1947 – James Dyson, English businessman, founded the Dyson Company is born.
Sir James Dyson is a British inventor, industrial designer and founder of the Dyson company. He is best known as the inventor of the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner, which works on the principle of cyclonic separation. According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2016, his net worth is £5 billion, up from £3 billion in 2013.
1952 – The world’s first ever jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet 1 makes its maiden flight, from London to Johannesburg.
The de Havilland DH 106 Comet was the world’s first commercial jetliner. Developed and manufactured by de Havilland at its Hatfield Aerodrome, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom headquarters, the Comet 1 prototype first flew on 27 July 1949. It featured an aerodynamically clean design with four de Havilland Ghost turbojet engines buried in the wings, a pressurised fuselage, and large square windows. For the era, it offered a relatively quiet, comfortable passenger cabin and showed signs of being a commercial success at its 1952 debut.
A year after entering commercial service, the Comets began suffering problems, with three of them breaking up during mid-flight in well-publicised accidents. Two of these were found to be caused by catastrophic failure resulting from metal fatigue in the airframes, not well understood at the time. The other one was due to overstressing of the airframe during flight through severe weather. The Comet was withdrawn from service and extensively tested to discover the causes of the fatigue failures. Design flaws, including dangerous stresses at the corners of the square windows and installation methods, were ultimately identified. As a result, the Comet was extensively redesigned with oval windows, structural reinforcement, and other changes. Rival manufacturers meanwhile heeded the lessons learned from the Comet while developing their own aircraft.
2000 – President Bill Clinton announces that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the United States military.
The Global Positioning System (GPS), originally Navstar GPS, is a space-based radionavigation system owned by the United States government and operated by the United States Air Force. It is a global navigation satellite system that provides geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites.
The GPS system does not require the user to transmit any data, and it operates independently of any telephonic or internet reception, though these technologies can enhance the usefulness of the GPS positioning information. The GPS system provides critical positioning capabilities to military, civil, and commercial users around the world. The United States government created the system, maintains it, and makes it freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver. However, the US government can selectively deny access to the system, as happened to the Indian military in 1999 during the Kargil War.
The GPS project was launched in the United States in 1973 to overcome the limitations of previous navigation systems, integrating ideas from several predecessors, including a number of classified engineering design studies from the 1960s. The U.S. Department of Defense developed the system, which originally used 24 satellites. It became fully operational in 1995. Roger L. Easton of the Naval Research Laboratory, Ivan A. Getting of The Aerospace Corporation, and Bradford Parkinson of the Applied Physics Laboratory are credited with inventing it.
Advances in technology and new demands on the existing system have now led to efforts to modernize the GPS and implement the next generation of GPS Block IIIA satellites and Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX). Announcements from Vice President Al Gore and the White House in 1998 initiated these changes. In 2000, the U.S. Congress authorized the modernization effort, GPS III.
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