The Sky’s the Limit: Fun Facts About Aviation

fun facts about aviation

The Sky’s the Limit: Fun Facts About Aviation

  • The Wright Flyer was considered the first real airplane. It was the result of four years of research and design by the Wright brothers, and it was the foundation of airplane designs that followed.
  • When World War I broke out in 1914, airplanes were mainly used for military purposes. Airplanes were known as the new flying machines.
  • On May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris. It was the first transatlantic non-stop flight in an airplane. His success made him famous and an American hero, and sparked investor interest in the aviation industry. His flight took 33 hours and 29 minutes before landing at Le Bourget Field, outside Paris, France.
  • In 1933, the first modern passenger airliner, Boeing 247, was built. It could carry 10 passengers and fly at 155 miles per hour.
  • When World War II broke out in 1939, most planes were used as bombers and fighters. Aircraft manufacturers in the United States produced 50,000 planes a year. Aside from mass production, there were numerous advances in aircraft design during the war. Planes became faster and able to fly higher and farther. Jet engines and radar also became new features in military planes.
  • In the 1930s, Amelia Earhart emerged as one of the leading aviatrices in the United States. She became the first woman to cross the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Unfortunately, she disappeared in a flight while attempting to be the first person to circumnavigate the world using an airplane, in 1937.
  •  Leonardo Da Vinci was an Italian artist who was also known for inventing the airscrew in 1490. Unfortunately, his aviation designs and inventions were only discovered 400 years after his death.
  • A New Zealand farmer named Richard Pearse invented the first petrol engine in 1902. However, his first flight was not sustained and recorded. Months later after the success of the Wright brothers, Pearse had his first official recorded flight.
  • Prior to Amelia Earhart, Jean Batten, a New Zealand aviatrix, made several record-breaking solo flights across the world. In 1938, she became the first woman to be awarded the medal of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale.
  • Glenn Hammond Curtiss was the Wright brothers’ greatest rival in 1908. He was known for designing the first practical seaplane that could both take off and land on the decks of aircraft carriers. Curtiss was named as the Father of Naval Aviation because of his flying boats and JN-4, both used during WWI.
  • Bessie Coleman was the first African American woman to receive an international pilot’s license. She was a stunt pilot who became known as Brave Bessie.
  • Among others are Otto Lilienthal (long gliding flight designs), Frank Whittle (inventor of turbojet engine), Harriet Quimby (first woman to fly across the English Channel), Sally Ride (first American woman in space), and Neil Armstrong (first man to step on the moon).
  • Aviophobia is defined as the fear of flying, while acrophobia is the fear of heights or being far from the ground.

 

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