Airplanes Through the Years

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  • Concept of Airplane Introduced

    Concept of Airplane Introduced
    In 1799, Sir George Cayley set forth the concept of the modern aeroplane as a fixed-wing flying machine with separate systems for lift, propulsion, and control. (Exact date not provided).
  • Cayley Builds Models

    Cayley Builds Models
    Cayley (Encyclopedia)
    Cayley was building and flying models of fixed-wing aircraft as early as 1803, and he built a successful passenger-carrying glider in 1853. (Exact date not provided).
  • Wright Brothers First Offical Airplane

    Wright Brothers First Offical Airplane
    The Wright brothers flights in 1903 are recognized by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the standard setting and record-keeping body for aeronautics, as "the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight".
  • First Airplane flight unassisted by Catapult

    In 1906, Alberto Santos Dumont made what has been claimed as the first airplane flight unassisted by catapult and set the first world record recognized by the Aéro-Club de France by flying 220 meters (720 ft) in less than 22 seconds.This flight was also certified by the FAI. (Exact date not provided).
  • Machine gun-armed Fighter Aricraft

    World War I served as a testbed for the use of the aircraft as a weapon. Initially seen by the generals as a "toy", aircraft demonstrated their potential as mobile observation platforms, then proved themselves to be machines of war capable of causing casualties to the enemy. The earliest known aerial victory with a synchronised machine gun-armed fighter aircraft occurred in 1915, by German Luftstreitkräfte Leutnant Kurt Wintgens. (Exact date not provided).
  • First Jet Airliner

    First Jet Airliner
    The first jet airliner, the de Havilland Comet, was introduced in 1952. (Exact date not given).
  • Boeing 747

    Boeing 747
    Boeing conducts the first flight of a wide-body, turbofan-powered commercial airliner, the 747, one of the most successful aircraft ever produced. (Exact date not provided).
  • Joint research program to develop second-generation supersonic airliner

    Airplane TimeLineNASA teams with American and Russian aerospace industries in a joint research program to develop a second-generation supersonic airliner for the 21st century. The centerpiece is the Tu-144LL, a first-generation Russian supersonic jetliner modified into a flying laboratory. It conducts supersonic research comparing flight data with results from wind tunnels and computer modeling. (Exact date not provided.)