Is there such a thing as “The Step?” And if so, what the heck is it?
The Question Is “The Step” just a myth? Or is there really something to it? The Backstory The subject of aerodynamics is a slippery one, with any one effect having many plausible-sounding explanations. One of the most vexing aerodynamic theories is the one that claims that certain airplanes can achieve faster cruise speeds when they more »
Check out these cool facts about the smallest things in aviation!
FAA minimum pilot height requirement: None Air Force pilot minimum height: 64 inches standing (5’4”) Shortest fixed-wing takeoff/landing: Bobby Breeden, 44 ft total Smallest multi-engine plane: Colomban Cri-Cri, 13 ft long, 16-ft wingspan Smallest single: Stits DS-1 Baby Bird, 6-ft wingspan, length 11 ft Smallest successful single (biplane): Stits SA-2A Baby Bird, 10 ft long, more »
Can we ever hope to solve the mystery of what happened to Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan?
The Mystery What was the real fate of pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, who disappeared on July 2, 1937, before reaching their Pacific Island destination on an attempted circumnavigation of the earth? The Backstory The mystery of what happened to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan when their flight disappeared over the more »
Check out these cool facts about the biggest things in aviation!
Tallest height allowable for USAF pilots: 6’7” Heaviest powered paraglider pilot: 440 pounds Highest max takeoff weight: Antonov AN-225, 1.3 million pounds Greatest payload: AN-225, approximately 560,000 pounds Max takeoff weight, Boeing 787: about 502,000 pounds (no, it won’t fit inside the AN-225) Largest piston engine: Lycoming XR-7755, 36 cylinders, 7,750 cubic inches, dry weight, more »
The arguments, theories and facts about who was really the first to fly
The Backstory The popular story of who flew first is easy. It was the Wright Brothers, at Kill Devil Hills (Kitty Hawk), North Carolina, December 17, 1903. Orville was at the controls, and there are photographs of the plane, the Wright Flyer, on that very flight, which lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet. To more »
Check out these cool facts about women in aviation!
First woman to receive a pilot’s license, worldwide: Raymonde de Laroche, March 8, 1910 (France) Other aviation accomplishments: women’s altitude (12,869 feet, 15,700 feet) and distance (201 miles) records Death: killed co-piloting a test flight, July 18, 1919 First woman to receive a pilot’s license, U.S.: Harriet Quimby, August 1, 1911 Previous career: Journalist/writer Quimby’s more »
The myths, theories and facts about what keeps our flying machines up in the sky
The Myth While flying is something that creatures other than people have been doing for millions of years, we’ve only been actively exploring this realm for around 200 years and flying heavier than air machines for just over a century. But just as we know how gravity behaves and how to make good use of more »
Nickname of first plane capable of flight: Flyer Nickname of first successful seaplane: Hydravion Three planes with unofficial nickname of “Aluminum Overcast:” Convair B-36; Lockheed C-5 Galaxy; Douglas C-124 Globemaster Nickname of EAA’s Boeing B-17: Aluminum Overcast Nickname of Boeing B-17: Flying Fortress Official nickname of Convair B-36: Peacemaker B-36 Purpose: Heavy bomber (including nukes) more »
The remote and rugged terrain of Alaska hides the fates of hundreds of missing planes and people. Does new technology hold the key to making such mysteries a thing of the past?
On September 9, 2013, Alan Foster landed in the southeast village of Yakutat on the final leg of an almost 4,000-mile-long journey that began when he picked up his recently purchased PA-32-360 in Atlanta. Foster had over 9,000 hours of flight time and had flown for a variety of Alaskan air taxis and commuters. He more »
The organization aims to help bring children facing serious adversity above the darkness in their lives
One sunny January morning, arriving for a Ninety-Nines meeting at the Norwood Memorial Airport (KOWD), I was greeted by a sea of cheering, smiling people, ringing cow bells and waving WELCOME signs. Suddenly warmed on a chilly day, I knew I had just come across something special. That, or an exceptionally friendly airport! Figuring this more »
Year that the term VLJ became widely used: Around 2000 Widely accepted definition of VLJ: Sub-10,000 pounds, single-pilot First VLJ, kind of: Fouga Magister, twin-engine, 7,055 lbs, 385 knots, FL300 Introduced: 1956 for military training Number built: Just under 1,000 Number flying today: Unknown, but still a popular civilian plane Companies today that have rejected more »
First military flight training: 1908, Fort Myer, Maryland First students: Lieutenants Frank Lahm and Frederic Humphreys First trainer aircraft: Signal Corps #1 Reported dual time before solo: 3 hours each First Civilian Flying School: Wright Brothers Flying School, Montgomery, Alabama Started business in Montgomery: March 1910 Moved out of Alabama: May 1910 Current site of more »
Most commonly used aviation gasoline for piston engines: 100LL Dye used in 100LL: 1,4-dialkylaminoanthraquinone (also called C.I. Solvent Blue 98) Dye color: Blue Average cost of 100LL in the U.S., April 2017: $4.75/gal. Average cost of avgas in the U.S., 1980: $1.95 Density of avgas (all grades) at 15° C: 6.01 lbs./U.S. gal. Density of avgas (all grades) at -40° C: 6.41 more »
First reported missing aircraft: Hot air balloon Ville de Paris Pilot: Matias Perez, lost and presumed dead General location: Straits of Florida First missing airplane: December 22, 1910, Short S.27 Location: Somewhere over the English Channel Mission: Return to England Pilot: Cecil Grace; body recovered three months later Next three planes that disappeared: All Bleriot Model 11s First military aircraft to go more »
A family of pilots celebrates Father's Day properly—in the air
Father’s Day is an amazing collection of contradicting clichés, when you get right down to it. I mean, how many dads actually enjoy wearing a tie? And who wants to be the one bogged down with grilling dinner on your holiday? Now, let’s have an imaginary show of hands if you’ve enjoyed an iconic Father’s more »
It is a fascinating thing when we, especially in the aviation industry, attempt to improve upon performance and efficiency only to find that we are returning to old technology and ideas, some of which are nearly as old as aviation itself. Let’s look at just three specific ideas, or technologies—two that are on the market more »
First flying car patent issued: 1918, Felix Longobardi, never developed First flying car built: Curtiss Autoplane, 1917 Designer: Glenn Curtiss Patent issued: 1919 Debut: Pan-American Aeronautic Exposition, NYC, February 1917 Flight: Reported to have made a few straight-ahead hops Style: Aluminum automobile body with detachable wings and tail Seats: 3 Engine: 100 hp Curtiss OXX (water-cooled V8) Propeller: 4-blade, rear-mounted Dimensions (flight mode): 27 ft. x 40 ft. more »
Average yearly cost of severe TS damage, U.S.: $10 billion Number of TS worldwide/year: 16 million Average number of TS in progress at any given time, worldwide: 2,000 Number of TS U.S./year: ~100,000 Most likely time of year: Spring/Summer Most likely time of day, Gulf Coast, Southeastern and Western States: Afternoon Most likely time of day, Plains States: Late afternoon/Night State with more »