The Boeing 747
, one of the most iconic aircraft in history.
Aviation, or air transport, refers to the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as balloons and airships.
Aviation began in the 18th century with the development of the hot air balloon, an apparatus capable of atmospheric displacement through buoyancy. Some of the most significant advancements in aviation technology came with the controlled gliding flying of Otto Lilienthal in 1896; then a large step in significance came with the construction of the first powered airplane by the Wright brothers in the early 1900s. Since that time, aviation has been technologically revolutionized by the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world.
is an aircraft manufacturing
subsidiary of EADS
, a European aerospace consortium. Based in Toulouse
and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners
. Airbus began as a consortium of aerospace manufacturers. Consolidation of European defence and aerospace companies around the turn of the century allowed the establishment of a simplified joint stock company in 2001, owned by EADS (80%) and BAE Systems
(20%). After a protracted sale process BAE sold its shareholding to EADS on 13 October 2006. Airbus employs around 57,000 people at sixteen sites in four European Union countries: Germany
, the United Kingdom
, and Spain
. Final assembly production is at Toulouse
(France) and Hamburg
(Germany). Airbus has subsidiaries in the United States
Did you know
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic fighter-bomber originally developed for the U.S. Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. Proving highly adaptable, it became a major part of the air wings of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force. It was used extensively by all three of these services during the Vietnam War, serving as the principal air superiority fighter for both the Navy and Air Force, as well as being important in the ground-attack and reconnaissance roles by the close of U.S. involvement in the war.
First entering service in 1960, the Phantom continued to form a major part of U.S. military air power throughout the 1970s and 1980s, being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon in the U.S. Air Force; the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy; and the F/A-18 in the U.S. Marine Corps. It remained in use by the U.S. in the reconnaissance and Wild Weasel roles in the 1991 Gulf War, finally leaving service in 1996. The Phantom was also operated by the armed forces of 11 other nations. Israeli Phantoms saw extensive combat in several Arab–Israeli conflicts, while Iran used its large fleet of Phantoms in the Iran–Iraq War. Phantoms remain in front line service with seven countries, and in use as an unmanned target in the U.S. Air Force.
Phantom production ran from 1958 to 1981, with a total of 5,195 built. This extensive run makes it the second most-produced Western jet fighter, behind the F-86 Sabre at just under 10,000 examples.
- Span: 38 ft 4.5 in (11.7 m)
- Length: 63 ft 0 in (19.2 m)
- Height: 16 ft 6 in (5.0 m)
- Engines: 2× General Electric J79-GE-17A axial compressor turbojets, 17,845 lbf (79.6 kN) each
- Cruising Speed: 506 kn (585 mph, 940 km/h)
- First Flight: 27 May 1958
- Number built: 5,195