Philippine Air Force
The Philippine Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The forerunners of the Philippine Air Force was the Philippine Militia, otherwise known as Philippine National Guard. On March 17, 1917 Senate President Manuel L. Quezon enacted a bill for the creation of the Philippine Militia, it was enacted in anticipation that there would be an outbreak of hostilities between United States and Germany. By the end of the First World War, the US Army and Navy began selling aircraft and equipment to the Philippine Militia Commission; the Commission hired the services of the Curtiss School of Aviation to provide flight training to 33 students at a local base in Parañaque. The early aviation unit was, still lacking enough knowledge and equipment to be considered as an air force and was limited only to air transport duties. On January 2, 1935, Philippine Military Aviation was activated when the 10th Congress passed Commonwealth Act 1494 that provided for the organization of the Philippine Constabulary Air Corps.
PCAC was renamed as the Philippine Army Air Corps in 1936. It started with only three planes on its inventory. In 1941, PAAC had a total of 54 aircraft including pursuit light bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, light transport and trainers, they engaged the Japanese when they invaded the Philippines in 1941–42, were reformed in 1945 after the country's liberation. The PAF became a separate military service on July 1, 1947, when President Manuel Roxas issued Executive Order No. 94. This order created the Philippine Naval Patrol and the Air Force as equal branches of the Philippine Army and the Philippine Constabulary under the now Armed Forces of the Philippines becoming Southeast Asia's third air force as a result; the main aircraft type in the earlier era of the PAF was the P-51 Mustang, flown from 1947 to 1959. Ground attack missions were flown against various insurgent groups, with aircraft hit by ground fire but none shot down. In the 1950s the Mustang was used by the Blue Diamonds aerobatic display team.
These would be replaced by the jet-powered North American F-86 Sabres in the late 1950s, assisted by Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star and Beechcraft T-34 Mentor trainers. The PAF saw its first international action in the Congo under the UN peacekeeping mission in 1960. During the 70s, the PAF was providing air support for the AFP campaign against the MNLF forces in Central Mindanao, aside from doing the airlifting duties for troop movements from Manila and Cebu to the warzone. Traditional workhorses like the UH-1H choppers, L-20 “Beaver” aircraft, C-47 gunships were used in the campaign. In the same decade, the PAF Self-Reliance Development Group, the forerunner of the Air Force Research and Development Center was created; the Center enabled the PAF to create prototypes of aircraft aside on going into partnership with the private sector for some of its requirements. In late 1977, the Philippine government purchased 35 secondhand U. S. Navy F-8Hs. Twenty-five of them were refurbished by Vought and the remaining 10 were used for spare parts.
As part of the deal, the U. S. would train Philippine pilots in using the TF-8A. They were used for intercepting Soviet bombers; the F-8s were grounded in 1988 and were withdrawn from service in 1991 after they were badly damaged by the Mount Pinatubo eruption, have since been offered for sale as scrap. On February 24, 1986 at the height of political struggle between the Marcoses and the Aquinos, the 15th Strike Wing defected to the Ramos-Enrile camp, taking their squadrons of S-76 “Sikorsky” that dictated the EDSA People Power Revolution which ended the Marcos rule; the following years remained hostile for the Philippines, a series of bloody coup attempts led by then-Col Gregorio Honasan of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement, involved thousands of renegade troops, including elite units from the army and marines, in a coordinated series of attacks on Malacanang and several major military camps in Manila and surrounding provinces, including Sangley and Villamor Air Base, using the T-28 aircraft for aerial assaults.
President Corazon Aquino found it necessary to request United States support to put down the uprising. As a result, a large US special operations force was formed and named Operation Classic Resolve, as USAF F4 fighter aircraft stationed at Clark Air Base patrolled above rebel air bases, two aircraft carriers were positioned off the Philippines; the US operation soon caused the coup to collapse. Additional US forces were sent to secure the American embassy in Manila; the military uprisings resulted in an estimated US$1.5 billion loss to the Philippine Economy. The Cold War Era has reached its endpoint as tensions between the two ideological rivals, the United States and the Soviet Union, have simmered down as a result of the dissolution of the latter and the massive change of political system among its allies; the fate of the US military bases in the country was affected by these circumstances, aside from the catastrophic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 which engulfed the installations with ash and lahar flows.
The nearby Clark Air Base was abandoned afterwards, while the Philippine Senate voted to reject a new treaty for Subic Naval Complex, its sister American installation in Zambales. This occurrence had ended the century-old US military presence in the country as President Corazon Aquino tried to extend the lease agreement by calling a national referendum, leaving a security vacuum in the region and terminated the inflows of economic and military aid into the Philippines; the importance of territorial defense capabil
A cargo aircraft is a fixed-wing aircraft, designed or converted for the carriage of cargo rather than passengers. Such aircraft do not incorporate passenger amenities and feature one or more large doors for loading cargo. Freighters may be operated by civil passenger or cargo airlines, by private individuals or by the armed forces of individual countries. Aircraft designed for cargo flight have features that distinguish them from conventional passenger aircraft: a wide/tall fuselage cross-section, a high-wing to allow the cargo area to sit near the ground, a large number of wheels to allow it to land at unprepared locations, a high-mounted tail to allow cargo to be driven directly into and off the aircraft. By 2015, dedicated freighters represent 43% of the 700 billion ATK capacity, while 57% is carried in airliner's cargo holds, Boeing forecast Belly freight to rise to 63% while specialised cargoes would represent 37% of a 1,200 billion ATKs in 2035. Aircraft were put to use carrying cargo in the form of "air mail" as early as 1911.
Although the earliest aircraft were not designed as cargo carriers, by the mid-1920s aircraft manufacturers were designing and building dedicated cargo aircraft. In the UK during the early 1920s, the need was recognized for a freighter aircraft to transport troops and materiel to pacify tribal revolts in the newly occupied territories of the Middle East; the Vickers Vernon, a development of the Vickers Vimy Commercial, entered service with the Royal Air Force as the first dedicated troop transport in 1921. In February 1923 this was put to use by the RAF's Iraq Command who flew nearly 500 Sikh troops from Kingarban to Kirkuk in the first strategic airlift of troops. Vickers Victorias played an important part in the Kabul Airlift of November 1928–February 1929, when they evacuated diplomatic staff and their dependents together with members of the Afghan royal family endangered by a civil war; the Victorias helped to pioneer air routes for Imperial Airways' Handley Page HP.42 airliners. The World War II German design, the Arado Ar 232 was the first purpose built cargo aircraft.
The Ar 232 was intended to supplant the earlier Junkers Ju 52 freighter conversions, but only a few were built. Most other forces used freighter versions of airliners in the cargo role as well, most notably the C-47 Skytrain version of the Douglas DC-3, which served with every Allied nation. One important innovation for future cargo aircraft design was introduced in 1939, with the fifth and sixth prototypes of the Junkers Ju 90 four-engined military transport aircraft, with the earliest known example of a rear loading ramp; this aircraft, like most of its era, used tail-dragger landing gear which caused the aircraft to have a decided rearward tilt when landed. These aircraft introduced the Trapoklappe, a powerful ramp/hydraulic lift with a personnel stairway centered between the vehicle trackway ramps, that raised the rear of the aircraft into the air and allowed easy loading. A similar rear loading ramp appeared in a somewhat different form on the nosewheel gear-equipped, late WW II era American Budd RB-1 Conestoga twin-engined cargo aircraft.
Postwar Europe served to play a major role in the development of the modern air cargo and air freight industry. It is during the Berlin Airlift at the height of the Cold War, when a massive mobilization of aircraft was undertaken by the West to supply West Berlin with food and supplies, in a virtual around the clock air bridge, after the Soviet Union closed and blockaded Berlin's land links to the west. To supply the needed numbers of aircraft, many older types the Douglas C-47 Skytrain, were pressed into service. In operation it was found that it took as long or longer to unload these older designs as the much larger tricycle landing gear Douglas C-54 Skymaster, easier to move about in when landed; the C-47s were removed from service, from on flat-decks were a requirement of all new cargo designs. In the years following the war era a number of new custom-built cargo aircraft were introduced including some "experimental" features. For instance, the US's C-82 Packet featured a removable cargo area, while the C-123 Provider introduced the now-common rear fuselage/upswept tail shaping to allow for a much larger rear loading ramp.
But it was the introduction of the turboprop that allowed the class to mature, one of its earliest examples, the C-130 Hercules, in the 21st century as the Lockheed Martin C-130J, is still the yardstick against which newer military transport aircraft designs are measured. Although larger and faster designs have been proposed for many years, the C-130 continues to improve at a rate that keeps it in production. "Strategic" cargo aircraft became an important class of their own starting with the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy in the 1960s and a number of similar Soviet designs from the 70s and 80s, culminating in the Antonov An-225, the world's largest aircraft. These designs offer the ability to carry the heaviest loads main battle tanks, at global ranges; the Boeing 747 was designed to the same specification as the C-5, but modified as a design that could be offered as either passenger or all-freight versions. The "bump" on the top of the fuselage allows the crew area to be clear of the cargo containers sliding out of the front in the event of an accident.
When the Airbus A380 was announced, the maker accepted orders for the freighter version A380F, offering the second largest payload capacity of any cargo aircraft, exceeded only by the An-225. An aerospace consultant has estimated that the A380F would have 7% better payload an
Safair is an aviation company based at the O. R. Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, South Africa. Operator of one of the world's largest fleets of civil Lockheed L-100 Hercules cargo aircraft, it conducts aircraft chartering. Safair Operations as it is known today was established in 1965. At the time it was a general aviation charter company. In 1970 the company name changed to Safair Freighters Ltd when the company was purchased by Safmarine and the new entity began operations on 18 March 1970, its primary client in the 1980s was the South African Defence Force. Until the 1990s it served the local and regional air cargo market. In 1991 it diversified into aircraft maintenance and overnight courier operations before concentrating on leasing and chartering. In 1998 Safair purchased a 49% stake in Air Contractors, based in Ireland, was itself acquired by Imperial Holdings for $40 million in December 1998. In July 1999 Safair acquired control of Streamline Aviation. Safair is wholly owned by ASL Aviation Group Ltd based in Dublin, Ireland, a subsidiary of the Belgian group Compagnie Maritime Belge.
Humanitarian Aid and Relief operations has always been Safair's "niche" market. Safair assists aid and relief agencies such as the United Nations, World Food Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross in delivering much needed humanitarian aid to stricken regions on the African continent as well as other areas in the world where such assistance is required; until 2018 Safair was contracted to the Italian Antarctic Program to support science over the austral summer, flying Lockheed L-100-30 missions from Christchurch, New Zealand to Zucchelli Station in Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica. In 2007, Safair obtained its IATA Operational Safety Audit approval; as of July 2014 the Safair fleet consists of the following aircraft: ATR 72 Beechcraft 1900D Boeing 707-320 Boeing 727-100 Boeing 727-200 Boeing 737-200 British Aerospace 146-100QT British Aerospace 146-200QC CASA CN-235 Convair 580 Lockheed L-100-20 Hercules McDonnell Douglas MD-81 McDonnell Douglas MD-82 Partenavia P.68B Partenavia AP.68TP-600 Viator In 2013, Safair created a low-cost carrier subsidiary called FlySafair.
The initial plan to operate flights in October 2013 had to be cancelled, as a result of a high-court application by Comair. FlySafair is operational with the first flight having taken place on 16 October 2014. FlySafair operates to Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Lanseria and East London. Safair Safair aircraft
Kisangani is the capital of Tshopo province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the third largest urbanized city in the country and the largest of the cities that lie in the tropical woodlands of the Congo. Known as Stanleyville in French, the city takes its current name from Boyoma Falls, the seven-arched falls located south of the city, whose name was initially given to the landscape on which the city is located. Singitini as rendered in Lingala, each of which share the same meaning "the City on the Island", in reference to the surrounding tributaries, it is known as "Kisangani Boyoma", the demonym for Kisangani is Boyoman. The languages most spoken at home by the population in the city are Swahili and Lingala, followed by French; the official language of Kisangani is French, as defined by the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Some 1300 mi from the mouth of the Congo River, Kisangani is the farthest navigable point upstream. Kisangani is the nation's most important inland port after Kinshasa, an important commercial hub point for river and land transportation and a major marketing and distribution centre for the north-eastern part of the country.
It has been the commercial capital of the northern Congo since the late 19th century. Kisangani has been home to influential politicians, including the national hero, Patrice Emery Lumumba, the first prime minister of the country; the city is the birthplace of the University of Kisangani graduate and former governor of former Orientale Province, Jean Bamanisa Saïdi. Henry Morton Stanley founded Stanley Falls Station in 1883, on the Island of Wana Rusari in the Congo River near the present town of Kisangani. During the mid-19th century the area was inhabited by a native Congolese tribe known as the Clans of Enya, who had used Wagenia Falls for fishing; the island is located a few meters from the shore site of the present town on the Lualaba River its 7 falls spread over 100 km between Kisangani and Ubundu. Some 1,300 miles from the mouth of the Congo River, Stanley founded the area's first trading post for King Leopold II of Belgium in December 1883; the city was known first as Falls Station and with Belgian colonization of the area, it grew into a settlement called Stanleyville.
A city terminus of steamer navigation on the Congo River, the town began as a Belgian trading post. It has been the major centre of the northern Congo since the late 19th century. Stanley left Mr. Binnie, an engineer and a Scotsman, in charge to trade with the local people and to represent the Congo Free State; the name "Kisangani" was used by the local people, in conjunction with the name "Stanleyville". In Swahili the manual published by the Marist Brothers in the 1920s, we find an example of substitution naming "from X to Stanleyville", translated "toka X Mpaka Kisangani"; the name "Kisangani" is a Swahili rendering of the indigenous Congolese language word Boyoma, meaning "City on the Island" rendered in Lingala as Singitini with the same meaning. Soon after the establishment of ties between the Africans and Europeans, East African slavers from Zanzibar erroneously called "Arabs" by European writers of the time, reached Stanley Falls. Relations between Free State officials and the slavers were strained and after a fight the station was abandoned in 1887.
After the Arab-Euro wars in the Congo, in 1888 the Free State obtained an agreement to establish a form of power by appointing Mohammed Bin Alfan Mujreb Tippu Tip, one of the greatest Zanzibar slavers as first governor of the district of "Stanley Falls" stretching from eastern Tanganyika in Ituri through Maniema. The Europeans gained complete control of the vast area in central Africa. On 15 July 1898, Stanleyville began serving as the capital of the prosperous District of the Eastern Province Stanley Falls. City status was achieved by incorporation Order No. 12/357 on 6 September 1958, which divided Stanleyville into 4 municipalities: Belgian I, Belgian II, Brussels and Stanley. Towards the end of 1958, the city became the stronghold of Patrice Emery Lumumba, the leader of the political party Mouvement National Congolais, his strong ties with the city had been forged during his days as one of 350 clerks at the central post office. Ethiopian ONUC troops arrived in the city after July 1960. After the assassination of Lumumba in 1961, Antoine Gizenga installed the Free Republic of the Congo in Stanleyville, that competed with the central government in Leopoldville.
Before the country gained independence from Belgium in 1960, Kisangani was reputed to have more Rolls-Royces per capita than any other city in the world. In early 1964, the Simba Rebellion occurred, mushrooming into outright rebellion by June. By August rebels had overrun Stanleyville from their bases in Wanie Rukula, they closed the airport and barred civilians from leaving, including at least one foreign consular staff. A number of American and European nationals taken captive, following intense negotiations Operation Dragon Rouge was launched by Belgium, the Armée Nationale Congolaise, a plethora of foreign mercenaries under Colonel Mike Hoare to free the hostages. In 1966 and 1967, Kisangani was the site of the Mercenaries' Mutinies, which led to widespread loot
Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules
The Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The C-130J is a comprehensive update of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, other systems; the Hercules family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. During more than 60 years of service, the family has participated in military and humanitarian aid operations; the Hercules has outlived several planned successor designs, most notably the Advanced Medium STOL Transport contestants. As of February 2018, 400 C-130J aircraft have been delivered to 17 nations; the C-130J is the only model still in production. Externally similar to the classic Hercules in general appearance, the J-model features updated technology; these differences include new Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprop engines with Dowty R391 composite scimitar propellers, digital avionics, reduced crew requirements. These changes have improved performance over its C-130E/H predecessors, such as 40% greater range, 21% higher maximum speed, 41% shorter takeoff distance.
The J-model is available in a stretched -30 variant. As a cargo and airlift aircraft, the C-130J's crew includes two pilots and one loadmaster, while specialized USAF variants may have larger crews, such as navigators/Combat Systems Officers or other specialized officer and enlisted air crew; the U. S. Marine Corps KC-130J uses a crew chief for expeditionary operations; the C-130J's cargo compartment is 41 feet long, 9 feet high, 10 feet wide, loading is from the rear of the fuselage. The aircraft can be configured with the "enhanced cargo handling system"; the system consists of a computerized loadmaster's station from which the user can remotely control the under-floor winch and configure the flip-floor system to palletized roller or flat-floor cargo handling. Developed for the USAF, this system enables rapid role changes to be carried out and so extends the C-130J's time available to complete taskings. Lockheed Martin received the launch order for the J-model from the RAF, which ordered 25 aircraft, with first deliveries beginning in 1999 as Hercules C4 and Hercules C5.
The standard C-130J had a flyaway cost of US$62 million in 2008. In mid-June 2008, the United States Air Force awarded a $470 million contract to Lockheed Martin for six modified KC-130J aircraft for use by the Air Force and Special Operations Command; the contract led to C-130J variants that will replace aging MC-130s. The HC-130J Combat King II personnel recovery aircraft completed developmental testing on 14 March 2011; the final test point was air-to-air refueling, was the first boom refueling of a C-130 where the aircraft’s refueling receiver was installed during aircraft production. This test procedure applied to the MC-130J Combat Shadow II aircraft in production for Air Force Special Operations Command. With the addition of the Marine Corps's ISR / Weapon Mission Kit, the KC-130J tanker variant will be able to serve as an overwatch aircraft and can deliver ground support fire in the form of Hellfire or Griffin missiles, precision-guided bombs, 30mm cannon fire in a upgrade; this capability, designated as "Harvest HAWK", can be used in scenarios where precision is not a requisite, such as area denial.
The aircraft retains its original capabilities in transportation. The entire system can be removed within a day if necessary; the Super Hercules has been used extensively by the USMC in Iraq and Afghanistan. Canada has deployed its CC-130J aircraft to Afghanistan. C-130Js from several countries have been deployed in support of the US Operation Odyssey Dawn and NATO's Operation Unified Protector during the 2011 Libyan civil war. From the first flight on 5 April 1996 to 30 April 2013, 290 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft operated by 13 nations surpassed 1 million flight hours. In January 2013, it was reported that some of Canada's CC-130J transports had counterfeit Chinese microchips in their cockpit displays; these parts are more to fail and result in failures such as blank instrument screens during flight. A 14-month investigation by the U. S. Senate Armed Services Committee concluded that counterfeit parts in the Hercules and other American-made military equipment are prone to failure with "catastrophic consequences."
The U. S. congressional investigation reported the fake Hercules microchips were made by the Korean electronics giant Samsung in the 1990s, more than a decade had been recycled and remarked to appear genuine by a company in China. Samsung stated that "it is not possible to project the reliability" of the altered parts; the U. S. investigation reported that the problems on the Hercules first came to light in 2010 when the instrument panel failed on a USAF aircraft during active duty. On 20 August 2013, the Indian Air Force performed the highest landing of a C-130J at the Daulat Beg Oldi airstrip in Ladakh at the height of 16,614 ft; the Modular Airborne FireFighting System is a self-contained unit used for aerial firefighting that can be loaded onto a C-130 Hercules, which allows the aircraft to be used as an air tanker against wildfires. This allows the U. S. Forest Service to utilize military aircraft from the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve to serve as an emergency backup resource to the civilian air tanker fleet.
The latest generation MAFFS II system was used for the first time on a fire in July 2010, using the C-1
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport known as Atlanta Airport, Hartsfield, or Hartsfield–Jackson, is an international airport 7 miles south of downtown Atlanta, Georgia. It is named after former Atlanta mayors William B. Maynard Jackson; the airport has 192 gates: 40 international. ATL has five parallel runways; the airport has international service within North America and to South America, Central America, Europe and Asia. As an international gateway to the United States, Hartsfield–Jackson ranks seventh. Many of the nearly one million flights are domestic flights. Atlanta has been the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic since 2000, by number of landings and take-offs every year since 2005 except 2014. Hartsfield–Jackson held its ranking as the world's busiest airport in 2012, both in passengers and number of flights, by accommodating 100 million passengers and 950,119 flights. In 2017, it remained the busiest airport in the world with 104 million passengers. Hartsfield–Jackson is the primary hub of Delta Air Lines, is a focus city for low-cost carriers Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines.
With just over 1,000 flights a day to 225 domestic and international destinations, the Delta hub is the world's largest hub. Delta Air Lines flew 75.4% of the airport's passengers in February 2016, Southwest flew 9.2%, American Airlines flew 2.5%. In addition to hosting Delta's corporate headquarters, Hartsfield–Jackson is the home of Delta's Technical Operations Center, the airline's primary maintenance and overhaul arm; the airport is in unincorporated areas of Fulton and Clayton counties, but it spills into the city limits of Atlanta, College Park, Hapeville. The airport's domestic terminal is served by MARTA's Red and Gold rail lines. Hartsfield–Jackson began with a five-year, rent-free lease on 287 acres, an abandoned auto racetrack named The Atlanta Speedway; the lease was signed on April 16, 1925, by Mayor Walter Sims, who committed the city to develop it into an airfield. As part of the agreement, the property was renamed Candler Field after its former owner, Coca-Cola tycoon and former Atlanta mayor Asa Candler.
The first flight into Candler Field was September 15, 1926, a Florida Airways mail plane flying from Jacksonville, Florida. In May 1928, Pitcairn Aviation began service followed in June 1930 by Delta Air Service; those two airlines, now known as Eastern Air Lines and Delta Air Lines would both use Atlanta as their chief hubs. The airport's weather station became the official location for Atlanta's weather observations September 1, 1928, records by the National Weather Service, it was a busy airport from its inception and at the end of 1930 it was third behind New York City and Chicago for regular daily flights with sixteen arriving and departing. Candler Field's first control tower opened March 1939; the March 1939 Official Aviation Guide shows fourteen weekday airline departures: ten Eastern and four Delta. In October 1940, the U. S. government declared it a military airfield and the United States Army Air Forces operated Atlanta Army Airfield jointly with Candler Field. The Air Force used the airport to service many types of transient combat aircraft.
During World War II the airport doubled in size and set a record of 1,700 takeoffs and landings in a single day, making it the nation's busiest in terms of flight operation. Atlanta Army Airfield closed after the war. In 1942 Candler Field was renamed Atlanta Municipal Airport and by 1948, more than one million passengers passed through a war surplus hangar that served as a terminal building. Delta and Eastern had extensive networks from ATL, though Atlanta had no nonstop flights beyond Texas, St Louis and Chicago until 1961. Southern Airways appeared at ATL after the war and had short-haul routes around the Southeast until 1979. In 1957 Atlanta saw its first jet airliner: a prototype Sud Aviation Caravelle, touring the country arrived from Washington D. C; the first scheduled turbine airliners were Capital Viscounts in June 1956. The first trans-Atlantic flight was the Delta/Pan Am interchange DC-8 to Europe via Washington starting in 1964. Nonstops to Europe started in 1978 and to Asia in 1992–93.
Atlanta claimed to be the country's busiest airport, with more than two million passengers passing through in 1957 and, between noon and 2 p.m. each day, it became the world's busiest airport. Chicago Midway had 414 weekday departures, including 48 between 12:00 and 2:00 PM. In 1957, Atlanta was the country's ninth-busiest airline airport by flight count and about the same by passenger count; that year work began on a $21 million terminal that opened May 3, 1961. It could handle over six million travelers a year. In March 1962 the longest runway was 7,860 feet. In 1971 the airport was named William B. Hartsfield Atlanta Airport after former Atlanta mayor William B. Hartsfield, who had died that year; the name change took effect on February 28. Later
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes anachronistically referred to by its former name of Zaire, its official name between 1971 and 1997, it is, by area, the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, the second-largest in all of Africa, the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of over 78 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated Francophone country, the fourth-most-populated country in Africa, the 16th-most-populated country in the world. Eastern DR Congo is the scene of ongoing military conflict in Kivu, since 2015. Centred on the Congo Basin, the territory of the DRC was first inhabited by Central African foragers around 90,000 years ago and was reached by the Bantu expansion about 3,000 years ago. In the west, the Kingdom of Kongo ruled around the mouth of the Congo River from the 14th to 19th centuries. In the centre and east, the kingdoms of Luba and Lunda ruled from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 19th century.
In the 1870s, just before the onset of the Scramble for Africa, European exploration of the Congo Basin was carried out, first led by Henry Morton Stanley under the sponsorship of Leopold II of Belgium. Leopold formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Berlin Conference in 1885 and made the land his private property, naming it the Congo Free State. During the Free State, the colonial military unit, the Force Publique, forced the local population to produce rubber, from 1885 to 1908, millions of Congolese died as a consequence of disease and exploitation. In 1908, despite initial reluctance, formally annexed the Free State, which became the Belgian Congo; the Belgian Congo achieved independence on 30 June 1960 under the name Republic of the Congo. Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba was elected the first Prime Minister, while Joseph Kasa-Vubu became the first President. Conflict arose over the administration of the territory; the provinces of Katanga, under Moïse Tshombe, South Kasai attempted to secede.
After Lumumba turned to the Soviet Union for assistance in the crisis, the U. S. and Belgium became wary and oversaw his removal from office by Kasa-Vubu on 5 September and ultimate execution by Belgian-led Katangese troops on 17 January 1961. On 25 November 1965, Army Chief of Staff Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, who renamed himself Mobutu Sese Seko came into power through a coup d'état. In 1971, he renamed the country Zaire; the country was run as a dictatorial one-party state, with his Popular Movement of the Revolution as the sole legal party. Mobutu's government received considerable support from the United States, due to its anti-communist stance during the Cold War. By the early 1990s, Mobutu's government began to weaken. Destabilisation in the east resulting from the 1994 Rwandan genocide and disenfranchisement among the eastern Banyamulenge population led to a 1996 invasion led by Tutsi FPR-ruled Rwanda, which began the First Congo War. On 17 May 1997, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a leader of Tutsi forces from the province of South Kivu, became President after Mobutu fled to Morocco, reverting the country's name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Tensions between President Kabila and the Rwandan and Tutsi presence in the country led to the Second Congo War from 1998 to 2003. Nine African countries and around twenty armed groups became involved in the war, which resulted in the deaths of 5.4 million people. The two wars devastated the country. President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated by one of his bodyguards on 16 January 2001 and was succeeded eight days as President by his son Joseph; the Democratic Republic of the Congo is rich in natural resources but has had political instability, a lack of infrastructure, issues with corruption and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation with little holistic development. Besides the capital Kinshasa, the two next largest cities Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi are both mining communities. DR Congo's largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of DRC's exports in 2012. In 2016, DR Congo's level of human development was ranked 176th out of 187 countries by the Human Development Index.
As of 2018, around 600,000 Congolese have fled to neighbouring countries from conflicts in the centre and east of the DRC. Two million children risk starvation, the fighting has displaced 4.5 million people. The sovereign state is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, African Union, COMESA; the Democratic Republic of the Congo is named after the Congo River, which flows throughout the country. The Congo River is the world's second largest river by discharge; the Comité d'études du haut Congo, established by King Leopold II of Belgium in 1876, the International Association of the Congo, established by him in 1879, were named after the river. The Congo River itself was named by early European sailors after the Kingdom of Kongo and its Bantu inhabitants, the Kongo people, when they encountered them in the 16th century; the word Kongo comes from the Kongo language. According to American writer Samuel Henry Nelson "It is probable that the word'Kongo' itself implies a public gathering and that it is based on the root konga,'to gather'."
The modern name of the Kongo people, Bakongo was introduced in the early 20th century. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been known in the past as, in chronological order, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, the Repub