Aviation in the 20th Century

  • First Combustion Powered Aircraft Designed

    Samuel Pierpont Samuel Pierpont Langley builds a gasoline-powered version of his tandem winged "Aerodromes" the first successful model to be propelled by an internal combustion engine. However it was not very aerodynamic so t did not travel far.
  • The Wright Brothers

    The Wright Brothers
    The Wright BrothersOrville Wright (1871-1948) and Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) who were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first practical airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903.
  • The Boundary Layer Theory

    The Boundary LayerGerman professor Ludwig Prandtl presents one of the most important papers in the history of aerodynamics, an eight page document describing the concepts of a fixed "boundary layer". The molecular layer of air on the surface of an aircraft wing of an air craft.
  • First Fight Across The English Channel

    The English Channel When The Daily Mail of London offered a prize to the first person to fly across the English Channel. Louis Blériot (1872–1936) won the contest on July 25, 1909 flying from Calais, France, to Dover, England, in a monoplane with only 25 horsepower he made himself. Unfortunately his flight caused the world to realize the airplanes potential as a future weapon.
  • The First War Plane

    The first plane designed for battle was part of a series of experimental gun carriers of the British Vickers company which built the Vickers F.B.5 Gunbus in 1914
  • First Metal Skinned Plane

    In 1915, Hugo Junkers pioneered the first great change in aviation materials and design technology, away from wood and fabric materials braced by wire rigging, towards all-metal, cantilever-winged monoplane aircraft that had little to no external bracing.
  • First Seaplane

    First SeaplaneGlenn H. Curtis(1878-1930) and his colleague Henri Fabre(1882-1884) worked together to engineer the first seaplane. In 1911 Curtis made the world's first practical seaplane. and eight years later in 1919, Curtis was the first person to fly across the transatlantic (with stops).
  • Bureau Of Aeronautics

    The BureauTo regulate the aeronautic industry, the U.S. Congress passed the Air Commerce Act of 1926, which created a Bureau of Aeronautics within the Commerce Department. The bureau moderated commercial airlines, licensed pilots, and certified aircrafts.
  • Charles Lindbergh

    Charles Lindbergh
    Charles LindberghCharles Augustus Lindbergh (1902-1974) was a popular and talented aviator. He had done many stunts before but on May 20, 1927, he flew across the Atlantic ocean by himself with no stops. He was the first person in the world to do so.
  • Amilia Earhart

    Amilia Earhart
    Amelia EarhartAfter Charles Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927, Amy Phipps Guest, (1873–1959), expressed interest in being the first woman to fly (or be flown) across the Atlantic Ocean. After deciding the trip was too perilous for her to undertake, she offered to sponsor the project, suggesting they find "another girl with the right image. Emilia Earhart (1897-1939), Emilia and her team departed Trepassey Harbor, Newfoundland in a Fokker F.VIIb/3m on June 17, 1928, landing at Burry Port (nea
  • Boeing 247

    Boeing 247One of the most important planes of the interwar period was Boeing's 247, introduced in 1933 and considered to be the first modern airliner.
  • Jet Engine Invented

    Jet EngineIn 1937 jet engines designed independently by Britain's Frank Whittle and Germanys Hans Von Ohain make their first test run.
  • First Jet Flight

    First JetIn 1939 the first jet aircraft, the Heinkel HE 178, takes off, powered by Von Ohain's HE S-3 jet engine.
  • The First Helicopter

    The First Helicopter
    HelicopterIn 1939 a Russian scientist working for the United States named Emigre Igor Sikorsky develops the world's first practical single rotor helicopter. The Vought-Sikorsky sv-300 had its first flight on September 14, 1939
  • P-51 Mustang

    P-51 Mustang
    P-51 MustangAfter the day of October 26, 1940, the skies would never be the same. An aircraft that would lead the U.S to many Arial victories in the future. The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang had its maiden lift off on this day. When the Japanese fighter planes were dominating the skies during the beginning of WWII the P-51 Mustang would be the king of the skies at the end.
  • Sound Barrier Broken

    Sound BarrierOn October 14, 1947, U.S Air Force pilot Captain Charles "Chuck" Yeager became the fastest man in the world when his Bell X-1 broke the sound barrier over the town of Victorville California.
  • Area Rule Of Aircraft Design

    Major discoveries in physic are what allow aviation to progress, and in 1952 Richard Whitcomb an engineer at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory allowed aviation to progress dramatically . He did this by discovering the Area Rule of Aircraft Design. He created a revolutionary method of designing aircraft to reduce drag and increase speed without any additional power. After his discovery dozens of new aircrafts using his design were patented and the aviation industry flourished
  • 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 and is still used today.
  • The Voyage Around The World

    Using a carbon composite material, aircraft designer Burt Rutan designs The Voyager, a plane built specifically to travel around the world nonstop on a single fuel load. The Voyager has two centerline engines, one on the right and one on the left and weighs less than 2,000 pounds. Piloted by Jeana Yeager the Voyager travels around the world in 9 days nonstop
  • The First Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    The First Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
    MQ-1 PredatorDuring the summer of 1995 the United States began an entire different type of flight. In July 1995 the CIA announced the world's first UAV or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle the MQ-1 Predator. The Predator is an aircraft that can fly itself and provide valuable information for troops n the ground and even fire Hellfire Missiles