The History of Traveling by Air

By Lisa Richards

Watching airplanes soar across the sky has become a familiar sight around the world. People board planes and sit in the seats, without giving much thought as to how such a large structure can carry them safely and quickly clear across the country. Over a hundred years ago, the world was completely different and the thought of flying was nothing but a dream.

That dream happened and the world has never been the same. Globalization increased with the ease, lower cost, and speed of traveling from country to country. Medicine can now be developed and shared as doctors, researchers, and professors fly quickly to assist in research, educating, or surgeries. Mail can be delivered within hours or by the next day compared to days, weeks, or even months. You also can’t forget the impact airplanes have had on war, with the convenience of sending in supplies and troops to areas of conflict. Helicopters and airplanes can rescue and transport people to hospitals quickly without traffic. The airplane is an amazing invention that has changed the world with an endless list

Airplane History

An impossible concept for many, those who craved for the chance to glide through the air like a bird, attempted it by strapping wings to their arms and flapping them. Unlike a bird, it did not work. People continued to strive to fly and the invention of the hot-air balloon and smaller kite sized models came along. Sir George Cayley invented the first design showing that, using the force of lift and drag, an airplane could fly. Scientists continued working on Cayley’s design, creating gliders that the rider could control. One hundred years later in 1903, the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, invented the first powered plane. Other inventors copied and built upon the Wright’s plane making better planes.

Different Types of Airplanes

With so many people flying around the world, the first type of plane that might come into mind is a passenger or commercial plane. There are many sizes of commercial planes, but they all serve the same purpose of transporting groups of people from location to location.

Commercial jet planes can hit speeds of over 600mph, but usually keep it right around 500 for fuel efficiency and safety.

Military planes are built to fight in combat, carry and transport weapons, and drop and pick up soldiers.

Seaplanes are built to land and take off of water.

Cargo and freight planes deliver anything from mail to smaller airplanes, like the Boeing Dreamlifter whose sole purpose is to carry other airplanes.

Parts of an Airplane

Airplanes can fly safely in the sky because of the shape of the wings and the force and drag of the air against them; this means that every airplane has to have wings. The shape of the wings depends on the design of the plane, but usually they are higher than the center to keep the plane from flipping over. The center or main part of the plane is called the fuselage, which holds the cockpit, passengers, and cargo. Surprisingly, the fuel is not located in the fuselage, but within the wings. The tail is off the back and comes in several different patterns, from more horizontal to vertical. The engine is the last important part of the plane and is the force and energy behind the plane. There are many, many different parts within these larger ones that ensure the plane functions properly.

Famous Aircraft

The airplane that makes the biggest mark in history is the Wright flyer; it holds the spot for the first airplane that was invented and flown. There are several other notable planes that have played major roles in aviation history, including the Enola Gay which will always be remembered as the plane to drop the deadly atomic bomb on Japan in 1945. Some airplanes become famous after a few years, like The Lady Be Good, which crashed in North Africa in 1943 and was lost for years until the 1960s.

How Airplanes have Changed Travel

If you have ever gone on a long drive to reach a destination and the next trip taken an airplane, than you know first-hand how airplanes have changed travel. With no twisting roads, traffic, or mountains in the way, airplanes have a straight-shot to destinations. This cuts the time in more than half, add in the speed of an airplane compared to a car and there is no competition. The comfort, smoothness, and ease of riding in an airplane make it a convenient way for many people to travel. Outside of comfort and speed, families can see each other often and even at affordable prices that beat fueling a car or taking a train or bus.

This article is contributed by , a published author, health consultant and expert in digestive health.