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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

Mirabel Satellite photo
Montréal-Mirabel International Airport is a large airport located in Mirabel, Quebec, near Montreal and was opened 4 October 1975. The airport serves mainly cargo flights, and is a manufacturing base of Bombardier Aerospace, where final assembly of regional jets (CRJ700 and CRJ900) aircraft is conducted. It is part of the National Airports System. It is the second largest airport in the world in terms of area, covering more land area than the five New York City boroughs.

The airport's location and lack of transport links, as well as Montreal's economic decline relative to Toronto, made it unpopular with airlines. Eventually relegated to the simple role of a cargo airport, Mirabel became an embarrassment widely regarded in Canada as being a boondoggle, or a "white elephant," and one of the best examples of a failed megaproject.

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Did you know

...that the Brimstone missile, an anti-tank guided missile, is carried by three Royal Air Force aeroplane types? ...that the Cessna 165 aircraft was instrumental in the recovery of the Cessna Aircraft Company in the years following the Great Depression? ... that Samuel Frederick Henry Thompson, a British flying ace of World War I, scored 30 kills in five months of service and won both the DFC and MC?

Selected Aircraft

Airbus A380

The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, four-engined airliner manufactured by Airbus S.A.S. It first flew on 27 April 2005 from Toulouse–Blagnac Airport. Commercial flights began in late 2007 after months of testing, with the delivery of the first aircraft to launch customer Singapore Airlines. During much of its development phase, the aircraft was known as the Airbus A3XX, and the nickname Superjumbo has also become associated with the A380.

The A380 is double decked, with the upper deck extending along the entire length of the fuselage. This allows for a spacious cabin, with the A380 in standard three-class configuration to seat 555 people, up to maximum of 853 in full economy class configuration. Two models of the A380 will be available at launch. The A380-800, the passenger model, is the largest passenger airliner in the world superseding the Boeing 747. The other launch model, the A380-800F freighter, was canceled and will not join the ranks of the largest freight aircraft such as the Antonov An-225, An-124, and the C-5 Galaxy for the foreseeable future.

  • Span: 79.8 m (261 ft 10 in)
  • Length: 73 m (239 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 24.1 m (79 ft 1 in)
  • Engines: 4 * Rolls-Royce Trent 900 or Engine Alliance GP7200 (311 kN or 69,916 lbf)
  • Cruising Speed: 0.85 Mach (approx 1,050 km/h or 652 mph or 567 kn)
  • First Flight: 27 April 2005
  • Number built: 5 (159 ordered)
...Archive/Nominations

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Selected biography

Elizabeth Muriel Gregory "Elsie" MacGill (27 March 1905 – 4 November 1980), known as the Queen of the Hurricanes, was the world's first female aircraft designer. She worked as an aeronautical engineer during the Second World War and did much to make Canada a powerhouse of airplane construction during her years at Canada Car and Foundry (CC&F) in Fort William, Ontario. After her work at CC&F she ran a successful consulting business. Between 1967–1970 she was a commissioner on the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada, published in 1970.

In the news

Wikinews Aviation portal
  • May 20: Hawaii's Kīlauea volcano releases ash plumes to 30,000 feet, prompting aviation alerts
  • March 21: Uber suspends self-driving car program after pedestrian death in Arizona, United States
  • February 21: Iran: Wreckage found of plane crashed in mountains; all believed dead
  • February 15: United States: Jet loses engine cover over Pacific en route to Honolulu from San Francisco
  • January 15: Turkey: Aircraft skids off runway toward Black Sea
  • 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

Today in Aviation

July 17

  • 2009 – A Fuerza Aérea Venezolana Cessna T206H (FAV-2807) flying from Puerto Ayacucho to La Esmeralda, Estado Amazonas, Venezuela crashes into the hillside of El Duida, 20 miles (32 km) from its destination at La Esmeralda airport killing the 3 crew.
  • 2009 – An MD-530F contracted to Xe (formerly Blackwater) crashes at Butler Range outside Baghdad. Two pilots died. The cause was not known.[2][3]
  • 2006STS-121 space shuttle 'Discovery' mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is back on earth
  • 2001 – At ~0700 hrs., pilot Maj. Aaron George of the 416th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and Judson Brohmer of Tehachapi, California, an aerial photographer under contract to the Air Force Flight Test Center, are killed in the crash of an Edwards based Lockheed Martin F-16B Block 5 Fighting Falcon, 78-0100, while on a test sortie to chase and film the launch of the Miniature Air-Launch Decoy (MALD) from a second F-16, also from the 416th Flight Test Squadron.
  • 2000Alliance Air Flight 7412, a Boeing 737-200, crashes into government housing in Patna, India as it approaches the airport, killing 55 of the 58 on board and five people on the ground.
  • 1997STS-94, Space Shuttle Columbia mission, is back on earth.
  • 1996TWA Flight 800, a Boeing 747, explodes in mid-air above the ocean off East Moriches, New York, killing all 230 people on board.
  • 1991 – Death of Arthur Raymond "Ray" Brooks, American WWI flying ace, pioneer in the development of radio navigational aids (NAVAIDs) and one of the earliest commercial pilots involved with carrying mail (air mail) for the US Post Office Department.
  • 1984 – Two airships are seen over London for the first time since the WWI when British Airship Industries fly their Skyship 600 and Skyship 500 models on a round trip between Cardington in Bedfordshire and Tower Bridge.
  • 1984 – Launch of Soyuz T-12 (also known as Salyut 7 EP-4), 7 th manned spaceflight to the Soviet space station Salyut 7.
  • 1975 – American Apollo capsule links up to a Russian Soyuz capsule in orbit, marking the first space collaboration between the two nations. It would also be the last Apollo mission, as well as the last manned mission for six years until the launch of the first Space Shuttle in 1981.
  • 1953 – Lieutenant Guy P. Bordelon scores his fifth aerial victory, becoming the United States Navy’s only ace of the Korean War. He had scored all five victories since June 29, using an F4U-5 N Corsair night fighter to shoot down North Korean light aircraft making night harassment raids.
  • 1953 – US Marine Corps Fairchild R4Q-2 Packet, BuNo 131663, c/n 10830, crashes in a wooded area N of Milton, Florida, shortly after take off from NAS Whiting Field, Florida, where it had made a refueling stop. Five of six crew, and 39 of 40 passengers are killed. The transport was one of 20 being used to take Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps midshipmen, college students, in their sophomore and junior years and from many states, from NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, to Chambers Field, NAS Norfolk, Virginia. All 46 passengers were ROTC members. "As part of their reserve work they are required to take six weeks summer training at naval installations in Corpus Christi and Norfolk. Altogether, 1,600 ROTC men are taking part in this summer's program, half of them at Corpus Christi and half at Norfolk. At the end of three weeks, the 800 at Norfolk and 800 at Corpus Christi swap bases for the final three weeks. The group which had stopped at Whiting was half of the 800 being flown to Norfolk. Rear Adm. J. P. Whitney, chief of Naval Air Basic Training, appointed a special board to investigate the crash." Most of the dead were students at the University of Oklahoma and Rice University, with one victim from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
  • 1952 – 58 Republic F84 Thunderjets complete a trans-ocean flight of 10,895 miles, with seven stops, from Georgia in the USA to Yokota in Japan.
  • 1948Miss Macao, a Catalina seaplane operated by a Cathay Pacific subsidiary, over the Pearl River delta from Macau to Hong Kong, is hijacked with 23 passengers and three crew on board by a group attempting to rob the passengers; following a struggle in the cockpit, a crash kills all on board except one passenger, later identified as the lead hijacker; this is the earliest known airliner hijacking.
  • 1944 – In Operation Mascot, the British aircraft carriers HMS Formidable, HMS Furious, and HMS Indefatigable launch a raid by 44 Fairey Barracuda bombers escorted by 48 fighters against the German battleship Tirpitz at her anchorage in Norway, but a highly effective German smoke screen allows them to achieve only one near-miss.
  • 1943 – 223 U. S. Air Solomons (AirSols) aircraft strike Bougainville Island, bombing Kahili Airfield and Tonolei harbor. They sink one Japanese destroyer.
  • 1943 – Death of Jean Tulasne, French WWII flying ace, shot down in his Yak-1 M by a FW-190 near Orel in Russia.
  • 1943 – Axis air attacks damage Allied shipping off Sicily.
  • 1938 – (17-18) After filing a flight plan to fly nonstop from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York, west to California, Douglas Corrigan instead heads east after takeoff and makes a 28-hour 13-minute solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean to Ireland, claiming to have made a gross navigational error. He goes down in history as “Wrong Way” Corrigan.
  • 1936 – The Spanish Civil War breaks out, and the Republican (loyalist) and Nationalist (rebel) factions seize portions of the Spanish Air Force and of the aviation force of the Spanish Navy. The Republicans end up with about 200 serviceable aircraft – Including all the fighters – And 150 pilots, which form the basis of their Spanish Republican Air Force, while the Nationalists control less than 100 serviceable aircraft and 90 pilots, which form the basis for their National Aviation.
  • 1936 – French Bloch MB.150.01 fighter prototype suffers damage to tailwheel as it taxies from the hangar at Villacoublay to inaugurate its flight test program. Returned to the factory at Courbevoie for repairs which, inexplicably, take ten months to accomplish. Poor ground handling of design, as well as unsuitability for mass-production, forces total reworking of the type, the new version being designated the Bloch MB.151, and developmentally, the Bloch MB.152.
  • 1933 – Lituanica was an Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker airplane flown from the United States across the Atlantic Ocean by Lithuanian-American pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas in 1933. After successfully flying 6,411 km, it crashed, due to undetermined circumstances, 650 km from its destination, Kaunas, Lithuania.
  • 1929 – Robert Hutchings Goddard successfully launches a camera equipped rocket.
  • 1928 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1927 – Hudson Strait Expedition sailed from Halifax to conduct navigation studies in conjunction with plans to open a deep-sea harbour at Churchill, Manitoba. The equipment included seven RCAF aircraft.
  • 1926 – Death of Augustus Moore Herring, American aviation pioneer, who flew a compressed-air powered aircraft in 1898, five years before the Wright Brothers made their own powered flight. It has been claimed that he was the first aviator of a motorized heavier-than-air aircraft
  • 1918 – Death of Auguste Baux, French WWI flying ace, Killed in action in his SPAD XIII.
  • 1918 – Death of Claud Robert James Thompson, Australian WWI flying ace, Killed in a crash.
  • 1917 – The United States Navy establishes the Naval Aircraft Factory at League Island Navy Yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1917 – Death of Luigi Olivi, Italian WWI flying ace, killed in action in his SPAD VII.
  • 1917 – Ground is broken for the first building of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Langley Field laboratory.
  • 1914 – First flight of the Vickers F.B.5 (Fighting Biplane 5) (known as the "Gunbus"), British two-seat pusher WWI military biplane, first aircraft purpose-built for air-to-air combat to see service, making it the world's first operational fighter aircraft
  • 1913 – The Royal Navy introduces the term “seaplane; ” previously, seaplanes had been known as “hydro-aeroplanes. ”
  • 1912 – The first flight by a seaplane in Canada was at Port Stanley Ontario this date. It was also the occasion of the first passenger ride in a seaplane in Canada.
  • 1910 – Mile-High altitude record. Walter Brookins climbed 6,234′ (>6,175′) into the sky over Atlantic City, NJ in his new Wright Model A, for which he was awarded a $5,000 prize.
  • 1908 – The first aviation legislation of the United States is passed: a municipal ordinance requiring an annual license and regulating aircraft within the city limits of Kissimmee, Florida.
  • 1894 – Birth of George Cox, Australian WWI flying ace
  • 1892 – Birth of Edwin Harris Dunning, British Royal Naval Air Service, first pilot to land an aircraft on a moving ship.


  1. ^ "Syrian tanks circle town on Iraq border as soldiers defect". The Jerusalem Post. 17 July 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Helicopter crash kills 2 in Iraq". 2009-07-18. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  3. ^ "Helicopter Crash in Iraq" (Press release). Robert Wood, Acting Spokesman, Bureau of Public Affairs. 2009-07-19. Retrieved 2010-10-17. The Department of State is deeply saddened by the deaths of two employees of Xe Consulting during a helicopter crash in Iraq on July 17 and extends our heartfelt sympathies to their families. Our thoughts are also with the two men who were injured in this incident and their families. These men played an important role in assisting the Department in protecting American diplomats and missions in Iraq. The Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security is coordinating with appropriate U.S. and Iraqi officials regarding an investigation into the cause of the crash. 

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