Rohit's nukkad

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Air Force Museum

Couple of days back I got a chance to visit the National Musuem of the United States Air Force in Dayton Ohio. The Wright brothers, were from Dayton Ohio and the museum boosts of the official US Air Force museum has an amazing collection of about 400 aircrafts right from 1903 ( the year when the first flight was made) to modern times aircrafts like B-2 stealth bomber.
Some of the interesting facts from the museum and related with aviation I would like to share with you.
1. First in Aviation - First in flight : Though the Wright brothers were from Ohio and did a lot of their aviation work in Ohio. The first flight was performed in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina due to the availability of steady winds. Hence the Ohio state slogan (seen on car plate) is "Birthplace of aviation" while that North Carolina states "First in flight"
2. Three parts of the flying problem - The three parts of the flying problem involved - power, control and lift.
3. Wind Tunnel - Wind tunnel is a research tool developed to assist with studying the effects of air moving over or around solid objects. The Wright brothers designed the first wind tunnel in 1901 and the idea of wind tunnels is still used. Just that now we have computer simulations.
4. Other inventors - There were several other inventors working on a flying machine before and during the same time as the Wright Brothers. Prominently among them were Samuel Pierpont Langley, Octave Chanute and even Alexander Graham Bell.
5. Helicopter tail blades -The main rotor (blades) of a helicopter creates torque effect which causes the body of the helicopter to turn in the opposite direction of the rotor. To eliminate this effect, some sort of antitorque control must be used. The tail rotor performs the function of providing the antitorque to avoid the body of the helicopter to turn in opposite direction.
6. Stealth aircraft - A stealth aircraft uses stealth technology which makes it difficult to detect the aircraft on traditional radar system. The shape of these aircrafts play in important role. F-117 Nighthawk was one of the first stealth fighter used by the US Air force for a long time.
The B-2 stealth bomber is also available on public display. It was very effectively used during the first Gulf war in 1990.
7. Wright Cycle Company - The Wright brothers manufactured cycles to fund there interest in flying.
8. Air Force One - Air Force Two - The President of United States special plane is known as Air Force One. It's a customized Boeing 747-200B series and maintained by the US Air Force.
The Air Force aircraft for the Vice-President is known as Air Force Two.
9. Airships - In contrast to flying machines, rigid airship became the first aircraft to transport passengers and cargo over great distances.
10. Aviation - Commercial aviation saw a boom especially in the US after World War II due to the availability of pilots released from military services and many inexpensive war-surplus aircrafts.