It’s certainly been a long century and a half. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, humans have been attempting to perfect all different types of flight. We didn’t always live in a world where you could charter a private jet or get a gulfstream private flight, after all. Most types of flights weren’t even affordable to most people until the mid 1970’s. Before that, flying was an event for the wealthy and the privileged. It’s still expensive nowadays, of course, but it’s much more accessible to a much larger segment of the population. So how did we get to where we are now? How did we go from a mostly land based species to a people who are basically able to fly through the air like birds? Well, it’s been a long strange trip. Everyone knows the basics, of course. They know the first steps we took and the celebrities that followed the rise of primitive human powered air flight. It’s interesting when you think about it, really. That we remember their names even now. It’s a testament to just how monumental their accomplishments were in the general name of human endeavor. But still, how do their stories fit into a larger narrative?
- Taking to the air
Before private jets, any kind of charter for private jets or any kind of private aircraft, there was nothing. And then, miraculously, there was something. Or, more accurately, there were the slow burning flames of ideas. There were women and men who were dreaming of how to give the human frame the ability to fly and explore a realm hitherto unknown to them. Even though we consider the basics of human flight as having been discovered in the early twentieth century, there are examples of designs and plans going far back as the Renaissance or earlier. Really, it’s been something that humans have been trying to do since humans have been a coherent species though the technical prowess was always the problem. Leonardo da Vinci himself dabbled in mechanical schematics for a human powered flying machine, the infamous copter drawings that are a famous staple of art and architecture today. They weren’t bad plans by any means but, again, it took centuries of technical know how for us to get a place where we could actually implement human powered flight.
The very basic history of flight
So we’ve arrived. We’ve come to the early twentieth century where Orville and Wilbur Wright tested their first flying machine on the beach at Kitty Hawk. They didn’t charter a private jet, that’s for sure, but it lasted a good twenty seconds and, for all intents and purposes, their machine did it’s job. It would pave the way for others to charter a private jet in the future, however, and that, in essence, is what matters. It was a huge leap into the future at a time when there were so many other leaps that were just as important. Later, in the following three decades, would come other people who would perfect the designs they had originally envisioned and make the plane a sturdy, unyielding machine that could literally cross oceans. In just a few scant decades, planes would be dogfighting in war and carriyng people over entire continents. And there they would stay, in culture, until the middle of the century when people would begin to use them as a means of mass transportation.
Headed into the starry future
Of course, to some degree, the entire history of space flight was actually an offshoot of the airplane boom. Out of our drive to charter a private jet came the entire history of humans in space. Today, we have all sorts of planes, from military jets to basic air buses, that are considered the safest machines in transportation. But what’s next for the industry? Where do we go with our magnificent flying machines? There’s spaceflight, of course, but that’s not all there is. Well, hypersonic flight for one. Companies are already starting to test for that. Getting to other continents in minutes rather than hours. We will get faster, stronger and safer with every new test. It just takes effort and patience.