Public-use airports in the U.S.: 5,173 Towered: 550 (9.4%) Percent lighted: 77% Unpaved: 25% State with the most: Texas, 394 Fewest: Rhode Island, 8 World’s oldest continuously operating: College Park (KCGS), Maryland Established by: Wilbur Wright, 1909 Nickname: “Cradle of Aviation” Runway dimensions: 2,600 ft. x 60 ft. Flights/week: 62 Top destination airport: Orlando (MCO), more »
First aviation headset: 1910 Number sold to U.S. military: ~100 Main problem with early models: Heavy, little to no noise reduction First lightweight, over-the-ear headsets: MS-50, 1961 Developers: Pilots Courtney Graham & Keith Larkin Company founded by Graham and Larkin: Pacific Plantronics Inc. Historic first use: NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission Modern headset types: more »
Largest fleet of single-engine aircraft in U.S.: Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Fleet: 560 Primary aircraft: Cessna 172s & 182s Date chartered: December 1, 1941 Members: 61,066 Are you an aviation enthusiast or pilot? Sign up for our newsletter, full of tips, reviews and more! Inland SAR missions performed by CAP: 90% Successful rescues last year: 158 more »
Proper term: Empennage Primary function: Stabilization, control Most common design: Conventional % of aircraft with conventional tails: ~75% Other common tail designs: V-Tail, T-Tail, Cruciform, Dual-Tail, Inverted Y Popular in fighter jets: Twin Tail, aka Double Vertical Stabilizer Advantage: Redundancy in case of battle damage Stabilizers on first Douglas DC-4 model: 5 (three above, two more »
Altitude of first powered flight (1903): 20 ft. Time airborne: 12 seconds Distance traveled: 120 ft. Modern record by ground-launched airplane: 123,523 ft. Aircraft: MiG-25 fighter Max speed of MiG-25RB: Mach 2.83 Typical airliner service ceiling: 45,000 ft. Average cruising altitude: 35,000 ft. Miles from ground: 7 Altitude loss during moderate turbulence: 10-20 ft. How more »
Oldest competing aerobatic pilot: Ian Metcher Age at record (2001): 86 Last age inverted: 95 Quote from wife: “I just worry when he drives.” Are you an aviation enthusiast or pilot? Sign up for our newsletter, full of tips, reviews and more! World’s oldest fighter pilot: Phil Frawley Country: Australia Age at retirement: 66 Years married: more »
First military use of ground controlled approach (GCA) radar: 1943 Range: 20 miles Altitude range: 10,000 feet First civilian use: 1945, LaGuardia Airport Landing rate prior to implementation: 5 planes per hour Landing rate after implementation: 15 planes per hour Transponders introduced for aviation: World War II Worst friendly fire incident of WWII: July 11, more »
We have compiled interesting facts about the history and evolution of parachutes. Derivation of “parachute:” From the Italian “para,” meaning “prevent,” and the French word “chute,” for fall. A device for preventing a fall. First known parachute concepts: China: Han Dynasty writer Sima Qian in a book of historical legends Qian’s parachute concept: Two big more »
Plane & Pilot collected many interesting facts and tidbits about the history of the Piper PA-28s. Year Piper began exploring new four-seater concept: 1953 Cherokee designers: Fred Weick, John Thorp, Karl Bergey Other notable designs from Weick: Ercoupe, NACA cowlings, Piper Pawnee ag plane From Thorp: Lockheed Neptune, Piper Sky Scooter, T-18, Wing Derringer Year more »
Flight training has come a long way over the years and accomplished some remarkable feats in training the millions of pilots who’ve strapped in and taken to the air over the past 115 years.
What a glider is: Non-powered aircraft that is not lighter than air Derivation of the term “glider:” Unknown Other common term for gliding: Soaring Difference: In soaring, pilots gain altitude in flight Glide ratio: Cessna 172: 9:1 Best high-performance sailplane: Better than 70:1 Northern flying squirrel: 2:1 Steinway Piano: Infinitely poor zero:1 Methods for altitude more »
First helicopter capable of hovering flight with pilot: Paul Cornu’s unnamed helicopter, 1907 Height of that first flight: About 1 foot Duration: 20 seconds Fate of Cornu’s helicopter design: Abandoned Early design standoff: Dual contra-rotors vs. one plus tail rotor Early enabling technology: Swashplate for collective pitch changes First “practical” helicopter: Sikorsky VS-300 Fastest helicopter more »
First landing in a powered plane: Orville Wright, Wright Flyer, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, December 17, 1903. First successful helicopter landing: Paul Cornu, November 13, 1907, Lisieuz, France First landing on a heavenly body: Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong, Sea of Tranquility, Earth’s Moon, July 20, 1969. First landing on inflated rubber aircraft tires: more »
Learn all about the history and development of Van’s RVs with these facts. Person behind RV phenomenon: Richard VanGrunsven Nicknames: “Van,” “Dick” Profession: engineer Aeronautical ratings: ATP Total time: more than 12,000 hours Origin of first RV (RV-1): modification of Stits Playboy RV-2: wooden flying wing glider (never flew) RV-3: single-seat all-metal, low wing sport more »
Neat and interesting facts about post-war aviation.
Subscribe today to Plane & Pilot magazine for industry news, reviews and much more delivered straight to you! First bombing: 1911, just eight years after the first flight by the Wrights Place: Libya (Italo-Turkish War) Payload: specially designed steel bombs containing picric acid. Casualties: Zero First purpose-built bombers: 1913, Bristol T.B. 8 (British) and the Caproni more »
Cool and interesting facts about planes, aviation, and life in the 1970s.
Are you an aviation enthusiast or pilot? Sign up for our newsletter, full of tips, reviews and much more! Oldest flyable aircraft: Two Blériot XIs Year built: 1909 Located at: The Shuttleworth Collection (UK) and the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (U.S.) Oldest person to get a pilot’s license: Lt. Col. (ret.) James Collins Warren Age at which more »