Amelia Earhart was born July 24, 1897, to a lawyer's family. Her love for aircraft came during the World War I. Amelia was a nurse in the hospital next to the airfield. Not long before the round the world flight Earhart wrote that her two biggest desires were: to be the first woman in transatlantic flight (at least as a passenger) and the first woman-pilot to cross the Atlantic. Both her wishes came true. In June 1928, she flew from the U.S. to England, as passenger. And then four years later, May 20, 1932, she has repeated the same route as a pilot, and after 13 and a half hours landed in Londonderry. Her next step in pursuing her dreams was an around the world trip. Unfortunately, due to poor navigation and unfavorable weather conditions Amelias plane went missing. A search operation was called and despite the fact that it was the biggest and the most expensive operation in naval history, Amelia has never been found.
She was a pioneer of the aviation in general and the first woman to fly solo over the Atlantics and had been awarded with Distinguished Flying Cross. Besides piloting, Amelia enjoyed writing as well ,thus she wrote multiple books about her flights. She was one of the cofounders of "The Ninety-Nines" and was elected the first president of the organization.
A Russian constructor and aviation designer. Sikorsky studied in France, Russia and the Ukraine, where he planned and designed his first helicopter. He was first working in Russia and in 1913 he had designed and flew "Russkiy VItyaz", a first multi-engine fixed-wing aircraft; "Illya Muromets", was the name of the first airliner, that has been designed by Sikorsky in 1914. Over the course of his career he introduced more than 15 types of airplanes. Even thou his contribution to the development of all types of aircrafts is enormous, Igor Sikorsky is known as a helicopter designer, constructor and engineer. He got back to helicopters in 1939, already living in the U.S. at that time. Sikorsky's helicopters have found wide use in military and civil aviation. They were the first helicopters to fly over the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans and are widely used up to this day.
Charles A. Lindbergh
An American pilot, the first who flew solo over the Atlantic (20-21 May 1927, New York - Paris). Prior to Lindbergh a transatlantic flight from west to east was carried out by two British pilots - John Alcock and Arthur Brown - Newfoundland - Clifden (Ireland) in 1919. Charles dropped out of the university in Wisconsin to join the flight academy in Lincoln, NE. His fist flight took place on a biplane Lincoln-Standard "Tourabout", but only as a passenger, but soon he took piloting lessons on the same aircraft. Due to the lack of money he had to leave academy as well. He became famous at that time for his parachute jumps, as he was performing amazing and somewhat crazy stuns.
In 1919, Lindberg flies over the Atlantics, after New York's hotel businessman Raymond Orteig offers $25, 000 to the first pilot to fly non-stop over the ocean. Charles convinced businessman to support him in his preparation and took part in designing a monoplane he flew.
William Boeing studied at Yale University, but did not receive a diploma. In 1903 he moved to Seattle, Washington, and like his father, was engaged in woodworking business. In 1910 he became interested in aircraft industry and participated in his first U.S. air show, which was held in Los Angeles, California. He lifted his first aircraft in 1915. In 1916, Boeing and his friend, naval engineer George Conrad Westerville developed a seaplane B & W. Later that same year they organized Pacific Aero Products Company. The company changed its name to The Boeing Company in 1917. For a long time William Boeing was the president of the company, and then chairman of the board. Nowadays, Boeing aircrafts are used worldwide every day.
Howard Hughes was born in 1905 in Houston, Texas. His father was an inventor and Howard inherited this feature from his father, who made his fortune by inventing a drill for oil companies. After both of his parents died, Hughes invested the money he had into the movie industry, but after "Hells' Angels", in which he had to learn to fly, Howard decides to start his own aircraft building company Hughes Aircraft. During WWII the company had orders from the government for spy-planes. Later he bought controlling stake of TransWorld Airlines (TWA) and turned it into one of the largest companies in the U.S.. He later sold his share for more than half a billion dollars and invested in everything profitable. Hughes was involved in everything concerning the aircrafts, he designed them, he built them, he flew them, set multiple records on them, etc.
Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager
October 14, 1947 Yeager piloting an Aircraft Bell X- 1 became the first man to exceed the speed of sound in controlled horizontal flight. Subsequently, he made a great contribution to the development of military aviation and aerospace in the U.S.. His aviation career lasted more than 60 years, during which he was a WWII hero, a leader of the first aero space school, helped Pakistani Air Force as an advisor managed to visit various parts of the globe, including the Soviet Union during the Cold War, was the first American to fly Soviet Union's MIG-15. In 1947, while filming " Jet Pilot" Chuck Yeager piloting the same Bell X- 1 has put a lot of spectacular aerial scenes. However, considering the film failed, producer Howard Hughes' did not release the picture and it remained unpublished until 1957. The history of breaking the sound barrier, and Chuck Yeager's life in particular describes the movie " The Right Stuff " , which had received four Oscars, in 1984. Chuck Yeager has received numerous awards and medals for his heroic deeds and contributions.
John Paul Stapp
"The Fastest Man on Earth"
John Stapp was born in Brazil, but all his studies, starting from high school and up until receiving his Ph.D. in Biophysics, in 1940, at the age of 30, have been done in Texas. October 1944, he joins the Army Air Corps as a medical doctor and an advisor in a Biophysics Branch, on this position he resolved many issues that other scientists have been baffled with. The work he is most known for is his experiments on acceleration and deceleration. Stapp would put himself in the rocket-force powered seat which would ride on rails, with the purpose of determining the maximum overloads a human can withstand, and thus, making all types of vehicles safer. During the experiment he experienced the overloads up to 46.2G.
Perhaps one of the most significant developments was the designed "Messerschmitt Bf.109", work on which had been completed in 1934 with the participation of Walter Rethel. This fighter has become the main force of German aircraft during World War II. Messerschmitt was at the forefront of jet aircraft. Designed turbojet fighter and bomber Me.262, in 1944, became the world's first mass-produced jet aircraft and the world's first jet aircraft that participated in the fighting . In addition, the interceptor with a liquid rocket engine Me.16,3 in 1941, for the first time in the world crossed the 1,000 km / h mark.
Jacqueline "Jackie" Cochran
Jackie was born in 1906, in Florida. Her passion for flying came in 1930, when her friend took her for a plane ride. She learned to fly in 3 weeks, and became a certified pilot in two years. Her talent for flying and her contributions have no limit. Jacqueline was Chuck Yeager's co-pilot on the speed of sound breaking flight. Cochran was also the first woman to land and take off from an aircraft carrier, the first woman to double the speed of sound, the first woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantics, the first one to do the "blind" landing , the first and only woman to become the president of the International Federation of Aeronautics (1958-1961), the first woman to pilot the jet flight over the Atlantics, and the first woman, who participated in the Transcontinental Race "Bendix". She is the holder of the record for flight distance and speed ever. Without a shade of a doubt she can be called the best woman pilot and one of the greatest pilots ever.
Manfred von Richthofen
Manfred von Richthofen a German fighter pilot, acknowledged to be the best and the most successful ace-pilot of the WWI. He began his training at the age of 11, and due to his skills in horseback riding he joined Third Squadron of the Uhlan cavalry unit. But as the war escaladed, he transferred to the Air Force division of the German Army. Richthofen is accounted for 80 confirmed hits, but the numbers might be higher. He is known as a "Red Baron", as he painted red his Albatros D.V., the plane he flew in WWI. Manfred von Richthofen death is by this day vague, he died in combat, but it is unclear who gets the credit as he was taking fire from multiple enemies, air and land. Despite the short career he was still the best ace of WWI.
Air Canada Flight 143
"The Gimli Glider"
The flight took place July 23, 1983, a Boeing 767 was scheduled to fly from Montreal to Edmonton, but negligence during the pre departure check, almost led to a catastrophe. Human factor had played a great role in the accident, both negative and positive. Fuel for the aircraft has been weight in pounds, but was assumed to be in kilograms, thus there appeared to be a fuel shortage in the mid flight, which led to the collapse of both of Boeing's engines. "Gimli Glider's" passengers and the crew had survived only due to an outstanding actions of Bob Pearson and his copilot, who landed the plane safely on an unused Gimli Airport, a former Air Force Base.
Air France 447
A tragedy of 2009, the crash of the flight Air France 447, had remained a mystery until the recent years. An aircraft went missing in the middle of the flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Paris, France. Air France 447 entered a storm, when flying over the Atlantics and suddenly disappeared from all the radars. At first it took some effort to locate the aircraft, but it was nothing when compared to the resources that had been put to finding a true reason for the catastrophe. Over $40 million have been spent in order to find the sunk black boxes. As it turned out, the pilots are the ones to blame, when the plane entered the storm, the captain had been resting and his copilots were simply not trained to pilot a plane in such conditions. Crew's incompetence led to over 200 death of Air France 447.
Air France Flight 4590
The crash of Air France Flight 4590 and it's reasons are quite a mystery as well. An official version is as follows, Concorde with over a 100 people on board, was waiting for his turn to departure. McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and Concorde had to use the same airstrip to take off, but unfortunately an American aircraft was the first one to so. During the take an errant piece of metal fell off, later causing Concorde's fuel tank to explode, when it ran over that piece of metal. Fire caused engines to collapse one by one, leading to the crash of the supersonic jet. But experts claim that there were much more to the tragedy, than just a fire. Factors like, overweight, low velocity, damaged engines made it's contribution to the crash of the Concorde.
American Airlines Flight 11
American Airlines Flight 11 is perhaps the most famous and the most tragic event in the history of plane hijacks and crashes. September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 left Boston on a regular flight to LA. After being for about only 15 minutes in the air, a place was hijacked by the Al Qaeda. There was no request for a buyout or any other demands, the plane was taken with one and only one purpose only, to crash it into one of the twin towers of the WTC. It is by this day, one of the biggest tragedies in the history of the US and by this day the truth about who is behind the 9/11 remains unspoken.
ValuJet Flight 592
May 11, 1996, one hour prior to departure from Miami International Airport, ValuJet Airlines flight 592 was loaded with a few cardboard boxes, supplied by Sabre Tech. They were overdue pyrotechnic oxygen generators for emergency oxygen supply. Porters loaded them casually next to an old aircraft tires. At 13:58 the plane began moving toward the runway. At the same time one of oxygen generators in the box was spontaneously triggered and it began to heat up. At 13:59 box that was carrying a generator caught on fire. The pilots did not know anything about the shipment, and the system of early warning of a fire wasn't installed on that plane. Soon smoke reached the cabin, becoming more and more intense every second. The crew refused to give oxygen masks to people fearing that it might enhance the fire. By this time not only the smoke, but the fire reached the cabin. Unfortunately, the plane was not piloted anymore as the pilots were unconscious, due to the high concentration of smoke. The plane crashed and there were no survivors
United Airlines Flight 173.
United Airlines Flight 173 had crashed December 28, 1978 in Portland. During the whole flight the crew did not report any problems or errors in the work of an aircraft. The issue only aroused later when Flight 173 had to land. There was a landing gear malfunction and a captain's attention has been dedicated to resolving this issue. As he was busy trying to fix the landing gear, the plane ran low on fuel, despite several comments from the copilots and technicians, the captain of the aircraft kept doing what he was doing. Eventually, they ran out of fuel and engines has stopped working, thus they had an emergency landing in the suburbs of Portland, killing 10 out 189 people on board. Later on, the captain of the crew has been found guilty for the crash.
TWA Flight 800
Flight 800 was a regular flight, which was supposed to fly from New York to Rome, with a stop in Paris. July 17, 1996, 12 minutes after leaving John F. Kennedy Airport, the plane exploded over the atlantics, leaving no survivors on board, and that for instance is 230 people. One of the theories about the explosion was a terrorist attack, but FBI having done their investigation have found no evidence or trace. A fuel tank explosion is considered to be the cause of the explosion, but what had sparkled the explosion remains unknown.
Avianca Flight 52
Avianca Flight 52 had been scheduled to fly from Bogota to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport. Having 149 passengers and 9 crew members on board, the plane left and seemed to have no problems, while in the air. However, when the flight was coming to an end, having crossed the border of the state of New York, the crew discovered that they were running low on fuel. As a consequence, the plane crashed into a small village. The crew was found guilty for the catastrophe, as it was their responsibility to watch the fuel rates.
Helios Airways Flight 522
The tragedy had happened August 14, 2005. There were 121 person on board the Boeing 737 airline Helios Airways. The plane crashed in the mountains near the village of Grammatiko, 40 km north of Athens. This collapse is the crash of the first private airline of Cyprus Helios Airways. Making a flight from Larnaca to Athens and later in Prague, the plane hit the mountain, making it the biggest case of a plane crash in Greece ever. The reason was the aircraft's cabin depressurization caused by the company's engineers. The crew lost consciousness, and the plane crashed into a mountain after it ran out of fuel.
Pan American Flight 1736 & KLM Flight 4805 (collision)
The tragic event happened March 27, 1977. As a result of the collision of two Boeing 747, 583 people were killed. This disaster remains the largest by the number of victims in the history of civil aviation (excluding terrorist attack on September 11, 2001). The tragedy occurred on land in fog, two aircrafts were supposed to use the same runway, but due to the misunderstanding between the pilots of Pan Am and the dispatcher, the plane of Pan Am Airlines didn't get out of the way in time. Almost 600 people have been killed, despite the fact that captains of both crews were extremely experienced pilots.
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