Some of the greatest minds in history took a shot at making human-powered flight a reality. However, it was only at the turn of 1900’s that flight became a reality.
Wilbur and Orville Wright were the first to create an airplane that could take off and land. They took their first flight in a weighty aircraft. The flight was just a few seconds. Yet, such a short flight led the brothers to discover the foundation and the basis of all designs of aircraft flown today. With continuous improvement on their design, the brothers finally were able to get planes on the right path towards commercial production and use.
The Wright brothers’ discovery of flight came at a time where planes were embraced by the war machine. War pilots were the best fighters in the world then because people revered them like as gladiators of the sky where dominance could tilt the favor of a battle to one side. One such pilot who made a huge impact was the Red Baron, who brought down about an estimated 80 enemy warplanes during World War I. Then, World War II saw the massive production of armed planes. After successful mass-production for war use, commercial aviation started.
Today, people see a different breed of aircraft dominate the skies. Modern technology and advances in electronics have brought jets to be the major leader in air transportation. As technology continues to evolve, solar technology has made its’ presence felt through the efforts of pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. The team behind Solar Impulse, a solar-only powered airplane just became the first to fly the world without a drop of fuel.
Another advancement in technology is stealth. The technology is used to create planes that enemy radar cannot detect. There are two ways of making an airplane undetectable by radar. The first is by layering the exterior of the aircraft with radar signal absorbing materials. The second is by shaping the plane into shapes that reflect radar signal away from it.
If only the Wright brothers could see where their invention has taken aviation today. Who would have thought that a flight that took only a few seconds would become as significant as it did?