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1

Ryan NYP

In 1927 airmail pilot Charles Lindbergh decided to compete for a $25.000 prize offered for the first person to fly non-stop between New York and Paris. Ryan Airlines of San Diego, California, agreed to build him an aeroplane in 60 days for $6.000 ($10,580 with the engine included). The New-York-to-Paris (NYP) aircraft was based on Ryan’s M.2 high-wing monoplane, but was specially adapted to accommodate greatly […]

2

Northrop Grumman B-2A Spirit

The formidable B-2 Spirit is an American multi-role stealth bomber capable of not only penetrating sophisticated enemy defences, but also of attacking heavily defended targets with both nuclear and conventional weapons. Aware that Northrop’s living-wing bombers of the late 1940s had been difficult to track on radar, the US Air Force approached the company in the 1970s when it required a subsonic bomber to penetrate Soviet […]

3

Deperdussin Seaplane Racer

Founded in 1910, French businessman Armand Deperdussin’s company was famed for its racing monoplanes, which were then the fastest aeroplanes in the world. The key to their success was the use of the monococque (“single shell”) method for buildingu light yet strong fuselage. Originally devised by Swedish engineer Ruchonnet, the technique was adopted by Deperdussin’s designer, Louis Béchereau, in 1911. Layers of  plywood […]

4

Blériot XI

French aviation pioneer Louis Bleriot’s Type XI monoplane won its place in the history books by making the first cross- Channel flight from France to England on 25 July 1909. Taking off from Les Baraques near Calais. Blériot flew for just over half an hour to land near Dover Castle in Kent and claim a £1,000 prize offered by newspaper magnate Lord […]

5

Paulhan-Tatin Aero-Torpille

One of the more conspicuous machines at the French military aeroplane trials in October 1911 was the Paulhan-Tatin Aero- Torpille (acro-torpedo). It was designed by veteran flight experimenter Victor Tatin, and built by Louis Paulhan, then France’s most famous young aviator. This happy collaboration of youth and age produced a sleek, streamlined monoplane that was in some ways ahead of its time. […]

6

The influence of war

From 1914 to 1918, World War I resulted in the transformation of aircraft from slow, frail vehicles into agile, capable fighting machines. The governments of the world began to see the military potential of air power, leading to tremendous progress, particularly in the fields of engine technology  and aerodynamics. Although Wright Aircraft had produced the first military airplanes in 1908, […]