Talk:Timeline of aviation

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Early discussions[edit]

I would advise against the phrase "Partial list of events that had an impact in aviation" that is used on some of these pages. Impact is not exactly considered desirable in aviation .. --Eloquence 09:54 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Wouldn't this page be better set out as a Timeline of Aviation? Or merge it with Timeline of transportation technology? Besides there is already a Aviation history article, as well as Incidents in Aviation and Milestones in Aviation, all of which should be expanded with the information that might appear on these pages. That way all the facts are on one (or a few) page(s) not a hundred pages. As I understand these list pages, they should refer to already written articles, not articles waiting to be written. I know AntonioMartin made an attempt with the years 1980-1987, but they are really timelines that would be better pulled into one article. The current pages all stem from one article (Aviation) and as a single link in the "See Also:" list. They can easily become a group of orphan pages unless they link logically into the written text of a whole lot of other articles. The current titles do not lend themselves to easy inclusion in an article's text. At present these pages are difficult to navigate and do not link to each other. Also, most of the facts are fairly trivial - especially by the 1980's - I would be inclined to merge these pages and move the information to something more appropriate. Alternative thoughts? -- kiwiinapanic 10:56 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)

It would be good to know if there are firm plans to put content on, e.g. 1991 in aviation and 1993 in aviation and the others. They now link from 1991 and 1993, which are heavily-accessed year pages, but contain no content. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 14:57, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Why were large numbers of comments dropped when Timeline of aviation history was merged into this page? Rmhermen 03:38, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)

Your timeline is incomplete. It must have Alberto Santos-Dumont flight in Paris 1906. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:18, 7 May 2006 (UTC)


What is the significance of the four yellow sections of the timeline? --Keeves 03:24, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Those are labled at the right side -- "space race", "wwii", etc. Could be better. Tlogmer ( talk / contributions ) 23:30, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Bot removing links[edit]

Jogersbot is removing the "XXXX in aviation" links. Has there been any decision to do so or is it doing something unwanted? diff --MoRsE 14:34, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Please note that the bot only removes piped links to "years in aviation" from full dates. Wikipedia:Piped link specifically says that piped year links should not be used when the date is a full date, including the day and the month, because it stops readers' date preferences working. For example, do not write [[5 August]] [[2006 in sports|2006]] or [[August 5]], [[2006 in sports|2006]]. Jogers (talk) 17:35, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Is there a way to fix the "year in X" coding so that both can be accomplished? Forcing these changes effectively makes building and maintaining historical timelines useless if only the year can be piped. Somehow, "2006 in sports" isn't very interesting when all the dates are "2006". Askari Mark (Talk) 01:06, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Largest commercial airliner[edit]

I'm not sure of the usefulness of this entry - there will always be a largest/fastest/longest/smallest etc aircraft, but should they be in a timeline? Just a thought. --TraceyR (talk) 07:17, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Relevant changes[edit]

I changed the size vertically to avoid text overlapping. I inserted dates for Whitehead flights, see the wikipedia article about Gustave Whitehead and many other wikipedia articles like first flight, Aviation_history, Early_flight, etc.. including the text in this article under the years 1899, 1901 and 1902. I changed and added information about the Wright brothers planes, supported by this text:

"Orville described the final flight of the day: "The first few hundred feet were up and down, as before, but by the time three hundred feet had been covered, the machine was under much better control. The course for the next four or five hundred feet had but little undulation. However, when out about eight hundred feet the machine began pitching again, and, in one of its darts downward, struck the ground. The distance over the ground was measured to be 852 feet (260 m); the time of the flight was 59 seconds. The frame supporting the front rudder was badly broken, but the main part of the machine was not injured at all. We estimated that the machine could be put in condition for flight again in about a day or two." They flew only about ten feet above the ground as a safety precaution, so they had little room to maneuver, and all four flights in the gusty winds ended in a bumpy and unintended "landing".

The Wrights continued flying at Huffman Prairie near Dayton in 1904-05. After a severe crash on 14 July 1905, they rebuilt the Flyer and made important design changes. They almost doubled the size of the elevator and rudder and moved them about twice the distance from the wings. They added two fixed vertical vanes (called "blinkers") between the elevators, and gave the wings a very slight dihedral. They disconnected the rudder from the wing-warping control, and as in all future aircraft, placed it on a separate control handle. When flights resumed the results were immediate. The serious pitch instability that hampered Flyers I and II was significantly reduced. Repeated minor crashes were eliminated. Flights with the redesigned Flyer III started lasting over 10 minutes, then 20, then 30. Flyer III became a practical aircraft, flying consistently under full control and bringing its pilot back to the starting point safely and landing without damage. On 5 October 1905, Wilbur flew 24 miles (38.9 km) in 39 minutes 23 seconds.""


note that wright flyer 1 and 2 had serious problems with controlling the plane and practically all landings were "unintended" or pure crashes, until sept 1905, when they finally managed to build a plane which, in their own words "would land where we wanted it to land, and without risking the life of the pilot". So september 1905 is the right date for the construction of a fully controllable motorized airplane by the Wright brothers. Note also that the Whitehead crash in 1899 was not caused by the plane construction, it was caused by a newly erected 3-storey house which Whitehead had not anticipated to be there. (Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:32, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Reverting my edits[edit]

To Rmhermen:

You reverted my well grounded edits of Timeline_of_aviation without a word on the discussion page, and obviously without knowledge of the facts documented in many wikipedia articles about early airplanes. Please engage in a discussion on the discussion page of this article before making any changes to it again. (Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:32, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Not so. I did comment on the article summary - comments on the talk page are not required - and I am well aware of the various claims of a large number of pre-Wright flight claimants. None of them require inclusion in this timeline as none of them - including your candidate - are widely accepted. Rmhermen (talk) 17:16, 2 August 205555 (UTC)

ps you suck


Read this and the pages after and before it at www dot dot htm/8

"Stanley Yale Beach was the aeronautical editor of Scientific American. A resident of Stratford, he helped finance Whitehead for some time. Beach also designed a Whitehead-built biplane that suffered from a major flaw: its wings were flat, with no curvature, or 'camber.' It never flew despite Whitehead's effort to alleviate Beach's error by installing a cambered monoplane wing behind the flat surfaces. A few excerpts from Beach's reports in Scientific American in 1906 and 1908 contradict Orville's version of Beach's beliefs about Whitehead.

Beach's reports referred to powered flights in 1901 by Whitehead in the issues of January 27, November 24 and December 15, 1906, and January 25, 1908. Included were these phrases: 'Whitehead in 1901 and Wright brothers in 1903 have already flown for short distances with motor-powered aeroplanes,' 'Whitehead's former bat-like machine with which he made a number of flights in 1901,' 'A single blurred photograph of a large bird-like machine constructed by Whitehead in 1901 was the only photo of a motor-driven aeroplane in flight.'

The last quote is from a long article by Beach on the first annual exhibit held by the newly formed Aero Club of America at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. The report appeared in Scientific American, January 27, 1906. In that issue Beach also wrote, 'It would seem that aeroplane inventors would show photographs of their machines in flight to at least partially substantiate their claims.' That barb, according to O'Dwyer, was clearly aimed at the Wrights, who had been invited to show photographic evidence of their December 17, 1903, flight but refused even to attend the exhibit. 'That famous photo,' O'Dwyer added, 'did not surface until 1908.'

Beach's January 27, 1906, report also noted that'such secrecy [the Wrights'] was in sharp contrast to the 'free manner' with which glider pioneer Lilienthal 'gave the results of his experiments to the world."

Almost a year later, in his report on the second annual exhibit of the Aero Club of America (Scientific American, December 15, 1906), Beach wrote: 'The body framework of Gustave Whitehead's latest bat-like aeroplane was shown mounted on pneumatic tired, ball-bearing wire wheels….Whitehead also exhibited the 2-cylinder steam engine which revolved the road wheels of his former bat machine, with which he made a number of short flights in 1901.'

Why did Beach, an enthusiastic supporter of Whitehead who liberally credited Whitehead's powered flight successes of 1901, later become a Wright devotee? O'Dwyer offered some intriguing answers, all reflected by his research files, which state that in 1910 Whitehead refused to work any longer on Beach's flat-winged biplane. Angered, Beach broke with Whitehead and sent a mechanic to Whitehead's shop in Fairfield to disassemble the plane and take it to Beach's barn in Stratford. In later years (in O'Dwyer's words), 'Beach became a politician, rarely missing an opportunity to mingle with the Wright tide that had turned against Whitehead, notably after Whitehead's death in 1927.

'The significance of the foregoing can be appreciated by the fact that Beach's 1939 statement denouncing Whitehead (almost totally at odds with his earlier writings) was quoted by Orville Wright (as shown earlier). Far more important, however, was the Smithsonian's use of the Beach statement as a standard and oft-quoted source for answering queries about aviation's beginnings-because it said that Gustave Whitehead did not fly.'

O'Dwyer also focused his recent reflections on the missing photograph of Whitehead's Airplane No. 21 in apparent flight in 1901-the blurred picture referred to by Stanley Beach in Scientific American, January 27, 1906.

William J. Hammer, Thomas A. Edison's chief electrical engineer, was also a renowned aeronautical photographer and a founding member of the Aero Club of America. 'Hammer,' O'Dwyer said, 'reserved an entire wall to show some of his own photographs from a collection (cited by Alexander Graham Bell as 'the largest collection of aeronautical photos in the world'). It was Hammer's exclusive wall, with one exception: six Whitehead photos, including four static views of Whitehead's 1901 monoplane, one of his 1903 engines and the all-important sixth picture-the 'blurred photograph of a large bird-like machine constructed by Whitehead in 1901…of a motor-driven aeroplane in flight,' as described by Beach in Scientific American.'" (Roger Johansson)

More quotes[edit]

Read also all text on web page: www dot dot html It includes witnesses of the 1899 flight in Pittsburgh which ended in a crash when Whitehead failed to fly over a 3-storey house and crashed into the edge of its roof. Note that this crash was not caused by a construction fault of the airplane which was the case with all Wright brothers flights before september 1905. They had big problems with keeping the flights horizontal, the plane was going up and down, up and down until it ended in an "unintended landing" and damage to the airplane. A frontal height rudder was simply a bad idea, until modern times when fast computers can adjust small wings at the front of an airplane and they are used on fighter planes. A human cannot control a frontal height rudder fast enough to acheive a stable flight. (Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:29, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Several fixes[edit]

Replaced the citations and references needed tag with an explanation. Fixed the links in the diagram so they really work when clicked upon. (Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:47, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Widely accepted, in USA[edit]

I quote: ":Not so. I did comment on the article summary - comments on the talk page are not required - and I am well aware of the various claims of a large number of pre-Wright flight claimants. None of them require inclusion in this timeline as none of them - including your candidate - are widely accepted. Rmhermen (talk) 17:16, 2 August 2010 (UTC)"

"widely accepted" is not an acceptable basis for articles in wikipedia. "God exists" is widely accepted, in USA and other countries. "Allah exists" is widely accepted in many other countries. But we cannot use what is "widely accepted" in certain parts of the world as basis for Wikipedia articles. We must use evidence as the basis for these articles, not popular american myths or beliefs. And your words "comments on the talk page are not required" are difficult to understand. The discussion page for each article is there for discussions about the article. Any big change of the article should be discussed on the discussion page. If you change the article without reasoning for the change on the discussion page you are not following the rules of Wikipedia. (Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:31, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Whitehead witnesses[edit]

Quote from Gustave_Whitehead:

""O'Dwyer, searching through old Bridgeport city directories in the 1970s, found that Andrew Cellie, a Swiss or German immigrant also known as Zulli and Suelli, had moved to the Pittsburgh area in 1902. Meanwhile, Cellie's former neighbors in Fairfield assured O'Dwyer that Cellie had "always claimed he was present when Whitehead flew in 1901."" [30]

"Members of the CAHA[31] and the 9315th Squadron went door-to-door in Bridgeport, Fairfield, Stratford, and Milford to track down Whitehead's long-ago neighbors and helpers. They also traced some who had moved to other parts of Connecticut and the United States. Of an estimated 30 persons interviewed for affidavits or on tape, 20 said they had seen flights, eight indicated they had heard of the flights, and two felt that Whitehead did not fly." [30]"

That is 21 witnesses in addition to the journalist for Bridgeport Herald and others witnesses who signed sworn affidavits in the 1930's. That is in total around 25 witnesses to Whitehead's flights in 1901. That means we have enough evidence that Whitehead flew a motorized aircraft which was controllable and always landed softly and undamaged on both land and water. More than 4 years before the Wright brothers achieved comparable results in october 1905. (Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:28, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

More to the point quotes from Whitehead article:
"While Whitehead believers insist that he was first to fly, no one claims that his work had any effect on early aviation or the development of aeronautic science. Even if someone someday produces a photo of No. 21 in flight on August 14, 1901, it will be nothing more than a footnote, a curious anomaly in the history of aviation." and "Dr. Peter L. Jakab, chairman of the Aeronautics Division at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum (NASM), said in 2005 that the agreement would not stop the Smithsonian from recognizing anyone as inventor of the airplane if indisputable evidence is found: "We would present as accurate a presentation of the history of the invention of the airplane as possible, regardless of the consequences this might incur involving the agreement. Having said that, however, at this time, as in 1948, there is no compelling evidence that Whitehead or anyone else flew before the Wright brothers."" Please find us an eighth grade textbook (which is about the level of detail for this timeline) that is widely accepted and credits Whitehead. That is the sort of level of acceptance necessary here. Rmhermen (talk) 14:12, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Wright flyer problems[edit]

Quotes from Wright_Flyer_III:

"Orville suffered a serious nose-dive crash in the Flyer on July 14, 1905. When rebuilding the airplane, the Wrights made important design changes. .... When testing of Flyer III resumed in September, improvement was immediate. The pitch instability that had hampered Flyers I and II was brought under control. Crashes, some severe, stopped."

I could quote a lot more evidence if needed, like the words of the Wright brothers in october 1905 to the effect of: We have finally managed to build an airplane which we can land where we want to land it, and without risking the life of the pilot.

I don't have time to find that quote now, but those words show that their airplanes before september-october 1905 suffered from big problems, and all flights before that date were uncontrolled, resulted in "unintended landings", crashes, and usually damage to the airplane. So it is incorrect to call their 1903 flights controlled. (Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

You may have read WP:OR but you don't seem to have understood it. Rmhermen (talk) 14:18, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

I think I have understood it correctly. You could specify more in detail exactly what you think I have misunderstood. But after all, what is important is to try to find the truth, as far as it can be substantiated by evidence, and publish it in an impartial manner. (Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:55, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Majority view[edit]

If you insist on the majority view you must use the word God in every sentence in every article in Wikipedia, because the majority believes that God controls every thing that happens. Popular american myths can not rule the content of Wikipedia, we must base our articles on available evidence.(Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:07, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Dr. Peter L. Jakab[edit]

Your reference to Dr. Peter L. Jakab, chairman of the Aeronautics Division at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum (NASM), is a big mistake. (Personal attack removed) Other people working for the Smithsonian have also been discredited as liars, and they have done all they could to keep the contract secret, until they were forced to show it.

""Despite rumors of an agreement between the Smithsonian and the Wright estate, an actual contract remained elusive. O'Dwyer noted that during a 1969 conversation with Paul Garber, then the NASM's curator of early aircraft, Garber denied that any such agreement existed, adding that he "could never agree to such a thing."

Then came, as O'Dwyer expressed it, "a whole new ball game." On June 29, 1975, at an annual dinner meeting of international museum directors at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, CAHA officers overheard a loud argument between Louis Casey, then a NASM curator, and Harold S. Miller, an executor of the Wright estate. During the argument, Miller used the word "contract" three times. Casey had mentioned that the wording of the label on the Wright Flyer was to undergo a change. Miller heatedly insisted it could not be changed "by contract." Miller won.

Learning of the public mention of a contract from CAHA veteran Harvey Lippincott, O'Dwyer renewed his efforts to obtain a copy of the agreement, which he had long suspected might be a key to NASM's reticence about Whitehead. Letters and visits between O'Dwyer and Senator Lowell Weicker, Jr., of Connecticut, plus senatorial clout and the Freedom of Information Act, were required to extract a copy of the contract from the Smithsonian. The agreement was dated November 23, 1948. One of two signers for the Wright estate was Harold S. Miller and, "for the United States of America," A. Wetmore, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution." [30]" (Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:42, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Quote from Gustave Whitehead "The Smithsonian denied ever having heard of Whitehead but later it was discovered that the Smithsonian's own publication about early aviator pioneers had many references to both the name Whitehead and Weisskopf. The Smithsonian further reported that Mr. Whitehead's wife and family knew nothing of the August 1901 flights, according to Dr. Jakab.[23]

In a 1940 interview with reporter Michael D'Andrea of the Bridgeport Sunday Post, Louise Whitehead said her husband was always busy with motors and planes when he wasn't working in coal yards or factories to earn money for his aeronautical efforts. "I hated to see him put so much time and money into that work," she said.

Mrs. Whitehead said her husband's first words upon returning home from Fairfield on August 14, 1901, were an excited, "Mama, we went up!" Mrs. Whitehead, however, said she never saw any of her husband's flights. (Personal attack removed)

""Perhaps the last word in the matter should be left to Gustave Whitehead's wife, Louise Tuba Whitehead, who never recalled seeing her husband fly in his flying machines."[30]"

The above quote is a silly attempt to discredit Whitehead, taken from www dot dot html. (Personal attack removed)

Whitehead's wife did not like his activity in aviation and she had to work outside the home and had to take care of the children, the household and the garden, so she had no time or interest in being present when Whitehead built and flew airplanes. Most wives a hundred years ago, and many today too, have other things to do than following their husbands and witness their work. So this way of trying to discredit Whitehead's achievements is astonishingly silly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 13 August 2010 (UTC) (Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:50, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Isn't there a Wikipedia guideline against character assassination such as indulged in by Roger J., when he calls Dr. Peter Jakab a "a proven liar and manipulator of history" ? What sanction is there (is there any ?) for an editor behaving like this, casting personal insults and making libelous statements about a person ? I would like to know. Carroll F. Gray (talk) 10:04, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I asked what to do at Wikipedia:Editor_assistance/Requests#Timeline_of_aviation, and they stated that all personal attacks may be deleted. I've replaced the specific instances above, with the template {{RPA}}.
Regarding sanctions, it is possible to request admin intervention if the editor continues to make personal attacks, but I believe he has been warned elsewhere, and is not likely to continue.
I don't know anything about the history of aviation (beyond what I've read here); I'm just an editor who is interested in Wikipedia's timeline software, so I'll try to keep an eye on this page, in that capacity. Hope that helps. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:12, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Thank you very much. Let's hope that sort of comment and personal attack disappear so it won't need to be pushed to a higher level.

Carroll F. Gray (talk) 04:24, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Building a consesus[edit]

I can accept DonFB's version, a third person arbitrating between you and me, Rmhermen, can you? (sorry for misspelling your signature in the version history, but it is not easy to remember strange signatures when people are not using their real names like I always do) (Roger Johansson)—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:11, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Third opinion[edit]

Figureofnine (talk · contribs) wants to offer a third opinion. To assist with the process, editors are requested to summarize the dispute in a short sentence below.

Viewpoint by (Roger Johansson)

From the documentation we can see that there are at least 25 witnesses to at least four flights by Whitehead during the summer 1901, reaching from 200 to over 2000 meter (1½ miles) in length. The flight witnessed by the journalist from Bridgeport Herald, and other witnesses, was 800 meter. The journalist was always truthful and his drawings were always very good, this was checked by O'Dwyer. That journalist, Dick Howell, later became chief editor for the newspaper.

The argumentation against Whitehead's achievements reach from devious to outright silly. For example: ""Perhaps the last word in the matter should be left to Gustave Whitehead's wife, Louise Tuba Whitehead, who never recalled seeing her husband fly in his flying machines."[30]" And the text under the drawing of nr 21 in the air on an anti-Whitehead web site which says "Imaginative drawing... "suggesting that it never really happened, when the text should have been Sketch by Dick Howell, of Whitehead's airplane in the air, from Bridgeport Herald August 14, 1901.

They argued about the delay of the publishing with a few days, saying "why would a newspaper not publish such a fantastic news item immediately if it was true?" missing, deliberately or not, that the Bridgeport Herald was a weekly newspaper, being distributed every Sunday, and not every day.

The actions of people associated with the Smithsonian have also been very strange, like denying that they had ever heard of Whitehead when they had actually published a book about early aviators where he was mentioned hundreds of times. That Langley secretly sent a spy to take a look at Whitehead's plane, instead of approaching him openly. That the Smithsonian never, during his lifetime or after his death contacted Whitehead or his family. That the Wright brothers denied ever having visited Whitehead in spite of two witnesses who described two visits. That the Smithsonian denied the existence of the contract forbidding them from mentioning Whitehead or any other motorized aviator before the Wright brothers until they were forced to show it.

Quote: "O'Dwyer renewed his efforts to obtain a copy of the agreement, which he had long suspected might be a key to NASM's reticence about Whitehead. Letters and visits between O'Dwyer and Senator Lowell Weicker, Jr., of Connecticut, plus senatorial clout and the Freedom of Information Act, were required to extract a copy of the contract from the Smithsonian."

Dr. Peter L. Jakab said that his wife had never heard of Whitehead flying, when he should be well aware of her words in an interview: "In a 1940 interview with reporter Michael D'Andrea of the Bridgeport Sunday Post, Louise Whitehead said her husband was always busy with motors and planes when he wasn't working in coal yards or factories to earn money for his aeronautical efforts. "I hated to see him put so much time and money into that work," she said.

Mrs. Whitehead said her husband's first words upon returning home from Fairfield on August 14, 1901, were an excited, "Mama, we went up!""

The construction of nr 21 and 22: We can see that the plane has a very large wing area well placed around its center, which was the reason why it always landed on its wheels, it worked a little like a parachute. That is also the reason why it lifted off at relatively low speed and needed a very short start and landing stretch, and it was stable in the air. The construction itself lends a lot of credibility to the story of Whitehead's early flights. Somebody said that the construction has a lot in common with modern light and small airplanes. Reproductions of it has been flown and they have been stable in the air.

So there is no technical reason to doubt the over 25 witnesses who say they saw Whitehead fly.

Whitehead had tried to build 50 airplanes before his nr 21 in 1901, while the Wright brothers built their first glider in 1901, I think, and their first motorized airplane in 1903. So Whitehead had a lot more experience and lay many years ahead of the Wright brothers in his development as an aviation engineer. So it is natural that he succeeded before them, and built a stable and safe airplane 4 years before them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:57, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

The Wright brothers airplanes. They looked like no other airplanes before or after them. The choice of a frontal height rudder was a bad idea, nearly impossible to control for a human pilot, that's why they had big pitch problems until a radical re-design in sept 1905. You can hardly call their 260m flight in 1903 controlled. It went up and down in the air until the flight ended in a crash into the sand and a broken front rudder. Their flights were not safe or controlled flights until sept-oct 1905.

Someone said that the main contribution the Wright brothers did to the development of airplanes in USA was to delay the development with all their litigations and patent fights, and the result of this was that allied pilots, including american pilots, during world war 1 had to use european airplanes because there were no american planes available. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:18, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Viewpoint by (name here)
Third opinion by Figureofnine

Thanks very much. Though I have not heard from other editors, I think that I now understand the situation and can offer an opinion. This is a timeline, and thus must give a broad overview of the history of aviation. Like it or not, the consensus of historians is that the Wright Brothers carried out the first powered flight. Thus my opinion is that Whitehead should not be in the timeline. To state or imply that he came before the Wright Brothers is a fringe point of view and is contrary to Wikipedia policy. Figureofnine (talk) 19:14, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

This doesn't solve the issue. Now we are two against two, you and Rmhermen on one side and me and DonFB on the other.

And the only one who bothers to argue for his position is me. Rmhermen and you only refer to what is "widely accepted" or something like that. Do you want wikipedia to represent old widespread but faulty ideas or the closest we can come to the truth based on the evidence we know of? (Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:11, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Actually third opinions are for situations in which two editors are involved. I suggest a content RfC to get a broader array of opinions on this issue. Figureofnine (talk) 21:22, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

I hope you realize that this issue must be resolved by technically educated people who have read all information in the article about Whitehead and all documents it refers to. If you ask the first hundred randomly selected people you meet on a street in USA you will get the kind of answers Jay Leno usually gets. (Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:05, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Just to clarify: I am not on R.Johansson's side as he claimed earlier in this discussion. I chose not to get into an edit war with him over inclusion of the Whitehead items, but I have no problem if those items are excluded from the timeline. Also, I do not agree with anything Roger said about the Wright brothers. DonFB (talk) 07:54, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

I know you are not on my side, after all the fights we have had over the Gustave Whitehead article, but I chose to accept your version of this timeline even though I don't agree on all details of it. So when it comes to this timeline I have chosen to accept your version, which means that on that single issue we are in agreement. After all, I know that you know a lot more than most people about Whitehead because you have been active in the editing of the article about him for a long time.

I think your version, supported by me, should be left as it is, because we two know a lot more about Whitehead and the mass of evidence supporting it is a lot better than any version written by people who do not have that knowledge. Anybody else who wants to get involved in the Whitehead issue must invest at least 8 hours a day for 10-14 days to read through all the material in the Whitehead article, its discussion page and all the external material it refers to. (Roger Johansson) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:25, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Viewpoint by (Carroll F. Gray)

A suggestion for Roger J., courtesy and respect will win more consideration of what you are saying than will libelously writing that Peter L. Jakab is a "proven liar" and a "manipulator of history."

You owe Peter L. Jakab a public apology, stated here on this page, as well as asking for forgiveness from the people you've attacked in such a highly partisan manner. If neutrality is supposed to be a guiding principle here, you might try to be guided by it. Carroll F. Gray (talk) 04:18, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Auditing, for the time being[edit]

Hello, I'm interested to see how the timeline covering the Pre-WWI period of aviation is being developed. I have a deep and long-term interest in that period of aviation. I also am compelled to correct Roger J.'s characterization of my web site as "anti-Whitehead" - it is not and neither is it pro-Whitehead. Carroll F. Gray (talk) 09:52, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

The "aviation historian" Carroll F Gray[edit]

You can study his web page at

Mrs. Whitehead, a very busy woman[edit]


"Whitehead's efforts to solve the problems of flight took their toll on the family budget. Louise Whitehead had to work to help meet expenses. But the couple was able to buy land on Tunis Hill, where, with the help of their son Charles, Whitehead built two homes, in 1903 and in 1912. The two houses still stand. He also planted a large orchard from which he sold fruit, and kept a cow and chickens to help with the family's food supply."

As Gustave Whitehead used all his time to his aviation experiments Mrs. Whitehead had to take care of the home, their children, work outside the home to support the family economy, take care of the plucking and selling fruit, take care of the cow and the chickens, so how could she witness any flights? She also hated her husband's great investment of time and money in the aviation experiments, so her motivation in witnessing any flights was obviously nil.

I hope this explains why I consider your statement "Perhaps the last word in the matter should be left to Gustave Whitehead's wife, Louise Tuba Whitehead, who never recalled seeing her husband fly in his flying machines." one of the most irrational and outrageously confused statements ever made in the history of mankind.

"In a 1940 interview with reporter Michael D'Andrea of the Bridgeport Sunday Post, Louise Whitehead said her husband was always busy with motors and planes when he wasn't working in coal yards or factories to earn money for his aeronautical efforts. "I hated to see him put so much time and money into that work," she said.

Mrs. Whitehead said her husband's first words upon returning home from Fairfield on August 14, 1901, were an excited, "Mama, we went up!"" Peter L Jakab did obviously not mention this interview when he said that it was strange that Whitehead had not even mentioned to his wife that he had managed to fly, and this was also used to discredit Whitehead.

Maybe Mr. Jakab should feel the need to apologize for making that statement when he now knows that Whitehead told his wife about it in the evening of August 14 1901. But remember that Mrs. Whitehead was very uninterested in his work in aviation, in fact she hated to see him invest so much time and money into it, so he probably did not go into detail about the events of that day with his wife. Roger491127 (talk) 12:37, 24 September 2010 (UTC) Roger491127 (talk) 12:37, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

You can also study the discussion page of the article Gustave Whitehead and see how The "aviation historian" Carroll F Gray was the first person in 109 years who questioned that the journalist Dick Howell had written the article about Whitehead published August 18 1901, and if Howell had made the drawing in the article. (to what purpose he questioned that is a mystery to me but feel free to ask him about it). To refute his idea that somebody else had written that article and had made the drawing I can refer to this:

O'Dwyer about Howell


"O'Dwyer, curious about Howell, spent hours in the Bridgeport Library studying virtually everything Howell wrote. 'Howell was always a very serious writer,' O'Dwyer said. 'He always used sketches rather than photographs with his features on inventions. He was highly regarded by his peers on other local newspapers. He used the florid style of the day, but was not one to exaggerate. Howell later became the Herald's editor.'"

If the article written by Howell and published August 18 1901 had been different in style or the the drawing had been different from the other drawings he used to accompany his articles Major O'Dwyer should have noticed it.

I am sorry that this talk page has been invaded by discussions which should have been confined to the Whitehead talk page, but as "the aviation historian" Carroll F Gray has chosen to move this discussion to this talk page I have no alternative but to refute his wild ideas here too. Roger491127 (talk) 13:06, 24 September 2010 (UTC)


What are the notability criteria for these timeline pages? I have seen many historical trivia and dubious claims in these pages, yet I am being reverted for adding an attempted flight which is notable enough to be given space on the designer's page and which was the first powered hop by any of his designs - he was a major figure in the historical development of the aerofoil and went on to conduct the first powered, controlled flight in the UK. Should I be being reverted, and if so, why? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 10:22, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Oh, and all those minor claims, varying from the historically trivial but verifiable to the highly dubious, they pepper all sorts of other lists too. Where do we draw the line? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 10:34, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

I know of no specific criteria for Year in aviation articles. Even WP:YEARS is vague, though I have attempted to establish more specific guidelines. At present it only states that the events section

lists any important events that occurred

As the WP:YEARS project includes sub-articles such as Years in aviation it makes sense to apply that criteria. I don't see that a glider flight (one of probably hundreds by this date) in 1904 by someone who made no mark on the history of aviation (and does not even have his own article) would qualify as important. As for Phillips, including a vague description of a first attempt at what turned out to be a dead-end in aviation history (the multiplane) seems unnecessarily trivial. His first actual hop in 1907 is certainly notable and that would seem sufficient coverage of his involvement, readers can refer to his article for more details. And yes, the Year in aviation articles are full of excessive trivia (and I'm sure the years after 1915, which I don't watch, are even worse), but that is no reason to add even more. DerbyCountyinNZ (Talk Contribs) 10:50, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I copied your comments on Phillips across to Talk:1904 in aviation#Phillips 1904 multiplane because they are more relevant there. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:57, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
To take a current example on the "trivia" side: in 1904 in Argentina, Guido Dinelli, Argentina, flew his "Aeroplano apparatus" glider for a short distance and made no lasting contribution to aeronautics. A native English-speaker might choose to regard it as historically trivial, but it was only the second flight ever in Argentina, so I am sure that to an Argentine aircraft historian it is highly notable. The English Wikipedia has come in for some criticism over its lack of respect for non-English material or viewpoints and there are positive efforts to correct that. We appear happy to ascribe notability to such "seconds" in the USA, UK, France and the like, so should we not do so for Argentina as well? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 16:49, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
The discussion on Guido Dinelli is continuing at Talk:1904 in aviation#Guido Dinelli. Any contributions would be appreciated. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:06, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Service introductions and retirements on individual Year in Aviation pages[edit]

I would like to build consensus for a new guideline regarding the introduction or retirement of an individual aircraft type: typically, a Year in Aviation page should only discuss the very first airline or military air arm to introduce an aircraft type into active service, and similarly, only its retirement by the very last operator should be listed. (Vintage aircraft operated by museums, historical societies, and suchlike are excepted; I'm talking about revenue passenger or cargo service, or active military squadron service.) I feel this is warranted by WP:INDISCRIMINATE to prevent these articles from eventually drowning in trivial introduction and retirement dates that are meaningless to aviation as a whole; such dates are better placed on the page about the individual airline or military organization. Carguychris (talk) 18:32, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

Also, the current production dates are too open to interpretation and the deliveries would be more precise.--Marc Lacoste (talk) 06:12, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Agreed, especially since some military aircraft programs have included ambiguous "pre-production" or "trials" versions that never actually entered service. Carguychris (talk) 13:51, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
I think Carguychris suggestion seems reasonable to base entries related to a type not operator. MilborneOne (talk) 07:47, 23 April 2021 (UTC)