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1

Bristol Brabazon

The Bristol Brabazon airliner was a gian of an aircraft larger even than a Boeing 747. It was also in many ways a strikingly advanced design for its day. Yet, commercially, this huge piston-engine airliner was a total failure for the British aircraft industry. The aircraft was named after Lord Brabazon of Tara, who headed a committee that produced a government report on […]

2

Antonov An-225

Designed to carry a Buran spacecraft externally in a somewhat bizarre “piggy-back” arrangement, the Antonov An- 225 Mriya was the heaviest and most powerful aircraft ever built. So large that it dwarfed even a Boeing 747, it was essentially a stretched version of the An-124, which was a four-engine, heavylift military and civil transport aircraft. With the addition of twin fins, the An-124 might […]

3

Radley-England Water Plane

Designed and built in Britain by James Rladley and Eric Gordon England, the Waterplane was the world’s first tri-motor aeroplane. Its three 50-hp rotary engines were mounted between the wings. each engine had its own controls and an independent chain drive linking it to the propeller shaft above. Together the engines drove a large fourbladed pusher propeller. The aircraft was sizeable […]

4

Maxim Multiplane

In the 1890s English-domiciled American millionaire Hiram Maxim was in the forefront of inventors convinced that the key to flighl was engine power. He spent £20,000 a substantial part of the fortune he had made out of the Maxim machine-gan-buildings a massive 8,000lb aircraft. With its welded steel – tube airefraime and biplane wings spanning over 100ft, this behemoth was powered […]

5

Wright flyer III

The Wright Flyer III was the world’s first practical powered aeroplane, sturdy enough to withstand repeated flights and able to stay aloft for as long as its fuel lasted. Through a remarkable mix of scientific inquiry and hands-on experimentation, the dauntless American brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright cracked the challenge of sustained, controlled, heavier-than-air flight. At Kill Devil Hills. North Carolina, on 17 December 1903, […]

6

Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk

With its menacing demeanour and black, futuristic design, the distinctive F-117 A Nighthawk was the first operational aircraft entirely designed around stealth technology. Dubbed the “Bat Plane”, its extraordinary appearance results from the use of “faceting” – critically angled flat surfaces – to minimize its radar signature: it is also almost entirely covered by matt black radar-absorbent material. Interestingly, the Nighthawk gains its lift from […]

7

Planes for travel and fun

Commercial airliners underwent huge changes during the late 1960s and early 70s. The year 1969 saw the introduction of the world’s first wide-body jet, the Boeing 747, as well as the maiden flight of the supersonic Concorde. One proved much more influential than the other: Although few supersonic jets have been builtt wide-body carriers have become extremely popular. They include the Douglas […]

8

Early attemps

Although mankind has mastered flight only in the last hundred years, humans have been attempting to emulate the birds for centuries. Some have even strapped on wings and jumped from great heights, only to leant the hard way that there is a lot more to flying than simply flapping your amis. The first flying machines to be historically documented were kites, which were built in […]