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aviation

aviation, operation of heavier-than-air aircraft and related activities. Aviation can be conveniently divided into military aviation, air transport, and general aviation. Military aviation includes all aviation activity by the armed services, such as combat, reconnaissance, and military air transport. Air transport consists mainly of the operation of commercial airlines, which handle both freight and passengers. General aviation consists of agricultural, business, charter, instructional, and pleasure flying; it includes such activities as the operation of air taxis, as well as aerial surveying and mapping.

See also air, law of the; air navigation; airplane; airship.

Early Interest in Human Flight

Interest in aviation can be traced back as far as Leonardo da Vinci; a human-powered aircraft based in part on his designs, Daedalus 88, flew 72 mi (115 km) in 1988. However, real progress toward achieving flight in heavier-than-air machines only began in the middle of the 19th cent. In 1842 the Englishman W. S. Henson patented a design for a machine that closely foreshadowed the modern monoplane; another Englishman, John Stringfellow, developed a model plane said to be the first power-driven machine to fly; and a third Englishman, F. H. Wenham, devised the first wind-tunnel experiments. In France, Alphonse Penaud made successful flying models of airplanes, while Clément Ader actually achieved flight (over a distance of about 150 ft/45 m in 1890 and about 300 yd/280 m in 1897) in a power-driven monoplane fashioned after a bat. In 1894 a plane built in England by Sir Hiram S. Maxim, operated by steam engines and carrying a crew of three, rose into the air from the track on which it was being tested. In the United States, S. P. Langley, Octave Chanute, and Otto Lilienthal made notable contributions to the early development of the airplane.

The Birth and Development of the Airplane

Finally, on Dec. 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright flew the first piloted airplane off the beach near Kitty Hawk, N. C. Henri Blériot and Glenn H. Curtiss made significant improvements in airplane design and, as more powerful engines became available, flew successively longer distances. In 1909 Blériot flew across the English Channel; ten years later a Curtiss-designed flying boat crossed the Atlantic Ocean. At first aviation development was motivated by the large prizes put up by publicity-seeking newspapers; but the outbreak of World War I in 1914 provided far greater motivation for aviation research and development (see air forces. The cessation of hostilities made available a large number of aircraft that could be bought cheaply, and the result was a great deal of aviation activity; barnstorming and stunt-flying kept aviation before the eyes of the public for a time, but the real stimulus was the initiation of airmail service in the mid-1920s. The intrepid airmail pilots caught the fancy of the public, and out of this group came the famous solo fliers Lindbergh, St-Exupéry, and others.

During the 1930s aviation continued to expand. Technological improvements in wind-tunnel testing, engine and airframe design, and maintenance equipment combined to provide faster, larger, and more durable airplanes. The transportation of passengers became profitable, and routes were extended to include several foreign countries. TransPacific airmail service, begun by Pan American Airways (later Pan American World Airways) in 1934, was followed by the first transoceanic aviation service for passengers, on the China Clipper, from San Francisco to Manila (to Hong Kong in 1937). In 1939 the first transatlantic service carrying both mail and passengers was inaugurated.

The Era of Mass Commercial Aviation

The outbreak of World War II interrupted commercial air service, but by 1947 all the basic technology essential to contemporary aviation had been developed: jet propulsion, streamlining, radar, and metallurgy. Perhaps the greatest example of this transition from military technology to commercial applications is the Boeing Company, a minor military contractor which became the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world. Commercial jet transportation began in 1952, when the British Overseas Airways Comet first flew from London to Johannesburg. Though this service was short-lived, by 1960 several commercial jet aircraft were in service; today virtually all commercial air routes are flown by jet or turboprop aircraft. The latest significant development in aviation has been the introduction of fly-by-wire control systems, which rely on computers and electronics rather than cables to operate aircraft control surfaces.

The result has been the explosive growth of commercial aviation, from jumbo and superjumbo jetliners to overnight package services, while general aviation has lagged behind. This growth has not been without some major problems. Jet aircraft use more fuel and require longer runways and more durable construction materials, and their sheer numbers create special problems for air-traffic control. In addition, the takeoff and landing of jet aircraft over populated areas create locally dangerous levels of noise pollution.

Bibliography

See A. de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand, and Stars (tr. 1939); B. Markham, West with the Night (1942, repr. 1987); W. Green and G. Pollinger, The Aircraft of the World (1979); L. K. Loftin, The Evolution of Modern Aircraft (1985); D. Todd and J. Simpson, The World Aircraft Industry (1986).

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Aviation

AVIATION

Defined as the science and practice of powered, heavier-than-air flight, aviation made its first great strides in the early twentieth century, after decades of flights in lighter-than-air gliders and balloons had been achieved in several countries. As acknowledged in reference books worldwide, including those of Soviet Russia, the first successful flight of an airplane was performed one hundred years ago by Orville and Wilbur Wright on December 17,1903. Throughout the nineteenth century, however, designers and engineers in many countries were working on plans for powered human flight.

In Russia, Sergi Alexeyevich Chaplygin (18691942) and Nikolai Yegorovich Zhukovsky (18471921) made major contributions in their study of aerodynamics, founding a world-famous school in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1881, Alexander Fyodorovich Mozhaisky (18231890) received a patent for a propeller-driven, table-shaped airplane powered by a steam engine, which crashed on takeoff in 1885. From 1909 to 1914, however, Russia made significant strides in airplane design. Progress included several successful test flights of innovative aircraft. For instance, the Russian aircraft designer Yakov M. Gakkel (18741945) achieved worldwide attention among aviation experts for developing a single-seat, motor-powered biplane that attracted world attention among aviation experts. In 1910, Boris N. Yuriev (18891957) designed one of the world's first helicopters, which were known in aviation's earlier days as autogyros.

A major breakthrough in world aviation occurred in 1913, with the development of the four-motored heavy Russian aircraft, the Ilya Muromets. This huge airplane far outstripped all other planes of its time for its size, range, and load-carrying capability. Russian ice- and hydroplane development was also outstanding in the years 1915 and 1916. One of the world famous Russian aircraft designers of this period, and the one who built the Muromets, was Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky (18891972), who emigrated to the United States in 1919 and established a well-known aircraft factory there in 1923.

Before and during World War I, Russian military aircraft technical schools and aviation clubs blossomed. In the war, the Russians deployed thirty-nine air squadrons totaling 263 aircraft, all bearing a distinctive circular white, blue, and red insignia on their wings. With the coming to power of the Communists in late 1917, Lenin and Stalin, who stressed the importance of military production and an offensive strategy, strongly supported the development of the Red Air Force. Civilian planes, too, were built, for what became the world's largest airline, Aeroflot.

By the time of World War II, the Soviets had made significant strides in the development of all types of military aircraft, including fighters and bombers, gliders and transport planes, for both the Red Army and Red Navy. By the time of the German invasion of the USSR in June 1941, various types of Soviet aircraft possessed equal or superior specifications compared to the planes available to their Nazi German counterparts. This achievement was possible not only because of the long, pre-revolutionary Russian and postrevolutionary Soviet experience in designing and building aircraft and participating in international air shows. Progress in this field also stemmed from Soviet strategic planning, which called for offensive airground support in land battle.

During World War II, such aircraft as the Shturmoviks, Ilyushins, and Polikarpovs became world famous in the war, as did a number of male and female Soviet war aces. With the coming of jet-powered and supersonic aircraft in the 1950s and beyond, the Soviets continued their quest for air supremacy, and again showed their prowess in aviation.

See also: science and technology policy; world war i; world war ii

Albert L. Weeks

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Aviation

31. Aviation

accelerometer
an instrument for measuring and recording the rate of acceleration of an aircraft.
aerialist
a person who performs aerial acrobatics, as a trapeze artist, tightrope walker, stunt flier, etc.
aeroballistics
the science of ballistics combined with or from the special viewpoint of aerodynamics, particularly with regard to rockets, guided missiles, etc. aeroballistic, adj.
aerobatics
stunts performed with aircraft. See also 2. ACROBATICS .
aerocartography
the process of mapmaking by means of aerial survey.
aerodonetics
Rare. the science or art of gliding. aerodonetic, adj.
aerodrome, airdrome
an airport or airbase, not including the personnel.
aerodromics
the art or science of flying airplanes.
aeroembolism
Medicine. a condition caused by the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the blood as a result of a sudden lowering of atmospheric pressure, as when flying at high altitude or rising too rapidly from a deep underwater dive.
aeromedicine
the medical specialty concerned with the health of those engaged in flying within the earths atmosphere.
aeronautics
1. Archaic. the science or art of ascending and traveling in the air in lighter-than-air vehicles.
2. the technology or art of flying airplanes. aeronaut, n. aeronautic, aeronautical, adj.
aeronautism
the technique of ballooning. aeronautics, n.
aeropause
the region in the upper part of the earths atmosphere where the air is too thin for aircraft to operate properly.
aerophone
an instrument for detecting the approach of aircraft by intensifying the sound waves it creates in the air.
aerophysics
the branch of physics that studies the earths atmosphere, especially the effects upon the atmosphere of objects flying at high speeds or at high altitudes. aerophysicist, n.
aeroplanist
an aviator or aircraft pilot.
aerostatics
the study of the construction and operation of aerostats, lighter-than-air craft, as balloons or dirigibles. aerostatic, aerostatical , adj.
avigation
the science of aerial navigation.
avinosis
airsickness.
avionics
the science and technology of electrical and electronic devices or equipment used in aviation.
ballooning
the art and science of operating balloons for sport or air travel. Also balloonry .
bioastronautics
the science that studies the effects of space travel on life, especially human life and the human body.
omithopter, orthopter
da Vincis exploratory design for a flying machine moved by flapping wings.
perastadics
the science and art of space flying. perastadic, adj.
photoreconnaisance
reconnaissance for purposes of aerial photography; reconnaissance or surveillance by means of aerial photography.
radar
an acronym for RAdio Detecting And Ranging: a method and the equipment used for the detection and determination of the velocity of a moving object by reflecting radio waves off it.
rocketry
the science and technology of rocket design and manufacture.
supersonic
applied to aircraft moving at speeds beyond the speed of sound, about 750 mph (1207.5 kph) at sea level.
volitation
flight, the act of flying, or the ability to fly.

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Aviation

51. Aviation

  1. Kitty Hawk site of first manned, powered flight (1903). [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 563]
  2. Lafayette Escadrille American aviators assisting Allies in WWI. [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 273]
  3. Night Flight relates the harrowing experiences of early airmail pilots on South American routes. [Fr. Lit.: Magill III, 687]
  4. Red Baron nickname given to Baron Richthofen. [Aviation: EB, VIII: 574]
  5. Smilin Jack comic strip pilot who solves crimes. [Comics: Smilin Jack in Horn, 624625]
  6. Spirit of St. Louis Charles Lindberghs plane. [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 287]
  7. Wright brothers creators-aviators of first manned aircraft (1903). [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 563]

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aviation

a·vi·a·tion / ˌāvēˈāshən/ • n. the flying or operating of aircraft: [as adj.] the aviation industry aviation engineering.

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aviation

aviation XIX. — F., irreg. f. L. avis bird + -ATION.
So aviator XIX. — F. aviateur.

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Aviation

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aviation

aviationashen, fashion, passion, ration •abstraction, action, attraction, benefaction, compaction, contraction, counteraction, diffraction, enaction, exaction, extraction, faction, fraction, interaction, liquefaction, malefaction, petrifaction, proaction, protraction, putrefaction, redaction, retroaction, satisfaction, stupefaction, subtraction, traction, transaction, tumefaction, vitrifaction •expansion, mansion, scansion, stanchion •sanction •caption, contraption •harshen, Martian •cession, discretion, freshen, session •abjection, affection, circumspection, collection, complexion, confection, connection, convection, correction, defection, deflection, dejection, detection, direction, ejection, election, erection, genuflection, imperfection, infection, inflection, injection, inspection, insurrection, interconnection, interjection, intersection, introspection, lection, misdirection, objection, perfection, predilection, projection, protection, refection, reflection, rejection, resurrection, retrospection, section, selection, subjection, transection, vivisection •exemption, pre-emption, redemption •abstention, apprehension, ascension, attention, circumvention, comprehension, condescension, contention, contravention, convention, declension, detention, dimension, dissension, extension, gentian, hypertension, hypotension, intention, intervention, invention, mention, misapprehension, obtention, pension, prehension, prevention, recension, retention, subvention, supervention, suspension, tension •conception, contraception, deception, exception, inception, interception, misconception, perception, reception •Übermenschen • subsection •ablation, aeration, agnation, Alsatian, Amerasian, Asian, aviation, cetacean, citation, conation, creation, Croatian, crustacean, curation, Dalmatian, delation, dilation, donation, duration, elation, fixation, Galatian, gyration, Haitian, halation, Horatian, ideation, illation, lavation, legation, libation, location, lunation, mutation, natation, nation, negation, notation, nutation, oblation, oration, ovation, potation, relation, rogation, rotation, Sarmatian, sedation, Serbo-Croatian, station, taxation, Thracian, vacation, vexation, vocation, zonation •accretion, Capetian, completion, concretion, deletion, depletion, Diocletian, excretion, Grecian, Helvetian, repletion, Rhodesian, secretion, suppletion, Tahitian, venetian •academician, addition, aesthetician (US esthetician), ambition, audition, beautician, clinician, coition, cosmetician, diagnostician, dialectician, dietitian, Domitian, edition, electrician, emission, fission, fruition, Hermitian, ignition, linguistician, logician, magician, mathematician, Mauritian, mechanician, metaphysician, mission, monition, mortician, munition, musician, obstetrician, omission, optician, paediatrician (US pediatrician), patrician, petition, Phoenician, physician, politician, position, rhetorician, sedition, statistician, suspicion, tactician, technician, theoretician, Titian, tuition, volition •addiction, affliction, benediction, constriction, conviction, crucifixion, depiction, dereliction, diction, eviction, fiction, friction, infliction, interdiction, jurisdiction, malediction, restriction, transfixion, valediction •distinction, extinction, intinction •ascription, circumscription, conscription, decryption, description, Egyptian, encryption, inscription, misdescription, prescription, subscription, superscription, transcription •proscription •concoction, decoction •adoption, option •abortion, apportion, caution, contortion, distortion, extortion, portion, proportion, retortion, torsion •auction •absorption, sorption •commotion, devotion, emotion, groschen, Laotian, locomotion, lotion, motion, notion, Nova Scotian, ocean, potion, promotion •ablution, absolution, allocution, attribution, circumlocution, circumvolution, Confucian, constitution, contribution, convolution, counter-revolution, destitution, dilution, diminution, distribution, electrocution, elocution, evolution, execution, institution, interlocution, irresolution, Lilliputian, locution, perlocution, persecution, pollution, prosecution, prostitution, restitution, retribution, Rosicrucian, solution, substitution, volution •cushion • resumption • München •pincushion •Belorussian, Prussian, Russian •abduction, conduction, construction, deduction, destruction, eduction, effluxion, induction, instruction, introduction, misconstruction, obstruction, production, reduction, ruction, seduction, suction, underproduction •avulsion, compulsion, convulsion, emulsion, expulsion, impulsion, propulsion, repulsion, revulsion •assumption, consumption, gumption, presumption •luncheon, scuncheon, truncheon •compunction, conjunction, dysfunction, expunction, function, junction, malfunction, multifunction, unction •abruption, corruption, disruption, eruption, interruption •T-junction • liposuction •animadversion, aspersion, assertion, aversion, Cistercian, coercion, conversion, desertion, disconcertion, dispersion, diversion, emersion, excursion, exertion, extroversion, immersion, incursion, insertion, interspersion, introversion, Persian, perversion, submersion, subversion, tertian, version •excerption

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