The History of Flight

Essay by mrjatinchopra January 2004

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Did you know? A quick look at 100 years of aviation and space exploration:

December 17, 1903: The Wright Flyer, piloted by Orville Wright, becomes airborne for 12 seconds and travels 121 feet over Kitty Hawk, N.C., as the first manned powered flight.

May 22, 1906: The U.S. government issues Orville and Wilbur Wright a patent on their flying machine after turning down two earlier submissions.

Nov. 13, 1907: French inventor Paul Cornu flies the first helicopter. The flight lasts 20 seconds, hovering a foot above ground.

Sept. 23, 1911: First airmail in the USA is carried from New York's Nassua Boulevard Aerodrome to Mineola, N.Y.

Jan. 1, 1914: America's first regularly scheduled airline starts operation. The Benoist Company, begins flights that cross Florida's Tampa Bay, between St. Petersburg and Tampa.

Sept. 2, 1916: Airplanes in flight communicate with each other for the first time.

Feb. 5, 1919: World's first sustained daily airline passenger service, Deutsche Luftreederie, later known as Lufthansa, takes off from Berlin to Weimar, Germany.

June 14-15, 1919: First non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean takes 16 hours and 12 minutes.

Nov. 12, 1921: Wesley May climbs from the wing of one aircraft to the wing of another, making the first "air-to-air" refueling.

March 16, 1926: . Robert Goddard launches the world's first liquid-fueled rocket at Auburn, Mass.

May 20-21, 1927: Charles Lindbergh flies his plane, Spirit of St. Louis, from New York to Paris. It's the first solo, non-stop trans-Atlantic flight.

Oct. 25, 1930: Commercial air service begins between New York and Los Angeles.

May 21, 1932: Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

July 8, 1940: The Boeing Stratoliner is the first with a pressurized cabin. Aircraft can now fly at an altitude up to 20,000 feet.

June 17, 1947:...