Before the featured portal process ceased in 2017, this had been designated as a featured portal.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Main page   Categories & Main topics   Tasks and Projects


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

CG render of McDonnell Douglas MD-11 HB-IWF
Swissair Flight 111 was a Swissair McDonnell Douglas MD-11 on a scheduled airline flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, United States to Cointrin International Airport in Geneva, Switzerland. This flight was also a codeshare flight with Delta Air Lines. On Wednesday, 2 September 1998, the aircraft used for the flight, registered HB-IWF, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean southwest of Halifax International Airport at the entrance to St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia. The crash site was 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from shore, roughly equidistant from the tiny fishing and tourist communities of Peggys Cove and Bayswater. All 229 people on board died—the highest death toll of any aviation accident involving a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 and the second-highest of any air disaster in the history of Canada, after Arrow Air Flight 1285. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada's (TSB) official report of their investigation stated that flammable material used in the aircraft's structure allowed a fire to spread beyond the control of the crew, resulting in a loss of control and the crash of the aircraft. Swissair Flight 111 was known as the "U.N. shuttle" due to its popularity with United Nations officials; the flight often carried business executives, scientists, and researchers.

Selected image

Did you know

...that among the earliest accounts of the use of a man-lifting kite is in the story of Ishikawa Goemon's robbery from Nagoya Castle?

Bede BD-4

...that the strategic bombing campaign used in the 1990 Operation Instant Thunder served as a model for subsequent American military conflicts?

Selected Aircraft

C-GSYN Adlair Aviation Ltd Beechcraft King Air 100 (BE10) 03.JPG

The Beechcraft King Air is a line of twin-turboprop aircraft produced by the Beech Aircraft Corporation (now the Beechcraft Division of Hawker Beechcraft). The King Air has been in continuous production since 1964, the longest production run of any civilian turboprop aircraft. It has outlasted all of its previous competitors and as of 2006 is one of only two twin-turboprop business airplanes in production (the other is the Piaggio Avanti).

Historically, the King Air family comprises a number of models that fall into four families, the Model 90 series, Model 100 series, Model 200 series, and Model 300 series. The last two types were originally marketed as the Super King Air, but the "Super" moniker was dropped in 1996. As of 2006, the only small King Air in production is the conventional-tail C90GT.

  • Span: 50 ft 3 in (15.33 m)
  • Length: 35 ft 6in (10.82 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 3 in (4.35 m)
  • Engines: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-21 turboprops , 550 shp (410 kW) each
  • Cruising Speed: 284 mph (247 knots ,457 km/h)
  • First Flight: May 1963
...Archive/Nominations

Related portals

Selected biography

Coleman-Bessie 01.jpg
Elizabeth 'Bessie' Coleman (January 26, 1892 – April 30, 1926), popularly known as "Queen Bess", was the first African American (male or female) to become an airplane pilot, and the first American of any race or gender to hold an international pilot license. Growing up in Chicago, she heard tales of the world from pilots who were returning home from World War I. They told stories about flying in the war, and Coleman started to fantasize about being a pilot. She could not gain admission to American flight schools because she was black and a woman. No black U.S. aviator would train her either. Coleman took French language class at the Berlitz school in Chicago, and then traveled to Paris on November 20, 1920. Coleman learned to fly in a Nieuport Type 82 biplane.

In the news

Wikinews Aviation portal
Read and edit Wikinews

Today in Aviation

August 16

  • 2010AIRES Flight 8250, a Boeing 737-700 splits in three after a hard landing due to pilot error at Gustavo Rojas Pinilla Airport, San Andrés, Colombia. Out of the 125 passengers and 6 crew members on board, two passengers died and 113 were injured.
  • 2010 – The Government of Canada announces that the name of the Canadian Armed Forces Air Command will revert to “Royal Canadian Air Force, ” the name it held as an independent armed service until 1968.
  • 2009 – YV-212 T, a Britten-Norman Islander, ditches into the sea short of Simón Bolívar International Airport, Venezuela. The aircraft is written off but all nine people on board are rescued.
  • 2009 – First flight of the AVCEN Jetpod, it crashed shortly after take-off from Taiping Airport, Malaysia, killing the pilot.
  • 2009 – Two Russian Knights air display Sukhoi Su-27 jets collided whilst training, killing one pilot, Igor Tkachenko, and injuring several civilians on the ground. The accident occurred near Zhukovsky Airfield, outside of Moscow.
  • 2009 – An Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force Bell 214ST crashed on a training flight near Karaj, Iran, four killed.
  • 2006 – Colonel Herschel H. Green, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) American pilot and World War II Ace, died. Green was the leading ace of the Fifteenth Air Force downing 18 enemy aircraft and destroying 10 more on the ground. (b. 1920)
  • 2002 – The 2002 Khankala Mi-26 crash occurred when Chechen rebels with a shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile brought down a Mil Mi-26 helicopter in a minefield and resulted in the death of 127 Russian troops and air crew. This is the greatest loss of life in the history of helicopter aviation and one of the deadliest disasters in Russian military history.
  • 1995 – Concorde sets a new speed record for a round-the-world flight. It returns to JFK International Airport in New York after a journey lasting 31 hours 27 min, passing through Toulouse, Dubai, Bangkok, Guam, Honolulu and Acapulco.
  • 1991Indian Airlines Flight 257, a Boeing 737, hits high ground during descent about 30 km from the Imphal airport. All six crew members and 63 passengers were killed.
  • 1987Northwest Airlines Flight 255, an McDonnell Douglas MD-82, crashes on takeoff from Detroit as a result of pilot error. Of 155 on board, 4-year-old Cecelia Cichan is the only survivor.
  • 1986 – Using a Strela 2 (SAM-7 GRAIL) surface-to-air missile, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army shoots down a Sudan Airways Fokker F-27 Friendship 400 M taking off from Malakai, Sudan, killing all 60 people on board.
  • 1969 – Darryl Greenamayer sets a new piston-engine airspeed record in a heavily modified Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat named Conquest I. His record speed of 776.45 km/h (482.46 mph) topples a record that had stood for 30 years. (FAI Record File Number 10366)
  • 1965United Airlines Flight 389, a Boeing 727, crashes into Lake Michigan at night, after the pilots apparently misread their altimeters; all 24 passengers and six crew perish in the first fatal crash of the Boeing 727.
  • 1960 – Captain (later Colonel) Joseph Kittinger (USAF) sets a world record for highest parachute jump (102,800 ft or 31,333 m) and longest parachute freefall (85,300 ft or 25,999 m) while testing high altitude parachute escape systems in Project Excelsior.
  • 1944 – The Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket-powered interceptor is used against enemy bombers for the first time no earlier than 17 Aug 1944. Their base was bombed on 16 Aug forcing them to flush.
  • 1943 – Royal Navy Grumman Avenger I, out of Naval Auxiliary Air Facility Lewiston, Maine, ditches in Sebago Lake near Raymond, Maine and sinks. Crew uninjured. Plane listed as missing, so it’s still out there.
  • 1942 – U.S. Navy airship L-8, a former Goodyear advertising blimp, of ZP-32, departed Treasure Island, San Francisco, California, with crew of two officer-pilots. Five hours later the partially deflated L-8 is sighted drifting over Daly City, California where it touches down sans crew. Nothing is ever found of Lt. Ernest D. Cody and Ensign Charles E. Adams. It is assumed that they were lost over water but were never found. The control car from this blimp is now in the National Museum of Naval Aviation, NAS Pensacola, Florida.
  • 1942 – The 82nd Airborne (All American) paratroop division is formed.
  • 1936 – Seaplanes from Barcelona support a Republican landing on Majorca. In reaction, three Italian Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 bombers, three Italian Fiat CR.32 fighters, and various Spanish Nationalist aircraft are sent to be based on the island. The presence of the CR.32 s precludes any further Republican air attacks on Majorca.
  • 1933 – Stuart Roosa, American astronaut and command pilot of Apollo 14, was born. (d. 1994)


Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources

Travel guides