Browsing: Vehicles

A Brief History On December 10, 2013, Mary Barra became the first woman appointed head of an automobile company when she became CEO of General Motors Corporation.  GM is a giant company with a convoluted bureaucracy that has taken it from being the biggest, most important company in the world to being a blundering corporate joke that needed a government bailout to survive. Digging Deeper From 1931 to 2007, GM led the world in auto sales.  In the meantime, Toyota of Japan has dethroned GM as the biggest producer of motor vehicles.  GM is still right near the top though, but its market…

A Brief History On September 7, 1942, the Consolidated B-32 Dominator strategic bomber made its first flight.  Only developed as a fallback in case the Boeing B-29 Superfortress was not successful, the B-32 could not hold its own, and only 118 were built.  Over the years, many weapons or weapons systems have proven themselves to be disappointments.  Here 10 of those are listed, in no particular order. (Please also see the similarly-themed History and Headlines articles: “10 Weapons and Weapons Systems that Flopped” and “10 Weapons That Never (Or Barely) Went into Service.”)  Can you think of any weapons that fall into these categories? Digging Deeper 10. Consolidated B-32 Dominator. As mentioned in the…

A Brief History On August 27, 1939, the first jet aircraft, the Heinkel He 178, made its first flight.  Since this airplane did not make it to regular production, many people may not be familiar with it.  Many pioneering events in aviation history are relatively unknown, at least to the lay public.  Here 10 such machines or deeds that represent firsts in aviation history are listed (Only fixed-wing, powered flights are being considered in this list.)  Which events or equipment would you add to the list? Digging Deeper 10. 1st Powered Flight, 1890. No, it was not by the Wright brothers!  They did, however, make the first “controlled” powered flight in 1903 for a whopping…

A Brief History On August 21, 1897, Ransom Eli Olds founded the car company that became the first assembly line producer of automobiles in the world.  Many people think it was Henry Ford, and of course he did make major strides in that direction, but Ransom Eli Olds was the first. Digging Deeper For the next 107 years Oldsmobile was known as a company that made upscale, comfortable cars and even produced some “muscle” cars along the way.  Officially called Olds Automobiles, the name was quickly shorted to Oldsmobile. Born in Geneva, Ohio in 1864, Ransom Eli Olds established the Olds Motor Works in Lansing,…

A Brief History On August 19, 1940, the B-25 Mitchell was flown for the first time.  Although its service life did not extend as long as many other airplanes, this medium bomber was adapted for a huge variety of uses and configurations, making it one of the most versatile aircraft ever.  Here 6 (well, okay, actually 7) such multi-purpose aircraft are listed in the order the author finds most interesting or exciting.  What types of planes would you include on the list? Digging Deeper 6.  De Haviland DH.98 Mosquito. Entering service in 1941 as a high-speed unarmed bomber, the Mosquito was built mostly of wood, giving…

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