Max Conrad: The early years

Posted on April 17th, 2014 by

When he died in 1979, Max Conrad was known the world over as the “Flying Grandfather.” A long-distance record breaker in light aircraft, most notably the Piper Comanche, Max was generally credited with more flying time than any other pilot... Continue Reading →

Around the world solo in a Bluebird

Posted on December 8th, 2013 by

Born Mildred Mary Petre in November 1895, the Hon. Mrs Victor Bruce made her name during the 1920s and ’30s as a record breaker on land, sea and in the air. She first came to notice by way of several... Continue Reading →

Around the world solo in a Bluebird

Posted on November 10th, 2013 by

Born Mildred Mary Petre in November 1895, the Hon. Mrs Victor Bruce made her name during the 1920s and ’30s as a record breaker on land, sea and in the air. She first came to notice by way of several... Continue Reading →

Mountain high

Posted on July 14th, 2013 by

April 4, 2013, marked the 80th anniversary of the successful aerial assault on Mt. Everest undertaken by two Royal Air Force pilots, David Fowler McIntyre and Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, flying modified, open-cockpit, Westland biplanes to an altitude of 30,000 feet. It... Continue Reading →

Brookins

Getting airborne: Early flight training

Posted on March 31st, 2013 by

Flight training in the United States before 1914 went from a do-it-yourself — build a machine and try to learn to fly it — endeavor to a growing system of flight schools across the country. The first organized flight instruction... Continue Reading →

Cessna 120Civil Commercial aircraftAircraft Files

The post-war bubble

Posted on February 4th, 2013 by

On May 17, 1945, with the war in Europe ending and military production being cut back, the War Production Board announced the end of the prohibition on the production of civilian aircraft, providing such manufacturing didn’t interfere with war output.... Continue Reading →

AlexEagler

Flying high before the (stock market) crash

Posted on January 23rd, 2013 by

Production of aircraft became a huge industry during World War I. While the government sustained the aircraft manufacturers during this time, this support came to a screeching halt when the war ended. Continue Reading →

On June 14, 1919, Alcock and Brown set out in their converted Vickers Vimy bomber from Lester's Field in St. John's Newfoundland. Photo courtesy The Museum of Flight

Aviation spreads its wings

Posted on October 22nd, 2012 by

Among the many things taken for granted today is long-distance travel by jet airliners. So common is long-distance air travel that there have even been around-the-world races for general aviation aircraft. One forgets that regularly scheduled intercontinental commercial air travel... Continue Reading →

The DC-2 bore all the hallmarks of streamlining developments of the time: All-metal, stressed-skin construction, cantilever wings, retractable landing gear and cowled radial engines.

The streamlined decade

Posted on August 5th, 2012 by

During the decade of the Great Depression, the streamlined form stood as an optimistic symbol of progress and efficiency. Streamlining was applied to cars, trains, ships, buildings, and even household appliances. This new idiom replaced the angular, art deco forms... Continue Reading →

The myth of Daedalus and Icarus depicted on an Italian woocut of 1493 (above). This woodcut of a kite in Europe appeared in a book published in 1635 (right).

Taking to the air

Posted on June 18th, 2012 by

The history of aviation is a long record of man’s restless urge to emulate soaring eagles and swooping hawks, to escape the earth and reach the freedom of the skies. Even though the air had been harnessed for centuries with... Continue Reading →