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The First Flight of Man and How It Changed the World

The first flight of man revolutionized and changed the world, turning a new leaf for the 20th century.

History and how it happened

Wilbur Wright was born on April 16, 1867, near Millville, his father often got toys such as model helicopters that looked fascinating to him, they would be made from bamboo, scrap wood and strings to make the propellers spin. These designs were made by french aviator Alphonse Pénaud. which would lead him to have an avionic future.

 

Wilbur was bright, he loved studying and working every day, his grades were high which made him excel in school. He had plans to attend Yale University and become a bright and strong mind. But not before an accident where he got hit in the face by a hockey stick which severely hurt him. He did not receive his high school diploma, cancelled college plans, and retreated to his family’s home. He spent his time helping his sick mother who died not too soon in 1889 of tuberculosis.

 

With this newfound money they started investing and looking into aircraft, another thing that made them even more interested was the recent glides of Otto Lilienthal in Germany.

 

After a couple of failed attempts and a coin flip they decided that this would be the flight, all repaired the first aircraft to have a sustained flight flew on December 17 1903 making two flights all from ground level into a frigid gust of wind to 43 km/h (27 mph). The first flight was at 10:35 am and reached 37m(120 feet) in 12 seconds, at a rather slow speed of 10.9 km per hour (6.8miles per hour) This monumental achievement sparked a new age of mankind.

How this revolutionised the world

Now, this is the part I was waiting for. After the first flights, the skies were the limits and designers and companies started to try to innovate and improve the brother’s design. Transport would take a new direction as towards the start of WW1 aircraft designs like the biplane started to take off(pun intended). 

WW1

As the war started all sides needed intelligence, so recon aircraft with cameras were sent to fly the skies and sometimes even meet each other but funnily enough guns weren’t yet installed on the aircraft; so they just kinda looked at each other pathetically. After realizing the capabilities of trainee pilots both sides of the war started mounting bombs machine guns and rockets onto aircraft to combat other aircraft and ground targets alike. Aces like Voss and the red baron were given more advanced and advanced aircraft which in turn sped up the development of aircrafts. Not to forget the massive leviathan Esque airships started to take to the skies.

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Interwar

After the great war, the technology and skill were higher than ever and commercial and passenger flights were starting to become a business. But a downside of the increase in speed and agility was Gravitational force more commonly known as G force. G force is the acceleration that causes the perception of weight. Long story short the faster you turned and flew the more gravitational force you will experience which required more training to withstand. Back to my main point, flight was becoming easier and more efficient than ever.

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The Korean war

With the Me262's first take off at the end of WWII all of the nations were speeding to make their own “jet fighters”. But let’s take a break from war and fighting and look at how this impacted the average joe: Aircraft travel was becoming more effective and cheaper but in the years and in the 50s companies like Boeing were starting to become more known and have their aircraft be used for commercial and passenger flights alike. Flying boats could travel too far off shores and land at paradises, But alas people wanted more luxury, better conditions and private quarters for those who paid the price. The f-86 sabre was one of the most advanced designs towards the start of the Korean war being fast, agile and even having some of the earliest missiles, this would be rivalled by mig 15. The fuel of war pushed development from every nation to advance.

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The Vietnam war

 With a new age of aircraft came the aircraft of the Vietnam war being faster, stronger and most importantly more advanced. Aircraft started to have afterburners, for those who don't know an afterburner is when the fuel is directly injected into the exhaust, causing great propulsion.

In the military aspect aircraft like the iconic American

F4E phantom had guided munitions and the first truly

somewhat capable missiles that could track beyond

dogfighting distance, matched and rivalled by

the mig 21.

Aircraft were breaking the sound barrier this feet forced any competition of aircraft designs to have to be faster than before. This didn't translate to commercial aircraft tho as they never would break the speed of sound do the fact that a sonic boom is really loud and flying over a city would just be hell for those under you( There was a French-British plane called the Concorde in 1969 but only a few very few times).

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The cold war to this day(Ukraine)

After the start of the cold war, both sides were thinking about how and what way the enemy would attack if they ever did usher crazy designs like the mig25(Foxbat) or sky flying spy planes like the u-2. Any combat at this point is beyond visual range. Meanwhile, for commercial purposes there isn't much-changed luxury is the only thing evolving and for the foreseeable future, the closing of the Boeing 747 is going to be the norm.

 

The way this is impacting the Russia-Ukraine conflict is interesting as we see the

problems the Russian and Ukrainian air force encounter and the future of military jets

are shaped in front of us.

                                                To answer this the simple answer is that we still don't know.

                                                The intense Anti-air and SPAA guarding the country makes Ukraine a no-fly zone                                                              forcing air superiority out of Russia's hands.

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Verdict

Aircraft have changed the modern world by so much the amount of change they have gotten from transporting cargo and food from the corners of the world to be used in advanced warfare, the ingenuity taught and the stories that aircraft have brought to the current world are huge, not too forget the vast implications of our knowledge of aircraft to be put to the and reach for the stars.

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Written by Michelangelo Dealberti