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Aviation Week & Space Technology

Discuss this Gallery 10

on Jan 15, 2016

I think my father's invention of the ADF in 1938 while working at Sperry might be worthy of mention. It saved a lot of lives and enabled commercial transport for long time. He worked with Frank Brady and others to develop the ILS and the first hands off automatic blind landing of an airplane was made in at Defford England using his "black box" to couple the ILS to the autopilot on a Boeing 247D. After the war he went to Collins Radio and helped establish Collins in the aircraft navigation business. Flight Safety Foundation award November 1955, IRE Pioneer Award 1959. See "Angel Visits - From Biplane to Jar - Frank Griffiths, Thomas Harmsworth Publishing, London 1986 Chapter 7.

on Jan 17, 2016

Thanks, very interesting and nice photos.

on Nov 22, 2016

This series has been enjoyable and this one in particular highlights the giants on who's shoulders we are allowed to stand on.

Thank you for these short photo essays.

on Nov 22, 2016

Something worth showing on the aviation safety timeline is probably Flight Data Monitoring or Flight Operations Quality Assurance that started out with a few airlines and over a decade ago became an ICAO standard. Who is to say how many incidents, accidents and hull losses have been averted because of FDM or FOQA? Information on accidents that never happened isn't easily gathered. My belief is FDM and FOQA and proactive safety management has made a major impact on air safety. I certainly feel safer knowing airlines are continuously monitoring their operations and acting on what they find.

on Nov 22, 2016

Would it be too partisan to point out that Loran was an American development of the British GEE hyperbolic navigation aid invented by Robert Dippy and in service for the RAF in 1941. Dippy moved to the USA in 1942 to help develop the longer range but less accurate Loran system. GEE was further developed in the UK as DECCA.

on Nov 22, 2016

Another article that's nearly a year old. The barrel must be pretty well empty by now.

on Nov 25, 2016

Certainly the development of the Low Frequency Range (Adcock range) and Instrument Landing System (ILS) were far greater factors in the development of air safety then the essentially dead end (and not particularly safe) autogyro.

Perhaps it is nerdy to mention such unseen things as design concepts and methods without which modern air safety would not be possible. Concepts such as the Design Life Concept, Fail Safe Design Concept, Fault Tolerant design, and Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. I guess the archives have no photos of those unmentionable (unthinkably nerdy?) aeronautical engineers hard at work.

The photo of the Transcontinental Air Transport Fokker F.10 at Grand Central Air Terminal, Glendale, California, aka Grand Central Airport, shows an airplane worthy of mention beyond it’s Knute Rockne crash fame.

The Fokker F.10, designed by Reinhold Platz was actually a very successful design offering better performance and operating economics than the better known Ford Trimotor.

Transcontinental Air Transport, TAT, also known as Take a Train, offered the first transcontinental air (and train) service. TAT’s western terminus was the Grand Central Air Terminal, Glendale, California, where the photo was taken. Grand Central Air Terminal was for a while the most known and noted airport in America. The terminal building was recently restored, though the runway has become Grand Central Avenue.

Like the Grand Central Air Terminal, TAT is history. Transcontinental Air Transport morphed into Trans Continental Airlines after the air mail scandal and eventually Trans World Airlines which died of deregulation.

on Nov 23, 2016

Lawrence Sperry not only invented the autopilot, but the artificial horizon as well.

Mile High Club founders Lawrence Sperry and Mrs. Waldo Peirce were flying in the autopilot equipped Curtis Flying Boat over Long Island Sound when the Curtiss made anplanned landing (altitude hold failure?) while engaged in other activities than flying.

Sperry explained; ”Why, Mrs Peirce and I didn’t have what you might dignify by calling a real accident. It was only a trivial mishap. We decided to land on the water and came down perfectly from a height of 600 feet and would have made a perfect landing had not the hull of our machine struck one of the stakes that dot the water, which staved a hole in it."

The naked couple were quickly rescued.

on Aug 1, 2017

Nice article but I'd really love to see more developments for safer flying "cars." That is, aviation for the masses.

on Aug 1, 2017

Picture #1 reminds me of an article in the Eagle Book of Aircraft (Hulton Press, 1953+) on the D5 tailless biplane built by J.W.Dunne.

As I remember, the article said that on one occasion when trouble was encountered with one of the two engines, the plane was stable enough in flight for the pilot to walk out along the wing to fix it!

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