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The Aviation Portal

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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, parachutes, 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; then a largest 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 with 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 picture

Hapag-Lloyd Express
Credit: Hapag-Lloyd Express

Hapag-Lloyd Express was a no-frills, high-frequency, express airline based in Hanover, Germany.

...Archive/Nominations

Did you know

...that Chris Phatswe committed suicide by crashing his Air Botswana plane into two other planes belonging to the airline, effectively crippling operations?

...that Pepsi offered a Harrier fighter jet in their Pepsi Billion Dollar Sweepstakes game and the Pepsi Stuff game for people accumulating a certain number of points?

... that Jimmy Doolittle commanded a 22 plane demonstration celebrating the opening of Henderson, Kentucky's Audubon Memorial Bridge in 1932?

Selected Aircraft

An A400M flying

The Airbus A400M is a four-engine turboprop aircraft, designed by Airbus Military to meet the demand of European nations for military airlift. Since its formal launch the aircraft has also been ordered by South Africa, Chile and Malaysia.

The A400M will begin assembly in the Seville plant of EADS Spain (part of Airbus Military) in October 2006. The first test flight occurred in December 2009.

  • Span: 42.4 m (139 ft 1 in)
  • Length: 45.1 m (148 ft)
  • Height: 14.7 m (48 ft 3 in)
  • Engines: 4 EPI TP400-D6 (8,250 kW power)
  • Cruising Speed: 780 km/h (480 mph, 420 knots)
  • First Flight: 11 December 2009
  • Number built: 4 (174 on order)
...Archive/Nominations

Related portals

Selected biography

Air Marshal Sir George Jones KBE, CB, DFC (18 October 1896 – 24 August 1992) was a senior commander in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). He rose from being a private soldier in World War I to Air Marshal in 1948. He served as Chief of the Air Staff from 1942 to 1952, the longest continuous tenure of any RAAF chief. Jones was a surprise appointee to the Air Force’s top role, and his achievements in the position were coloured by a divisive relationship during World War II with his head of operations and nominal subordinate, Air Vice Marshal William Bostock.

Jones first saw action as an infantryman in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915, before transferring to the Australian Flying Corps the following year. Initially an air mechanic, he undertook flying training in 1917 and was posted to a fighter squadron in France, achieving seven victories to become an ace. After a short spell in civilian life following World War I, he joined the newly-formed RAAF in 1921, rising steadily through training and personnel commands prior to World War II.

He did not actively seek the position of Chief of the Air Staff before being appointed in 1942, and his conflict with Bostock—with whom he had been friends for 20 years—was partly the result of a divided command structure, which neither man had any direct role in shaping. After World War II Jones had overall responsibility for transforming what was then the world's fourth largest air force into a peacetime service that was also able to meet overseas commitments in Malaya and Korea. Following his retirement from the RAAF he continued to serve in the aircraft industry and later ran unsuccessfully for political office.

In the news

Wikinews Aviation portal
  • May 21: Fatal police helicopter crash in Slovakia due to technical failure: preliminary Interior Ministry finding
  • January 26: Rescue helicopter crash kills six in Abruzzo, Italy
  • January 26: Official death toll from Nigerian refugee camp airstrike passes 100
  • January 25: UK Civil Aviation Authority issues update on Shoreham crash response
  • January 18: Nigerian jet attacks refugee camp, killing dozens
  • January 18: Cargo plane crashes in Kyrgyzstan, killing over 30
  • January 14: Fighter jet crashes during Children's Day airshow in Thailand
  • December 26: Plane carrying 92 crashes into Black Sea near Sochi
  • December 23: Hijackers divert Libyan passenger jet to Malta
  • December 21: Pakistan International Airlines sacrifices goat, resumes ATR flights

Today in Aviation

August 23

  • 2012 – The Syrian Air Force makes heavy strikes against rebel forces attacking Syrian government positions in Abu Kamal.[1]
  • 2009 – South East Asian Airlines Flight 014, a Dornier Do-328-100, registration RP-C6328, overruns the runway on landing at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines, and is substantially damaged, but is to be repaired.
  • 2005TANS Perú Flight 204, a Boeing 737-200, crashes near Pucallpa, Peru. Forty of the 92 passengers on board, as well as four of the six crew members, perish.
  • 2000Gulf Air Flight 072, an Airbus A320, crashes into the Persian Gulf off Manama, Bahrain while attempting to land. All 143 passengers and eight crew members are killed.
  • 1990 – A new Air Force One, a modified Boeing 747-200 B, is delivered to the Air Force and President George H. W. Bush.
  • 1979 – Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F, 002, of the USAF 4477th Test & Evaluation Squadron, Groom Lake, Nevada is lost due to pilot induced loss of control. Pilot Lt. M. Hugh Brown, USN, 31, of VX-4, "Bandit 12", originally of Roanoke, Virginia, enters spin while engaging adversary, U.S. Navy Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter, recovers, but enters second spin too close to ground, irrecoverable, impacts at steep angle near Tonopah airfield boundary, killed instantly. No bail-out attempted.
  • 1977Gossamer Condor became the first human-powered aeroplane, flying a figure-8 course to demonstrate sustained, controlled flight
  • 1975 – An Grumman A-6E Intruder, BuNo 149948, 'AJ-500', of VA-35, and an McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II from USS Nimitz collide in midair over the Atlantic Ocean during a refueling maneuver ~600 miles SSW of Scotland. A spokesman said that the two crew of the A-6 were missing and presumed dead while the two Marine crew of the F-4J were recovered. Missing are Lt. Garwood Bacon of Riverton, New Jersey, and Lt. Craig Renshaw of Middletown, Pennsylvania [disambiguation needed].
  • 1958President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, dissolving the Civil Aeronautics Administration and Civil Aeronautics Board and transferring all authority over aviation operations in the United States to the newly-created Federal Aviation Agency (FAA, later renamed Federal Aviation Administration).
  • 1951 – The U. S. Navy announces that the McDonnell F2H Banshee is in action against communist forces in Korea. This marks the first time that McDonnell-built planes have engaged in combat operations.
  • 1949BOAC commences its first services to the Far East to be flown entirely by landplanes.
  • 1948 – On the first flight test of the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter, 45-524, (the second of two prototypes), McDonnell test pilot Edwin F. Schoch successfully detaches from trapeze carried on Boeing EB-29B Superfortress, 44-84111, named "Monstro", but when he tries to hook up after free flight, the small fighter, buffeted in turbulence from the bomber, swings violently forward, smashes canopy against the trapeze, knocking the pilot's helmet off. Schoch successfully belly lands on dry lakebed at Muroc Air Force Base, California, suffering little damage.
  • 1947 – The Avro Tudor 2 prototype, G-AGSU, crashes on take-off at Woodford, Greater Manchester, killing Avro chief designer Roy Chapman and test pilot S. A. Thorn.
  • 1944 – Maj. Carlo Emanuele Buscaglia, one of Italy's most noted aviators, crashes this date in a Martin Baltimore light bomber. After the armistice of 8 September 1943, Buscaglia was asked to fight alongside the Allies, as a member of the newly formed Aeronautica Cobelligerante del Sud. In the meantime, in the northern part of Italy still occupied by Germany, a wing of the Aeronautica Nazionale Reppublicana (the Air Force of the puppet Italian Social Republic) had also been named after him. On 15 July 1944 Buscaglia assumed command of the 28th Bomber Wing, equipped with Baltimores, based on Campo Vesuvio airport, near Naples. On 23 August, while attempting to fly one of the new planes during the early transition training phase, without an instructor, Buscaglia crashes on take-off, dying in hospital in Naples the following day.
  • 1944Freckleton Air Disaster: A United States Army Air Force Consolidated B-24H-20-CF Liberator, 42-50291, "Classy Chassis II", during an unusually severe storm, crashes into a school at Freckleton, Lancashire, England at 1047 hrs. whilst on approach to Warton Aerodrome. Twenty adults, 38 children and the three-man crew are killed. In addition to a memorial in the village churchyard, a marker was placed at the site of the accident in 2007.
  • 1943 – About 20 German Junkers Ju 88 bombers attack the harbor at Palermo, Sicily, damaging several ships.
  • 1943 – (Overnight) Royal Air Force Bomber Command resumes the bombing of Berlin with a raid by 727 bombers. Poor target marking, poor timing by bombers, and the difficulty H2S navigation radar has in identifying landmarks in Berlin lead to wide scattering of bombs, although the Germans suffer nearly 900 casualties on the ground. For the first time, the Germans employ new Zahme Sau (“Tame Boar”) tactics – The use of ground-based guidance to direct night fighters into the British bomber stream, after which the night fighters operate independently against targets they find – And the British lose 56 bombers, the highest number so far in a single night and 7.9 percent of the participating aircraft.
  • 1942 – Boeing B-17E-BO Flying Fortress, 41-9091, of the 427th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group,[144] operating out of Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas, suffers center fuselage failure in extremely bad weather 12 miles W of Las Cruces, New Mexico, only the radio operator and the engineering officer for the 427th Bomb Squadron, both in the radio room, survive by parachuting. Pilot was James E. Hudson. The 303rd BG was due to deploy overseas from Biggs on 24 August.
  • 1938 – The American racing and record-breaking pilot Frank Hawks is killed along with a passenger, J. Hazard Campbell, when his Gwinn Aircar becomes entangled in telephone lines shortly after taking off from East Aurora, New York.
  • 1936 – Nationalist aircraft bomb the airport at Getafe, Spain.
  • 1923 – The I-1 (Il-400), the first independent design from Nikolai Nikolayevich Polikarpov, makes its first flight. Polikarpov has worked at the RBVZ (Russko-Baltijskij Vagonnyj Zavod (Russo-Baltic Cart Works)) on the Ilya Muromets and later becomes chief engineer at the GAZ-1 plant.
  • 1921 – The R38 class (also known as the A class) of rigid airships was designed for Britain’s Royal Navy during the final months of World War I, intended for long-range patrol duties over the North Sea. Four such airships were originally ordered by the Admiralty, but orders for three of them (R39, R40 and R41) were cancelled after the armistice with Germany and work on the lead ship of the class, R38, continued only after the United States Navy had agreed to purchase her. At the time of her first flight in 1921, she was the world’s largest airship.The American designation ZR-2 was already painted on the hull before its four completed test flights and in preparation for a final trial flight and delivery to Lakehurst. On 24 August 1921, ZR-2 was destroyed by a structural failure while in flight over the city of Hull and crashed into the Humber estuary, killing 44 out of the 49 crew aboard. This disaster resulted in more deaths than the more famous Hindenburg Disaster that killed 35.
  • 1916 – The Brazilian Navy establishes a naval aviation arm with the creation of a naval aviation school.
  • 1914 – Japan enters World War I, declaring war on Germany.
  • 1913 – Léon Letort carries out the first non-stop flight between Paris and Berlin when he flies his Morane-Saulnier monoplane fitted with an 80-hp Le Rhône engine the 560 miles between the two capitals in 8 hours.
  • 1878 – The British government uses its first military aviation budget (£150) to build and fly their first balloon, the Pioneer.


  1. ^ Anonymous, "Assad Retakes Heart of Aleppo, Rebels Seize Town Near Iraq," Arab News, 27 August 2012, 2:38 p.m.

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