Airplanes are very useful method of transportation. Today, you can fly almost any remote location much faster than any other method of transportation. Airplanes have really changed the shape of the world. They have forced us to think that, the Earth is a smaller place. Because you can travel to any part of the world in a very short period of time as compared to the past methods of transportation. So, what an airplane is? The airplane is an aircraft with wings like a glider but, powered by propellers or jets to generate thrust for flying.
Early Efforts to Fly
From centuries peoples had the desire to fly in the sky like birds when they watched them flying. Many inventors and craftsmen have tried to develop wings and jumped from the mountains to fly, but most of them lost their lives. The first practical flight was achieved with lighter-than-air balloons and airships, but they were limited in many aspects. People have also achieved flight with unpowered gliders and kites and flew like birds. But, glider and kites couldn’t be sustained in air for much longer and depended on the direction of air.
Wright Brothers Invention
Two American inventors Wilbur and Orville Weight became interested in the glider and method of flying. They decided to build their own glider. The desire of building a glider was shown by Wilbur wright. He was inspired by an article written in a magazine about the work of Otto Lilienthal (a German gliding pioneer). Both wright brothers started to work on the glider and made their own. They found many problems in the glider and tried to rectify them. For this, they made their own wind tunnel and tested many shapes of the wings and tails for the glider. Finally, they found the shapes that were successful in the wind tunnel tests. Then they had to design a propulsion system for the glider to fly. For this, they had spent many months to study and design the propellers and engine that can drive the glider.
After a lot of hard work Wright brothers finally made aircraft known as “Flyer”. It had all the features for the sustained flight and a 12 horsepower engine for power. To lift off the Flyer from the ground, they provided initial velocity with the help of movable track. They achieved the first successful flight in the history on December 17, 1903. This flight lasted for 12 seconds and was piloted by Orville Wright.
The first successful flight made by Wright brother opened the corridor for new transportation method. In the next century, aircraft development became very fast. Larger airplanes with powerful engines started to emerge out.