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Flight

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History of Flight
Airships
Concorde
Aircraft
Miscellaneous

Flight

History of Flight

Surname of the brothers who arranged the first successful human flight in a balloon (Paris, 1783) Click to show or hide the answer
First animals to fly in a balloon Click to show or hide the answer
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First crossing of the English Channel in a balloon (Blanchard & Jefferies) Click to show or hide the answer
Made the first parachute descent, 1797, from a balloon over Paris Click to show or hide the answer
German pioneer, inspiration to the Wright brothers; died in a glider crash 1896 Click to show or hide the answer
Wright brothers' first powered flight (17 December 1903) Click to show or hide the answer
Wright brothers' name for their aircraft (often mistakenly given as Kitty Hawk) Click to show or hide the answer
First crossing of the English Channel by plane (1909 – took 37 minutes) Click to show or hide the answer
First woman to fly solo across the English Channel (1911) Click to show or hide the answer
Made the first non–stop flight across the Mediterranean (1913); the tennis centre in Paris, which he attended regularly while studying there, and which now hosts the French Open tennis tournament, is named after him Click to show or hide the answer
The first all–metal aircraft (1915) Click to show or hide the answer
First non–stop transatlantic flight – Newfoundland to Ireland, 1919 (winners of the Daily Mail Transatlantic Air Race) Click to show or hide the answer
Alcock and Brown flew a Click to show or hide the answer
US aviator and polar explorer: claimed to have made the first flight over the North Pole in 1926 (disputed at the time, and almost certainly false); also flew over the South Pole in 1929, and led five overland expeditions in Antarctica Click to show or hide the answer
First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic (1932 – previously the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, but as a passenger with responsibility for keeping the flight log, in 1928); lost over the Pacific, 2 July 1937 – 22 days before her 40th birthday Click to show or hide the answer
Dutch aircraft engineer, made warplanes for Germany in WWI; developed an apparatus to allow machine guns to shoot through revolving propeller blades Click to show or hide the answer
First solo crossing of the Atlantic (1927) – also the first mainland to mainland crossing Click to show or hide the answer
Manufacturer of Lindbergh's plane (based in San Diego, California) Click to show or hide the answer
Name that Lindbergh gave to his plane Click to show or hide the answer
Lindbergh's take–off and landing points Click to show or hide the answer
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Made the first flight across the Pacific Ocean, from the USA to Australia (1928) Click to show or hide the answer
The first flight attendant (on a flight from Oakland/San Francisco to Chicago, 15 May 1930) Click to show or hide the answer
First woman to fly to Australia (landed at Port Darwin, 24 May 1930) Click to show or hide the answer
The first (prototype) Jet aircraft – first flew on 27 August 1939 Click to show or hide the answer
The first jet–powered fighter aircraft to go into production (but entered service just after the Messerscmitt Me 262); the only Allied jet fighter to achieve combat operations in World War II Click to show or hide the answer
The first operational jet–powered fighter aircraft – introduced by Messerschmitt in April 1944, 3 months before the Gloster Meteor (having entered production later) Click to show or hide the answer
First pilot to break the sound barrier (1947) Click to show or hide the answer
Experimental plane that he did it in Click to show or hide the answer
Name that Yeager gave to his plane (after his wife) Click to show or hide the answer
The largest plane ever built (only flew 1000 yards, 2 November 1947) Click to show or hide the answer
Nickname Click to show or hide the answer
Designer and pilot Click to show or hide the answer
The first commercial jet airliner (first test flight 27 July 1949) Click to show or hide the answer
Boeing 707 – Boeing's first commercial jet airliner – maiden flight Click to show or hide the answer
First airliner with rear–mounted engines (1955) Click to show or hide the answer
The first human–powered aircraft to complete a figure–of–8 course (1977) Click to show or hide the answer
The first human–powered aircraft to cross the English Channel (1979) Click to show or hide the answer
Designer Paul B. MacCready's third aircraft (solar–powered) Click to show or hide the answer
More successful follow–up to the Gossamer Penguin – flew from Paris to RAF Manston (now Kent International Airport) in 1981 Click to show or hide the answer
Completed the first circumnavigation by balloon, in 1999 Swiss Click to show or hide the answer
UK Click to show or hide the answer
Piccard & Jones's balloon Click to show or hide the answer
First person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon (2002); lost in 2007 on a routine flight – possibly reconnoitring a site for a land speed record attempt – over the Great Basin (in south–west USA)Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Name of the balloon used in the above solo circumnavigation Click to show or hide the answer
Experimental solar–powered aircraft in which Bertrand Piccard (see above) and Swiss engineer and businessman André Borschberg, in 2016, completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth by a piloted fixed–wing aircraft using only solar powerClick for more information Click to show or hide the answer

Airships

German army veteran and airship pioneer, whose name became synonymous with the rigid airship; conceived the idea of having the hydrogen in separate 'cells' within the outer shell; his first ship was launched in 1900; he died in 1917, just as airships were being overtaken by aeroplanes and before their brief 1930s heyday Click to show or hide the answer
Launched in 1928; named after the German airship pioneer; flew around the world in 12 days and 11 minutes; dismantled in 1936 after years of successful flights Click to show or hide the answer
The last and largest–ever rigid airship: made 30 flights over 11 months in 1938–9, many of them propaganda publicity flights; scrapped in 1940 Click to show or hide the answer
German airship (registration identifier D–LZ129), launched in March 1936: said to be the largest object ever to fly; entered service as a transatlantic passenger airship, but crashed in May 1937 on landing at Lakehurst naval air station, Manchester Township, New Jersey (near Trenton), costing the lives of 35 of its 97 passengers Click to show or hide the answer
British airship: completed the first non–stop transatlantic round trip, in 1919 Click to show or hide the answer
Exploded on its final test flight over Hull, in 1921 Click to show or hide the answer
Prototype airship, the last to be built in Britain: built and based at the Royal Airship Works, Cardington, Bedfordshire; crashed near Paris, in October 1930, on its first commercial flight – en route to Karachi (then in India) Click to show or hide the answer
Sister ship of the R101, built by Vickers at Howden, Yorkshire: flew to Montreal and back in August 1930; deflated in December 1930 in its hangar at Cardington, and eventually retired, following the demise of the R101 Click to show or hide the answer
The first rigid airship built in the USA, and the first in the world to be filled with helium rather than hydrogen; launched in 1922, torn apart by high winds in December 1924 Click to show or hide the answer

Concorde

Concorde's first test flight Click to show or hide the answer
First test pilot of the British Concorde (died in 2001) Click to show or hide the answer
Concorde's first commercial flight Click to show or hide the answer
Destination of British Concorde's first commercial flight Click to show or hide the answer
Destination of French Concorde's first commercial flight Click to show or hide the answer
Concorde's record transatlantic flight (Heathrow – JFK) – February 1996 Click to show or hide the answer
Concorde's last commercial flight Click to show or hide the answer
Landing wheels on Concorde Click to show or hide the answer
Engines used on Concorde (originally developed by Bristol for the Avro Vulcan V Bomber; further developed for the ill–fated TSR–2; produced for Concorde by Rolls–Royce) Click to show or hide the answer

Aircraft

US Bombers

In 1920, the US Air Force decided that a unified designation scheme was needed to identify its aircraft. The most famous manifestation of this was the B series bombers. The following table lists some of the best–known examples.

Production Manufacturer Name
B–171936–45 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
B–241940–45 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
B–29 (flown by the RAF as the Washington)1944–60 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
B–521952 to date Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Other

Boeing's "most fuel–efficient airliner" – introduced October 2011 Click to show or hide the answer
Major British manufacturing company: aircraft division, founded 1912, produced the Tadpole, Armadillo, Argosy, Ape, Scimitar, and airships R29 and R33, and was taken over by Hawker Siddeley in 1935 Click to show or hide the answer
Founded in Manchester in 1910; manufacturer of the Lancaster bomber (introduced in 1942); taken over by Hawker Siddeley in 1936 Click to show or hide the answer
Lateral control flaps on a wing Click to show or hide the answer
The world's biggest airliner: two decks, wide body, four engines – nicknamed Superjumbo: designed to compete with the Boeing 747 (Jumbo Jet); maiden flight April 2005, first commercial flight October 2007 Click to show or hide the answer
Private jet of the US President Click to show or hide the answer
Invented in 1920 by Juan de Cierva of Spain Click to show or hide the answer
Nickname of the Lockheed SR–71 long–range strategic reconnaisance plane, used by the USAF (and NASA) from 1966 to 1999 (it was also nicknamed the Habu, after a Japanese pit viper, while in service with the USAF in Japan) Click to show or hide the answer
Popular name for the flight data recorder or cockpit voice recorder (despite its actually being orange or flame red) Click to show or hide the answer
Term used for a small or non–rigid airship Click to show or hide the answer
The best–selling commercial jet airliner in history: introduced in 1968, the 10,000th one was produced in 2018 (cf. Douglas DC–3) Click to show or hide the answer
Manufactured by English Electric, introduced in 1951: the RAF's first jet bomber, and the first to fly across the Atlantic without refuelling Click to show or hide the answer
RAF's name for the transport aircraft developed from the Douglas DC–3 Click to show or hide the answer
Mosquito, Tiger Moth, Comet: manufactured by Click to show or hide the answer
Arguably the best–selling airliner in history – although all but 607 of over 16,000 that were built between 1935 and 1952 were for military transport use Click to show or hide the answer
British aircraft manufacturer, based in Hayes, Middlesex and Heaton Chapel, Stockport: produced the Swordfish (biplane torpedo bomber), Firefly (carrier–borne fighter), and Gannet (carrier–borne anti–submarine and strike aircraft) – all in use during or shortly after World War II – as well as the first jet aircraft to exceed 1,000 mph in level flight (see below) Click to show or hide the answer
British supersonic research aircraft: the first jet aircraft to exceed 1,000 mph in level flight (1954) Click to show or hide the answer
The Fleet Air Arm's "obsolete" biplane torpedo bomber of WWII – nicknamed "the Stringbag" – famously involved in the Battle of Taranto (11–12 November 1940) and the sinking of the Bismarck (25–7 May 1941) Click to show or hide the answer
Nickname of the Thrust Measuring Rig – Rolls–Royce's experimental VTOL aircraft, developed in the 1950s Click to show or hide the answer
Three–winged plane most closely associated with Baron von Richthofen Click to show or hide the answer
Single–seat multi–role combat aircraft, manufactured in the USA by Lockheed Martin: replaced the RAF's BAE Harrier GR9, (retired in 2010), and the Tornado GR4 (retired in 2019); intended to be "Britain's primary strike aircraft for the next three decades" Click to show or hide the answer
Popular, 'pet' name for an auto–pilot Click to show or hide the answer
Delta–winged interceptor (fighter), deployed by the RAF 1956–68: the last aircraft to bear the name of the first company to produce a jet–powered fighter Click to show or hide the answer
Manufacturer of the Halifax, Hampden and Harrow (WWII bombers) and the Hastings – RAF transport plane rushed into service in 1948 for the Berlin airlift, and retired in 1977 Click to show or hide the answer
Single–engine, jet–powered advanced trainer aircraft, manufactured by BAE Systems, used by the RAF Aerobatic Team (the Red Arrows) since 1979 Click to show or hide the answer
The RAF's "workhorse" in the Battle of Britain, compared with the "thoroughbred" Spitfire (1,326 used, compared to 957 Spitfires). Built 1937–44 (Hawker had merged with J. Siddeley 1935) Click to show or hide the answer
The Marut jet fighter (1967) was the first home–designed war plane of (country) Click to show or hide the answer
Probably the world's most famous private, luxury aircraft: initially based on a Swiss fighter aircraft that (almost literally) never got off the ground; the company that makes it, founded in 1960 and based in Wichita, Kansas since 1962, was bought in 1990 by the Canadian aerospace company Bombardier Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's first supersonic fighter: manufactured by English Electric, maiden flight August 1954 Click to show or hide the answer
P–38 Lightning (World War II twin–boon (fuselage) fighter); Constellation (prop–driven airliner, 1943–58); L12011 TriStar (unsuccessful competitor to the Boeing 747, 1968–84); U–2 spy plane ('reconnaissance aircraft'): manufactured by Click to show or hide the answer
US supersonic interceptor, entered service in 1958: dubbed 'the Widowmaker' by the press, due to its high accident rate Click to show or hide the answer
Helicopter that the US President travels in Click to show or hide the answer
Rolls Royce engine – the last one designed by Henry Royce – used in the Spitfire, Hurricane, Mosquito, Lancaster and Wellington Click to show or hide the answer
A company formed in 1939 by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich – and its successor, The Russian Aircraft Corporation – are both commonly known by the three–letter abbreviation Click to show or hide the answer
Classic US fighter plane of World War II, manufactured by North American Aviation and introduced in 1942; name also given to a Ford sports coupe introduced in 1964 Click to show or hide the answer
Engine developed by Rolls–Royce for the Lockheed TriStar, 1969–72, development costs forcing it into bankruptcy and nationalisation Click to show or hide the answer
International prize for the fastest flight by a seaplane, won outright by the RAF following three consecutive victories in 1927, 1929 and 1931; now on display at the Science Museum, London Click to show or hide the answer
Based in Rochester and Belfast: manufacturers of the Singapore, Sunderland, Calcutta, Sandringham, Seaford and Shetland flying boats (1934–7, 1938–46, 1928, 1943–74, 1944, 1944), and the Stirling bomber (1939–45) Click to show or hide the answer
Iconic British flying boat of World War II: introduced 1938, withdrawn 1959. Mainly built in Rochester (Kent) and Belfast, but named after a town (now a city) in North–East England Click to show or hide the answer
The most famous British aeroplane of World War I – introduced 1917, said to have shot down more enemy aircraft than any other Click to show or hide the answer
Nickname of the German WWII dive–bomber, Junkers JU87: an abbreviation of Sturzkampfflugzeug (sturz-kampf-flug-tzoig), literally 'dive bomber' Click to show or hide the answer
Southampton–based manufacturer of the Spitfire (1938–48) – drawing on experience gained in the development of its S.5, S.6 and S.6B racing seaplanes, which won the Schneider Trophy in 1927, 1929 and 1931 respectively Click to show or hide the answer
Multi–role strike aircraft, manufactured by European consortium Panavia: entered service with the RAF in 1980, and nicknamed the Tonka; retired in 2019 after service in the Gulf and Bosnia, among other places Click to show or hide the answer
The first "T–tail rear–engined trijet" airliner (i.e. one with three engines in its tailplane): produced for British European Airways (BEA) by Hawker Siddeley in response to a UK government initiative; entered service in 1962, 2 months after the Boeing 727 (much to its cost) Click to show or hide the answer
The last completely British tactical strike and reconnaissance aircraft – cancelled by the Wilson government in 1965 Click to show or hide the answer
Manufacturer of the Soviet TU–144 "Concordski" Click to show or hide the answer
European multi–role fighter (twin–engine, delta–winged): manufactured by the Eurofighter consortium; entered service in 2003, the RAF took delivery of its 160th and last on 27 September 2019 Click to show or hide the answer
Manufacturer of the Vimy, Wellington and Valiant bombers; Viscount and VC–10 airliners Click to show or hide the answer
The only British bomber produced throughout WWII (introduced 1938, retired 1953) – nicknamed the Wimpy (after the Popeye character) Click to show or hide the answer
British army co–operation and liaison aircraft, in service 1938–46: noted for its excellent downward visibility, good low–speed handling, and short takeoff and landing capabilities – all of which made it ideal for clandestine operations in occupied Europe during WWII; named after a Spartan admiral who defeated the Athenians in 405 BC Click to show or hide the answer
The Mitsubishi A6M fighter was commonly known as the Click to show or hide the answer

Miscellaneous

Embraer – which vies with Canada's Bombardier to be the world's third largest aircraft manufacturer (after Airbus and Boeing) is based in (country) Click to show or hide the answer
A wedge (or a pair of wedges) of sturdy material, placed closely against the wheels of a vehicle (especially an aeroplane) to prevent accidental movement Click to show or hide the answer
A small tab projecting from the trailing edge of a wing, to improve aerodynamic performance: named after the American racing driver who invented it in the 1970s (he died in 2018 aged 86) Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
The word 'hypersonic' refers to speeds that are at least how many times faster than the speed of sound? Click to show or hide the answer
Founded in 1939 (in Moscow) as Mikoyan and Gurevich Click to show or hide the answer
Instrument for measuring fluid velocity, named after its French 18th–century inventor: used to measure air speed Click to show or hide the answer
International convention regulating liability for international carriage of persons, luggage or goods, by aircraft for reward: named after the city where it was first signed in 1929; since amended at The Hague in 1955 and Montreal in 1975 Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017–22