Aviation history has various periods that crafted its unique story. It began before the seventeenth century and is known for several momentous events that led to its development, such as World War I and World War II. Various events, great minds, and brave pilots contributed to the development of aviation that resulted in what we know as aviation today.
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According to Victoria, Petrescu, Aversa, and Akash (2019), the history of aviation can be divided into six main periods. Before the seventeenth century, a person could only imagine what an airplane looks like. The first aerostation was developed at the end of the eighteenth century. Hence, the period is known as the epoch of precursors. The second period is called “The pioneers of the most massive air” that is known for the development of the first motor vehicles that were capable of taking off on their own. (Victoria, Petrescu, Aversa & Akash, 2019). The First World War is the third period in aviation history that caused a drastic impact. As airplanes were used at the battlefields as a weapon, the need to build aircraft in large quantities increased. Consequently, the necessity for professional pilots who were able to perform at a high level also increased. Due to the demand for pilots during that time, a need to launch commercial air transport appeared, which led to further active development of the aircraft.
The Second World War was another period that resulted in a shift in history and led to the development of jet engines and radar. A similar story happened after the end of the war, which resulted in the use of regular commercial transport, which is known as the second half of the twentieth-century period. During this time, the first four-jet airplane and air transport opened to all.
The rich aviation history involves various interesting stories during each of the periods. It also includes many unsuccessful attempts to fly by people who risked their lives; hence, those who managed to sustain the flight are worth mentioning. History often refers to the Wright Brothers as to people who were the first ones to sustain the flight. However, the history goes back to 1852, when Henri Giffard traveled 17 miles from Paris to Trappers. Henri Giffard was a french engineer who built the first successful airship. According to the “Airship” (2018), he made a “160-kilogram (350-pound) steam engine capable of developing 3 horsepower, sufficient to turn a large propeller at 110 revolutions per minute” (para. 3). He managed to cover a distance of 20 miles with his airship, which is known as the first successful flight attempt in history.
Another interesting event occurred in aviation history in 1932 when the first solo flight by women took place. Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot who flew across the Atlantic. She received this proposal from Captain Hilton H. Railey and agreed right away. It has been an important historical event as solo flying was considered too dangerous to perform for a female; however, remarkably talented and brave Amelia proved them wrong. She ran into difficulties during the flight as the plane experienced mechanical difficulties, which made her unable to land in Paris as she was supposed to do. However, she managed to land successfully in a small village, which made her an international hero and caused earning honors.
Therefore, aviation history is a unique combination of events and people that contributed to the development of its industry. World War I and World War II specifically caused the enhancement of aviation as many pilots became professionals during that time. All the contributors are essential to history as they made air transportation possible, which is an integral part of people’s lives nowadays.
Airship: Aircraft. (n.d.). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Web.
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Victoria, R., Petrescu, V., Aversa, R., & Akash, B. (2019). History of Aviation-A Short Review. Journal of Aircraft and Spacecraft Technology.