aviation history

The History of Aviation



soar alongside humankind
invent primitive apparatus
fame aviation Common Era
flight ancestor to the point
means propeller parachute
air consider breakthrough
glider advance significant
steam capable rotary engine
effort attempt aerodynamic
give up pillar (2) ubiquitous
sustain instance reputable
mount lengthen experiment
achieve featured reconnaissance
viable revision leading up to
located range (2) exponential
steady setback insure (2)
aerial devastate innovation
unset period (3) aluminum
occur constantly transcontinental
factor spur (2) propulsion
turbo establish pressurized cabin
advent compress manufacture
airliner supersonic revolutionary
barrier record (3) transoceanic
decisive countless foundation for
radar obsolete conventional
stealth composite major (2)
involve credit (3) cautionary tales





Since our earliest days, humankind has dreamed of soaring through the sky, alongside the birds.

Welcome to Watch Mojo.com, and today we’ll be taking a look at the history of aviation.

Man has been building primitive flying apparatuses since before the Common Era.

However, famed Italian inventor Leonardo da Vinci is credited with designing early ancestors of the airplane based on the flight of birds, including the parachute and an early version of the propeller.

1783 was considered a breakthrough year in aviation. For example, hot-air balloons became popular in Europe with help from the Montgolfier brothers.

More significant advances came at the end of the Nineteenth Century when gliders became more well-developed.

In 1848, John Stringfellow managed the first powered flight by using a steam-powered flying machine.

Florence Hardgrave then developed a rotary engine by introducing the use of compressed air. Also involved in the flight race was Samuel Pierpont Langley, who attempted several piloted and unpiloted efforts.

His aerodrome was later considered the first machine capable of flight.

Just days after Langley gave up his attempts, the Wright Brothers achieved a breakthrough.

On December 17th 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright managed the first reputable instance of sustained flight by a heavier than air vehicle, they called the Wright Flier.

This first flight traveled 120 feet in twelve seconds. Within five years, the Wrights had lengthened their flight time to over an hour.

Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, their experiment resulted in the first instance of an airplane passenger death due to a crash.

Despite this setback, flight quickly became ubiquitous, and its use increased exponentially because of its role as a military tool.

Leading up to World War One, airplanes were mainly used for photography and reconnaissance missions — and not weapons of war.

To make them viable tools, they required major revisions. These ranged from the creation of pusher biplanes, where the engine and propeller were located behind the wings to tractor biplanes, which featured these devices in front of the wing.

Finally when it was insured that the machine guns could steadily be mounted, air warfare became a reality with the invention of fighter planes.

Soon after the onset of war, planes became devastating aerial bombers when they began to feature two to four engines.

In the period between the world wars, many important innovations took place.

Instead of wood, planes were built of aluminum, and engines became much more powerful as well. Airmail also became a reality as did transcontinental flights.

Flight records were constantly broken, and the first round the world trip occurred in 1924.

World War Two firmly established fixed-wing aircraft as a decisive factor for military victory. By the time the smoke cleared over Europe, humanity had developed jet and rocket propulsion as well as radar technology.

The importance of aircraft to warfare increased with the advent of the nuclear bomb: in 1945, a minor military contractor named Boeing, became the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world.

They developed new technologies that allowed for pressurized cabins, more aerodynamic designs, new metals, larger sizes, and turbo-jets capable of supersonic speed.

By 1947, the sound barrier was broken, and regular transoceanic flights became a reality within two years.

Boeing introduced the B-52 in the 1950s. And this strategic bomber was equipped with eight turbo-jet engines, intercontinental range, and a capacity of half-a-million pounds.

In 1963, a small jet aircraft called the Learjet became a reality.

Six years later, Boeing developed the revolutionary 747. That wide-bodied, turbo-fan powered, commercial airliner became the most successful model ever created.

And it served as a foundation for countless other models.

The 1970s saw the arrival of the supersonic Concord Jet and the Airbus.

Leading up to the nineties, designers began adapting a flying wing design and the use of composite metals. While this made conventional radar obsolete, it was meant only for military applications.

This also spurred the creation of crafts, such as the Lockheed-Martin’s F-17 Stealth Fighter.

Air travel has become the fastest method of global transportation — and a major pillar of warfare. Disasters like the Hindenburg acted as cautionary tales.

But flight has advanced to the point where it is now labeled as the safest means available.

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1. People have wanted to fly like birds since the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. True or false?

2. Which came first, hot-air balloons or airplanes?

3. Was the invention of the airplane sudden and discrete, or was it a long, continuous, developmental process?

4. Who is credited with inventing the airplane? Were their venture and lives a complete success?

5. The military and warfare was a major incentive to the progress and development of airplanes. Is this right or wrong? What were some early innovations and improvements?

6. Did aviators always strive to break records? What are some examples?

7. What was the most “successful” or popular airplane model? Had Boeing always been a major airplane company?

8. Stealth technology is very important for civil (commercial) aviation. Is this correct or incorrect? What is stealth technology?


A. Our country manufactures airplanes. Yes or no? Does it manufacture airplane components?

B. What type of airplanes do airlines in your country operate?

C. Where do military jets (warplanes) come from?

D. Many young boys want to become pilots when they grow up. What do you think?

E. What will happen in the future regarding aviation?


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