Airplanes and Pilots

A pictorial history of the airplane and the men and women associated with flight - pilots, astronauts, inventors, and others.
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Since the beginning of time, humans have wanted to fly. While this goal was sought in many ways (fashioning wings and wearing them, hot air balloons, gliders), it wasn't until the beginning of the 20th century that the modern concept of the airplane was successfully achieved.

Flying facts:
  • KLM - Royal Dutch Airlines - is the oldest airline operating under its original name and still flying in the world. It was formed in 1919.


  • The Boeing 747's 195 ft wing-span is longer than the Wright Brothers' first flight - the Kitty Hawk flew 120 feet.


  • In the Fall of 1783 three passengers as well as a sheep, a rooster and a duck successfully flew in a hot air balloon.


  • English is used internationally in flight - all flight controllers and pilots must speak English if they are involved with flight between countries.


  • Harriet Quimby was the first woman licensed to pilot a plane in the U.S. - in 1911. She was also the first woman to fly across the English Channel.


  • Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. Charles Lindbergh was the first man to fly solo, without stops, across the Atlantic in 1927.


  • Chuck Yeager was the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound in 1947.


  • Take heart: approximately 95.7% of people involved in a plane crash survive the crash.


Following is a pictorial history of flight and of the men and women associated with this history.
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That's a photo of my father Pvt. Leonard J. Chapman, holding the rear of the aircraft, so it will not begin to take off. This photo taken about 1929, in the Philippine Island.
People in this photo:
May 22, 1909 - Jul 13, 2005
Added May 28, 2015 by: Leonard Chapman
Leonard Chapman
27 favorites
A photo of Arthur Richard Hugh Beauman's plane
People in this photo:
Feb 28, 1918 - Dec 5, 1940
Added Apr 24, 2015 by: Jonathan Beauman
Jonathan Beauman
8 favorites
A photo of S/L Norman Henry Nixon arriving at Cairns Airport with the 1956 Olympic flame he flew from Darwin.
People in this photo:
Jan 6, 1916 - Feb 9, 1961
Added Feb 20, 2015 by: Bruce Richard
Bruce Richard
4 favorites
A photo of Robert E Montague (1921 - 1998) and crew
People in this photo:
Jan 28, 1921 - Dec 2, 1998
Added Jan 12, 2015 by: Thomas Montague
Thomas Montague
109 favorites
A photo of William George Mccaig
People in this photo:
Dec 16, 1895 - Oct 1, 1918
A photo of Willard Dewayne Dover
People in this photo:
Nov 25, 1898 - Feb 22, 1991
Added Jul 16, 2013 by: Brian Nelson
Brian Nelson
8 favorites
Douglas,beside an ancient bi-plane (I think). Douglas volunteered in the Canadian Air Force at the beginning of WWII. According to family history, he was lost in a mission over Germany.
People in this photo:
c. 1919 - Nov 8, 1941
Orville Wright and Lieutenant Lahm of the United States Signal Corps making the world's record flight at Fort Myer, on July 27--The aeroplane made fifty miles at a speed of about forty miles an hour
People in this photo:
Aug 19, 1871 - Jan 30, 1948
Added Jan 11, 2012 by: Ancient Faces
Ancient Faces
428 favorites
A photo of Orville Wright at start of flight, Fort Meyer [i.e. Myer], VA
People in this photo:
Aug 19, 1871 - Jan 30, 1948
Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright seated on steps of rear porch, 7 Hawthorne St., Dayton, Ohio
People in this photo:
Aug 19, 1871 - Jan 30, 1948
Orville, Wilbur, and Katherine Wright, with others
People in this photo:
Aug 19, 1871 - Jan 30, 1948
During flight trials to win a contract from the U.S. Army Signal Corps, pilot Orville Wright and passenger Lt. Thomas Selfridge crashed in a Wright Flyer at Fort Myer, Virginia. Wright was injured, and Selfridge becomes the first passenger to die in an airplane accident. Another image of this crash can be found at: https://www.ancientfaces.com/photo/pilot-orville-wright-plane-crash-kills-lt-selfridg/1204822
People in this photo:
Aug 19, 1871 - Jan 30, 1948
Photo of what Amelia wore during her record breaking flights.
People in this photo:
Jul 24, 1897 - 1937
Added Aug 24 by: Daniel Pinna
Daniel Pinna
5.05k+ favorites
Topics:
Sikorsky Aircraft employee Vince Klem in a biplane at Port Jefferson Long Island in 1937. Photo by friend B.S. Norkus
People in this photo:
Sep 14, 1911 - Oct 15, 1994
A photo of Arthur Douglas Hardinge
People in this photo:
Apr 19, 1919 - Mar 14, 2007
Added Dec 21, 2019 by: Walt Hardinge
Walt Hardinge
9 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Arthur Douglas Hardinge
People in this photo:
Apr 19, 1919 - Mar 14, 2007
Added Dec 21, 2019 by: Walt Hardinge
Walt Hardinge
9 favorites
Topics:
A photo of William Lendrum Mitchell
People in this photo:
Dec 29, 1879 - Feb 19, 1936
Added Nov 13, 2019 by: Amanda S. Stevenson
Amanda S. Stevenson
10.4k+ favorites
Topics:
Dangerous missions. John Walter Mchugo piloting a P-51 Mustang during WW2.
People in this photo:
Dec 16, 1923 - Aug 3, 2010
Added Apr 21, 2019 by: Susan McHugo
Susan McHugo
7 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Harold Nigel Egerton Salmon
People in this photo:
c. 1907 - Dec 6, 1943
Added Mar 10, 2019 by: Amanda S. Stevenson
Amanda S. Stevenson
10.4k+ favorites
Topics:
A photo of Ed B Newkirk, Jr (right ) - 1932 photo William “Billy” Ford & Ed Newkirk standing in front of Ford’s Curtiss JN-4 Jenny at North Wilkesboro Airport
People in this photo:
1905 - Sep 4, 1955
Added Feb 6, 2019 by: Keith O
Keith O
62 favorites
A photo of "Jook" Girl - B-29 nose art
People in this photo:
Sep 21, 1922 - Aug 14, 2006
Added Nov 9, 2018 by: James Brown
James Brown
4 favorites
Had a flight in this aircraft, after researching an accident that killed one of my late father's friends in 1944 (Maurice Wyburn Webber and his instructor Flt Sgt Raymond Victor Askey, in the same type of aircraft.
Added Sep 7, 2018 by: Peter Lane
Peter Lane
3 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Gordon W. Kirchener and the ship my Dad (Gordon) worked on.
Added Mar 28, 2018 by: Sharon Beay
Sharon Beay
11 favorites
A photo of Barth Edward Clevenger
People in this photo:
c. Jun 1, 1926 - c. Jun 10, 2001
Added Oct 26, 2017 by: Jineane Wagner
Jineane Wagner
12 favorites
Topics:
A photo of an old Ford Tri-motor Mitchel Air Base June 1941 A James A Fazzi Sr Picture
Added Jul 10, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
A photo of a Luscombe Silvaire June 1941 Long Island NY.A James A Fazzi Sr Photo
Added Jul 10, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
Lockheed Airplane At Roosevelt Field Mitchel Air Base June 1941 A James A Fazzi Sr Picture
Added Jul 10, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
A photo of D.W. Sparks & His Piper Cub Airplane Jun 1941 Long Island N.Y. A James A Fazzi Sr Picture
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Jul 10, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
B-24 Hit By A Jap Bomb Jan 1943...A James A Fazzi Sr Picture
Added Jul 7, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
A photo of a B-24 Hit By A Jap Daisey Cutter Incendiary Bomb During The 23 Bomber 24 Zeros Raid In Broad Daylight At 1245 PM Approximately 3 Million Dollars of Damage Done ...A James A Fazzi Sr Picture
Added Jul 7, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
B-17 Hit By Japanese Bombs Jan 1943 ...A James A Fazzi Sr Picture
Added Jul 7, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
B-17 Bombed And Burning Milne Bay, Jan 1943 ....A James A Fazzi Sr Picture
Added Jul 7, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
Aussie Tiger Moth Trainer - Mareeba - March 1943 ..A James A Fazzi Picture
Added Jul 7, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
An Australian Beaufort Bomber - Milne Bay, Nov 1942 ...A James a Fazzi Sr Picture
Added Jul 7, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
A photo of an Armorer Working On A P-38 Just Like An Automobile ...A James A Fazzi Sr Picture
YOA-5 Langley Field VA Sept 1940 James A Fazzi Sr Photo
Added Jul 6, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
A photo of Msgt. James A Fazzi Sr In The Cockpit Of P-40 35th Pursuit Squadron Langley Air Field VA 11-03-40........James A Fazzi Picture
People in this photo:
Nov 28, 1917 - Feb 5, 1995
Boeing Flying Fortress Langley Field VA James A Fazzi Sr Photo
Added Jul 5, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
A photo of a Tow Target Operation, Langley Field VA Ready To Go Up In A B-10 A James A Fazzi Sr Picture
People in this photo:
Nov 28, 1917 - Feb 5, 1995
Added Jul 5, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
Trumbull Field Later Known As Groton Army Field Changing Wings On A P-40 That Was Cracked Up While Landing A James A Fazzi Sr Picture
People in this photo:
Nov 28, 1917 - Feb 5, 1995
Added Jul 4, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
A photo of Ted Chapman's flight group and training class mid 1943
People in this photo:
Jun 20, 1921 - May 11, 2017
Added May 16, 2017 by: Barrett Young
Barrett Young
284 favorites
A photo of Anna Marie (Braunger) Kriege Honeymoon in California in a Bi-Plane 1920
People in this photo:
Jul 23, 1893 - Mar 21, 1991
Added May 21, 2016 by: Jan Doss
Jan Doss
558 favorites
My father, Gary Campagna, in New Orleans during Navy Training around 1952.
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Apr 5, 2016 by: Tony Campagna
Tony Campagna
7 favorites
A photo of William James Finnegan
People in this photo:
Oct 7, 1909 - Jan 14, 1943
Added Nov 11, 2015 by: Ryan Finnegan
Ryan Finnegan
5 favorites
A photo of Ernest C Cuffle (1939 - 1997)
People in this photo:
Sep 22, 1939 - Jul 6, 1997
Added Sep 19, 2015 by: Carole Lilly
Carole Lilly
3 favorites
A photo of Betty Sue (Lassiter) Sharp - Fly Girl Betty
People in this photo:
Aug 6, 1923 - Unknown
Added Aug 13, 2015 by: Elena Mcgee
Elena Mcgee
24 favorites
A photo of Betty Sue (Lassiter) Sharp - Betty Sue the Pilot
People in this photo:
Aug 6, 1923 - Unknown
Added Aug 13, 2015 by: Elena Mcgee
Elena Mcgee
24 favorites
A photo of Peter Henry Baigent
People in this photo:
February 1925 - Jul 8, 1944
A photo of a plane with a group of unknown men.
Added Mar 23, 2015 by: Gill Brown
Gill Brown
3 favorites
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