History of aviation
Air travel has a long and interesting history beginning with the first commercial flight in 1933 on the modern Boeing 247 airliner. This major event marked a defining mark on the aviation timeline, but it was just one of many. importants achievements. The following will highlight some of the fascinating milestones in aviation history that marked the last century.
The Zeppelin Hindenburg
The 1930s revealed the so-called blimp era in aviation history. The German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg was an example of their popularity. However, the event surrounding this aircraft was sad as the tragedy struck during the flight. Intended for Naval Air Station Lakehurst in Manchester Township, NJ, the Hindenburg disaster occurred when the aircraft caught fire and crashed. Thirty-five deaths were counted in this tragic incident and it goes without saying that confidence in aircraft dropped dramatically. News coverage spread the dire news around the world, essentially bringing the blimp period to a sad end.
Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier
Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947, marking another great event in aviation history. Yeager was a test pilot in the United States Air Force and flew the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1. The plane was at an altitude of 45,000 feet when this occurred. The Bell X-1 is on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. Yeager received more than one award for this achievement, including the MacKay and Collier trophy in 1948 and a trophy for Harmon International in 1954. The Myra, West Virginia native went on to cross other barriers of sound and even altitude years later.
Fast forward from Chuck Yeager’s greatest achievement to the 1970s, many people recognize the Boeing 747 and it is often fondly referred to as the “jumbo jet” of airplanes. Its role as cargo transportation and commercial flights makes it an important part of aviation history. This aircraft, the Boeing 747, made its first commercial flight from New York to London at the beginning of that decade. The main airlines using the model include British Airways, Korean Air, Japan Airlines, and Cathay Pacific. The Boeing 747, in addition to being recognizable, is important because it could carry such a large load of passengers or cargo. In fact, it held the record for carrying the most passengers for several decades.
Aviation continues to develop
The Zeppelin Hindenburg crisis, the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager and the introduction of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet are just three of the many turning points in aviation. While there are many more events in the historical flight timeline, these events show some of the individual pieces of the puzzle. Events like these have helped shape the history of aviation and offer opportunities for learning and reflection. Flight has come a long way and will continue to change and grow for years to come, making it an exciting part of technology and history!