Who Invented the Airplane?

The history of the airplane shows it was invented by Orville (1871-1948) and Wilbur (1867-1912) Wright. They got the patent 9 months prior to their flight in December 1903.

The Early History of Flight
There are pictures showing Orville Wright on the plane flying. The craft flew to a height of 10 ft. It traversed a total of 120 feet and lasted 12 seconds in the air.

The story of airplanes is connected with man’s dream of flying. Man’s desire to fly goes back to ancient times. The ancient Greeks and Hindu tales feature stories of men flying around on animals or chariots.

There are some reports that in 400 BC, the Greek philosopher and mathematician Archytas invented a flying device. The apparatus was powered by steam. According to some reports it flew a distance of 600 feet. This would rewrite the history of the airplane if true, but it has not been fully verified.

Other Early Designs
The records show that in the 11trh century the monk Eilmer of Malmesbery had experimented with gliders in an attempt to fly. Another one was the poet Abbas. Leonardo Da Vinci left behind aircraft designs on the Codex of the Flight of Birds. The 18th century saw Francoise Pilatre de Rozier soar on a balloon.

In 1803, George Cayley (discoverer of the laws of aerodynamics) began experimenting with various gliders. An American scientist named John Montgomery was able to create a controlled glider in 1883.

The history of the airplane shows that a lot of other scientists who designed gliders. But it was not until the Wright brothers in 1903 that engine powered aircraft came into being.

After the Wright Brothers’ Flight

The Wright brothers’ flight in 1903 was the first to be adjudged by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale as sustained. Two years later in 1905, the Wright brothers came out with the Wright Flyer III. The plane had a lot more controls. It was also more stable.

World War I and Beyond
It was the outbreak of the war in 1914 that sped up development of aircraft. The history of the airplane was never the same. The war showed the potential of the plane as a weapon. Both the Germans and Allies used the planes to great effect.

After the end of the war, plane development (both for military and commercial use) continued to grow. The first transatlantic non stop journey was made in 1919.

This would be followed by a commercial flight from the US to Canada also in 1919. By the 1930s jet engine development was in full swing. During World War II, aircraft played a major role for both Allied and Axis powers.

In 1947, airplane technology broke new ground when Chuck Yeager smashed the sound barrier with the X-1. In 1952, commercial jets started coming out. These expanded in number very quickly in the 1960s.

The history of the airplane has completely altered the way people travel. Today, planes are an invaluable part of life in developed countries.