A Brief History of Flight

The Wright brothers revolutionized the world through the invention of flight.  The concepts of distance and speed began to change with their invention.  Many things always seen as impossible began to suddenly seem possible.  Through experimentation, the perfect combinations of weight, strength, and carrying capacity was finally achieved.

airplaneWhen airplanes were first invented, they were called kites.  They had huge wings and not a lot of power. Just before World War I, aircraft that were more streamlined appeared.  They included increased horsepower and a better aerodynamic shape.  The wooden frames of the aircraft were replaced with welded steel tubing as well.  All of the assembly wings, tails, and fuselages were built using duraluminum then.

Over time, metal replaced all of the wood used in building the aircraft. The Boeing 247 was a revolutionary invention that streamlined the construction and included variable pitch propellers and retractable landing gear.  Every nation tries to use that best technology available in times of war, so with World War 2, jet fighters were developed.  During the 1980s, an all-composite design was introduced.  This design was used to make history as Brut Ratan flew non-stop without refueling around the world.  

Another form of aircraft to consider is the Voyager.  It had a lightweight composite airframe that helped it to circle the earth in only nine days. There are many other styles of mechanical flights that include helicopters, spacecraft, balloons, aeroplanes, and airships.  They all use a variety of methods to take off and to land, requiring specialists for each type of aircraft. 

There were many early pioneers that brought us to where we are today with flight. These include Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earnhart, Abbas Firnas, Richard Pearse, Alberto Santos Dumont, Armen Firman, and, of course, the Wright Brothers.

When an aircraft is taking off, a taxiway is the typical way for it to take off and land within the airport.  After the aircraft gets up enough speed, it takes off into the air.  Full power usually has to be used for light flights.  When an aircraft is getting to the desired cruising altitude, they are considered to be “climbing”.  The descent of a flight is when the aircraft decreases their altitude to land. In both commercial and private flights, planning plays a huge part.  Without it, there are many things that may go wrong.

Aviation Museums

By going to an aviation museum, we are able to take a journey into the past to see the aircraft that were used back then. The museums will generally include military, commercial, and private airplanes in their collections.  As with all other forms of transportation, aviation has seen a lot of change over the years.  By visiting an aviation museum, you are sure to have a deeper appreciation for where they have come.

dsc_8131-1024x768Some of the museums are well known while others are not.  This is mostly because of the type of aircraft on display. The Planes of Fame Air Museum is in Chino, California.  This museum has over 150 aircraft from different times in the military.  They sponsor air shows that draw in large crowds throughout the summer.

In Birmingham, Alabama is The Southern Museum.  This is a wonderful aviation museum to explore, especially if you enjoy learning about women in aviation and their role in flight. There are a lot of displays about women aviators and how they helped the early success of aviation. It’s a great way to show young girls how women can make an impact in society, even in areas dominated by men.

There are quite a few aviation museums all over the world to explore. You can easily find them by searching online.  You may even be surprised to find one near you.  If you are traveling soon, you could possibly squeeze in a couple of hours at a local aviation museum.  They are both educational and fun!

Non profit organizations own and operate most aviation museums. There is typically a small charge for entrance but that money is needed to help pay to keep the museums open.  Some of the museums are able to generate decent money to stay open due to the large volumes of visitors they receive every year.

For the most part, the aircraft at the aviation museums have been donated to them instead of purchased.  They are put in the museums as a way to honor the aviation field while on display.  They can also serve to remind visitors of what can be done by creative minds and a little ingenuity.  The advances we see today in aviation would not be possible without those who took a chance in the past.