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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

Flight 11 flightpath
American Airlines Flight 11 was a scheduled U.S. domestic passenger flight from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport. It was hijacked by five men and deliberately crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City as part of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Fifteen minutes into the flight, the hijackers injured at least three people, forcefully breached the cockpit, and overpowered the pilot and first officer. Mohamed Atta, who was a known member of al-Qaeda, and trained as a pilot, took over the controls. Air traffic controllers noticed the flight was in distress when the crew stopped responding to them. They realized the flight had been hijacked when Atta mistakenly transmitted announcements to air traffic control. On board, two flight attendants contacted American Airlines, and provided information about the hijackers and injuries to passengers and crew.

The aircraft crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 08:46 local time; the impact killed all 92 people aboard, including the hijackers. Many people in the streets witnessed the collision, and Jules Naudet captured the impact on video. News agencies began to report on the incident soon after and speculated that the crash had been an accident. The impact and subsequent fire caused the North Tower to collapse, which resulted in thousands of additional casualties. During the recovery effort at the World Trade Center site, workers recovered and identified dozens of remains from Flight 11 victims, but many other body fragments could not be identified.

Selected picture


George Cayley's glider, created in 1853.

...Archive/Nominations

Did you know

...that in the late 1940s the USAF Northrop YB-49 set both an unofficial endurance record and a transcontinental speed record?

...that the Alexander Aircraft Company, which produced Eaglerock biplanes in Colorado, was the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world for a brief period between 1928 and 1929?

...that Royal Brunei Catering, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Brunei Airlines, was named as Best Regional Caterer 1995/1996 by Singapore Airlines?

Selected Aircraft

Lufthansa A340-600 D-AIHF.jpg

The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engined widebody commercial passenger airplane manufactured by Airbus. The latest variants (-600 & A340E) now compete with Boeing's 777 series of aircraft on long-haul and ultra long-haul routes.

The A340-600 flies 380 passengers in a three-class cabin layout (419 in 2 class) over 7,500 nautical miles (13,900 km). It provides similar passenger capacity to a 747 but with twice the cargo volume, and at lower trip and seat costs.

The A340-600 is more than 10 m longer than a basic -300, making it the second longest airliner in the world, more than four meters longer than a Boeing 747-400.

  • Span: 63.45 m (208 ft 2 in)
  • Length: 75.30 m n(246 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 17.30 m (56 ft 9 in)
  • Engines: four 56,000 lbf (249 kN) thrust Rolls-Royce Trent 556 turbofans
  • Cruising Speed: Mach 0.83 (885 km/h, 550 mph)
  • First Flight: October 25, 1991
...Archive/Nominations

Related portals

Selected biography

Amelia Earhart, c. 1928
Amelia Mary Earhart (July 24, 1897 – missing as of July 2, 1937), daughter of Edwin and Amy Earhart, was an American aviator and noted early female pilot who mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during a circumnavigational flight in 1937.

By 1919 Earhart had enrolled at Columbia University to study pre-med but quit a year later to be with her parents in California. Later in Long Beach she and her father went to a stunt-flying exhibition and the next day she went on a ten minute flight.

Earhart had her first flying lesson at Kinner Field near Long Beach. Her teacher was Anita Snook, a pioneer female aviator. Six months later Earhart purchased a yellow Kinner Airster biplane which she named "Canary". On October 22, 1922, she flew it to an altitude of 14,000 feet, setting a women's world record.

After Charles Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927, Amy Guest, a wealthy American living in London, England expressed interest in being the first woman to fly (or be flown) across the Atlantic Ocean, but after deciding the trip was too dangerous to make herself, she offered to sponsor the project, suggesting they find "another girl with the right image." While at work one afternoon in April 1928 Earhart got a phone call from a man who asked her, "Would you like to fly the Atlantic?" (more...)

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

June 28

  • 2012 – A Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-27UB crashed near Besovets during a weather-check flight, two pilots ejected safely but all Russian Su-27s were grounded pending investigation.
  • 2012 – The U.S. military announces that wreckage revealed by a retreating glacier in Alaska and discovered during June 2012 is that of a U.S. Air Force C-124A Globemaster II which crashed into Mount Gannett on 22 November 1952, killing all 52 people on board. Originally identified on 28 November 1952, the wreckage had become buried in ice and snow and had been lost for nearly 60 years.[1][2][3]
  • 2007TAAG Angola Airlines crash was a fatal accident in which a Boeing 737-2 M2 owned by TAAG Angola Airlines undershot the runway upon landing in M’banza-Kongo, causing the collapse of the right main landing gear. The plane collided with two cars and a building, resulting in the deaths of four passengers and one crew member.
  • 2004 – First non-stop 10,000-mile-plus passenger airline flight. Singapore Airlines launched a non-stop 18 1/2 h, 10,335-mile flight on the long-range Airbus 340-500 between Singapore to Newark, New Jersey (June 28–29).
  • 1976 – First woman was admitted to Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Co.
  • 1976 – ČSA flight 001 registration OK-NAB was an Ilyushin Il-18 B 4 engine turboprop, operating as a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Prague’s Ruzyně airport to Bratislava-Ivanka Airport, both in Czechoslovakia, which crashed into the Zlaté Piesky (Golden Sands) Lake while attempting to land in Bratislava. All 6 crew members and 70 out of 73 passengers died.
  • 1958 – The 22-year operational career of the Avro Anson comes to an end with asix-plane formation fly-past over their base by the Southern Communications Squadron at Bovington, Hampshire, in the United Kingdom.
  • 1957 – In two separate accidents, two newly delivered Lockheed U-2s of the SAC's 4028th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (SRS) based at Laughlin Air Force Base, Del Rio, Texas, are lost on the same day. At 08:55 Lt. Ford Lowcock is killed when his aircraft, U-2A 56-6699, Article 366, crashes while on the approach to Laughlin. Less than two hours later, Lt. Leo Smith is also killed when his aircraft, U-2C 56-6702, Article 369, crashes in the New Mexico desert. At this time U-2s are not equipped with ejection seats to save weight, but at around this point this policy is reversed. Three months later on 26 September, the squadron's Commanding Officer, Col. Jack Nole climbs out of his disabled U-2A, 56-6694, Article 361, the first airframe of the initial USAF order, (wing flaps deployed in flight) near Del Rio, Texas, making the highest ever parachute escape to date, from 53,000 feet.
  • 1956 – An Argentine Air Force Vickers VC.1 Viking T-5 crashed at Resistencia, Argentina.
  • 1955 – Jean Moire lands a Bell 47 helicopter on top of Mont Blanc, at an altitude of 4,807 m (15,772 ft)
  • 1952American Airlines Flight 910, a Douglas DC-6 carrying 55 passengers and 5 crew collides with a Temco Swift private plane on final approach to Dallas Love Field, killing both occupants of the Swift; the DC-6 lands safely with no injuries to the passengers or crew.
  • 1945 – 485 B-29 s drop 3,519 tons (3,192,416 kg) of bombs on Okayama, Sasebo, and Moji, Japan.
  • 1944 – A/C AD Ross, Sgt JR St Germain, Cpl M Marquet, LAC MM McKenzie, and LAC RR Wolfe made repeated attempts to rescue the crew of a burning bomber of No. 425 Squadron in spite of bomb explosions. All of the crew were saved. Ross, St Germain and Marquet were awarded the George Medal; McKenzie and Wolfe the British Empire Medal.
  • 1943 – To increase the visibility of the national insignia on its military aircraft, the United States replaces the marking adopted in June 1942 with a new marking consisting of a white star centered in a blue circle flanked by white rectangles, with the entire insignia outlined in red. The new marking will cause confusion with Japanese markings and will remain in use only until September 1943.
  • 1943 – (Overnight) 608 British bombers attack Cologne, Germany, losing 25 of their number. In Cologne, 4,377 people are killed – by far the highest number killed in any single Bomber Command raid so far – 10,000 injured and 230,000 rendered homeless. In the next two raids, Cologne will incur another 1,000 killed and 120,000 made homeless
  • 1941 – At the end of the first week of Operation Barbarossa, the Luftwaffe has destroyed 4,017 Soviet aircraft in exchange for 150 of its own.
  • 1941 – In the early morning hours, 35 British bombers attempting an attack on Bremen stray so far off course that they mistakenly bomb Hamburg – 110 km (68 mi) northeast of Bremen – Instead, losing five of their number to German night fighters over the city while killing seven people, injuring 39, and leaving 280 homeless.
  • 1939 – The Pan Am Yankee Clipper, the largest airplane of the day, left Botwood on the first scheduled transatlantic passenger flight. The New York-to-Southampton route was made with stops at Shediac, Botwood and Foynes.
  • 1919 – The Treaty of Versailles is signed. Among its many provisions is one which prohibits Germany from ever again possessing armed aircraft.
  • 1918 – First flight between Hawaiian Islands.
  • 1917 – An aircraft takes off successfully from a flying-off platform mounted on a warship’s gun turret for the first time when Royal Naval Air Service Flight Commander F. J. Rutland takes off from a platform aboard the British light cruiser HMS Yarmouth in a Sopwith Pup.
  • 1911 – The first airplane charter flight is made by English aviator Thomas Sopwith who is hired by Wannamaker’s New York store to deliver repaired glasses to Philadelphia merchant W. A. Burpee.


  1. ^ Nelson, Laura J., "After 60 years, Alaska glacier gives up wreckage from 1952 crash," Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2012
  2. ^ "Knik Glacier Wreckage Is From Military Crash That Killed 52"
  3. ^ "60-year-old military plane crash debris recovered from Colony Glacier", Anchorage Daily News, July 12, 2012.

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