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Aviation History

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It’s been eighty years since one of aviation’s most colorful characters began his career as a racing pilot and aircraft manufacturer. In 1934, when he was twenty-eight, Howard Hughes nabbed his first racing trophy in a custom-modified Boeing 100A biplane. His next feats would be won in racers built by his own engineers at the Hughes Aircraft Company, with considerable input from Hughes himself.
Now mostly known for his late-life reclusiveness and eccentricity, Howard Hughes was a major figure in the early years of aviation as a pilot, manufacturer, and investor. This article, presented by Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in Tulsa, Oklahoma, reviews the highlights of Hughes’s aviation career.

 

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In Spartan College's review of aviation history for this week, we see a major space launch, the start of a new flying school, and a new milestone in jet aviation.

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This week in Spartan College's review of aviation history, the first American reached space, another American caused a ruckus after crashing his spy plane in Russia, and the first supersonic woman was born.

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It’s been a little over a year since the editors of Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft, the aviation industry’s bible, caused controversy by declaring that the honor of achieving the first powered, fixed-wing flight does not belong to Orville and Wilbur Wright, as long supposed. Instead, Jane’s backed the claims favoring Gustave Whitehead, a German émigré and engineer. Whitehead, based in Bridgeport, Connecticut, began to describe his experiments for the local press with powered flying machines as early as 1901—fully two years before the Wrights’ first flight on December 17, 1903.


Recent research has brought to light more articles and eyewitness statements that lend circumstantial support to the claims in favor of Whitehead— in fact, it was largely the efforts of one historian, John Brown, which convinced the editors of Jane’s Whitehead flew first. In this article, we give an outline of the claim for Whitehead.

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People who love to fly love the adventure, the freedom, and the challenge of piloting a craft through the sky. They also love the great stories of aviators over the last hundred years. There are heroes, daredevils, great explorers—and mysteries. This article looks at six of aviation’s most tantalizing unexplained disappearances, sightings, and scary coincidences.

 

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