For centuries upon centuries, man looked in the sky and saw birds flying around. Ideas filled their heads and some famous inventors even developed different types of flying apparatus. For example, Leonardo da Vinci designed several flying machines based on the flight of birds. Some even thought that people could fly using artificial wings!
Not until, the Wright Brothers invented of their plane did the idea of flying stand a real chance of lasting.
da Vinci's Design of the Ornithopter
On December 17, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright made history by constructing an airplane that flew 260 meters in its best attempt. Two years later, after hundreds of experiment flights, the brothers amazed even themselves by flying an astounishing 39 kilometers (24 miles). Their accomplishments opened the door to further development of the plane. The most considerable changes in flight came just years later, as World War I began.The design of airplanes basically "took off" as
countries started to develop airplanes for military use. The common pusher biplane (which had its engine and propellor behind the wing) were pushed aside as new advancement brought the tractor biplane (which had its propellor in front of it) into use. Also at this time, monoplanes began to be designed, even though they were not heavily used. As airplanes became safer and more reliable men and women began to achieve great heights in them. For example, Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic Ocean and the airplane transportation industry began to boom when commercial airlines were established throughout the world.
World War II introduced new airplanes such as bombers and cargo aircraft. These new planes could fly at amazingly quick speeds. In the years to come, Chuck Yeagar broke the sound barrier by traveling faster than the speed of sound in a special rocket plane.
Flight is still changing today. Over the last half-century, we have made huge jumps in developing our space program and supersonic aircraft. The biggest changes have yet to come.