History of Flight

The history of flight is a record of mankind’s ambition to reach the stars. One of the earliest stories about flight was the Greek legend of Daedalus and his son, Icarus, who were trapped within a wall by king Minos. Daedalus fashioned wings for himself and his son, and the two flew out of their confines. However, Icarus, who did not obey his father’s warning not to fly too close to the sun, fell to his death as the wax of his wings melted. The myths in the history of flight warned mankind not to push it too far.

Although there were many other ancient legends about flight, including the story that Alexander the Great over his empire on a throne drawn by Griffins, the history of flight didn’t make much progress until Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawings in 1480. Up until that time, the history of flight mainly involved people like Icarus inventing wings, not realizing that humans are not equipped with bird muscles, and falling down. Leonardo Da Vincie studied the science of flight in detail, and made over 100 drawings of something called an ornithopter. Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawings were so accurate that his ornithopter made a permanent impression in the history of flight, and the modern helicopter is based on its design.

Although actual flight was a long way away, floating in the air became a decisive step in the history of flight; in 1783, Joseph Michael and Jacques Eitenna Montgolfer invented the hot air balloon that blew smoke from a fire into a silk sack. The first passengers were a rooster, a duck and a sheep, and the balloon rose to 60,000 feet and traveled for one mile. The first manned “float” in the history of flight occurred one year later.

Although the history of flight began to advance in the form of various gliders, it was Orville and Wilbur Wright who accomplished the first manned flight in 1903. The plane flew 120 feet in 12 seconds, but it was recorded as a decisive step in the history of flight.

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