World's Greatest Aviation Innovations

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by comiso90, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    1. Cabin pressurization -- The average passenger doesn't think about cabin pressurization until their yellow safety masks fall from the ceiling, but the reality is that if the technology hadn't been developed during WWII, we wouldn't be able to fly much above 10,000 feet.

    2. Black Box -- Morbid but essential, the black box was invented in the mid-1950s, and not only helps investigators learn why a plane crashed, but how that information can be applied to other aircraft to prevent a repeat.

    3. The Concorde -- It never delivered on its commercial promise, and it was an environmental bad boy, but who can deny that breaking the sound barrier aboard a commercial aircraft is cool. And have you ever seen a more beautiful plane?

    4. Radar -- Sure, the airlines are dying to replace it with GPS technology, but for decades it's been radar that helps air traffic controllers locate and track planes up to 200 miles away. Would our modern air traffic infrastructure exist without it? Probably not.

    5. The jumbo jet -- Whether you think they're graceful or ungainly, you can't deny that jumbo jets have changed the face of commercial aviation. The economies of scale provided by a 400-seat airliner meant airlines could offer cheap tickets that made it possible for the masses to fly.

    6. The hub and spoke system -- People hate, hate, hate having to make stopovers at jam packed airports controlled by a single airline. Yeah, they're expensive to fly into and delay prone, but hub airports are a big part of the reason that you have 20 flights a day to choose from when flying between most large American cities.

    7.The Very Light Jet (VLJ) -- It's been a tough road for the VLJ, with manufacturers suffering production problems and customers going out of business, but that doesn't diminish the allure of a 37 foot, 3,500 pound plane designed to carry four to six passengers on short hops that would otherwise require a car ride.

    8. Winglets -- Here's another one that most of us don't think about. The small upward-pointing extensions at the tips of aircraft wings reduce drag, improve climb performance, increase range, and make flight more fuel efficient. With oil at over $100 a barrel, no wonder most airlines have added winglets across their fleets.

    9. The flying wing -- Yves Rossy keeps breaking records and defying expectations with his 8-foot-diameter, carbon composite flying wing. Last week he made a successful 13 minute, 125 mph trip across the English Channel.

    10. Stealth aircraft -- What's cooler than a plane that can outsmart radar? Because the surfaces of a stealth are designed to absorb radio waves or reflect them away from the receiver, stealth planes can sneak in and sneak out undetected. Too bad they're so expensive: The 21 plane B-2 program cost over $45 billion.

    11. Jetway -- Another one most of us don't think about is the long covered walkway the connects our departure gate with our plane. It means we don't have to wait outside on the tarmac in sleet and rain, or contend with the shriek of jet engines. The A380 is served by three jet bridges, one of them leading directly to the first class lounge.

    12. Deicing -- Ice buildup is the cause of many fatal aircraft accidents, which is why applying monopropylene de-icing fluid to wings pre-flight has become standard operating procedure. Without it, air traffic would ground to a halt every time things got a little stormy.

    The World's Greatest Aviation Innovations | Autopia from Wired.com

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  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Number 13....
     

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  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Here, here, Joe! That's what we refer to in the aviation world as the "Range extender" :evil4:
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    :lol: @ Flyboy.

    I say the following was the SINGLE most important invention for flight. Something that enables us to fly 24 hours a day regardless of weather.

    The Artificial Horizon.
     

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  5. Old Wizard

    Old Wizard Well-Known Member

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    Apparently certain radars can detect the air disturbance caused by stealth aircraft.
     
  6. Crunch

    Crunch Member

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    I think technology will always be leap-frogging with things like these. Plane outsmarts radar, radar outsmarts plane. It'll be a never-ending cycle.

    Great list though comiso!
     
  7. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    My pick is the jet engine it made flying for the masses possible
     
  8. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    I would go with this one for greatest invention:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    Cant argue with that Marcel
    A piece of the fabric from the Wright flyer has been donated to the Duxford museums new airspace Hall and it will be displayed in a special controled atmosphere case
     

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  10. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    We can't forget these innovations:
     

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  11. Velius

    Velius Member

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    I say the controllable pitch prop is another good one. It allows aircraft recip engines to operate at efficient RPMs under certain flight conditions.
     
  12. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Wouldn't stealth technology be redundant if they go with GPS?

    :)
     
  13. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    How about retractable landing gear? Imagine a 757 with fixed gear...

    It sounds simple but oval windows on jetliners. It made pressurization practical. Some early airliners (i think the comet ) had square windows which did not handle the pressurization adequately.

    .
     
  14. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    :lol:
     
  15. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    No offence intended . I know the Wright brothers hold the claim for First flight

    But for me this is it ,alierons ,elevators, and wheels!

    Richard Pearse isn't credited literally at all for inventing the first plane with Alierons and did it all before the Wright Brothers
     

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  16. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Good one, 109, but he didn't use an aerofoil. The Wrights were the first to combine all factors necessary for a controlled flight. That's why they were credited for the first powered and controlled flight. They were not the first to fly though.
     
  17. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I think they forgot another very important one.

    The Variable Pitch Propellor.

    It is probably not the single most greatest innovation (not with jet engine and instrument flight, etc.), but it greatly effected performance during the prop era.
     
  18. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Key word - "controlled"
     
  19. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Exactly as opposed to flinging one selves through the air.
     
  20. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    With you guys on this
     
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