The double-deck A380 is the world’s largest commercial aircraft flying today, with capacity to carry 525 passengers in a comfortable three-class configuration, and up to 853 in a single-class configuration that provides wider seats than its competitor. Overall, the A380’s two decks offer 50 per cent more floor surface than any other high-capacity aircraft.
Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the US Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. The B-2 is a low-observable, strategic, long-range, heavy bomber capable of penetrating sophisticated and dense air-defence shields. It is capable of all-altitude attack missions up to 50,000ft, with a range of more than 6,000nm unrefuelled and over 10,000nm with one refuelling, giving it the ability to fly to any point in the world within hours. Its distinctive profile comes from the unique 'flying wing' construction.
Britain and France introduce passenger service across the English Channel, flying initially between London and Paris. 1919 the first nonstop transatlantic flight, from Newfoundland to Ireland.
The Junkers J4, was the first all-metal airplane. Invented by Hugo Junkers the Junkers J4 made the airplane more durable for commercial flight.
In 1910, less than a decade after the Wright brothers soared into the skies at Kitty Hawk (1903), the members of the Aéro-Club de France granted a pilot's license, the first awarded to a woman, to Elise Deroche. Deroche, also known as the Baroness Raymonde de la Roche, also carried the distinction of being the first woman to fly solo.
On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright piloted the first powered airplane 20 feet above a wind-swept beach in North Carolina. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet. Three more flights were made that day with Orville's brother Wilbur piloting the record flight lasting 59 seconds over a distance of 852 feet.
Otto Lilienthal makes the first true controlled flights, gliding up to 230m. In 1893, he built a flight station near his home, and started his practice flights in the Rhinower Hills. He could glide up to 800 feet, and continued building many flying machines including one that had a flapping wing that was driven by a motor. In 1896 he conducted new experiments in the area of wing stroke. He made over 2000 flights in gliders of his design.
Clément Ader, (born Feb. 4, 1841, Muret, France—died March 5, 1926, Toulouse), self-taught French engineer, inventor, and aeronautical pioneer. On Aug. 11, 1890, Ader was granted a patent covering the essentials of the steam-propelled, tailless monoplane that he named Éole in honour of the Greek god of the winds (Aeolus). Six weeks later, on Oct. 9, 1890, he achieved a powered hop of about 50 metres (165 feet) through the air. Éole was incapable of either sustained or controlled flight, but this was the first occasion on which a powered aircraft carrying a human being made a takeoff from level ground.
In 1857 a French naval officer, Félix Du Temple, designed a powered aeroplane notable for a retractable landing gear and the recommendation of a lightweight metal, aluminum. A model of du Temple's aircraft was tested in 1874. Launched down a hill and driven by a tractor propeller powered by steam, it was more of a "hop" than a real flight, but some historians give du Temple credit for the first powered flight.
Sir George Cayley, born in 1773, is sometimes called the of Father of Aviation. A pioneer in his field, he is credited with the first major breakthrough in heavier-than-air flight. Cayley literally has two great spurts of aeronautical creativity, separated by years during which he did little with the subject. He was the first to identify the four aerodynamic forces of flight weight, lift, drag, and thrust and their relationship. He was also the first to build a successful human-carrying glider. Cayley described many of the concepts and elements of the modern airplane and was the first to understand and explain in engineering terms the concepts of lift and thrust.