Commercial Aviation in the 1920's

Essay by prophet0783University, Bachelor'sA, April 2007

download word file, 7 pages 3.0

Downloaded 33 times

Present-day aviators are heavily indebted to their predecessors from the 1920's. Although man first took flight in 1905, the twenties got the gears of aviation cranking in the right direction. Barnstormers would perform stunts at air shows and attract large crowds, however their daredevil approach achieved mixed results. The U.S. government also brought attention to aviation but their approach was very different. Through the use of the air mail service and legislation, they proved that commercial aviation could be a profitable and safe business to develop. And finally, the successful flight of Charles Lindbergh brought world wide interest to the flying industry. His accomplishment helped spark a new version of commercial aviation and opened the minds and wallets of the American people.

The end of World War I created a unique set of circumstances that brought attention to aviation nationwide. After the war, the U.S. government quickly sold their excess aircraft very cheap to the general public, in an effort to cut their losses from the war.

Military pilots, who returned home to find a lack of jobs in aviation, bought these surplus planes and began the barnstorming phenomenon. Lasting from the spring of 1919 until mid 1920, these barnstormers would give rides and perform various stunts at fairs nation-wide. Although they brought a lot of attention to the aviation with their performances, not all of it was positive. Due to the lack of aircraft parts, many pilots would fix their aircraft with anything they could find. Since these parts weren't always suitable for flight, many accidents occurred, creating a fear towards aviation. Although this fear took quite some time to erase, barnstormers are still credited for creating a sense of awe and curiosity that helped spawn the concept of commercial aviation.

During this time, the air mail service had...