Worldwide aviation priorities

Tupolev Tu-104 jet passenger plane

Worldwide aviation priorities

- the first airplane in the world equipped with flaps as we know it today, was the classic biplanes Breguet-14 bomber who flew the first time in 1916.

- The world's first aircraft equipped with aerodynamic brakes was the Royal Aircraft Factory FE-2A version made in 1914. Also, the FE2 was the first in the world equipped with a landing gear with oleo-pneumatic suspension for shock absorption and was the first to be equipped with flappers, which, besides take-off and landing, also helped the plane to roll in the air.

- the first plane in the world with a fully retractable landing gear and a monoplane wing design located down the fuselage was the Soviet plane fighter Polikarpov I-16 Rata in 1933.

- the world's first air-to-air aviation missiles belong to Germany with the Ruhrstahl X-4 type in 1943, which was experimentally launched at distances of up to 4 kilometers from the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter, the Junkers Ju-88 and Messerschmitt Me-262 jet fighter. The missile was developed after World War II as an anti-tank model because of wire remote control for reaching the target that was an impediment to launch against fighter planes.

- the first plane in the world with a fully enclosed pilot cabin to protect the pilot from weather and wind was the English type A.V.R.O. type F in May 1912. Because of the position and the engine oil lost in flight, the pilot could no longer have visibility up the front, which authorities gave up the development of the invention itself during the First World War.

- the fastest fighting biplane in the world was the Italian FIAT CR.42 DB version equipped with a German Daimler-Benz DB 601A engine of 1,200 hp in 1943, which allowed the airplane to reach 525 km / h in a horizontal flight.

- the first airplane that did not have visibility in the front, with the engine and fuel tanks occupied instead, was the Spirit of Saint Louis monoplane, whose pilot Charles Lindbergh was the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone in May 1927. But the first airplane whose pilot relied solely on both onboard and landing instruments was the American biplane type Consolidated NY-2 in September 1929. The famous American pilot Jimmy Doolittle was the one who tried the flight with the help of onboard instruments without visual contact with the environment or any other landmarks and flew all the way for about 15 kilometers.

- the first airport in the world illuminated for night flights belongs to France in Paris followed by Romania in Bucharest at the end of 1923.

Passenger airliner Ford Trimotor

- the first airplane in the world equipped with supersonic propellers was Tupolev Tu-95 bomber Russian airplane in 1952, whose propellers reach 1233 km / h during the flight at a height to compensate the loss of power due to the pour air. Also at the beginning of its career service, the Russian strategic bomber Tu-95 was the world's first multi-engine propeller capable of reaching 993 km / h at 9,000 meters, not being officially registered.

- the first airplane equipped with night-light landing and take-off lights belongs to the Americans with the former bomber, modified for US Air Mail, type De Havilland DH-4 in August 1923. This type of airplane was equipped with landing lights on the lower biplane wings and for this occasion, the Americans used the world's first suspended kind of illuminated pylons to serve as a landmark at night time and to help the pilots during their journeys.

- the first airplane ever used by a royal house belongs to Great Britain in 1928, when two Westland Wapitis type biplanes, former two-seater bombers belonging to the Northolt 24 RAF squadron, were purchased. But the first-ever presidential plane appeared in the United States was Douglas RD-2 type and made especially by the US Navy in 1932 for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

- the highest military photo-reconnaissance ever made in the World War II belongs to Germany in May 1944 with the Messerschmitt Bf 109H-1 type from Fernaufklärungsgruppe 123 unit and with Werknummer 110073 construction number. The Messerschmitt Bf-109H-1 photographed in one flight all the French coast from Cherbourg to Ouistreham at a height of 15,100 meters altitude before the allied invasion took place. This was far superior to any allied aircraft in the attempt to shot down the German plane. However, after the war, the Americans have the absolute unofficial record with height ceiling and duration for classic spyplane with the Convair RB-36-III type, which was capable of staying in the air for up to 50 hours without refueling at 18,000 meters altitude, being impossible to be shot down by any Soviet fighter jet or missile system back in 1955. The RB-36-III was mainly used in the northern arctic of Russia and over China without ever being knocked down. Also, in the classic bomber version, the B-36 was able to carry any bombs in the US arsenal without restrictions, and the transport load exceeded that of the B-52 strategic jet bomber with 4 tons of difference.

Lockheed U-2 spy plane

- the first airplane in the world equipped with wings navigation lights and tail was the American passenger airliner Ford Trimotor since 1925. The red, green and white light colors in the back were taken as a model from navy ships as standard as we know them today. At the same time, the Ford Trimotor is the first passenger plane to be equipped with the interior gauge lights on onboard instruments and interior light for passengers.

- the first Balkan jet-powered plane that surpassed the speed of sound belongs to the former Yugoslavian Soko / IAR J-22 Orao jet fighter and reached almost 1270 km / h in a dive back in 1984.

- the first NATO jet aircraft photographed Romania without being shot down, belongs to the Americans with the Lockheed U-2 type who executed the first mission over the Satu Mare, Baia Mare and Cluj-Napoca cities on July 9, 1956, at heights ranging between 20,000 and 21,700 meters. The U-2 spy plane carried out with these missions for several times over Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, then it landed back to the UK.

- the first passenger jet airplane to pass over Romania was the Soviet Tupolev Tu-104, which inaugurated the Moscow-Zagreb air service back in 1956.

- the first Romanian pilot who managed to shot down a North American P-51D Mustang, was Alexandru Serbanescu in August 1944 piloting a Messerschmitt Bf-109G. The American Mustangs were recognized as one of the best hunting fighters in the Second World War.

- the first acrobatic band that Romania had for air shows, was in 1934 with the initial three types of ICAR M23b piloted by the aviators Mihail Pantazi, Petre Ivanovici and Max Manolescu. They were also called Red Dragons in the band.

- the first passenger and mail night flights ever made and officially recognized worldwide belong to the French-Romanian air navigation company abbreviated CFRNA (Compagnie Franco-Roumaine de Navigation Aérienne). Also, Romania and France have become the first in the aviation history with transcontinental flights. What happened in more detail to this first-night flight? Here is an extract from the state archives of France. "September 19, 1923: The first flight to Belgrade-Bucharest at night. Aircraft type: Caudron C-61 registered F-AFCQ. Among the passengers are Jules Bétard, one of the assistants (responsible for placing beacons on the flight course) and the Italian mechanic who is placed at the bottom of the cabin. The pilot is in command for take-off. Average speed: 140 km / h. The night is clear. The town of Turnu-Severin is in sight (great lighted city), subsequently flooded with lights from the city of Craiova, then Slatina. Near Bucharest, is a huge fire and Guidon noticed an explosion. It is the fortress in Bragadiru that explodes. The pilot makes a pass over the field, but the landing mark goes off until it lights up immediately. Obviously, no one expected the Caudron plane. On landing, an enthusiastic Bétard descends from the aircraft. Beauregard pilot departs on another Caudron C.61 plane to secure his return service to Belgrade (Serbia today) and Le Bourget (France, near Paris)." The article in January 1924 in the magazine "Très Sport" is a beautiful advertisement for the company after its achievements in recent months." -the end of archive text. Unfortunately, the night service in Romania will be interrupted on 5 November 1923 due to the meteorological conditions in the Carpathian Mountains and will not be resumed until the 1925 year. In 1924 there will be no night flight because the Romanian infrastructure is almost non-existent. Indeed, the management also is suspending the night flights due to the low reliability of the C.61 aircraft engines and their insufficient power, as well as the lack of radio communication devices.

-the fastest combat planes that crossed over Romania, were the Soviet Mig-25RB reconnaissance jets. Four types of them trespass Romania and were delivered to Bulgaria back in 1982. These jets were faster than the Mig-25P interceptor variants, being able safely to reach speeds above 3200 km / h at heights between 19,000 and 27,000 meters after fuel tanks become empty.

Convair RB-36-III classic high altitude spy plane

Legend gallery photos:


  • Photos 1 and 2 - detailed pictures of the French archives on the first night flight made by the French-Romanian company. Images have appeared in those archive vintage magazines.
  • Photo 3 - Caudron C.61 graphics. This plane made the first ever night flight with 4 passengers.


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