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Home > History & Science > Top moment in aviation history?

From the first powered flight in 1903 it has been a long and varied journey to todays technological masterpieces. We try to set out a few of the important and iconic developments along that road.


Comments (1)

You must be joking once more.First,there's no Brooklyn Bridge to vote in best bridges pool. Now,you forget the father of aviation. Everyone knows in the whole fucking world (except North Americans, arrogant & dumb) that ALBERTO SANTOS DUMONT flew for the first time in 14 BIS, the first plane EVER to really fly, ok, guys? Your Wright bros are nothing but a hoax,baloon bafoons.Period.'NUFF SAID.

By @leonardeventter (0) - As Good As New | 21.01.10

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1) The First Powered Flight

Built by Orville and Wilbur Wright. First flight, 120 feet in 12 seconds, 10:35 a.m.; Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Orville Wright at the controls of the machine, lying prone on the lower wing with hips in the cradle which operated the wing-warping mechanism. Wilbur Wright running alongside to balance the machine, has just released his hold on the forward upright of the right wing. On October 5, 1905, Wilbur Wright flew a distance of 24.5 miles in 59 minutes. The brothers had finally achieved their original dream of developing a practical aeroplane capable of remaining aloft and manoeuvring under the full control of the pilot.


2) Supermarine Spitfire 1

1936 - Reginald Mitchell’s iconic fighter. Typical of the piston engine low wing cantilever monoplane fighters of the 1940s. More perfect looking than any of the others. This is the aeroplane that, alongside its Hurricane stable mate, won the Battle of Britain – the first strategically decisive battle to be won and lost entirely in the air.


3) Concorde

1969 - 2003 Concorde a supersonic passenger airliner created from an Anglo-French government treaty. In total 20 planes and 88 engines were manufactured flying regular transatlantic flights in less than half the time of other airliners. As a result of the only crash on 25 July 2000, high fuel and running costs and the economic downturn following from the September 11 attacks the plane was taken out of service in 2003. Concorde remains an icon of aviation history.


4) Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

1959 - The MIG 21 knick named balalaika by its pilots and known to the west as fishbed holds records for the longest production run and greatest number produced of any production aircraft since the Korean War. It has equipped the airforces of some 50 countries across the world and still remains in service with more than half a century since its maiden flight. The MIG 21 is capable of mach 2 and carries guided air to air missiles. It made its mark in Vietnam and in the Middle East wars.


5) Boeing 747

The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner, often referred to by the nickname "Jumbo Jet". It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide body ever produced. First flown commercially in 1970, the 747 held the passenger capacity record for 37 years. The 747-400, the latest version in service, is among the fastest airliners in service with a high-subsonic cruise speed of Mach 0.85 (567 mph or 913 km/h). It has an intercontinental range of 8,350 miles.


6) Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 is an American fixed-wing, propeller-driven aircraft whose speed and range revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s. Because of its lasting impact on the airline industry and World War II it is generally regarded as one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made. Many DC-3s are still used to this day in all parts of the world.


7) Junkers F13

The F13 first flew in 1919, and by the end of the year was in commercial service in Germany. The metal construction made it sturdier and less vulnerable to damage which together with a cantilever [no wing struts], low wing and monoplane design with streamlined construction made it essentially the first 'modern' aircraft. With four passenger seats it was the beginning of a new age of air transport.


8) Hawker Siddeley / BAE Harrier ‘Jump Jet’

Dating back to a 1960 prototype, the Harrier found a unique niche as the only Western vertical take off and landing jet aeroplane to see service. The unique single vectored thrust Rolls Royce Pegasus engine gave the Harrier unique capabilities. Originally conceived as a light ground attack fighter, the Harrier achieved its moment of fame as a multi role naval aircraft carrier based fighter during the 1982 Falklands conflict.


9) Boeing 314

In 1939 in the hands of Pan American Airways, Boeing’s majestic flying boat, the 314, established mail and passenger routes across the north Atlantic, south Atlantic, and Pacific. Though it took up to 20 hours to get from San Francisco to Honolulu, passengers were treated royally, and the public warmed to flight.

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