• History of Aviation in a Nutshell

    History of Aviation in a NutshellMany people erroneously believe that the Wright brothers made the first aircraft. While the plane they flew in Kittyhawk was certainly the first fully automated aircraft to achieve sustained flight, it definitely wasn’t the first aircraft ever. We hope to do away with little misconceptions like this which seem to plague our favorite topic in the world. However, to give you an exhaustive history of aviation would take a lot of time and space that we just don’t have right now. A brief summary of key events, points in time and facts related to the field is definitely something that we can give to our readers though.

    While the rickety plane Orville and Wilbur put together is certainly one of the most unique aircrafts in the history of aviation, it does not mark the beginning of the field. For one, people have been using hot air balloons to float around in the sky for hundreds of years now, as far back as 1783 when Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier achieved the first unmanned balloon flight in Annonay, France. The craft was unmanned, but would you climb into something if you had no idea whether the thing would fly or crash and burn? Smoke was used as a lifting agent initially, because hot air wasn’t yet understood.

    Believe it or not, the French were also responsible for the first manned balloon flight as well. Later in 1783, Jean Pilatre de Rozier flew about 5.5 miles over the span of 20 minutes on November 21st. Considering the only other means of propulsion back then was going on foot, horse or boat, and all of these were slower, it was a fairly monumental occasion. Like seacraft though, this first manned balloon was totally at the mercy of wind currents, which is an issue that still plagues balloon travel today. But without these first steps we wouldn’t be where we are now, so they’re important to remember.

    At this point in time, flyers were still using smoke or hydrogen gas to act as a lifting agent. This practice actually continued for more than a hundred years, until the fatal day the Hindenberg exploded in the sky. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. It would take nearly 60 years from these first successful flights before the first air travel company tried to appear. The Aerial Transit Company headed by William S. Henson and John Stringfellow never got past the Articles of Incorporation stage, but it was the first serious attempt to start a business based on aviation.

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  • Some Interesting Aviation Facts

    Some Interesting Aviation FactsWe’ve already covered a short history of aviation in another post, but there are so many interesting facts we had to leave out that we wanted to make another little piece to talk about some of them. Specifically, there are at least four facts about aviation that most people, even those who are dedicated to flying and aircraft, probably don’t know. We’ve compiled this short list here to tell anyone who will listen, so if you wanted something interesting to bring up the next time you’re having a conversation with someone, by all means allow us to furnish you with some talking points.

    Airlines come and go these days with companies merging, being bought up or simply collapsing under the heavy burden of bankruptcy. But did you know that the oldest airline in the world, Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, or KLM for shirt, still exists today? KLM has been flying people and products around the world for decades now, since the company had its first successful flight from Amsterdam to London on May17th, 1920. The fact that Royal Dutch Airlines is still in operation is a testament to the success of the Danish people when it comes to aviation and flight.

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  • Our Favorite Unique Aircrafts Throughout History

    Our Favorite Unique Aircrafts Throughout HistoryWhat makes an aircraft unique? Well, having features that other aircraft don’t is one way to stand out from the crowd. Coming from certain time periods when flight wasn’t as common as it is today is another way for an aircraft to be unique. Though some readers could probably guess a few of the planes on this list, we still want to talk about our favorite unique aircrafts throughout history, a couple of which will probably surprise you. In no particular order, here are the five.

    Have you ever heard of the Nemuth Parasol? Well, this unique aircraft built by students of Miami University came into existence back in 1934, during the sort of golden age of aviation when people knew they could fly, but were still trying to figure out the best way to design aircraft. This machine looks every bit the same as a traditional plane, except that it has no wings, at least not in the traditional sense. While the design was functional, the Parasol looks like something out of a science fiction book even today, in 2016.

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  • Airplanes and Airports

    Airplanes and Airports

    Airplanes and airports are inseparable tandems. If your career requires frequent flying, you most definitely have harnessed a tremendous amount of patience. Airport delays are not the most exciting part of travelling and flying. Fortunately, there are airports that have a full line of amenities to make the wait more bearable. Most airports have duty-free shopping malls, entertainment centers, relaxation areas, and many other conveniences. But what could be better than taking in nature inside the airport halls?

    Here are three airports that have some nice gardens for traveler and aviators to take delight while waiting for the flight.

    First in our list is the O’Hare Airport in Columbus, Ohio. This busy airport features one of the most modern, urban gardens in the country. Located at a seemingly unused nook of the airport’s ORD Rotunda Building, between Terminal 2 and 3, is an a 900 square foot of vertical aeroponic garden. The high-tech urban garden uses the latest indoor garden technologies, much like the LED grow lights found at Plantozoid.com.

    It looks very much like a DIY project which could hopefully inspire others to follow. The plants – a variety of edible flowers, herbs, greens and herbs – are grown in a series of vertical PVC towers equipped with high-powered lights. The signage below shows where the produce is delivered. The very nutritious plants are nourished by a nutrition-rich solution that flows within the columns. There is definitely no soil used in this garden. Water is also re-circulated so it is very efficient.

    Second is the Changi Airport in Thailand. This international airport was among the first airports to introduce gardens in their design. As early as 1980s, Changi Airport already has a sizeable space dedicated for its 250 plan species and some 500,000 plants. The nursery alone can produce 3,000 plants every month.

    Making your stay even more pleasant are several ‘green’ attractions like the orchid with koi pond, the butterfly garden and the colorful flower garden. You can walk further to reach the impeccably manicured outdoor garden which showcases sunflowers and cacti.

    Third is the Incheon Airport which offers not just one garden but seven! This encapsulation of nature gives off a very relaxing ambiance amidst the bustling airport. Each of these gardens has a distinct character – cactus, flowers, pine trees, local flora. Many of these plant species are not naturally found in South Korea so it is only in this airport where you can see them. A vast portion of the garden is located at the ground floor.  On the second floor is an almost 2,000 square meter garden that features over 150 plant species that include herbs, flowers, bamboo and ferns. These gardens are free for all to enjoy so take time to unwind and relax here while waiting for your boarding time.

    While many airports offer cozy, modern relaxation areas, sometimes it’s good to take a break from all the modernity and just return to beauty of nature. What could be more relaxing than a ‘green’ airport!

  • Maintaining Visibility in the Air

    Maintaining Visibility in the AirBelieve it or not, maintaining visibility in the air may be even more important for a pilot than being able to see the strip or pad where they plan to land their machine. Of course, if you take the landing out of the equation like with a quadcopter, then being visible in the air is definitely an important thing. Many aircraft, both large and small, feature lights that blink and flash to reveal their position to other aircraft which may be flying in or around the same air space – but again, when talking about smaller, unmanned craft, the standard lights they come with may not be enough to get the job done.

    That’s why it can be a great idea to add some of your own lights to a flying machine after-market. The only issue with this is weight, because a greater mass means the machine needs to work that much harder to get into the air and stay there, and if a flying machine is too heavy, it won’t be doing any flying at all. So, the solution needs to be lightweight, portable and easy to use, so you don’t have to perform too many modifications that could cause potentially harmful side effects for your flying machine. Enter LED lighting right here to fix this issue.

    LED light bars especially satisfy all of the conditions listed here for what makes good aviation lighting. They are lightweight, you can literally just slap them onto wings or some other flat piece of the aircraft with the use of a good adhesive, and they don’t require you to drill any holes or make other permanent modifications to your flying machine in order for them to work. So, if you’re a fan of flying remote controlled quadcopters, then you might want to check out http://lightbarreport.com/ to see a few examples of what we’re talking about here.

    Reflective tape is another option that’s even lighter than any LED setup, but such stuff only works if there’s a decent light source nearby to reflect off the tape in the first place. If you’re flying in low visibility conditions, like at night, then that light probably isn’t around, so that tape is pretty much useless for those times. You could always hold off on flying until daylight hours, but why do that when there’s no need? If you like, you can just click here for more information about lightweight lighting.

    Of course, there are other ways to make your flying machine stand out without attaching anything to it. If you have the equipment for it, you can use spotlights to illuminate a dark sky and give yourself a nice, bright place in which to fly around, where it would be impossible for other aircraft to miss seeing you. This solution is kind of unrealistic though, because it’s a lot more expensive and resource-intensive than the LED bars, or even the reflective tape. If you’re committed to the tape though, at least it would work better under conditions like these.

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