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A BRIEF HISTORY OF AIRPLANES
Today, I will write about a topic I like the most - airplanes!
When I was 2 and 1/2 years old, my mom bought me the book “Wheels and Wings”. Since then, I began to love airplanes and tried to read a lot about their development. Do you wonder how planes evolved from the beginning till today?
The first powered aircraft was invented by Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1903 in a bicycle shop in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. It was called the ‘‘Wright Flyer’’. This glider aircraft flew only 59 seconds and was difficult to control.
The next notable aircraft invented was the “Fokker Spin” in 1910. It was built by a Dutch engineer named Anthony Fokker. After his success, he founded an aircraft factory and began developing planes for the German Army. This started the development of war planes such as the Wright Model D of the US Army in 1912 and the Sopwith Strutter of the British RAF in 1914.
What about passenger airplanes? The world’s first passenger airplane using a winged aircraft is the Airboat Line which began flying between St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida in 1914. The sea plane was made of wood, fabric and wire and did not have wind shield. It flew not more than 50 feet above the water so passengers had to deal with strong wind and water spraying on their faces. Do you know that the first and only passenger of this aircraft on its first flight paid $400 at that time which is equivalent to $10,000 today? For the next flights, the airfare was only $5 per person and tickets were immediately sold out 16 weeks before the scheduled flight.
Between 1920 and 1930, big progress was made in the field of aviation. One of the most successful airplane design in this period is the Douglas DC-3. It was the first airliner to be profitable carrying passengers and started the era of passenger airline service that we have today.
After World War II, there was great progress in airline service since many pilots and aircrafts were available from the military for passenger airlines. From mostly propeller aircrafts, the development of passenger jet planes started in 1952 with a jetliner called “de Havilland DH 106 Comet”. It was the world’s first commercial jetliner.
Beginning in 1960, more efficient engines have become available and Concorde started the first supersonic passenger service. Supersonic means the airplane is travelling faster than the speed of sound. In later years, the use of powerful computers, global positioning system and satellite communication have significantly improved airplane capabilities.
In June 21, 2004, “SpaceShipOne” became the first aircraft to make a spaceflight making it possible for very rich people to travel into space.
The development of airplanes have gone a long way since Wright brothers invented the first air craft in a bicycle shop. In the future, I expect that people can buy tickets to travel to the moon or Mars. The movies I have been watching are slowly becoming a reality!
Hi! My name is Vince. I like cars and planes. I have a family dog named Kobe and a cat named Fluff-ball. Click here to know more about me.
Student Blogging Challenge 2017