Warbird Information Exchange

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed on this site are the responsibility of the poster and do not reflect the views of the management.
It is currently Fri Dec 03, 2021 3:23 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 103 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 7  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Aircraft Design Firsts
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:43 am 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:48 pm
Posts: 1046
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
I was hoping that the WIX brain trust could help me answer a few questions. Admittedly, they are not strictly warbird related, but I figure there is still enough aviation knowledge laying around here somewhere. :wink:

As I mentioned once before, when I asked about two Jackie Cochran "firsts", I have been working on a Sporcle quiz of aircraft design firsts.

I should note that the quiz itself is a bit of a mess. (I was somewhat just using it to store the answers I had found, rather than make it functional.) If you try it don't expect it to work very well.

Anyway, here's what I've got so far. In no particular order:

Answered Facts
  • First aircraft designed as a turboprop - Varga RMI-1 X/H
  • First turbojet - Heinkel He 178
  • First turboprop aircraft to fly - Gloster Meteor [ref]
  • First turboshaft helicopter - Kaman K-225 [ref]
  • First four engine aircraft - Sikorsky Russky Vityaz
  • First supersonic transport - Tupolev Tu-144
  • First helicopter - Focke-Wulf Fw 61
  • First mass produced helicopter - Sikorsky R-4
  • First widebody airliner - Boeing 747
  • First commercial jet airliner - Vickers Type 618 Nene-Viking
  • First commercial jet airliner to enter service - de Havilland Comet
  • First operational jet fighter - Messerschmitt Me 262
  • First pressurized aircraft - Airco DH.9A
  • First pressurized airliner - Renard R.35
  • First pressurized airliner to enter service - Boeing 307
  • First business jet - Lockheed JetStar
  • First light business jet - Learjet 23
  • First jet bomber - Arado 234
  • First production airplane - Santos-Dumont Demoiselle
  • First all metal aircraft - A Vlaicu III
  • First practical all metal aircraft - Junkers J 1
  • First production turboprop - Vickers Viscount
  • First seaplane - Fabre Hydravion
  • First production seaplane - Felixstowe F.2
  • First jet seaplane - Saunders-Roe SR.A/1
  • First tandem rotor helicopter - P-V Engineering Forum XHRP-X
  • First intermeshing rotor helicopter - Flettner Fl 265
  • First coaxial rotor helicopter - D'Ascanio-Trojani D'AT3
  • First all fly-by-wire aircraft - Lunar Landing Training Vehicle
  • First all digital fly-by-wire aircraft - Vought F-8 Crusader [ref]
  • First fly-by-wire commercial airliner - Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde
  • First digital fly-by-wire commercial airliner - Airbus A320
  • First production fly-by-optics aircraft - Kawasaki P-1
  • First aircraft with radar - Avro Anson
  • First multi-engine aircraft with variable pitch propellers - Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI [ref]
  • First aircraft with a supercharged engine - Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI [ref]
  • First aircraft with an ejection seat - Heinkel He 280
  • First aircraft with an enclosed cockpit - Avro Type F
  • First aircraft with a variable pitch propeller - British Army Dirigible No 1/Nulli Secundus
  • First aircraft with a constant speed propeller - Gloster Grebe [ref]
  • First aircraft with retractable landing gear - Wiencziers Renneindecker [ref]
  • First rocket powered aircraft - Lippisch Ente
  • First purpose built rocket powered aircraft - Opel RAK.1
  • First solely liquid fueled rocket powered aircraft - Heinkel He 176
  • First airplane with a turbocharged engine - LePere LUSAC-11
  • First airplane to carry an air-to-air rocket - Nieuport 11 [ref]
  • First airplane to carry an air-to-air missile - Focke-Wulf Fw 190
  • First production fighter to be equipped for in flight refueling - Republic F-84 Thunderjet
  • First airplane with variable sweep wings - Westland-Hill Pterodactyl IV
  • First production airplane with variable sweep wings - General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark
  • First airplane with an afterburner - Gloster Meteor I
  • First airplane with a high bypass turbofan engine - Lockheed C-5 Galaxy
  • First production airplane with a turbofan engine - Handley Page Victor B.2
  • First airplane with folding wings - Short S.41
  • First aircraft with a two stage supercharger - Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat
  • First aircraft with an autopilot - Curtiss C-2 [ref]
  • First jet aircraft with thrust vectoring - Gloster Meteor
  • First aircraft with a supercharged engine to enter service - Armstrong Whitworth Siskin IIIA
  • First airplane with jet engine thrust reversers - Vickers Wellington [Taylor, The Lore of Flight, 219.]
  • First airplane with push-pull configuration - Fokker K.I

Now, here's where you guys come in. I have a number of firsts that I haven't found the answer to. Does anyone know which aircraft were first to include the features below?

Unanswered Facts
  • First aircraft with integral fuel tanks
  • First aircraft with a pressurized cabin
  • First aircraft with a two bank radial engine
  • First aircraft to use water injection in an engine
  • First aircraft to use glycol for coolant
  • First aircraft with a direct injected engine
  • First aircraft with a turbo-compound engine
  • First aircraft with a diesel engine
  • First all jet aircraft with thrust reversers
  • First aircraft with a two stage jet engine
  • First aircraft with a side stick
  • First aircraft with an enclosed gun turret
  • First aircraft with a remote control gun turret
  • First aircraft with boosted controls
  • First aircraft with a 3 blade propeller
  • First aircraft with a 4 blade propeller
  • First aircraft with a 5 blade propeller
  • First aircraft with 3 propellers
  • First aircraft with 3 engines
  • First aircraft with a powered gun turret
  • First aircraft with evacuation slides
  • First purpose built carrier aircraft
  • First aircraft with self-sealing fuel tanks
  • First aircraft with a radio

Alternatively, feel free to correct me if I am wrong about any of the answers on the first list.

A few leads on some of the above:
  • The Ki-21-Ib is noted to have had a remote control gun in the tail, although it is apparently not entirely clear how it worked. On the other hand, a page on Emmanuel Gustin's website claims that the Germans came up with "some of the first remote control gun turrets" (emphasis added).
  • The Boulton Paul Overstrand, according to Wikipedia, "was fitted with an enclosed and powered nose turret with a Lewis gun, the first RAF aircraft to have a power-operated turret. Traverse of the turret was driven by pneumatic motors, elevation and depression of the gun by hydraulic rams."
  • Air & Space magazine has an article on some of the first uses of radios in aircraft and apparently the issue of who was first is still unclear.
  • There is a decade old thread on Airliners.net that claims the first commercial airliners to use thrust reversers was either the Boeing 707 or de Havilland Comet.
  • An article on the Canadian Museum of Flight's website states that the first two bank radial engine was the "160 hp Gnôme ‘Double Lambda’ rotary engine of 1912", but it doesn't state what aircraft - if any - it was used on.
  • According to the talk page of a Wikipedia article, the Me 261 is one contender for the first aircraft with integral fuel tanks.
  • The first airplane to have three propellers may have been the Short Triple Tractor.

_________________
Tri-State Warbird Museum Collections Manager & Museum Attendant

In a perfect world we would be flying only replicas. (Or at least only non-combat veterans.)

Means of Imperialistic Air Attacks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:00 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:37 pm
Posts: 272
Location: Perth Western Australia
First aircraft with a two stage supercharger - Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat?
Maybe first production aircraft....?
The USN was an early user of two stage supercharging at a time when most USAAF fighters struggled at altitude.
However didn't the Bristol Type 138 altitude record setter have two stage supercharging and I am not claiming it was the first, just that it was earlier than the F4F-3?

I am looking forward to responses on the unanswered questions and nit picking on the others, just like my effort above.

_________________
Chris Mellor


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:59 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:13 pm
Posts: 186
First aircraft with a side stick could well be the Wright Flyer. It had two sticks, both positioned beside (on both sides) of the pilot.

_________________
A Little VC10derness - A Tribute to the Vickers VC10 - www.VC10.net


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 2:48 pm
Posts: 408
Location: Houston, Texas
First aircraft with a pressurized cabin..according to Wikipedia:

The aircraft that pioneered pressurized cabin systems include:

Packard-Le Père LUSAC-11, (1920, a modified French design, not actually pressurized but with an enclosed, oxygen enriched cockpit)
Engineering Division USD-9A, a modified Airco DH.9A (1921 – the first aircraft to fly with the addition of a pressurized cockpit module)
Junkers Ju 49 (1931 – a German experimental aircraft purpose-built to test the concept of cabin pressurization)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:19 am 
Offline
3000+ Post Club
3000+ Post Club
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:27 am
Posts: 4497
Location: Eastern Washington
-First bizjet...how about the French Paris? They were sold here as private jets...but may have been developed as a military aircraft. Cessna planned a a similar light jet, a four seat T-37.

-First commercial helicopter (one with an ATC): Bell 47.

-Did ALL Meteors have afterburners?

The problem with "firsts" in aviation, rarely are the first successful. Often they're "one offs" and become a footnote, overshadowed by a later type that made a name for itself.
Likewise, the Brits (and others) were hanging jets and turboprop on a bunch of stuff post-war thus claiming many firsts...but most were proof of concept prototypes and not hugely important in the overall scheme of things.

_________________
Remember the vets, the wonderful planes they flew and their sacrifices for a future many of them did not live to see.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:50 am 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 3:00 pm
Posts: 1994
Location: Utah
JohnB wrote:
-First bizjet...how about the French Paris? They were sold here as private jets...but may have been developed as a military aircraft. Cessna planned a a similar light jet, a four seat T-37.

-First commercial helicopter (one with an ATC): Bell 47.

-Did ALL Meteors have afterburners?

The problem with "firsts" in aviation, rarely are the first successful. Often they're "one offs" and become a footnote, overshadowed by a later type that made a name for itself.
Likewise, the Brits (and others) were hanging jets and turboprop on a bunch of stuff post-war thus claiming many firsts...but most were proof of concept prototypes and not hugely important in the overall scheme of things.


A four seat Dragonfly / Tweet!? that would be cool!

Tom P.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:45 pm 
Offline
3000+ Post Club
3000+ Post Club
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:27 am
Posts: 4497
Location: Eastern Washington
To answer my question above, the Paris was originally going to be a trainer but adapted into a military liaison aircraft...and secondary bizjet.

Other possible entries...
-First pressurized single-engine lightplane...Mooney Mustang.
-First production turbine helicopter..SUD Alouette II
-First production tandem rotor helicopter..Piasecki HRP

This will be a bit subjective but certainly worth noting since it's still in production...
-First modern (all metal, retractable gear, opposed engine, etc.) light plane...Beech Bonanza.

_________________
Remember the vets, the wonderful planes they flew and their sacrifices for a future many of them did not live to see.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:47 pm 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:48 pm
Posts: 1046
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Rick65 wrote:
First aircraft with a two stage supercharger - Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat?
Maybe first production aircraft....?
The USN was an early user of two stage supercharging at a time when most USAAF fighters struggled at altitude.
However didn't the Bristol Type 138 altitude record setter have two stage supercharging and I am not claiming it was the first, just that it was earlier than the F4F-3?

According to the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum:
The first fighter in the world to use a two-stage supercharger was the Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat, which used the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp radial engine.

Despite the above reference, I think there's a very good chance you're right. The Wikipedia article on the Type 138 does state that it had a two-stage supercharger. I don't know if the PHAM blog post above was the source I based my claim on, but if it was I may have misread "first fighter", as "first aircraft". Those one word qualifiers are killer when it comes to this stuff. Thanks for the correction.

JohnB wrote:
-First bizjet...how about the French Paris? They were sold here as private jets...but may have been developed as a military aircraft.

Archer wrote:
First aircraft with a side stick could well be the Wright Flyer. It had two sticks, both positioned beside (on both sides) of the pilot.

Very interesting points! The Wright Flyer actually takes a couple of unexpected firsts when you consider that it was also the first canard and first pusher prop airplane.

The peculiarities of the Wright Flyer just made me think of another one. Since it used wing warping, what was the first aircraft to actually have control surfaces? An article in Air & Space magazine claims that it may have been a design by a man named Robert Esnault-Pelterie. Interestingly, Wikipedia also claims that his aircraft, the Esnault-Pelterie R.E.P. 1, was the first aircraft to use a joystick. According to an article in Flight magazine, he was awarded a patent for the joystick in 1923.

JohnB wrote:
-Did ALL Meteors have afterburners?

The problem with "firsts" in aviation, rarely are the first successful. Often they're "one offs" and become a footnote, overshadowed by a later type that made a name for itself.
Likewise, the Brits (and others) were hanging jets and turboprop on a bunch of stuff post-war thus claiming many firsts...but most were proof of concept prototypes and not hugely important in the overall scheme of things.

Yeah, you could say I "cheated" a little bit with that one. The first flight use of "reheat" was in a Meteor I according to an article in the 1957 issue of Flight magazine. (The same article also mentions the Wellington with the first jet engine thrust reverser as well.) However, I wanted to go with what was technically correct. It's also why I included "first all jet aircraft with thrust reversers" as one of the unanswered questions. As you alluded to, there's also the "successful" qualifier - as in "first successful jet airliner" - but I tend to dislike that one because it is a bit more subjective than other qualifiers like "production" or "operational".

wendovertom wrote:
A four seat Dragonfly / Tweet!? that would be cool!

Ask, and ye shall receive! Here's a link with some pictures: History of Personal Jets: Cessna 407

As one final note, according to a post on Stack Exchange, the answer to "first aircraft with boosted controls" appears to be either the P-38, P-80, or Lockheed Constellation.

_________________
Tri-State Warbird Museum Collections Manager & Museum Attendant

In a perfect world we would be flying only replicas. (Or at least only non-combat veterans.)

Means of Imperialistic Air Attacks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:11 pm 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:48 pm
Posts: 1046
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
JohnB wrote:
This will be a bit subjective but certainly worth noting since it's still in production...
-First modern (all metal, retractable gear, opposed engine, etc.) light plane...Beech Bonanza.

I agree, that's a bit too subjective/complex for my tastes.

However, it did get me thinking of more design firsts:
  • First airplane with a v-tail
  • First airplane with a twin tail
  • First airplane with a T-tail
  • First airplane with a twin fuselage

According to the Wikipedia article on v-tails, the Hanriot H-28 was the first airplane to use that layout. The first airplane with a twin fuselage appears to be either the Fokker K.I of the Blackburn Twin Blackburn. However, the dates on Wikipedia are not precise enough to determine which was actually first.

_________________
Tri-State Warbird Museum Collections Manager & Museum Attendant

In a perfect world we would be flying only replicas. (Or at least only non-combat veterans.)

Means of Imperialistic Air Attacks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:56 am 
Offline
Been here a long time
Been here a long time

Joined: Sun May 02, 2004 1:16 am
Posts: 10927
Seversky P-35 (pre-WW2) had integral fuel tanks in the wing center section, as did the SNJ-2.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:10 pm 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:48 pm
Posts: 1046
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
bdk wrote:
Seversky P-35 (pre-WW2) had integral fuel tanks in the wing center section, as did the SNJ-2.

Well, this seems to confirm my guess that the AP-7A was what the article I posted before was referring to, since it was developed from the P-35. [ref]

It just so happens that I came across a book today that might be able to answer most of the questions above. It's Air Facts & Figures by John W. R. Taylor, Michael J. H. Taylor, and David Mondey.

_________________
Tri-State Warbird Museum Collections Manager & Museum Attendant

In a perfect world we would be flying only replicas. (Or at least only non-combat veterans.)

Means of Imperialistic Air Attacks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:18 pm 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!

Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:19 pm
Posts: 1043
First widebody airliner: Burnelli CB-16.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:47 pm 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:48 pm
Posts: 1046
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Archer wrote:
First aircraft with a side stick could well be the Wright Flyer. It had two sticks, both positioned beside (on both sides) of the pilot.

I found something today that the first "modern" side stick (or at least single side stick) might have been in the F-107.

_________________
Tri-State Warbird Museum Collections Manager & Museum Attendant

In a perfect world we would be flying only replicas. (Or at least only non-combat veterans.)

Means of Imperialistic Air Attacks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:14 am 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!

Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:19 pm
Posts: 1043
First trainer (that is, designed from the start as a trainer)? I'd suggest AMC DH.6


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:33 pm
Posts: 13
Does anyone know when formation ("slime") lights first came into play? I'm assuming that it was a tech solution developed in a vacuum, i.e., not developed for a single airframe but for the plural "aircraft". I also wonder which was the first type to have them installed, or at least the aircraft type that did initial testing? I did a quick (emphasis on quick) search on the Googles but never found anything regarding their year of origin, etc. I seemed to only find answers to the Reddit-type questions of "what are formation lights", and "why do pilots need formation lights to fly in formation, can't they just fly normally". You know, the real profound, probing-type questions :?


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 103 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 7  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], sledge39, Warbird Kid and 13 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group