The maiden flight of an aircraft is the first occasion on which an aircraft leaves the ground under its own power. The same term is used for the first launch of rockets; the first flight of a new aircraft type is always a historic occasion for the type and can be quite emotional for those involved. In the early days of aviation it could be dangerous, because the exact handling characteristics of the aircraft were unknown; the first flight of a new type is invariably flown by a experienced test pilot. First flights are accompanied by a chase plane, to verify items like altitude and general airworthiness. A first flight is only one stage in the development of an aircraft type. Unless the type is a pure research aircraft, the aircraft must be tested extensively to ensure that it delivers the desired performance with an acceptable margin of safety. In the case of civilian aircraft, a new type must be certified by a governing agency before it can enter operation. An incomplete list of first flights of notable aircraft types, organized by date, follows.
June, 1875 – Thomas Moy's Aerial Steamer, England October 9, 1890 – Clément Ader – took off from Gretz-Armainvilliers, Ouest of Paris, France. August 14, 1901 – Gustave Whitehead From Leutershausen, Bavaria. May 15, 1902 -- Lyman Gilmore -- took off from California. March 31, 1903 – Richard Pearse – took off from Waitohi Flat, South Island, New Zealand. December 17, 1903 – Wright brothers Wright Flyer – first heavier-than-air powered aircraft. Took off four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. March 18, 1906 – Traian Vuia, a Romanian inventor and engineer, who flew 11 meters in his self-named monoplane at Montesson near Paris, France. October 23, 1906 – Alberto Santos-Dumont 14-bis flight, in Bagatelle park, France. July 4, 1908 - Glenn Curtiss flew the first pre-announced public flight of a heavier-than-air flying machine, he flew 5,080 feet, to win its $2,500 purse. December 22, 1916 - Sopwith Camel - this iconic biplane first took off from Brooklands, Surrey. July 28, 1935 – Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress – World War II American heavy bomber.
December 17, 1935 – Douglas DC-3 – propeller-driven passenger and cargo aircraft of which more than 10,000 were produced. December 29, 1939 – Consolidated B-24 – World War II American heavy bomber. November 2, 1947 – Hughes H-4 Hercules – only flight of this oversized flying boat. July 27, 1949 – de Havilland Comet – first jet airliner. August 23, 1954 – Lockheed C-130 Hercules – military transport plane. May 27, 1955 – Sud Aviation Caravelle – first jet airliner with engines mounted in the tail. March 25, 1958 - Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow - Canadian supersonic fighter interceptor. First non-experimental aircraft equipped with a fly-by-wire flight control system. April 25, 1962 – Lockheed A-12 – supersonic reconnaissance aircraft. June 29, 1962 – Vickers VC10 – first airliner with 4 engines mounted in the tail. April 9, 1967 – Boeing 737 – short-to-medium-range airliner. October 4, 1968 – Tupolev Tu-154 – Soviet/Russian airliner, still in operation. December 31, 1968 – Tupolev Tu-144 – Soviet supersonic airliner.
February 9, 1969 – Boeing 747 – first widebody airliner. March 2, 1969 – Anglo-French Concorde – supersonic airliner. September 19, 1969 – Mil Mi-24 – Russian/Soviet-made helicopter used by many countries to this day. October 28, 1972 – Airbus A300 – first Airbus aircraft, short- to medium-range wide-body jet airliner. February 22, 1987 – Airbus A320 airliner – first civilian aircraft to have an all-digital fly-by-wire system. December 21, 1988 – Antonov An-225 Mriya – jet with the longest fuselage and wingspan and overall heaviest aircraft. June 12, 1994 – Boeing 777 – long-range airliner with the most powerful jet engines made. April 27, 2005 – Airbus A380 – double-decker jet airliner largest capacity in the world, took off from Toulouse–Blagnac Airport. December 11, 2009 – Airbus A400M – military cargo plane, Airbus' first propeller plane. December 15, 2009 – Boeing 787 Dreamliner – first major widebody airliner to use non-metal composite materials for most of its construction. November 11, 2015 - Mitsubishi Regional Jet - Japanese twin-engine regional jet, the first designed and built in Japan, took off from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Tokyo.
May 5, 2017 - Comac C919 - Chinese commercial aircraft. October 3, 1942 - V-2 Rocket made its first successful test flight; the nose cone crossed the Karman line considered the end of Earth's atmosphere, making it the first human-made object to reach space. August 3, 1953 - PGM-11 Redstone, designed by Wernher von Braun, was the US's first large ballistic missile. Launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 4, it flew for 80 seconds until an engine failure caused it to crash into the sea. October 4, 1957 - Sputnik, first orbital rocket. December 22, 1960 - Vostok-K, first human-rated rocket. November 9, 1967 - Saturn V, most powerful rocket launched so far, was used to launch humans to the Moon. April 12, 1981 - Space Shuttle, first reusable launch system, largest payload at the time of its maiden flight. December 21, 2004 - Delta IV Heavy, largest payload at the time of its maiden flight. February 6, 2018 - Falcon Heavy, largest payload at the time of its maiden flight reusable.
Flight test Maiden voyage
MS Hans Hedtoft
MS Hans Hedtoft was a Danish liner that struck an iceberg and sank on 30 January 1959 on her maiden voyage off the coast of Western Greenland. The only piece of wreckage found was a lifebelt; as of 2019, she remains the last known ship sunk by an iceberg with casualties. Hans Hedtoft was 82.65 metres long, with a depth of 6.43 metres. She was assessed at 2,875 GRT, 1,368 NRT. Hans Hedtoft was built by Frederikshavns Værft at Frederikshavn in northern Denmark, she was yard number 226, completed on 17 December. She had an armoured bow and stern, she was designed to provide a year-round service between Greenland. Like the RMS Titanic, Hans Hedtoft had a riveted hull, a feature, criticised by Knud Lauritzen, a shipowner. Lauritzen claimed. Hans Hedtoft had the Code Letters and radio callsign OXKA; the ship was named for a former prime minister of Denmark. The ship was armed with three 40 mm anti-aircraft guns, on the orders of the Danish Ministry of Defence; the armament was not part of the original plans, the ship was strengthened in three places to take the guns.
An ammunition room was built into the bow of the ship. The MoD provided the anti-aircraft guns free of charge. Although fitted during tests, the guns were dismounted and carried aboard Hans Hedtoft at the time of her sinking. An order had been issued that the guns were to be removed from the ship after she arrived back in Copenhagen, it was claimed that the arming of Hans Hedtoft resulted in a warship being constructed without the approval of the Folketing. Hans Hedtoft sailed from Copenhagen on her maiden voyage on 7 January 1959, her voyage to Julianehaab, was made in record time. Hans Hedtoft called at Nuuk and Maniitsoq before returning to Julianehaab. On 29 January, she began her return journey; the ship had 40 crew, 55 passengers and a cargo of frozen fish on board and in addition to that 3,25 tons of archives concerning Greenlandic history. One of her passengers was the Danish parliament member Augo Lynge; the next day, Hans Hedtoft collided with an iceberg about 35 miles south of Cape Farewell, the southernmost point of Greenland.
A distress call was given at 13:56 stating that the ship had hit an iceberg at 59°30′N 43°00′W. The call was answered by the USCGC Campbell, the West German trawler Johannes Krüss of Bremerhaven and another West German trawler. Within an hour, another message was sent stating. At 15:12, it was announced. A final message was sent at 17:41 stating the ship was sinking and requesting immediate assistance. Aircraft in Newfoundland were grounded by the weather and unable to assist in the search for Hans Hedtoft; the beginning of an SOS was received by Johannes Krüss at 17:41 after which communication with Hans Hedtoft was lost. On 31 January, USCGC Campbell reported that conditions were the worst seen and there was no sign of Hans Hedtoft or her passengers and crew; the search was called off on 7 February. The only piece of wreckage recovered was a lifebuoy which washed ashore on Iceland and discovered on 7 October 1959, some nine months after the ship sank; the ship sank with parish registers from parishes of Greenland, which were meant to be deposited in archives in Denmark, causing a major loss for Greenlandic genealogy.
As a result of the sinking, the airfield at Narsarsuaq, which had closed in November 1958, was reopened. An appeal fund for the relatives of the victims was opened. Kr40,000 was raised amongst ten countries in two months. Compensation for the relatives amounted to Kr1,184,936. Like the RMS Titanic, Hans Hedtoft was said to be the safest ship afloat, being described as "unsinkable" by some. On 30 January 2005, Queen Margrethe unveiled a monument at North Atlantic Wharf, Copenhagen, to the 95 people lost on Hans Hedtoft; the shipwreck is the theme of the 2014 song "All Hope Abandon" by the Greenlandic band Small Time Giants. Projekt Hans Hedtoft 1959–2009 Overview and pictures LIFE Magazine Feb. 16, 1959
The motor ship Ranga was a 1,586 tonne container ship owned by the Spanish shipping company, Naviera Ason SA, but on charter to the Icelandic shipping company, Hafskip. She was named Berta de Perez, but her name was changed at sea to Ranga, due to the Icelandic charter; the Ranga was on her maiden voyage from Vigo to Reykjavík under Captain Miguel Ángel Díaz Madariaga. The ship lost power on this voyage during a storm, was wrecked at 52°6′33″N 10°28′6″W at Dunmore Head, close to Coumeenole Beach, near Slea Head on the Dingle peninsula, Co. Kerry, Ireland on 11 March 1982; the local rescue team comprising members of Dingle Fire Brigade, An Garda Síochána and emergency services, rescued some of the fifteen crew members by Breeches buoy. The remainder were taken off by an RAF helicopter. Captain Miguel Ángel Díaz Madariaga was the last to be dropped off the vessel; the ship was created oil pollution as she broke up. The ship broke into two parts the stern of the ship, with the superstructure on, the bows.
In 1989, the company Eurosalve tried to scrap her, but this failed due to the inaccessibility of the wreck. The stern section of the wreck was removed in 1991, due to filming of Far and Away, which included a scene shot at Dunmore Head. Today, some other scattered pieces of wreckage are still visible. Dingle peninsula Bourke, EJ.. Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast Volume 1, page 157. ISBN 0-9523027-0-5. "Ranga". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 2009-08-09. "Los Barcos de Pérez Y Cía", 2001
Flach was the first submarine designed and built in Chile in 1866. It was lost on a test run the same year, is believed to lie on the seabed of the bay of Valparaiso; the Flach was built in 1866 at the request of the Chilean government, by Karl Flach, a German engineer and immigrant. It was the fifth submarine built in the world and, along with a second submarine, was intended to defend the port of Valparaiso against attack by the Spanish navy during the Chincha Islands War. On 3 May 1866, after several days of successful testing, Karl Flach, his son, nine other Chilean and German crewmen boarded the submarine for another test run. During the test, the submarine sank for unknown reasons; the Flach was located two days after the sinking by seamen from the English frigate HMS Leander, a diver named John Wallace was able to see and draw the wreck, buried nose-down in the bay's sediment. The Chilean Navy, with support from others, has searched for the submarine and intends to raise it after finding it though there is as yet no agreement on what to do with the remains of the eleven bodies thought to be inside.
A finding of an object that appears to be the Flach was reported in El Mercurio de Valparaiso on 25 April 2007. However, the finding has not been confirmed, because, as of August 2007, sediment still has to be cleared away from the object. H. L. Hunley Plongeur Toro Submarino Hunt for Chile's first submarine Chile to resume search for old sub To the Rescue of Flach Submarine History: Age of Sail Presentation and video: Submarino Flach Armada de Chile Bentos, Servicios y Equipos Marinos Universidad Internacional SEK "Rescate del primer submarino chileno" "La tragedia del primer submarino chileno" History of submarines
SS Empire Clough
Empire Clough was a 6,147 GRT cargo ship, built in 1942 by John Readhead & Sons Ltd, South Shields for the Ministry of War Transport. She was sunk on her maiden voyage; the ship was built by John Readhead & Sons Ltd, South Shields as yard number 527. She was launched on 2 April 1942 and completed in June 1942; the ship was 405 feet 8 inches long, with a beam of 53 feet 6 inches and a depth of 32 feet 8 inches. She had a GRT of 6,147 and a NRT of 4,251; the ship was propelled by a triple expansion steam engine, which had cylinders of 23 1⁄2 inches, 37 1⁄2 inches and 68 inches diameter by 48 inches stroke. The engine was built by Blackburn. Empire Clough was built for the Ministry of War Transport and placed under the management of the Larringa Steamship Co Ltd, her port of registry was South Shields and she was allocated the Code Letters BDVX and United Kingdom Official Number 168655. On her maiden voyage, Empire Clough was a member of Convoy ON 100, which departed from Loch Ewe on 2 June 1942 bound for Boston and New York.
At 03:40 on 10 June 1942, Empire Clough was torpedoed by U-94 with the loss of five crew. The ship was abandoned, with the 44 survivors being rescued by HMS Dianthus and the Portuguese trawler Argus, they were landed in Greenland respectively. Empire Clough sank at 51°50′N 35°00′W; those lost on Empire Clough are commemorated at the Tower Hill Memorial, London
The Georgiana was a steamer belonging to the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War. Reputed to be the "most powerful" cruiser in the Confederate fleet, she was never used in battle. On her maiden voyage from Scotland, where she was built, she encountered Union Navy ships engaged in a blockade of Charleston, South Carolina, was damaged before being scuttled by her captain; the wreck lies in the shallow waters of Charleston's harbor. Due to the secrecy surrounding the vessel's construction and sailing, there has been much speculation about her intended role, whether as a cruiser, merchantman, or privateer. Georgiana was a brig-rigged, iron hulled, propeller steamer of 120 horsepower with a jib and two raked masts and stack painted black, her clipper bow sported the figurehead of a "demi-woman". Georgiana was pierced for fourteen guns and could carry more than four hundred tons of cargo, she was built by the Lawrie shipyard at Glasgow - under subcontract from Lairds of Birkenhead - and registered at that port in December 1862 as belonging to N. Matheson's Clyde service.
The U. S. Consul at Tenerife was rightly apprehensive of her as being "evidently a swift vessel." Captain Thomas Turner, station commodore, reported to Admiral S. F. du Pont that Georgiana was evidently "sent into Charleston to receive her officers, to be fitted out as a cruiser there. She had 140 men on board, with an armament of guns and gun carriages in her hold, commanded by a British naval retired officer." The Georgiana was lost on the night of 19 March 1863, while attempting to run past the Federal Blockading Squadron and into Charleston, South Carolina. She had been spotted by the armed U. S. Yacht America which alerted the remainder of the blockade fleet by shooting up colored signal flares; the Georgiana was sunk after a desperate chase in which she came so close to the big guns aboard the USS Wissahickon that her crew heard the orders being given on the U. S. vessel. With solid shot passing though her hull, her propeller and rudder damaged, with no hope for escape, Capt. A. B. Davidson flashed a white light in token of surrender, thus gaining time to beach his ship in fourteen feet of water, three-quarters of a mile from shore and, after first scuttling her, escaped on the land side with all hands.
Lt. Comdr. John L. Davis, commanding Wissahickon decided to set the wreck afire lest guerrilla bands from shore try to salvage her or her cargo: she burned for several days accompanied by large black powder explosions; the wreck was discovered by underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence in 1965. Today the Georgiana sits on the bottom with her huge boiler only five feet under the surface, she is now plumed with a wide array of sea fan, sea whips, living corals. Large sections of the hull are still intact. In places the starboard side of the shattered blockade runner protrudes over nine feet from the sand. Under the mud and sand lies the remainder of the hull of the ill-fated warship. On a clear day, skin divers can dive down into the Georgiana's immense cargo hold by holding their breath, they can swim right past the remaining iron deck supports. The ship's deck has long since been eaten away. Sea urchins and sea anemones abound on the wreck; the wreck is frequented by sea bass, flounder, stingrays and toadfish.
Once in the Georgiana's cargo hold, divers can observe encrusted artifacts sitting where they have lain for over one hundred years. Near the forward cargo hatch Spence found boxes of buttons. Spence recovered sundries and medicines worth over $12,000,000, but he never found the 350 pounds of gold believed to be hidden on the wreck; the gold could have a numismatic value of over $15,000,000. Other cargo could bring the Georgiana's total value to $50,000,000. Resting on top of the Georgiana's shattered wreckage is the remains of the sidewheel steamer Mary Bowers, which struck the wreck of the Georgiana while attempting to run the blockade into Charleston; this wreck site is important both and archaeologically. Because of the emphasis both sides or incorrectly placed on the Georgiana as a potential threat to United States shipping, archaeologically due to the site containing two distinct types of ships. Both ships were constructed of iron, but one was built with extra reinforcing and deep draft such as would be needed for operation as a privateer on the high seas and the other of light weight and shallow draft, suited for the purpose of running the blockade, which required crossing shallow shoals to evade the deeper draft vessels of the blockade fleet.
One is the other a sidewheel steamer. The two ships were built and lost in a time span of about two years, making their design differences more significant, it was for the Georgiana/Mary Bowers wreck that the first salvage license in South Carolina was granted in 1967. Hundreds of thousands of individual artifacts were recovered from the site; the first dives by State officials on the site were made in 2010. It is important in a literary sense because the Georgiana and her cargo were owned by banking and shipping magnate George Alfred Trenholm of Charleston, Treasurer of the Confederacy and the primary historical figure behind the fictional Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind. Due to the secrecy surrounding her construction, loading and sa
MS Zenobia was a Swedish built Challenger-class RO-RO ferry launched in 1979 that capsized and sank in the Mediterranean sea, close to Larnaca, Cyprus, in June 1980 on her maiden voyage. She now rests on her port side in 42 meters of water and was named by The Times, many others, as one of the top ten wreck diving sites in the world. Zenobia was built at the Kockums Varv AB shipyard in Sweden and was delivered to her owners Rederi AB Nordö in late 1979, she left Malmö, Sweden on her maiden voyage, bound for Tartous, Syria on 4 May 1980, loaded with 104 tractor-trailers with cargo destined for Mediterranean and the Middle East. She passed through the Strait of Gibraltar on 22 May 1980, stopping first at Heraklion, Crete and to Piraeus, Greece. On the way to Athens the captain noticed Zenobia began listing to port. Following checks, it was determined the list was caused by excess water, pumped into the ballast tanks, she arrived at Larnaca on 2 June 1980, where the ballast problem had reoccurred, engineers discovered that the computerized pumping system was pumping excess water into the side ballast tanks due to a software error, making the list progressively worse.
On 4 June, Zenobia was towed out of Larnaca harbor to prevent her becoming an obstruction should the worst happen and was left at anchor 1–1.5 miles offshore. On 5 June, with the ship listing at around 45° the captain dismissed the engineers and maintenance crew and requests from the captain to return her to Larnaca harbor were denied. At around 2:30am 7 June 1980, Zenobia capsized and sank in Larnaca Bay at 34°53.5′N 33°39.1′E to a depth of 42 meters, taking her estimated £200 million worth of cargo with her. There were no casualties in the disaster. According to local legend, Zenobia's owners never collected the insurance money and no formal investigation has been published; the wreck is ranked as one of the top 10 recreational dive sites worldwide. As a dive site, Zenobia provides a wide range of challenges to scuba divers, from a simple dive to 16 meters depth along the starboard side of the ship. There was a truckload of frozen animals on board when the ship went down so the bones of the animals can be seen on the second car deck.
There is a full cargo of eggs that lies on the sea bed 42 meters. Eight scuba divers have lost their lives diving on Zenobia in the years. Gallery