Airplanes and Airports
Airplanes are heavier than air aircraft that greatly reduce transportation time over long distances. The prompt delivery of goods is essential for some medicines and perishable food, thus promoting health and safety, and reducing waste. Personnel travel time is saved, thus promoting better management and technical advice and consequent business productivity. In the early days of flight, many of the controls were by hand through wires, but today mechanization and automation through hydraulic valves and cylinders, radar, electronics and microprocessors perform control effortlessly and accurately. Airplane materials have changed from canvas and iron wires to aluminum alloys, electronics, and radar.
Instruments to control and guide airplanes have evolved over the years. Some of the more important ones are listed below:
Instrument Landing System (ILS) at large airports and Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Range (VOR) beacons at small airports use radar beams, screens, and instruments to guide airplane landing. How 64
An altimeter measures the distance from the ground to a flying object. The earliest altimeters in airplanes were a type of aneroid barometer the measured the change in air pressure with altitude. They were inaccurate because weather affects air pressure. A high altitudes, pulse radar gives precise measurements, but it cannot be used at low elevations. At low elevations, frequency modulation, continuous wave (FM CW) radar gives accurate measurements. How 96Direction Finders
Automatic direction finding (ADF) is a radio system used to determine locations from known beacons on land. Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) is also used to determine the distance to known objects. How 215,216Airport
An airport provides airplanes with a large area to land and take off. They also provide radar air traffic control (ATC), ambulance, fire fighting, fuel, tug, and baggage vehicles, communications, computer, and network equipment, personnel, baggage,freight depots and services, parking, and connecting terminals to other transportation modes. Thus, an airport is like a large city, employing thousands of workers. How 62,72
In the years before 1804, there were balloon flights in 1783 using models invented first by the Montgolfier brothers that led eventually to modern airships, and there were heavier-than air "flapping wing" flying machines, presumably imitating birds, since ancient times, but nothing that seriously led to airplanes except by way of inspiration.
In 1804, Sir George Cayley, a British scientist, flew the first model gliders.
In 1809, George Cayley began publishing articles describing the principles of keeping a body flying. He discussed, the forces of thrust, drag, and lift. He discussed fixed, cambered (arched) wings, tails with control surfaces, and propulsion mechanisms. This was the beginning of that part of science called aerodynamics Asimov 293 that eventually led to flight by heavier-than-air machines called airplanes.
In 1853, George Cayley built the first full-sized glider, which flew from an elevation using winds to propel forward and air updrafts to keep aloft. Asimov 293
John J. Montgomery made the first glider flight in the U.S. in 1883. The glider was launched from a 300-foot hill near Otay, CA, for a distance of 600 feet. Carruth 337
Between 1891 and 1896, Otto Lilienthal made more than 2,000 successful glider flights. How 210
In 1896, a pilotless, steam-driven, model airplane designed by Samuel P. Langley, flew for a minute over the Potomac River. Carruth 375
In the 1890s, Wilbur and Orville Wright follow aviation experiments around the world. The data they accumulated showed that the theoretical basis for the flights were unsound. They built the first wind tunnel to experiment with hundreds of wing designs. They designed and built their own propeller and gas engine. They experimened with kites and gliders for 3 years. In 1900, having gathered flight data from their innovative wind tunnel and hundreds of glider experiments, they unsuccessfully attempt to fly an airplane at Kitty Hawk, NC, where winds were generally available.
In 1902, Charles Manly, an American engineer, produced a radial 50 hp aero engine at 4 lbs / hp that was used on the unsuccessul flight of the Langley Aerodrome airplane. A radial engine had a stationary crankcase were arranged in a circle and cooled by the backwash of air from the propeller. How 30
In October, 1903, Samuel P. Langley, Secretary to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, launched a gas-powered aircraft by a catapult from a houseboat on the Potomac River.How 210 This effort gave rise to a dispute on who achieved the first flight, which was eventually resolved in favor of the Wright Bros.
In 1903, the Wright Bros. designed their own aero engine after unsuccessfully requesting a design to their liking from various engine manufacturers. It had four cylinders and produced 12 hp and weighed 180 lbs (15 lbs / hp). How 30
On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright made the first powered airplane flight, the final success after 5 years of experimentation conducted by himself and his brother, Wilbur. The flight lasted 12 seconds over 120 feet, the 750-pound plane being powered by a 12-hp gas engine designed by the two brothers. Carruth 395
In 1905, the Wright Bros. could fly 24 miles at an average speed of 38 mph. How 211
The first aero engines were water-cooled, but in 1907, a rotary engine was produced that could be air-cooled. Unlike road vehicle engines that have a rotating crankshaft in a stationary V-block of piston cylinders, in the rotary engine, the crankcase and pistons rotated around a stationary crankshaft. Air fins mounted on the rapidly rotating crankcase drew sufficient air to cool the engine. An odd number of pistons assured that vibrations would cancel each other so as not to resonate and break apart. How 30
By 1908, French engineers produced 50 hp and 100 hp aero engines at about 3.7 lbs / hp. On December 31, Wilbur Wright made a flight of 2 hours, 20 minutes in France where he made several other long flights. How 30
On March 2, 1908, Glen Curtiss of Hammondsport, NY, flew his first biplane for 318 feet off a barge in ice-filled Lake Keuka, the first plane to fly in New York State. Curtiss designed and built this "Red Wing", which was the first plane to fly in New York State. The plane was built of spruce wood covered with red silk and was powered by his own 24 hp 8-cylinder engine. Merrill 139
In 1909, Orville Wright increased his flight time to 1 hour, 1 minute and 40 seconds in the U.S.. Meanwhile, French aviator Louis Blériot flew across the English Channel for the first time. Also, the first commericial airplane production began by the Herring-Curtis Company. The first plane was sold to the New York Aeronautical Society. Only 5 planes were be built in the next 3 years. Schles 417
In 1909, A. V. Roe, an Englishman, built a tractor biplane (upper and lower wings) and J. W. Dunne, another Englishman, build the first swept-wing biplane to increase stability. How 211
In 1910, F. W. Lancaster proposed a theory of air circulation over wing surfaces, which is still true today. How 211
In 1910, the Junkers Company of Germany receives a patent for a monoplane cantilever wing supported by the fuselage rather than wires. How 211
In 1911, Germans invented the hinged undercarriage (legs and wheels) that folded against the fuselage in flight to reduce drag. How 211
Before and during WW I, engines of 150, 220 and 300 hp were developed. The Rolls-Royce V12, Mark 8, engine produced 360 hp. They were water-cooled. How 30In 1911, Glen Curtiss opened the first American flying school at Hammondsport, NY. Merrill 141
By 1913, the air speed record stood at 126.65 mph. How 211
In 1914, Lawrence Sperry, an American, demonstrated an automatic pilot, which uses gyroscopes and a gyrocompass to detect deviations from the airplane's predetermined flight pattern and automatically adjust the ailerons, elevator and rudder to compensate for the deviations. How 214
In 1914, Glen Curtiss reconditioned the original unsuccessful 1903 Langley plane and flew it at Hammondsport, NY, as a scientific demonstration that would lead to the first of many arguments of who invented the airplane. Merrill 139
During Word War I (1914-1918), military needs for airplanes forced their rapid development. In the early years, they were used mainly for scouting, but by 1918, the British Handley Page V/1500 four-engine biplane carried 1000 lbs of bombs on Berlin. Likewise, the German Gothas similar loads of bombs on London. Fighters achieved speeds of 140 to 150 mph and climbed to altitudes of 23,000 feet. How 212
In 1921, the British Jupiter radial 9-cylinder engine produced 485 hp. How 33
In 1926, the Pratt and Whitney Wasp radial 9-cylinder engine produced 600 hp. How 33
On May 20, 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh, began his non-stop transatlantic airplane flight from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, NY., landing at a field near Paris in 33 hours and 29 minutes. Schles 449
In 1929, the Wright Cyclone radial 9-cylinder produced 1525 hp. How 33
In the 1930s, aero engines produced so much power that the propeller tips broke the sound barrier that produced shock waves and excessive turbulence that reduced propeller efficiency. This problem was overcome gearing down the propeller and producing a variable pitch (blade angle) propeller. How 33
In 1933, the Boeing 247 initiated passenger flight. How 213
In 1934, the Douglas DC range initiated passenger flight. How 213
In 1936, the British Bristol Hercules 2-row radial 14-cylinder engine produced 1980 hp. How 33
In 1937, the Pratt and Whitney Double 2-row radial Wasp engine produced 2500 hp. How 33
On June 28, 1939, the Pan American Airways Dixie Clipper takes 23 hours and 52 minutes to fly 22 passengers from Long Island, NY, to Lisbon, Portugal. This flight initiates transatlantic passenger air service. Schles 477
In May, 1941, the first British jet, the Whittle engine Gloster, made its first flight. How 213
In 1942, the American Bell XP 59A made its first jet flight. How 213
In 1945, the Pratt and Whitney Wasp Major 4-row radial 28-cylinder engine produced 3800 hp. How 33
In 1947, the Bell X-1 achieved supersonic flight. How 213