the policies of NACA were responsible for the superior power in Air Force that United States still enjoys today. When NACA was dismantled in 1958 to become NASA; it had become a very powerful and capable agency that was also responsible for the success of NASA in Space Flight that it still enjoys today. Word Count 673

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