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Man’s dream to be free as a bird in the sky has been around for

quite some time. Ever since the myth of Icarus and Daedalus in
which they flew away from the island of Crete with feathered
wings held together with wax. The pioneers of aviation were
thought to be a little crazy or “crackpots”. The Wright Brother’s
were persistent and they toiled until they perfected a heavier-than-
air, controllable flying machine. The great aviation hero and
pioneer Charles Lindbergh promoted aviation and air travel in his
early life. The air routes that airlines use today are a direct result of
his work.

The technology of what an airplane is made of has gone from the

days of wood, cloth and wires to high-tech composites for the
wings, body and tail assemblies to exotic metals for the jet engines.
To give an idea of how far aviation has progressed, the top speed
of the Wright Flyer in 1903 was 10mph. The top speed of the
Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” spy plane was well over 2,200mph.
This is in a time span of less than 80 years.

There are also many unsung heroes in aviation. They are many and
varied such as airline ticket clerks, baggage handlers and the
people you never see such as the Air Traffic Controller in the
Tower. They are the technicians and mechanics that maintain and
repair aircraft. They are the skilled workers that manufacture
aircraft and engines and all of the various assemblies and
components they are comprised of.

Aviation has many facets such as military aviation, commercial

aviation, general aviation, sport aviation, and rotary aviation.

Military aviation has had explosive growth (no pun intended).In

military aviation the armed forces have used aircraft in many
conflicts, such as (and this is not a complete list): Spanish-
American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam
War, Gulf Wars (Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm),
Bosnian War, Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom), and the
Afghanistan War (Operation Enduring Freedom).

In civil or commercial aviation airlines have gone from aircraft that

had luxurious accommodations such as sleeping berths (similar to
trains) in the late 1930’s to an airplane today called the Airbus
A380 that can hold a maximum of 853 people in an economy class

In general aviation we have gone from airplanes with cloth covered

wings to small jets with wings made out of composite materials.
And from open cockpit aircraft to cockpits with color radar
displays for weather and GPS navigation equipment.

Air Racing and participating in Air Shows are just two of things
that comprise sport aviation.

Aviation has made the world smaller and the technology spin-offs
from aviation are many and varied. Automobiles are more
aerodynamic and fuel efficient due to the research done in aviation.

Aviation is amazing in my humble opinion.