Who Was First? The Wrights or Whitehead?
Here it comes again: the Great Who Flew First Debate. This time it is courtesy of Jane’s All the World Aircraft, considered to be one of the world’s encyclopedic, not-to-be-doubted sources of aviation information and their radical shift in which they de-throne the Wright Brothers and enshrine Gustav Whitehead as the first to achieve powered flight.
Follow the controversy.


Aardvarks Down: Last F-111s Fly

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

On December 3, 2010, another great aircraft was retired from service, and this time it was in Australia. The F-111 was one of the most controversial aircraft ever flown by the USAF. It was battle-tested in the Vietnam War and proved to be one of the most effective attack aircraft in the Gulf War. The [...]

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SpaceX’s Dragon Spacecraft Makes a Big Splash

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

Space flight history was recently enjoyed by the SpaceX Company, when its Falcon 9 launch system successfully carried its Dragon spacecraft into low orbit and returned it safely to a predetermined splashdown point some 500 miles (804 kilometers) off the coast of southern California. This was the first time a commercial company had successfully recovered [...]

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Sally B is 65

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

Europe has two potentially airworthy Boeing B-17s, one in France (currently not airworthy), and the best known, the Duxford-based Sally B (pictured earlier in 2010). 2010 is the 75th anniversary of the first flight of Boeing’s legendary B-17 Fortress, and it is also the 65th anniversary of B-17G Sally B (ex 44-85784 and N17TE, F-BGSR, [...]

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Russia’s Other Big Biplane

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

A huge production number characterized both of Russia’s well-known biplanes. More than 20,000 examples of the large, postwar Antonov An-2 have been built, but eclipsing this is massive production of an estimated 40,000+ examples of the Polikarpov PO-2. The PO-2 is a smaller biplane than the An-2 and much older in concept, the prototype first [...]

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Freighter-Town USA

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

As the world’s fleet of aging Boeing 727 and DC-8 freighters needs replacement, up steps Miami-based Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI). AEI has been converting out-of-time passenger airliners at Miami since 1958, and to date has converted more than 350 different aircraft to carry the world’s air freight. Conversions of older Boeing 737-200s, 300s and 400s [...]

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Hydrogen-fueled propulsive system takes wing

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

The AeroVironment (AV) Global Observer unmanned air vehicle has flown successfully at Edwards Air Force Base in California. This is a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system that is touted by AV “to combine the best attributes of satellites and both manned and unmanned aircraft.” Its revolutionary liquid hydrogen-fueled propulsive system, an LH2 internal combustion powerplant [...]

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Third Time’s the Charm: Boeing Wins the KC-X Competition

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

The Boeing Airplane Company won the KC-X competition the first time it was held more than 10 years ago, but the contract was rescinded due to high program leasing plan costs and heavy lobbying by the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS). The second time around, EADS won the KC-X competition in February 2008, [...]

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X-47B UCAS-D enters flight-test activities

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

The first of two Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Aircraft System-Demonstration (UCAS-D) air vehicles built for the U.S. Navy has been successfully flown at Edwards AFB, California. Aircraft carrier demonstration sea trials will follow after thorough flight testing of the X-47B unoccupied UCAS-D air vehicles is complete. The X-47B UCAS-D air vehicles are strike fighter [...]

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