Since aviation's early years, pilots, designers, and manufacturers have sought to break world records for notoriety or technical advancement, which captivated the public. This book tells of famous record-breaking flights throughout history, focusing on the exciting time following World War II when new speed, altitude, and endurance records were broken on an almost-routine basis. Supplementing these stories are detailed explanations of the technological innovations that made those record-breaking aircraft possible. From swept wings to afterburning turbojet engines, and "Coke-bottle" fuselages to high-altitude pressure suits, aviation progress has always been measured with breakthrough advances in the technology of flight. This book, written by a former crewmember of the triplesonic SR-71 Blackbird, takes you through the annals of aviation history with spellbinding stories of world-record flights and explanations of how advanced technology played a pivotal role in making these records happen. Illustrated with excellent archival photographs and technical illustrations, this book explains in detailed, but easy-to-understand, terms how specific advances in aircraft design such as powerplants, aerodynamics, flight control systems, instrumentation, and life-support systems led to ever-improved record-breaking aircraft. The appendix serves as a handy reference guide that documents world speed, altitude, and distance records as well as the legendary aircraft and pilots who flew them.
During the waning days of World War II, a frenzied race was underway in rubble-strewn Europe as US and Soviet forces sought to seize advanced German weapons technology. Over the next quarter century the North American Aviation (NAA) would enhance these spoils of war into fearsome weapons in America's arsenal. There's the swept-wing F-86 Sabre jet fighter, which would go on to be the only Allied warplane to outmaneuver a Soviet MiG-15 over Korea. X-15 rocket planes carried humans to the boundaries of space, setting speed and altitude records that still hold today. The stories of these weapons and the engineers who nourished them is a fascinating look into postwar corporate history of the NAA and its impact on the United States' aviation and space history.
Today, as we board our flights to Adelaide, Zurich, and all points in between, we give little thought to the jet power that will take us there. But, this is only possible because just over 70 years ago a select band of British test pilots was prepared to risk all in the quest to fly further, faster and higher than ever before. Their quest was fraught with danger; disaster and death were never far away. This book captures eleven of those stories as told by the pilots themselves - their words as to how they took British aviation to the forefront of a new era, the 'Jet Age'. Britain's aircraft industry was booming in the years immediately after the end of the Second World War and the demand for test pilots seemingly limitless as new aircraft types rolled off the drawing boards. Meteors, Vampires, Hunters, Comets, Victors, Vulcans and Harriers were some of the aircraft that became world-beaters. Today, these names and the role played by the test pilots in bringing these projects to fruition are all but forgotten. The stories were filmed over a number of years and it is the edited transcripts of those interviews that form a unique and rare perspective on such a pivotal era in aviation. Most were veterans of the Second World War with illustrious service records. Now they faced new battles as they flew new airframes and engines to the limit and sometimes beyond. First, they had to conquer the 'sound barrier' which to many, scientists and the public alike, had assumed almost mythic status. Having done that, they were soon flying at twice the speed of sound, such was the rate of progress. It took discipline, technical know-how, an above average level of flying skill and according to some, a lack of imagination to make a good test pilot. Their stories are often insightful, always modest and often tinged with humour.
From hot-air balloons to jets, no other location has a more diverse aviation history than the San Francisco Bay Area. Aside from private and commercial airline operations, the area has housed the NACA/NASA Research Center, the prestigious Boeing School of Aeronautics, and the dirigible USS Macon. It is currently the center for antique aircraft in Northern California and has been the site of numerous flight records, including the Dole Race and Amelia Earhart's circumnavigation attempts. San Francisco was also home to the pioneer Pan American Airways flying boat, which opened the Pacific Ocean to air travel.
Humans have long dreamt of communing with the skies and acquiring the ability to fly. The first experiments with balloon flight through the development of the Concorde and everything in between, aviation has transformed the way humans travel, especially over vast distances. This penetrating volume examines the various technologies and aircraft that have enabled human flight and includes a comprehensive section on the design and operation of airports.
History of forewarned and preventable aviation disasters that were caused or allowed to occur by politics, incompetence, and hard corruption. Authored by former federal airline safety inspector-investigator, airline captain, and Navy patrol plane commander. Further information at www.defraudingamerica.com.
Like the railroad and the automobile, the airliner has changed the very geography of the societies it serves. Fundamentally, air transportation has helped redefine the scale of human geography by dramatically reducing the cost of distance, both in terms of time and money. The result is what the author terms the ‘airborne world’, meaning all those places dependent upon and transformed by relatively inexpensive air transportation. The Economic Geography of Air Transportation answers three key questions: how did air transportation develop in the century after the Wright Brothers, what does it mean to live in an airborne world, and what is the future of aviation in this century? Examples are drawn from throughout the world. In particular, ample consideration is given to the situation in developing countries, where air transportation is growing rapidly and where, to a considerable degree, the future of the airborne world will be determined. The book weaves together the technological development of aviation, the competition among aircraft manufacturers and their stables of airliners, the deregulation and privatization of the airline industry, the articulation of air passenger and air cargo services in everyday life, and the challenges and controversies surrounding airports. It will be of particular interest to students and researchers in air transport history, the geography of the airline industry, air transport technological development, competition in the commercial aircraft industry, airport development, geography and economics. It will also be useful to professionals working in the airline, airport, and aircraft manufacturing industries.