June 4, 1784 A pioneering ascent of a hot-air balloon took place just outside the city of Lyon in southeastern France. This balloon was named the Gustave in honor of King Gustav III of Sweden. The king was visiting Lyon at that time, and he was among those on hand to watch the aircraft take... Continue Reading →

Over the past couple of decades, Mamta Patel Nagaraja has worked on various spaceflight priorities and initiatives at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). “I believe in the power of knowledge, of discovering, of exploring,” she said when describing her longtime passion for that field of human endeavor. Patel was born in Anaheim, California.... Continue Reading →

In 2017, entrepreneur and amateur pilot Ravinder Bansal set a new record as the first person of Indian origin to complete a solo flight around the world in a single-engine plane. Bansal was born in the city and municipal corporation of Ambala in India in 1949. By the 1970s, he had made his way to... Continue Reading →

May 6, 1896 An aviation milestone took place in the vicinity of Quantico, Virginia, when Aerodrome No. 5 made the first successful flights of an unpiloted, tandem-winged, engine-powered, heavier-than-air model of substantial size. (“Aerodrome” is derived from a Greek phrase that roughly means “air runner.”) Samuel Langley, who invented Aerodrome No. 5, launched it twice using... Continue Reading →

September 30, 1911 Cromwell Dixon became the first person to fly across the mountainous Continental Divide. The 19-year-old Dixon, who received his air pilot license only the previous month, had well-established credentials when it came to transportation pursuits. As a boy, for example, he constructed a rollercoaster for the kids in his neighborhood. Dixon was... Continue Reading →

January 31, 1992 A memorial service was held at Morgan Hill, California, for Ole Fahlin, the world-renowned aviator and propellers manufacturer. He had passed away five days earlier in the Golden State at the age of 90. Fahlin, who was born in the locality of Bollnäs in Sweden in 1901, began pursuing a strong interest in... Continue Reading →

December 17, 1903 It was the dawn of a new era. Orville and Wilbur Wright made transportation history near the North Carolina town of Kill Devil Hills (about four miles, or6.4 kilometers, south of the better-known town of Kitty Hawk) by bringing about the world’s first controlled, powered, and sustained heavier-than-air human flight.  The brothers each... Continue Reading →

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