Although most visitors to the Thirty Thousand Aviation Blog are happy to bask in the aviation knowledge and news headlines supplied here, there is sure to be someone who is confused by a few things. Most of you probably have at least a rough idea of what aviation really is, but if not, you don’t need to worry because I am here to explain.
In short, aviation is defined as anything having to do with the design, development, operation, production and use of an aircraft. So basically every time you drive up to the airport, park your car in the parking4less car park, or board your flight, you’re involved in aviation, even if you’re only a passenger. The word ‘aviation’ itself comes from the word ‘avis’, which is Latin for ‘bird’.
Now for a few little facts that will give you some insight into the world of aviation:
- Although there have been numerous attempts at flight throughout history, the true modern age of flight began in 1783, when a hot air balloon designed by the Montgolfier brothers took flight. Practicality was limited back then because they could only travel down wind.
- Jean-Pierre Blanchard was the first to fly a human-powered dirigible in 1784. He managed to cross the English Channel in one in 1785.
- Sir George Cayley was the first to think of the concept of modern airplanes in terms of the fixed wing flying machine, with separate systems created to handle directional control, lift and propulsion.
- It’s most widely believed that the earliest powered, heavier-than-air flight took place in December of 1903, performed by the infamous Wright brothers. Earlier flights had completed in gliders, but they were the first (or so we’re told) to pilot a controlled and powered aircraft.
- Not long after that, Zeppelins became common use for shifting cargo from one place to the next. This was not without risk though, and many Zeppelin had lots of problems. An example is the infamous Hindenburg that caught fire and burned while attempting to land in New Jersey.
- Nowadays modern aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus a380 are considered to be some of the safest modes of transportion.