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Introduction

Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as hot air balloons and airships.

Aviation began in the 18th century with the development of the hot air balloon, an apparatus capable of atmospheric displacement through buoyancy. Some of the most significant advancements in aviation technology came with the controlled gliding flying of Otto Lilienthal in 1896; then a large step in significance came with the construction of the first powered airplane by the Wright brothers in the early 1900s. Since that time, aviation has been technologically revolutionized by the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world. (Full article...)

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The air flow from the wing of this agricultural plane is made visible by a technique that uses colored smoke rising from the ground. The swirl at the wingtip traces the aircraft's wake vortex, which exerts a powerful influence on the flow field behind the plane.
Aerodynamics is a branch of dynamics concerned with studying the motion of air, particularly when it interacts with a moving object. Understanding the motion of air (often called a flow field) around an object enables the calculation of forces and moments acting on the object. Typical properties calculated for a flow field include velocity, pressure, density and temperature as a function of position and time. By defining a control volume around the flow field, equations for the conservation of mass, momentum, and energy can be defined and used to solve for the properties. The use of aerodynamics through mathematical analysis, empirical approximation and wind tunnel experimentation form the scientific basis for heavier-than-air flight.

External aerodynamics is the study of flow around solid objects of various shapes. Evaluating the lift and drag on an airplane, the shock waves that form in front of the nose of a rocket is an example of external aerodynamics. Internal aerodynamics is the study of flow through passages in solid objects. For instance, internal aerodynamics encompasses the study of the airflow through a jet engine.

The ratio of the problem's characteristic flow speed to the speed of sound comprises a second classification of aerodynamic problems. A problem is called subsonic if all the speeds in the problem are less than the speed of sound, transonic if speeds both below and above the speed of sound are present (normally when the characteristic speed is approximately the speed of sound), supersonic when the characteristic flow speed is greater than the speed of sound, and hypersonic when the flow speed is much greater than the speed of sound. Aerodynamicists disagree over the precise definition of hypersonic flow; minimum Mach numbers for hypersonic flow range from 3 to 12. Most aerodynamicists use numbers between 5 and 8. (Full article...)

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Credit: Library of Congress LOT 13403, no. 12 [P&P]. Author unknown.
1786 description of the historic Montgolfier Brothers' 1783 balloon flight. Illustration with engineering proportions and description.

Did you know

...that five USAAF airmen were awarded the Medal of Honor following Operation Tidal Wave, a low-level bombing of Romanian oil refineries on 1 August 1943? ...that the BAE Systems HERTI is the first and only fully autonomous UAV to have been certificated by the United Kingdom? .. that five UH-1 Iroquois helicopters of the Experimental Military Unit were shot down by a single Viet Cong soldier armed with an AK-47 rifle?

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The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from 5,235 to 9,380 nautical miles (9,695 to 17,372 km) depending on model. Its distinguishing features include the largest diameter turbofan engines of any aircraft, six wheels on each main landing gear, a circular fuselage cross-section, and blade-shaped tail cone. Developed in consultation with eight major airlines, the 777 was designed to replace older wide-body airliners and bridge the capacity difference between the 767 and 747. As Boeing's first fly-by-wire airliner, it has computer mediated controls; it is also the first entirely computer-designed commercial aircraft.

The 777 is produced in two fuselage lengths. The original 777-200 model first entered service in 1995, followed by the extended range 777-200ER in 1997; the stretched 777-300, which is 33.3 ft (10.1 m) longer, began service in 1998. The longer-range 777-300ER and 777-200LR variants entered service in 2004 and 2006, respectively, while a freighter version, the 777F, debuted in 2008. Both longer-range versions and the freighter feature General Electric GE90 engines, as well as extended and raked wingtips. Other models are equipped with either the GE90, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, or Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines. The 777-200LR ranks as the world's longest-range airliner and holds the record for longest distance flown by an unrefuelled commercial aircraft, with the demonstrated capability to fly more than halfway around the world.

United Airlines first placed the 777 into commercial airline service in 1995. As of October 2009, 56 customers have placed orders for 1,116 aircraft of all variants, with 822 delivered. The most common variant used worldwide is the 777-200ER, with 412 aircraft delivered, and Emirates operates the largest 777 fleet, with 78 aircraft. The airliner has had one hull-loss accident, with no passenger fatalities, attributed to a Trent 800 engine fuel component as of October 2009.

Through the 2000s, the 777 has emerged as one of its manufacturer's best-selling models. Because of rising fuel costs, airlines have acquired the type as a comparatively fuel-efficient alternative to other wide-body jets and have increasingly used the aircraft on long-haul, transoceanic routes. Direct market competitors include the Airbus A330-300 and the A340, with the upcoming A350 XWB and Boeing 787 programs currently in development.

  • Span: 212 ft 7 in (64.8 m)
  • Length: 242 ft 4 in (73.9 m)
  • Height: 61 ft 5 in (18.7 m)
  • Engines: 2 X GE 90-115B
  • Cruising speed: 0.84 Mach (555 mph, 892 km/h, 481 kn) at 35,000 ft (11,000 m) cruise altitude
  • First flight: 12 June 1994
  • Number built: 649 as of August 2007
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Marshal of the Royal Air Force Hugh Montague Trenchard, 1st Viscount Trenchard GCB OM GCVO DSO (3 February 1873 – 10 February 1956) was a British officer who was instrumental in establishing the Royal Air Force. He has been described as the Father of the Royal Air Force.

During his formative years Trenchard struggled academically, failing many examinations and only just succeeding in meeting the minimum standard for commissioned service in the British Army. As a young infantry officer, Trenchard served in India and in South Africa. During the Boer War, Trenchard was critically wounded and as a result of his injury, he lost a lung, was partially paralysed and returned to Great Britain. While convalescing in Switzerland he took up bobsleighing and after a heavy crash, Trenchard found that his paralysis was gone and that he could walk unaided. Some months later, Trenchard returned to South Africa before volunteering for service in Nigeria. During his time in Nigeria, Trenchard commanded the Southern Nigeria Regiment for several years and was involved in efforts to bring the interior under settled British rule and quell inter-tribal violence.

In 1912, Trenchard learned to fly and was subsequently appointed as second in command of the Central Flying School. He held several senior positions in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I, serving as the commander of Royal Flying Corps in France from 1915 to 1917. In 1918, he briefly served as the first Chief of the Air Staff before taking up command of the Independent Air Force in France. Returning as Chief of the Air Staff under Winston Churchill in 1919, Trenchard spent the following decade securing the future of the Royal Air Force. He was Metropolitan Police Commissioner in the 1930s and a defender of the RAF in his later years.

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In the news

Wikinews Aviation portal
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Today in Aviation

March 19

  • 2012 – A Ecuador Air Force Embraer A-29B crashed on a training flight near Manta Air Base, Ecuador. The two crew ejected safely.
  • 2010 – A Turkish Army TAI/AgustaWestland T-129 (registration CSX81723) helicopter prototype lost its tail rotor at 15,000 ft (4,600 m). height at 16:30. Two people on board survived.
  • 2009 – Quito B200 King Air crash: A Beechcraft B200 King Air of the Ecuadorian Air Force crashes at Guápulo while attempting to land at Mariscal Sucre International Airport in thick fog, killing all five people on board and a further two on the ground.
  • 2007 – Airbus A380 makes first flights to the United States, with one touching down in New York at John F. Kennedy International Airport and another in California at Los Angeles International Airport.
  • 2003 – MH-53M Pave Low 67-14993 of 20th SOS carrying special forces crashes in southern Iraq. No one is killed. The craft was later destroyed to prevent capture.[5]
  • 2001 – Comair Flight 5054, an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, experiences severe atmospheric icing in flight near West Palm Beach, Florida. After a rapid loss of altitude, the crew regains control of the aircraft and makes an emergency landing at West Palm Beach Airport without injury to any of the 27 people on board. The plane suffers permanent deformation of its stabilizer and elevator.
  • 1990 – An McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle from the 3rd Wing stationed at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska accidentally fired an AIM-9M Sidewinder missile at another F-15. The damaged aircraft was able to make an emergency landing; it was subsequently repaired and returned to service.
  • 1982 – Boeing Boeing KC-135A-BN Stratotanker, 58-0031, assigned to the 108th Air Refueling Squadron, 126th Air Refueling Wing, Illinois Air National Guard, crashed near Greenwood, Illinois. The KC-135 was returning from K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan to its home base at Chicago O'Hare International Airport when an explosion occurred at 13,700 feet due to an overheated fuel pump. All four crew members and 23 passengers in the KC-135 were killed.
  • 1972EgyptAir Flight 763, a Douglas DC-9, crashes on approach to Aden International Airport, killing all 30 passengers and crew.
  • 1969 – The first scheduled jet air service inside the Arctic Circle begins as Nordair inaugurates a weekly return service between Montreal, Canada and Resolution Bay, Cornwallis Island, Canada.
  • 1965 – Final Hawker Siddeley P.1127 prototype (of six), XP984, first with new swept wing with leading edge extensions and steel cold nozzles, first flown in October 1963, is damaged in a forced landing at Thorney Island. Repaired.
  • 1964Geraldine Mock, in a Cessna 180, becomes the first woman to fly around the world.
  • 1961 – Eleventh Lockheed U-2A, 56-6684, Article 351, delivered to the CIA 18 May 1956, modified to U-2C by July 1959; returning from a night celestial nav training sortie, crashes on landing at Taoyuan Air Base, Taiwan, killing Republic Of China Air Force pilot Chih Yao Hua. During a touch-and-go landing, he applied power but lost control, the aircraft veering left, crashing and exploding. Unit was the CIA's Detachment H, ROCAF 35th Squadron.
  • 1956 – Fire at Dorval destroyed 426 Squadron’s hangars forcing 426 to relocate to Trenton.
  • 1954 – A USAF Fairchild C-119F-FA Flying Boxcar, 51-7993, c/n 10732, of the 774th Troop Carrier Squadron, Ardmore Air Force Base, Oklahoma, en route from Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, to Mitchel Air Force Base, Long Island, New York, crashes into a rain-swept cornfield 19 miles S of Annapolis, Maryland, killing all 18 on board. It had departed Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., after refueling at 2212 hrs. A watch found in the wreckage had stopped at 2229 hrs. A spokesman at Bolling said that there were twelve passengers and six crewmen aboard. There were 11 Air Force personnel, five U.S. Navy, and one Marine on board. Witnesses reported that the aircraft was on fire before the crash and appeared to have exploded. The plane grazed the edge of a wooded area just off Maryland Route 2 before it impacted. Twisted wreckage and bodies were strewn over a ten-acre area. A heavy rain aided firemen in preventing the fire from getting out of hand. A detachment of sailors and Marines from the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis stood guard over the area as a group of investigators from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, examined the wreckage for clues to the cause of the tragedy.
  • 1946 – Col. George Vernon Holloman, (1902–1946), a native of Rich Square, North Carolina, aviation instrument inventor and early experimenter with guided missiles, is killed in a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress accident on Formosa, while en route from China to the Philippines. Holloman had received the DFC for conducting the first instrument-only landing of an aircraft. Alamogordo Army Air Base, New Mexico, renamed Holloman AFB, 13 January 1948.
  • 1921 – The Douglas Cloudster broke the Pacific Coast altitude record by climbing 19,160 feet. The Cloudster was the first Douglas product. It was also the first airplane in history to airlift a useful load exceeding its own weight.
  • 1918 – U. S. airplanes in France make the first operational flights.
  • 1912 – The first of the U. S. Signal Corps Scout series capable of meeting a specification issued February 8, 1912, the S. C. No.8 is delivered to Augusta, Georgia by Curtiss pilot Charles F. Walsh. It finally passes all tests at College Park, Maryland in May with Lincoln Beachey at the controls.
  • 1909 – The International Aero and Motor-Boat Exhibition opens in London. Among the exhibits is a Wright airplane for sale at $7,000.

References

  1. ^ Marcus, Jonathan, "Libya: French Plane Fires on Military Vehicle," BBC News, 19 March 2011, 15:57 ET
  2. ^ "Libyan Private and State Media Slant Protest Coverage". BBC News. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  3. ^ Rayment, Sean, "Libya: Moment a Rebel Jet Crashed to Earth in Flames," The Daily Telegraph, 19 March 2011.
  4. ^ "Gaddafi Forces Encroaching on Benghazi," Al Jazeera, 19 March 2011.
  5. ^ "H53 History" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-15.


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