Archive for the 'Aviation History' Category

History of the Hindenburg Airship

74 years ago, on March 4, 1936 the German Hindenburg airship accomplished its first flight.
The airship flew from March 1936 until destroyed by fire 14 months later on May 6, 1937, at the end of the first North American transatlantic journey while landing at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, New Jersey.
The Hindenburg (LZ-129) and its sister ship (LZ-130) are the longest flying machines of any kind, as well as the largest airships ever built.

At http://www.airships.net/hindenburg you’ll find very interesting and the most complete historic information about this airship! This great website features many photos as well as sections of special interest to pilots such as flight procedures, flight instruments and navigation.

Airships.net History of the Hindenburg

Air France A320 painted in retro livery

To mark its 75th anniversary, Air France has repainted one of its Airbus A320s in the same livery as back in 1946. Ambassador of the Company’s 75th anniversary, the Airbus A320-211 F-GFKJ joined the medium-haul fleet for the next two years. It landed at Paris-Charles de Gaulle from Toulouse on 21st November 2008.

The aircraft has been baptised “Pays de Roissy”, as a reference to the association aiming to expand the economic develop of 110 communes situated around Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport.

Air France 1946 Retro Livery - Airbus A320-211 F-GFKJ
Video featuring painting process (External Link)

This livery features the seahorse, a symbol to which all Air France staff are strongly attached. The emblem of Air Orient, it combines the head of Pegasus, the horse of Greek mythology, and the tail of the dragon Annam to form the symbol of the relationship between Europe and the Far East. This story is told at www.airfrancelasaga.com through picture archives on the history of the Company since its inception.

Source: Air France
Photo: Air France

Berlin Tempelhof Airport closed

Today is a very sad day - The oldest commercial airport in the world, Berlin Tempelhof (THF/EDDI), has been closed forever, solely because of political reasons. The airport, located in the heart of Germany’s capital, was opened in 1923. With 284,000 square meters of floor area, the airport’s main building was the largest building in the world, before it was beaten by the Pentagon building in 1934. Tempelhof is still the largest building in Europe and still belongs to one of the largest buildings in the world. It’s considered by most experts to be an architetctural masterpiece. British architect Norman Foster described Tempelhof as no less than “the mother of all airports.”

Tempelhof was one of Europe’s three iconic pre-war airports — the others being London’s old Croydon Airport and Paris Le Bourget. 1926 Lufthansa was founded here.


The airport became famous during the Berlin Blockade (1948 – 1949) where it was used by Douglas DC-3s and Douglas C-54s for the Berlin Airlift which was formed by Western Allies to supply the city over pre-arranged air corridors.

Douglas DC-3s at Berlin Tempelhof Airport 1948

Tempelhof was often called the “City Airport”. It mostly had commuter flights to other parts of Germany and neighbouring countries, but had in the past received long-haul, wide-bodied airliners, such as the Boeing 747 operated by Pan Am.

The last 2 planes, a Junkers Ju-52 and a Douglas DC-3, departed Tempelhof at midnight.

After closing Tempelhof, one of the two remaining Berlin airports - Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) needs to replace it. To deal with the additional traffic and passengers, Tegel will be expanded for several Million Euro. But the death of Berlin Tegel Airport is also already a settled matter and hence the expansion a solely waste of money. The second remaining airport will be closed in 2012 after the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (formely Berlin Schönefeld (SXF)) will be completed.

There’s still no reasonable concept for using the airport site.

Photo gallery featuring many historic photos: Photo Gallery

Please also read the great story over at the english edition of spiegel.de: An Era Ends with Closing of Berlin Airport

Sad pictures - Concorde resting at New York Airfield

Really disturbing photos showing the retired British Airways Concorde G-BOAD were recently posted at nycaviation.com

The photos reveal how bad this historic plane was treated over the past years. The nose cone broke off, the paint is peeling and birds are craping in its engines.

All photos at: http://nycaviation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12589

The Concorde was given to the USS Intrepid Museum New York, but was moved some years ago to Floyd Bennett Field.

The museum should be ashamed for treating their Concorde like that. There are literally hundreds of aviation museums all over the world which would be proud for having a real Concorde in their collection, but NY just parks her at some airfield like a piece of junk!

Video - De Havilland DH-112 Venom Crash Landed

The pilot of a De Havilland DH-112 Venom walked away after he crash landed in a field. The plane is believed to be N9196M, formerly Swiss Air Force “J-1527″.

Video:

The de Havilland DH-112 Venom was a British postwar single-engined jet aircraft developed from the de Havilland Vampire. It served with the Royal Air Force as a single-seat fighter-bomber and two-seat night-fighter, a navalised version - the Sea Venom - serving with the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) of the Royal Navy (RN).
All Venoms in RAF service were withdrawn from first-line service in 1962, the last non-RAF Venoms to leave active service were Swiss Air Force Venoms which retired in 1983. About 20 Venoms continue to fly as of 2004, performing at various air shows, while a number of examples are preserved in museums in the United Kingdom and abroad, in non-flying, static display condition.

Video - Historic Military Plane Crash

This video features the crash of an North American SNJ-5 Texan (N12KY) just a few days ago. After seeing these pictures, it’s really amazing that the pilot survived, not even being injured!

Video - Northwest Airlines Hamilton H-47

Have a look at a 1929 Hamilton H-47, one of the first airplanes Northwest Airlines used for passenger service.

Boeing Sponsors Flight of Historic Airplanes Over Washington DC

Boeing LogoThe Boeing Company today announced that it is sponsoring a flyover of four historic military airplanes in honor of U.S. airmen who died during World War II and in subsequent conflicts.
The event will take place on Thursday, April 10, at 1:15 p.m. The airplanes will take off from Andrews Air Force Base, will cross the airspace around Ronald Reagan National Airport (which will close briefly to accommodate the event) and will circle the Air Force Memorial before returning to Andrews. Spectators will be able to view the flyover from the grounds of the memorial (accessed by car via I-395 and Columbia Pike) as well as from multiple points along the Potomac River in Arlington and Washington, D.C.
The American Air Museum (AAM) in Duxford, England, organized the flyover, which features a B-17 Flying Fortress (made by Boeing), a P-51D Mustang (made by North American Aviation, now a part of Boeing), a P-40 Kittyhawk (made by Curtiss Wright), and a Spitfire (made by Vickers Armstrong).
Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire, president of the AAM and chairman of the Imperial War Museum in the United Kingdom, will preside over the event and pay tribute to the thousands of airmen who sacrificed their lives in defense of freedom. Joining him for the ceremony at the memorial will be former British Prime Minister (and honored guest) Sir John Major; Lt. Gen. John Bradley, commander, U.S. Air Force Reserve Command; and Richard Ashton, executive vice president, AAM.

Source: Boeing

Iraqi Mig-25 Foxbat found in sand dune

An Iraqi Air Force Mikoyan Mig-25 Foxbat in advanced reconnaissance version was dug out of a massive sand dune near the Al Taqqadum airfield (Iraq) by U.S. Air Force recovery teams. According to sources, this version, not being from the Gulf War era, was never seen before in the West and is equipped with sophisticated electronic warfare devices.
The Mig was one of over two dozen Iraqi jets buried in the sand, like hidden treasure waiting to be recovered at a later date.

View all photos at:
http://www.flightglobal.com/AirSpace/photos/mig25/default.aspx

Video of the Day - Goodbye Gimli Glider

The final flyby of Air Canada’s C-GAUN at Montreal’s Pierre Trudeeau Airport on Jan 24th before heading to the Mojave desert for retirement. See also: Gimli Glider to be retired




Contact