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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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United Airlines Flight 93 was a scheduled U.S. domestic passenger flight from Newark International Airport, in Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco International Airport. It was hijacked by four men as part of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Over 40 minutes into the flight the hijackers breached the cockpit, overpowered the pilots and took over control of the aircraft, diverting it toward Washington, D.C. Several passengers and crew members made telephone calls aboard the flight and learned about the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. As a result, the passengers decided to mount an assault against the hijackers and wrest control of the aircraft.

The plane crashed in a field just outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, about 150 miles (240 km) northwest of Washington, D.C., killing all 44 people aboard, including the hijackers. Many witnessed the impact from the ground and news agencies began reporting on the event within an hour. The plane fragmented upon impact, leaving a crater, and some debris was blown miles from the crash site. The remains of everyone on board the aircraft were later identified. Subsequent analysis of the flight recorders revealed how the actions taken by the passengers prevented the aircraft from reaching either the White House or United States Capitol. A permanent memorial is planned for construction on the crash site. The chosen design has been the source of criticism and is scheduled to be dedicated in 2011. (Full article...)

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The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Roulettes aerobatics squadron at the 2008 Australian Grand Prix. The squad was formed in 1970 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the RAAF and perform about 150 flying displays a year throughout Australia and neighboring countries.

Did you know

...that George H. W. Bush flew a TBF Avenger while he was in the U.S. Navy? ...that the Tenerife disaster remained the deadliest aircraft incident in history until the September 11, 2001 attacks and neither plane was in flight when the accident occurred. ... that Walter Borchers was one of three brothers, all three received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II?

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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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The Yakovlev Yak-42 is a line of tri-jet aircraft produced by the aircraft company Yakolev. The Yak 42 was produced from 1980-2003.

Historically, the yak-42 was competition for older Russian aircraft companies. The Yak-42 was only made in one passenger variant, but it was used in many tests of equipment.

  • Crew: 3
  • Span: 114 ft 5 in (34.88 m)
  • Length: 119 ft 4 in (36.38 m)
  • Height: 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
  • Engines: 3× Lotarev D-36 turbofan
  • Cruise Speed: 740 km/h (399 knots, 460 mph) (economy cruise)
  • Range: 4,000 km (2,158 nmi, 2,458 mi) (with maximum fuel)
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Today in Aviation

December 26

  • 2005 – An AH-64D Apache 03-5375 from 1–4th Aviation Regiment collides with another Apache near Baghdad, both crewmembers are killed.[1][2] Second AH-64 wasn’t destroyed.
  • 1989 – United Express Flight 2415 operated by a BAe Jetstream 31 N410UE of North Pacific Airlines was a commuter flight in the United States from Yakima, Washington to Pasco, Washington. The aircraft was approaching Tri-Cities Airport at around 22:30. The crew executed an excessively steep and unstabilized ILS approach. That approach, along with improper air traffic control commands and aircraft icing, caused the aircraft to stall and crash short of the runway. Both crew members and all four passengers were killed.
  • 1980 – Aeroflot puts the Ilyushin Il-86 into service on its Moscow-Tashkent route.
  • 1971 – (26–30) The United States conducts Operation Proud Deep Alpha, which consists of air strikes in three provinces of North Vietnam south of the 20th Parallel.
  • 1968 – Two members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine attack El Al Flight 253, a Boeing 707, with a submachine gun and hand grenades as it prepares to depart Athens, Greece, killing one passenger and seriously wounding a flight attendant before being arrested.
  • 1967 – The Soviet Union commissions its first helicopter carrier, Moskva.
  • 1965 – American air strikes in South Vietnam and Laos resume.
  • 1961 – The first missile squadron of the RCAF, No.446 Surface/Air Missile Squadron was formed in North Bay.
  • 1952 – Wisconsin Central Airlines changes its name to North Central Airlines, and moves its headquarters from Clintonville, Wisconsin, to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • 1948 – I. V. Fedorov becomes the first Soviet pilot to break the sound barrier. He achieves the necessary speed by diving his Lavochkin La-176 jet, powered by a Rolls-Royce Nene engine, at full throttle.
  • 1944 – RCAF provided 61 Halifax heavy bombers in a 270-plane raid on St. Vith, France.
  • 1943 – 70 to 80 Japanese Rabaul-based aircraft attack U. S. ships supporting the day’s U. S. landing at Cape Gloucester, sinking a destroyer and damaging two others. Minor raids follow on the next two days.
  • 1943 – (26-27) Japanese Rabaul-based aircraft raid U. S. forces off Arawe.
  • 1939 – The first RAAF squadrons to join the war arrive in Britain
  • 1935 – General Rodolfo Graziani requests permission from Benito Mussolini to use poison gas against Ethiopian forces during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. He receives it, and during the last few days of December Italian aircraft begin dropping mustard gas on Ethiopian troops around the Takkaze River and on the village of Jijiga. Italian planes will drop poison gas for the remainder of the war, and continue to use it against Ethiopian guerrillas after the war ends.


  1. ^ "ARMY AIR CREWS: Apache Crewmembers Line of Duty Deaths". Retrieved 17 July 2010.
  2. ^ "DoD Identifies Army Casualties" (Press release). U.S. Department of Defense. 2005-12-28. No. 1333-05, IMMEDIATE RELEASE, The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers, who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died in Baghdad, Iraq on Dec. 26, when their Apache helicopter collided with another military aircraft in mid-air and then crashed. Both soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Killed were: Chief Warrant Officer Richard M. Salter, 44, of Cypress, Texas. Chief Warrant Officer Isaias E. Santos, 28, of Ancon, Panama.