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Nowadays people take it for granted that you can just hop in an airplane and get to the other side of the Earth in less than a day. However, this wasn't always the case. Modern aviation has been around for about a hundred years, although ancient peoples have been dreaming about flight from the dawn of time.
Here's how it started:
One of the earliest explorations into flight was by a monk, Roger Bacon, in the 13th century. Little is known about him. However, he was the first in recorded history to suggest that an invention could be made to float on the air just like you can float on water.
It's possible that Bacon's studies influenced one of mankind's sharpest minds: Leonardo Da Vinci. This famous 16th century inventor drafted a number of diagrams for hypothetical flying machines. Da Vinci also created the world's first successful parachute and hang glider.
Aviation didn't really take off until 1903 when the Wright Brothers launched their groundbreaking Kitty Hawk flight. Their aircraft was only airborne for 12 seconds, but they went on to create much improved designs. By 1908 they had increased flight time to nearly 2 1/2 hours.
During the World Wars, these inventions were used by both sides in a battle for control of the skies. WWI bombers disrupted troop movements and damaged enemy cities. WWII was the setting for some of the most famous and bloody air battles in history.
However, aviation also held a lot of promise in commercial sectors. The Boeing 247 is considered the world's first modern passenger airplane. It hit the skies in 1933. Flight times were greatly trimmed starting in 1952 with the first commercial jet engines.
Outside of military use, airplanes grew into a fundamental part of modern life. The Boeing 747 debuted in 1969 and remains a staple in the skies today. This huge airplane could carry many passengers, bringing ticket prices down into an affordable range.
Aircraft are used for leisure, business, and even delivering mail and emergency aid supplies. Aviation has also evolved into the next frontier: space flight. Astronauts practice in zero g in specially designed airplanes.
Are you an aviation enthusiast who is ready to be an aircraft owner or to learn how to fly? You don't need to be NASA trained or a billionaire to fly an airplane. Chat with a We fly representative to learn more about a variety of aviation loan plans to get you into the skies.