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  • Walter HWK 509A Rocket

    The HWK 509A rocket engine was developed was developed to power the German Me 163 Komet fighter-interceptor, one of the most unique distinctive aircraft of World War II. The motor used two fuels -- hydrazine hydrate in methanol, plus concentrated hydrogen peroxide -- that ignited violently when combined with a catalyst.Designer Hellmuth Walter's
  • Waco CG-4A Hadrian

    The CG-4A was the most widely used U.S. troop/cargo glider of World War II. Constructed of fabric-covered wood and metal, the CG-4A was crewed by a pilot and copilot. It could carry 13 troops and their equipment or a jeep, a quarter-ton truck or a 75mm howitzer loaded through the upward-hinged nose section. Usually, C-46s and C-47s were used as tow
  • WWI Aircraft Radios

    The primary use of aircraft radios developed in the latter part of World War I was for directing the fire of artillery batteries. An observation airplane would circle in the air where its observer could see the enemy target and watch the artillery shells explode in the area. He would then telegraph a message in Morse code to a receiving station
  • WWI Prisoners of War

    One hundred twenty-three flyers of the U.S. Air Service were forced down inside enemy lines and captured. Also, two officers were captured when their balloon drifted into German territory. In addition, 19 Americans flying with the British, 10 with the French and one with the Italians became prisoners of war. (One enlisted man of the 22nd Aero
  • WWI Training

    Training mechanics, pilots and observers to maintain and fly the large numbers of aircraft needed by American forces in World War I presented great challenges. Schools in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, France and Italy sprang into action to turn recruits and draftees into experts in the new field of military aviation.Thousands of MechanicsThe
  • WWI Production

    When the United States entered World War I, it had no military air arm capable of fighting an enemy. It did have, however, an untapped pool of men and materials to which England and France, bled almost dry after years of war, looked hopefully. France proposed that an American "flying corps" of 4,500 planes, 5,000 pilots and 50,000 mechanics be
  • Wright Brothers 1916 Wind Tunnel

    This wind tunnel was designed by Orville Wright in 1916 and installed in his laboratory at 15 N. Broadway in Dayton, Ohio. He used this tunnel to conduct various aerodynamic experiments during the World War I period. In July 1918, Orville wrote to a friend, "I have lately put up a small tunnel in my laboratory in which we have a wind velocity of
  • World War I Begins

    World War I began in August 1914. In contrast to the United States, which had fewer than a dozen military airplanes at that time, Germany, France and England had 180, 136 and 48 aircraft, respectively. These nations soon discovered the immense value of aerial reconnaissance to their armies and a race began to build up their flying forces. Within a
  • Wright Brothers, 1909-1910

    On June 20, 1909, the Wrights returned to Washington with a new and somewhat improved airplane, the 1909 Flyer. Official trials began on July 27 when Orville Wright flew 1 hour, 12 minutes, 40 seconds with Lt. Lahm on board as observer. The final trial flight was made on July 30 when Orville flew the airplane at an average speed of 42 mph with Lt.
  • Wright Brothers, 1908

    Orville Wright brought the 1908 Flyer to Fort Myer, Va., on Aug. 20, 1908. Beginning on Sept. 3, he made public flights almost daily, and as the word spread, people flocked to Fort Myer in droves. On Sept. 9, he stayed aloft more than an hour, establishing a record, and later the same day he took Lt. Frank P. Lahm aloft. Lahm thus became the first
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