65 years to the day after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier in the rocket-propelled XS-1, Felix Baumgartner becomes the first human to break it using only gravity.
On October 14, 1947, Captain Charles Yeager became the first man to break the sound barrier during powered level flight while flying the experimental Bell XS-1 aircraft.
Patent Drawing for a Flying Machine, 04/15/1913
On April 15, 1913, The Patent Office granted David Hamilton Coles a patent for an improvement in airships. In his application, Coles meticulously described his new designs for various parts of the airship, such as, the valves, propellers, and engine.
[note: image rotated 90° for the full airship effect]
February 3, 1959 - The Day the Music Died
This is the Civil Aeronautics Board’s Accident Report of Buddy Holly’s deadly plane crash in Iowa on February 3, 1959. It includes details of the weather, a map of the location and a description of what the “entertainers” were doing in Iowa. On page two, we see the name of Buddy Holly as “Charles Hardin” and the other musicians — “The Big Bopper” (J.P. Richardson), and Ritchie Valens (Richard Valenzuela), who were traveling with him.
You can take a look at the entire 13 pages of the report here: Aircraft Accident Report , 02/03/1959.
Pioneering aviator Eugene Ely made the first shipboard landing of an aircraft on January 18, 1911 when he landed his airplane on the USS Pennsylvania.
Wright Brothers Take Flight
On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful sustained powered flight of a heavy-than-air vehicle near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Surfman John T. Daniel of the U.S. Life-Saving Service snapped this picture when the Wright Flyer made its historic first flight.
“Original Wright Brothers 1903 Aeroplane (‘Kitty Hawk’) in first flight, December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, NC. Orville Wright at controls. Wilbur Wright at right (First flight was 12 seconds)” By Orville Wright and John T. Daniels, December 17, 1903 (165-WW-713-6); Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs; Record Group 165; National Archives.
December 1 is Civil Air Patrol Day
“Civil Air Patrol - Eyes of the Home Skies”, 1941 - 1945
As Requested - Biplanes and World War I-era aircraft for National Aviation History Month. (Watch for some civilian and non-WWI biplanes in a later post!)