The History of Aviation: From Tower Jumping to Modern Airplanes

The History of Aviation: From Tower Jumping to Modern Airplanes

Airplanes today are a comfortable and familiar option for everyone to move around. But before it and before becoming one of the most powerful tools of war, aviation experienced more than 2,000 years of evolution. Mistakes, inventions, and improvements lead humanity to modern tools. From gliders and balloons to modern supersonic fighters and wide-body transport ships. People have tried an incredible number of various devices for movement through the air. In this article, we will try to briefly tell about the history of world aviation and what is interesting and important happened in each of the time segments.

First attempts

The first "flights" committed by man are considered to be the use of kites. China gave the first mark on the aviation time map to humankind several hundred years BC. Other ways to capture the sky we can see in the legends about Daedalus and Icarus. They used specially created wings to leave the island of their imprisonment. If you need to write a historical essay about something like that get in on EssayPro. It will save your time greatly. 

But this inventions will not sound strange if you think about the existence of the so-called tower jumping. When inventors and brave souls checked various inventions and devices for the possibility of flying by jumping from a tower. It was a different kind of wings, cloaks, membranes, and other strange things.

Lighter than air

The theory of flight on devices that should be lighter than air became the next stage. This is the golden time for balloons and airships, which were then considered the main working idea. Francesco Lana del Trezi, back in 1670, argued that the sphere created from copper foil with vacuum inside should work. Perhaps the theory sounded convincing but the external pressure that squeezed and torn down this sphere ruined it. In June 1793 Montgolfier brothers created their hot air balloon which flew over Annonay, France. In August same year, brothers Anne-Jean and Nicolas-Louis Robert, along with Jacques Charles, created an unmanned hydrogen-filled balloon to fly over Champ de Mars. Already in October, the first manned flight took place and in November and air balloon flew nine kilometers in 25 minutes. The main disadvantage was the lack of maneuverability. This problem was solved with the invention of airships known as dirigibles or zeppelins. There were several types of it:

  • Non-rigid - without solid wood and metal framework;

  • Semi-rigid - solid parts only on the bottom of the ship;

  • Rigid - with a full internal framework.

Heavier than air

The first heavier-than-air flight took place in October of 1890. It was only 20 centimeters over the ground but flew a distance of 50 meters which was incredible. But the first official flight was on December of 1903. Wright Brothers Flyer with combined power and control set a new standard for aviation. The longest of four flights they took that day was 59 seconds and covered 852 feet. The world's first passenger scheduled flight took place in Florida in January of 1914. It lasted only a month but it was a huge step towards the development of modern aviation and passenger transcontinental flights.

Douglas DC-3 Aircraft

Times of World Wars

During a war, huge money is invested in the development of technologies that will help to win. So, after the Second World War, in the cities that were re-built, airports appeared. Civil aviation received incredible power for development. Military aircraft needed to be urgently reoriented to civil service in non-military time. In 1944, the Convention on International Civil Aviation was held in Chicago. Standards for safety, consistency, and efficiency of passenger flights were discussed there. Large corporations began to win a place in the civil aviation market by increasing the quality and lowering the cost of the services provided.

Digital Era and Modern Aviation

The era of digitalization and computers has significantly improved the entire field of aviation. The incredible design and functionality achieved by machine precision helped to bring heavy engineering to a new level. In addition, a lot of new super-strong and ultralight materials have appeared.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner, one of the most modern aircraft currently in the air

Specialists are now focused on technologies for saving fuel and using their new types. In addition, defenses and attacks also reached a new level. There are drones, which are controlled by the operator from a safe distance. The farthest flight of an unmanned aircraft lasted as much as 23 hours and 23 minutes. In addition, a solar-powered aircraft could fly a distance of 7212 kilometers. All these achievements open up new opportunities for the development of aviation. Everything that now causes a shock to scientists and ordinary people will be outdated in a few decades.


Gary Blaisdell is a Marketing Manager at EssayPro, that provides cheap essay writing service for students. He enjoys content writing and researching. He started his career as an essay writer. Now he promotes the company's products and writing services by creating interesting and fresh articles that are popular among readers.