Air Force Pilots Should Be Able To Ace This Aviation Quiz. Can You?


By: Craig Taylor

6 Min Quiz

Image: Getty Images via Theerawat Kaiphanlert

About This Quiz

Those magnificent men in their flying machines! 

It's amazing to think that in just a little over a 100 years, we have had a man go from flying a few feet during the first manned flight to sending 500 passengers in a cylindrical can with wings halfway around the world on a daily basis.

Has there ever been an invention with such a rapid progression? And let's not forget it was flight that also led to man going to space and the moon for that matter. 

Since they first flew, aircraft have always fascinated us. They are used in a number of roles as well including commercial, military and civilian applications. 

Actually, it's hard to imagine a world without aircraft, isn't it?

But how much do you know about the airplanes and the world of aviation? Do you know who were the first men to fly? Or perhaps what they named their aircraft?

What about the name of the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the globe in 1986?

Well if you do, this is the quiz for you. It is going to test your aviation knowledge to the fullest! So be prepared.

Let's hope you can climb to new heights!

Good luck

Early aircraft had two sets of wings, an upper wing and a lower wing. What were these aircraft called?

Most early aircraft had the biplane design, but soon monoplanes were found to be more efficient.


How does a pilot control how fast an aircraft is flying?

Much like a car, increasing the throttle increase the revolutions of the engine, which adds more power.


To change direction in an aircraft, a pilot will _____

Easy, isn't it! Much like driving a car, but you aren't turning a wheel.


By moving the control yoke, the pilot will move which control surface on the aircraft?

Found on the wings of an aircraft, ailerons move opposite to each other which in turn allows the aircraft to bank left or right.


Which of these is a famous aircraft from World War II?

The Supermarine Spitfire first flew in 1936. It went on to play a prominent role in the defense of Britain from the German air force, the Luftwaffe and thanks to the elliptical wings, remains one of the most recognized planes from that era.


Name the first person to fly a powered aircraft.

Bicycle makers by trade, the Wright Brothers were intent on building the first aircraft to achieve powered flight. They eventually did, with Orville the man behind the controls.


In what year did they accomplish their feat?

Orville Wright became the first man to fly on Dec. 17, 1903. His flight lasted 12 seconds.


What was the name of their first aircraft?

It's logical that they would name it after themselves, right? The original aircraft flew four times, all on that first day. It now stands in the Smithsonian museum.


How does a pilot make an aircraft dive?

Pushing the control stick forward puts the elevator in a down position. The air rushing over it now forces the aircraft into a dive.


How many parts is a Boeing 747 commercial airliner made from?

That's simply incredible isn't it? It's a massive aircraft but 6 million sure is a lot of parts!


Many people are afraid to fly, but just how much of the world's population would you put the figure at?

That's a staggeringly high amount. Its almost weird that planes are full, isn't it?


What percentage of the world's population has flown?

Around 5% of the world's population's feet have left terra firma. Although it doesn't seem like a huge amount, it is 400 million people!


Name the forces acting on an aircraft when it is flying. These all contribute to the fact that it is flying!

All these forces are in play when an aircraft if flying. If there is enough thrust, the wings will produce lift but obviously to fly, the aircraft must overcome its weight as well as drag it produces.


Back to the jumbo jet. How much wiring does a 747 have in it?

That's simply incredible, don't you think?


Who was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo?

Perhaps the most famous of all female pilots, Amelia Earhart achieved the feat of a solo flight across the Atlantic in 1928.


Can you name the largest commercial airliner in operation today?

When the A380 came into service, many airports had to upgrade their facilities to deal with its size.


How many people can the Airbus A380 carry in an all-economy class configuration?

The Airbus A380 can carry up to 853 people in an all-economy class configuration and has 40% more floor space than the the next biggest commercial airliner, the Boeing 747


In 1986, an experimental aircraft managed to circumnavigate the globe without refueling. What was its name?

Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager piloted the Voyager on this epic mission. Voyager covered 26,366 miles at an average altitude of 11,000 feet and an average speed of 116 mph.


How long did Voyager take to circumnavigate the globe?

That's a long time to be in the air without refueling!


Who was the first pilot to cross the Atlantic?

Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic in 1927. It took 33. 5 hours to complete the 3,600-mile journey.


Can you name the aircraft in which he achieved the feat?

The Spirit of St. Louis was a custom-built plane. It was made by Ryan Airways and is now on display in the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.


In cost-cutting measures in 1987, American Airways saved $40,000 per year by _______

Yes, simply by removing 1 olive from their salads, American Airlines made a massive saving. It was a pity if you like olives...


Studies show that the most likelihood of an aircraft crash occurs 3 minutes after takeoff or 8 minutes before landing. What percentage of crashes take place during this period?

As the aircraft is not flying in a straight line, it's logical that take-offs and landings are the most dangerous parts of a flight.


How many people fly in the United States each day?

Over 2 million people fly in the United States each day! Over 30,000 flights take place each day in America.


Which of these is a fighter aircraft from World War I

The Fokker Dr. 1 was a triplane design and it had three sets of wings. This gave it an incredible rate of climb and made it very maneuverable. The famous Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, who shot down 80 enemy planes during the war flew this aircraft for 19 of his victories.


Is a baby born in US airspace a US citizen by default?

If a baby is born while in an aircraft over US airspace, it is automatically a US citizen.


When did the world's first international airline flight take place?

The first international airline flight took place between London and Paris in 1919.


Name the only ever supersonic airliner flown by British Airways and Air France, please.

Concorde first flew in 1969 and went commercial in 1976. This supersonic passenger liner could cross the Atlantic in under three hours. The program cost for Concorde was around $1.3 billion with 20 built.


Name the American pilot who first broke the sound barrier in 1947.

The legendary Chuck Yeager was the first pilot to break the sound barrier in 1947. Interestingly, Yeager undertook his record-breaking flight with two broken ribs after he fell from a horse two-days before. Only his wife knew about his injury.


What aircraft was Chuck Yeager flying when he broke the sound barrier?

The Bell XS-1 was an experimental aircraft conceived during World War II. Seven were built with aircraft #46-062 the one in which the speed of sound was first broken.


Do you know the nickname of the aircraft in which he first broke the sound barrier?

Flying aircraft #46-062 on Oct. 15, 1947, Yeager broke the sound barrier. This plane was called "Glamorous Glennis" after Yeager's wife.


Which top-secret stealth aircraft first saw action with American forces during the first Gulf War?

A strange-looking plane, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk first flew in 1981. Able to remain unseen to enemy radar thanks to stealth technology, the F-117 flew in combat for the first time during the first Gulf War.


What is the purpose of the rudder on an aircraft?

A rudder is used to turn the aircraft left or right as it taxis on the ground. It can also be used while the plane is flying to aid in changing direction or to slip to the left or right.


What weather phenomena are aircraft able to withstand?

Research shows that lightning strikes an aircraft at least once ever 1,000 hours it flies. Luckily, modern aircraft design allows for this.


What is the name of the trails in the sky left by high-flying aircraft?

Contrails are condensation. Conspiracy theorists might disagree, however, and say they are chemicals sprayed by the government.


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