From the first kites built in 400BC in China to Octave Chanute’s Progress in Flying Machines, published in 1894, man has dreamed of flight. In 1903, the Wright Brothers turned that dream of flying into reality when the Wright Flyer flew 120 feet in 12 seconds. Today, flying is a reality, and business and recreational flyers have many options when it comes to air travel. They can choose to travel in a small private plane, like the Cessna 172 or the Beech Bonanza, for a photo flight, a tour around the city or that 500 dollar hamburger, or they can choose to travel more luxurious airplanes, like the Gulfstream G550 and the Bombardier Global 5000, which offer upscale living while flying across the country or oceans at 30,000 feet.
The History of Aviation
Aviation started in 400BC in China with the invention of the first kite for religious ceremonies and later for weather observation. As time moved forward, man attempted to fly like birds by making wings of wood and feathers and attaching the devices to their arms. While the wooden wings didn’t result in flight, the process of learning how to fly continued.
In 1485, Leonardo da Vinci designed the Ornithopter, which was simply a series of drawings and schematics. While the Ornithopter was never built, it helped develop the theory of flight. In 1783, Joseph Michel and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier invented the first hot air balloon. From 1799 to the 1850s, George Cayley developed the first gliders. He was also one of the first individuals to realize that sustained flight would require a power source.
In 1894, Octave Chanute wrote the first comprehensive book on flying, entitled Progress in Flying Machines, and it was this book that the Wright brothers used to design and build their Wright Flyers. In 1903, the Wright Flyer 1 flew 120 feet. The flight lasted 12 seconds. However, it wasn’t until 1905 and the Wright Flyer 3 where sustained flight was achieved.
The Science of Aviation
From the Wright Brothers to today, it is the science of aviation or aeronautics that has lead to advancements in the industry. The science of aviation covers wing design, aerodynamics, engines and propulsion, flight characteristics, avionics instruments, weight and balance and even meteorology, weather conditions and safety. It even includes the study of aircraft accidents and how to prevent those accidents in the future.
New aircraft are designed in three stages. The first stage involves conceptual design where drawings of potential new aircraft are created. These designs are then moved forward into the preliminary stage, where models of the aircraft are built and tested in wind tunnels to further perfect the aircraft’s performance, handling and safety. The last stage is the detail design where a full-scale version of the aircraft is built and tested. If the aircraft passes all tests and inspections, it is put into production. If it does not pass, the design is further tweaked until a safe, reliable aircraft has been created.
All About Luxury Aircraft Interior Designs
When it comes to modern comforts and amenities, luxury jets provide the best interior designs and features. In fact, the interior designs of luxury jets often resemble those of luxury yachts. They include private cabins in the rear of the aircraft with beds, dressers, nightstands and a private bathroom. The fronts of the cabins contain first-class seating with plenty of legroom, tables, TVs, lighting and even full bars and galleys for food and drink preparation. For the business traveler, these luxury aircraft also offer satellite Internet connections and may contain a separate cabin that is designed to be used as an in-flight office. Of course, luxury jets aren’t the only type of aircraft to be outfitted with the latest amenities. Luxury helicopters, like the Bell 525 relentless, now offer first-class seating, televisions, Internet connections, tables and drink stations.
All About Aircraft Tail Numbers
Aircraft tail numbers came into existence in 1919 with the International Air Navigation Convention which caught to give aircraft a unique identifier, called call signs that could be used in radio communications between aircraft and later with ATC. The US was given full rights to the letters N, W and any combination that started with K. Great Britain was given the letters G, G and M during the 1919 conference. The use of aircraft identification numbers and letters, however, weren’t mandatory until 1927. In 1950, aircraft were required to display their identification numbers on the tail, wings and fuselage. In 1960, wing identification markings were removed from the requirements, and today, you can see the identification numbers on the tail and the fuselage.
The Future of the Aviation Industry
Aviation is a global industry fueled by business and vacation travel and the transportation of goods across state and country borders. It is estimated that the entire industry employs more than 65.5 million individuals and transports more than four billion passengers each year, and it’s predicted to grow.
Predictions in the future of aviation involve increasing involvement in niche markets, like luxury air travel, low-cost air carriers, premium economy carriers that bridge the gap between low-cost and luxury travel and the air cargo industry. The aviation industry is also seeking ways to improve fuel efficiency while minimizing environmental impact by reducing CO2 emissions that can contribute to greenhouse gases and global climate change. This is predicted to result in the development of aviation biofuels and extremely fuel-efficient engines.
About the Author
Stacey is a certified flight instructor with an Aviation degree from Indiana Stacey University.