Aviation’s Fast Advancement
Aviation has come a long way since that very first flight and it looks like there are many more technological advancements to come in the future soon.
It all began with the birds and man’s desire to fly like them. From here to hot air balloons and the early aircraft to the modern state-of-the-art jets, it has been quite a journey.
The Early Aircraft Engineers
Anybody who is interested in aviation has heard about the Wright brothers and their historic attempts to fly. Besides the Wright brothers, there are several other names that are also credited with early aircraft engineering.
Dubbed the Father of the Airplane, Sir George Cayley, designed the very first fixed-wing aircraft. He did extensive research and meticulously recorded various theories about flying – from stability to control to wing dihedral. In the early twentieth century, he got a grant from the American government and designed and built his plane. Unfortunately, his flight was not a success.
After a lot of unsuccessful attempts by several other aviators, the Kitty Hawk finally made its historic flight and has been recorded as the very first manned flight.
Flying in the 20th Century
The 1900s saw two World Wars and during this time huge strides were made in the field of aviation.
Louis Bleriot flew a monoplane across the English Channel in 1909 and two years later, America began using planes to fly its mail across the country.
Just before World War I began, the first passenger flight flew between St. Petersburg and Tampa and this was by the Benoist Company.
Through the war, there were fighter aircraft and bombers being designed and developed and the first one to cross the Atlantic was the Vickers Vimy aircraft.
In 1927, there was another historic aviation event when Charles Lindbergh completed the very first Atlantic crossing. It was the first nonstop solo Atlantic crossing and instantly made Charles a flying legend.
There were a number of inexpensive planes that were also flown at this time and these were called “barnstormers”. These barns were used for joyrides and to perform flying stunts.
Technological advancement in aircraft was very quick after World Wars I and II, the introduction of jet engines, instrument flight and supersonic engines and trips into space.
The first instrument flight was undertaken by Jimmy Doolittle in 1929 and this was followed in the 30s by jet planes when an aircraft broke the sound barrier for the first time with Chuck Yeager’s historic flight.
In the 70s, the Concorde ushered in the supersonic flight which cut down flying from New York to London to three hours but this didn’t really get popular.
Today, aircraft can carry over eight hundred passengers and we can probably look forward to aircraft that will be powered by electricity powered or solar power very soon in the future.
A look back at the history of aviation gives us an interesting glimpse of the journey of the aircraft and how far we have come from that first historic flight.