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The Boeing 747, one of the most iconic aircraft in history.

Aviation, or air transport, refers to 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 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.

Selected article

Computer-generated image of Flight 1907 and N600XL about to collide. The Legacy's left winglet sliced off nearly half of the Boeing's left wing.
Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907 was a Boeing 737-8EH, registration PR-GTD, on a scheduled passenger flight from Manaus, Brazil, to Rio de Janeiro. On 29 September 2006, just before 17:00 BRT, it collided in midair with an Embraer Legacy business jet over the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. All 154 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 737 died when the aircraft broke up in midair and crashed into an area of dense rainforest, while the Embraer Legacy, despite sustaining serious damage to its left wing and tail, landed safely with its seven occupants uninjured. The accident, which triggered a crisis in Brazilian civil aviation, was the deadliest in that country's aviation history at the time, surpassing VASP Flight 168, which crashed in 1982 with 137 fatalities near Fortaleza. It was also the deadliest aviation accident involving a Boeing 737 aircraft at that time. It was subsequently surpassed by Air India Express Flight 812, which crashed at Mangalore, India, on 22 May 2010 with 158 fatalities. The accident was investigated by both the Brazilian Air Force's Aeronautical Accidents Investigation and Prevention Center and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), with a final report issued on 10 December 2008. CENIPA concluded that the accident was caused by errors committed both by air traffic controllers and by the American pilots, while the NTSB determined that all pilots acted properly and were placed on a collision course by a variety of "individual and institutional" air traffic control errors.

Selected image

Inverted Jenny.jpg

The inverted Jenny (or Jenny Invert) is a United States postage stamp of 1918 in which the image of the Curtiss JN-4 airplane in the center of the design was accidentally printed upside-down; it is probably the most famous error in American philately. Only 100 of the inverts were ever found, making this error one of the most prized in all philately; an inverted Jenny was sold at a Robert A. Siegel auction in June 2005 for US$525,000.

...Archive/Nominations

Did you know

...that the Soviet spotter aircraft Sukhoi Su-12, though approved, was never produced due to lack of manufacturing capacity in the USSR? ...that the BAE Systems HERTI is the first and only fully autonomous UAV to have been certificated by the United Kingdom? ... that former USAF officer David P. Cooley who was the chief test pilot for the F-117 Nighthawk died in March 2009 while testing the F-22 Raptor?

Selected Aircraft

An ERJ-145 of BA CitiExpress (now BA Connect) takes off from Bristol Airport (UK)

The Embraer ERJ-145 is a regional jet produced by Embraer, a Brazilian aerospace company. The ERJ 145 is the largest of a family of airliners, which also includes the ERJ 135, ERJ 140, and Legacy. All aircraft in the series are powered by two turbofan engines. It is one of the most popular regional jet families in the world with primary competition coming from the Canadair Regional Jet.

The first flight of the ERJ 145 was on August 11, 1995, with the first delivery in December 1996 to ExpressJet Airlines (then the regional division of Continental Airlines). ExpressJet is the largest operator of the ERJ 145, with 270 of the nearly 1000 ERJ 145s in service. The second largest operator is American Eagle, with 206 ERJ 145 aircraft. Chautauqua Airlines also operates 95 ERJ 145s through its alliances with American Connection, Delta Connection, US Airways Express and United Express. By some accounts, the ERJ 145 has a cost of ownership of about $2,500,000 per year.

  • Span: 20.04 m (65 ft 9 in)
  • Length: 29.9 m (98 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 6.76 m (22 ft 2 in)
  • Engines: 2× Rolls-Royce AE 3007A turbofans, 33.0 kN (7,420 lbf) thrust each
  • Cruising Speed: 834 km/h (518 mph, Mach 0.78)
  • First Flight: August 11, 1995
  • Number built: ≈1000

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Selected biography

Benjamin Delahauf Foulois in flying helmet.jpg
Benjamin Delahauf Foulois (1879-1967) was an early aviation pioneer who rose to become a chief of the U.S. Army Air Corps. The son of a French immigrant, he was born and raised in Connecticut. He enlisted in the Army at age 18 to serve in the Spanish–American War. After just a few month he was separated because of disease he had picked up in Puerto Rico. He re-enlisted in 1899 and was sent to the Philippines where he received a commission as a Second Lieutenant. Foulois believed that the new airplane would replace the cavalry for reconnaissance and in 1908 transferred into the Signal Corps.

Foulois conducted the acceptance test for the Army's first aircraft, a Wright Model A, in 1909. He participated in the Mexican Expedition from 1916–17 and was part of the American Expeditionary Force in France during World War I where he was responsible for the logistics and maintenance of the U.S. air fleet. During World War I he and Billy Mitchell began a long and hostile relationship over the direction of military aviation and the best method to get there. After the war he served as a military attaché to Germany where he gathered a great deal of intelligence on German aviation. He later went on to command the 1st Aero Squadron and ultimately commanded the Air Corps.

He retired in 1935 as part of the fallout from the Air Mail scandal. Foulois continued to advocate for a strong air service in retirement. In 1959, at the invitation of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Foulois began touring Air Force bases advocating national security. He died of a heart attack on 25 April 1967 and is buried in his home town of Washington, Connecticut.

In the news

Wikinews Aviation portal
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Today in Aviation

November 28

  • 2010Sun Way Flight 4412, operated by Ilyushin Il-76 4L-GNI on a cargo flight crashed in a populated area of Karachi, Pakistan, shortly after taking off from Jinnah International Airport. All eight people on board were killed, as were a further two people on the ground. The aircraft was reported to have been trying to return to Jinnah after suffering an engine fire.[1]
  • 2009Avient Aviation Flight 324, operated by McDonnell Douglas MD-11 F Z-BAV, crashed on take-off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport on a flight to Bishkek – Manas International Airport, Kyrgyzstan with the loss of 3 lives. The plane was written-off.
  • 2005 – Boeing delivers its last 757 passenger airplane to Shanghai Airlines, concluding a 23-year production run. It is the 1,050th Boeing 757, with more than 1,030 still in service.
  • 2004 – The landing gear of KLM Flight 1673 struck a bird, which broke a cable in the nose wheel. The flight continued normally, but when the flight crew attempted to land their jet, they were unable to control the aircraft’s movement, and the aircraft veered off the runway before the landing gear collapsed. All 146 passengers on board the Boeing 737-406 survived the accident.
  • 1994KLM Flight 1673, a Boeing 737-406 with 146 people on board, suffers a landing gear failure during its takeoff roll at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, veers off the runway, and crashes. All on board survive, but the aircraft is written off.
  • 1983 – Launch: Space shuttle Columbia STS-9 at 11:00:00 EDT (16:00:00 UTC). Mission highlights: First Spacelab mission.
  • 1979Air New Zealand Flight 901, a McDonnell-Douglas DC-10, collides with Mount Erebus, Antarctica during a sightseeing flight, killing all 257 people on board; this crash is also known as the Mount Erebus Disaster.
  • 1972Japan Airlines Flight 446 was a Japan Airlines flight from Sheremetyevo International Airport of Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan. The DC-8-62 on the route crashed during the initial climb phase upon takeoff from Sheremetyevo. While it is established by investigation that the direct reason for the crash was stalling shortly after takeoff, the Soviet Accident Investigation Committee noted the possibility of accidental deployment of the spoilers and reduced thrust due to engine problems as the cause for this accident.
  • 1966 – Second prototype Dassault Mirage IIIV, an experimental VTOL fighter design, first flown 22 June 1966, crashes this date. Project, running several years behind schedule, is canceled and plans to build additional prototypes dropped.
  • 1964 – Launch: Mariner 4, NASA launches the first Mars fly-by spacecraft.
  • 1957 – Lockheed U-2A, 56-6704, Article 371, eleventh airframe of first USAF order, delivered April 1957, moved to 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Laughlin AFB, Texas, June: 1957, crashes at night this date. Capt. Benny Lacombe killed when he unsuccessfully attempts to bail out of crippled aircraft 13 miles SE of Laughlin. Ejection seats had not yet been fitted to U-2s at this point.
  • 1947 – A USAF Douglas C-47B-6-DK, 43-48736, c/n 14552/25997, of the 15th Troop Carrier Squadron, 61st Troop Carrier Group, piloted by Wesley B. Fleming,[146] en route from Pisa to Frankfurt-Rhein-Main AFB, thirty miles off-course, crashes in the Italian Alps near Trappa, Italy. All five crew and 15 passengers KWF. Wreckage discovered eight months later.
  • 1945 – Pan American World Airways orders 20 Boeing Stratocruisers (Model 377), a commercial version of the C-97 military transport.
  • 1943 – Japanese resistance on Tarawa Atoll ends. American aircraft carriers depart the Gilbert Islands area before the end of the month.
  • 1942 – Roll out of the first B-24 Liberator made in Ford’s Willow Run plant.
  • 1942 – Australian pilot F/Sgt Ron Middleton earns a posthumous VC for valour in bringing his crew and crippled bomber home after a raid on Turin, Italy.
  • 1941 – First prototype Grumman XTBF-1 Avenger, BuNo 2539, suffers fire in bomb bay during test flight out of Long Island, New York factory airfield, forcing pilot Hobart Cook and engineer Gordon Israel to bail out. (Joe Mizrahi source cites date of accident as 28 August 1941.)
  • 1938 – 28-30 – A Lufthansa Fw 200 (right) makes the airline's first flight to Japan, flying non-stop from Berlin to Tokyo via Basra, Karachi, and Hanoi. The 14,228 km (8,841 mile) flight breaks the distance record and takes 46 hours 18 min.
  • 1936 – Thus far in the Spanish Civil War, Italy has sent about 24 Fiat CR.32 fighters, 19 Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 bombers, and some IMAM Ro.37 reconnaissance aircraft to support the Nationalists.
  • 1934 – The RCAF acquired ten more Atlases to increase strength – The were the first new aircraft acquired since 1931!
  • 1929 – American Commander Richard Byrd and crew make the first flight over the South Pole, in a Ford 4-AT Trimotor monoplane, November 28-29.
  • 1928 – Floyd Bennett, a Ford Trimotor flown by Harold June, Commander Richard Byrd, Bernt Balchen, Captain R. Ashley and C. McKinley made the first flight over the South Pole.
  • 1922 – First flight of the Fairey Flycatcher
  • 1916 – Three Royal Naval Air Service BE.2 cs, one of them flown by Flight Lieutenant Egbert Cadbury, shoot down the German Zeppelin L 21 off Lowestoft, England.
  • 1912 – The Italian Air Battalion is made a fully operational command, the (Flotta Aerea d'Italia).


  1. ^ Hradecky, Simon. "Crash: Sun Way IL76 at Karachi on November 28th 2010, engine fire". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 28 November 2010.

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