For as long as anyone can remember, flight has been the leading form of transportation. It's hard to picture a time where cars and locomotives were the only ways to get across the country. For decades now, pilots and aviators have flocked to the skies to master their craft of flight. But in order to fully appreciate the art of flying, you must first know about its history. Here is a complete timeline of the history of flight.
It all began with a simple idea and two bright minds. In the early 1900s, two brothers named Orville and Wilbur Wright built the first functional and flyable airplane. Orville and Wilbur succeeded in sustaining flight on December 17, 1903. They achieved this influential milestone using a Carnard Biplane. The total distance of this infamous flight was over 852 feet and lasted only 59 seconds. The two became cemented not only within the history of aviation but the history of the world.
While the Wright brothers will always be remembered as the first two aviators to sustain flight, they will never be known as the first solo flight. That privilege belongs to the great Charles Lindbergh. On Friday, May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh completed the first solo flying trip from New York City all the way to Paris, France. He completed this audacious trek within his own personal aircraft, The Spirit of St. Louis. This unheard-of feat launched Charles Lindbergh into national fame, cementing him as one of the most infamous aviators to ever live.
Today, most of us recognize aviation as simply just another form of transportation. But, interestingly, the first commercial jet airline wasn't completed until July 27, 1949, nearly fifty years after the Wright Brothers took their first flight. The aircraft got its name from its designer and flyer, Sir Geoffrey de Havilland. This infamous flight occurred under the supervision of the British Overseas Aircraft Corporation, also known as the BOAC.
The United States of America finally caught up to the brits with the Boeing 367-80 on July 15, 1954. Painted a vibrant brown and yellow, the Boeing 367-80 took its first flight over the city of Seattle. Also known as the Dash 80, the Boeing 367-80 was first designed as simply a prototype. The Boeing 367-80 also has the distinction of being able to fly 100 mph faster than the de Havilland DH. 106 Comet and had a maximum range of 3500 miles, making the Dash 80 one of the most powerful aircrafts in the world.
The beauty of aviation is the fact that it is constantly changing and evolving. So it was only a matter of time before someone took the first non-stop and non-refueled flight around the entire world. It was the Rutan Voyager that was able to accomplish this feat. Piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, the flight lasted a whopping nine days.