Aircraft has advanced greatly since the initial conception of the fixed-wing aircraft first introduced over two centuries ago by an English baron. It is, however, still interesting to emerge into history and see how the human mastering of the open air space began, and how ancient Deadalus and his son Icarus’ dream to fly finally came true centuries and centuries later.The history of plane invention starts with people trying to imitating the birds in order to navigate the air (Wright-brothers.org). Having understood that the bird-scale is, after all, quite different from that of people, in 1783, a few aeronauts attempted flights in balloons which were lighter than air (Wright-brothers.org). The main issue with this new method of travel was that it appeared to be wind-sensitive, and could be only controlled by the wind direction, making it impossible to freely navigate the balloon and travel long distances (Firstflightcentennial.org). Numerous experiments, at times crazy plans, and the conceiving of a flying machine with fixed wings, a propulsion system and movable control surfaces by an English baron later (Wright-brothers.org), the Wright brothers came on the arena of flight control and unpowered aircraft to change the plane invention history forever.
Being the kite enthusiasts (Wright.nasa.gov), and getting certain ideas about physics from their employment at a bicycle shop (Firstflightcentennial.org), the Wright brothers became genuinely interested in flying. They made their first step towards inventing an airplane that could be piloted in the air with vividly researching about airplanes and working on gliders (Firstflightcentennial.org). They soon discovered that a free flying object had to be controlled by roll, pitch and yaw, and tested their ideas in selfbuilt wind tunnels (Wright.nasa.gov). Finally, the Wright brothers pioneered as the first team to fly an airplane with a pilot in 1903 (Wright-brothers.org). After this remarkable and groundbreaking event in the history of plane invention, aircraft began to develop into a marketable product, its advancement fueled by many engineers and would-be pilots motivated by the brothers’ success (Wright-brothers.org).
Of course, the pioneers’ success was followed by many claims from other enthusiasts, who pursued the honor, recognition, fame or monetary reasons with their alleged statements to have been the first ones to fly (Wright-brothers.org). Nonetheless, the Wright brothers’ contribution to the history of aircraft can be neither doubted nor overrated. They were indeed first to come up with the idea of wing warping to resolve the question of control, focus on the idea to power an aircraft, conduct numerous experiments with wind tunnel and gliders, and overall succeed in the advancement of airplanes. Thankfully to the brothers’ accomplishments, aviation engineers in America and Europe began building and developing their own airplanes, thus making airplanes more and more capable and reliable (Wright-brothers.org). Moreover, NASA engineers still use wind tunnels first invented by the Wright brothers in order to improve the flight control of modern aircraft (Wright.nasa.gov). A few decades later, flight transformed from an unprecedented phenomenon to a widely-spread and available method of transportation to short and long distances alike. Ferdinand Ferber, Alberto Santos Dumont, Charles and Gabriel Voison, Glenn Curtiss, Louis Bleriot, and Geoffrey DeHavilland are among the names of contributors to the aviation with their numerous inventions, experiments, and creations which helped advance the aircraft and shape the future of aviation (Wright-brothers.org).
The first airplane flight with a pilot shook the world two centuries ago, and little was it expected that airplane flight would be something usual and commonly available in the future. Had it not been for the enthusiasts, who put their efforts into experiments and advancement of the flying machines, quick and convenient long-distance traveling would still be a challenge for the humanity.
- Firstflightcentennial.org,. ‘History Of The First Airplane’. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.
- Wright-brothers.org,. ‘Home Page For The Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company And Wright-Brothers.Org’. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.
- Wright.nasa.gov,. ‘Wright Brothers’ Invention Process — Developed Flight Control Systems’. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.