A Brief History of Airplanes

Back in the days when there’s even no electricity on earth, who would have thought man can create some kind of transportation that could fly. Perhaps no one ever thought of that, some may have wondered but didn’t have enough knowledge on how to do it. Thus, you would have imagined when the first airplane was invented it was a major leap in the history of mankind.

The World’s First Commercial Aircraft! – January 1, 1914

The airplane history was indeed one of the greatest inventions ever in our history. Before the first airplane was invented, there were a lot of inventors trying to do what was impossible in previous centuries – that was to create air transportation. If birds could fly, then maybe man can actually simulate that action where people can ride in. Kites were invented by men so why not follow the same principle to create a flying machine? Inventors started studying those actions. People got obsessed on the idea that they can create such a thing.

Otto Lilienthal Glider in 1895

It was actually Otto Lilienthal, an engineer from Germany who came across a discovery that has provided significant information towards the creation of air transportation. That is the invention of the airplane. However, his idea actually came from Sir George Cayley who lived a hundred years before him. That idea was that the lifting and thrusting actions from the wings of a bird were actually separate principles. There he derived his discovery. He believed that those two actions can be mimicked by a flying machine. From there he worked his way into contributing the two most valuable principles used in creation of airplanes. He first perfected a glider before coming up with a powered flight. Second, he perfected the lift by creating curved wings. Aside from Otto Lilienthal, there were other inventors, especially Europeans, who followed his footsteps back in the 1890s. However, two Americans, Octave Chanute and Samuel Pierpont Langley were among the most popular inventors attempting to create an airplane.

First flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903

Perhaps no one really succeeded with the perfect plane until the Wright brothers came. The first airplane that was powered by a real and reliable engine was invented by Orville and Wilbur Wright. In fact, even nine months before their successful trial, they have already requested for a patent to their great flying machine invention. It was in December 1903 that the Wright brothers successfully tried the first airplane in human’s history. They were hesitant to take pictures of their prototype especially during the production stage. But when it first worked, they were caught on camera. It was then that they decided to inform the press by contacting their father to release the news. It was a shock to the people because in the past hundreds of years that scientists and engineers tried to attempt creating an airplane, no one did really succeed until they came.

Today, the airline industry has come a long way. We have private jets, the likes of gulfstream, and commercial airliners, the size of Boeing. A remarkable growth.

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