More than 110 years have passed since the first sustained, controlled flight in the aircraft heavier than air and powered by the engine. One of the greatest moments in human history was achieved as a result of relentless work of the Wright brothers and their predecessors. That moment marked the beginning of aviation era and set the basic postulates for future designers of different types of motorized aircraft.
In the time that followed the historical flight of Orville Wright on December 17, 1903, the development of world civil and especially military aviation has reached unprecedented proportions. In the period that, compared to the total time of human existence represents just a blink of an eye, a period of some hundred years, the airplanes have made possible massive transport of passengers, soldiers and goods to faraway destinations. At the same time they have evolved into machines able to reach the edge of space, to fly at speeds that are multiple the speed of sound and to reach the level of technical excellence which renders them superiority above the battlefield.
Airplanes evolved in all their characteristics, following the meaning of words like faster, higher, further, more precise…
Since the beginning of 20th century the airplane has stood at the forefront of human achievements, showing the progressive way and in parallel developing human activities correlated to designing, materials, electronics, production processes, medicine, chemistry, IT and communication technologies and many other disciplines that aviation depends on and could not progress without them.
Of course, behind every new and revolutionary aircraft and aviation achievement stand people ready to invest and risk a whole lot, so that after years of research and development a new aircraft that justifies its existence would emerge. Through the history top scientists, engineers, designers, aerodynamicists and pilots have devoted their lives to push the limits of aviation and to set new challenges for future generations.
The countries which inherited the development of aviation on the highest level, have been in general the most influential and developed countries of the world.
This book attempts to describe the most important episodes and to remind of some of the most important individuals in the history of aviation. At the same time, the book is following the technical development and evolution of airplanes. The book sets in correlation the World’s military and commercial trends with the evolution of both military and commercial airplanes, trying to reveal to the reader the fantastic world of aviation and airplanes, from the earliest days to the present.
If this book inspires at least one individual to engage with any form of aviation and to become a member of society in which belong aircraft engineers and technicians, designers, military, civil and sport pilots and any other individuals correlated to aviation; this book has achieved one of its goals.