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The Boeing 747, one of the most iconic aircraft in history. Pan Am Boeing 747-121 N732PA Bidini.jpg
The Boeing 747, one of the most iconic aircraft in history.

Aviation , or air transport, refers to the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as balloons and airships.

Aviation Design, development, production, operation and use of aircraft

Aviation, or air transport, refers to the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as balloons and airships.

Flight Process by which an object moves, through an atmosphere or beyond it

Flight is the process by which an object moves through an atmosphere without contact with the surface. This can be achieved by generating aerodynamic lift associated with propulsive thrust, aerostatically using buoyancy, or by ballistic movement.

Aircraft machine that is able to fly by gaining support from the air other than the reactions of the air against the earth’s surface

An aircraft is a machine that is able to fly by gaining support from the air. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines. Common examples of aircraft include airplanes, helicopters, airships, gliders, paramotors and hot air balloons.


Aviation began in the 18th century with the development of the hot air balloon, an apparatus capable of atmospheric displacement through buoyancy. Some of the most significant advancements in aviation technology came with the controlled gliding flying of Otto Lilienthal in 1896; then a large step in significance came with the construction of the first powered airplane by the Wright brothers in the early 1900s. Since that time, aviation has been technologically revolutionized by the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world.

Hot air balloon lighter than air aircraft consisting of a bag, called an envelope, which contains heated air

A hot air balloon is a lighter-than-air aircraft consisting of a bag, called an envelope, which contains heated air. Suspended beneath is a gondola or wicker basket, which carries passengers and a source of heat, in most cases an open flame caused by burning liquid propane. The heated air inside the envelope makes it buoyant since it has a lower density than the colder air outside the envelope. As with all aircraft, hot air balloons cannot fly beyond the atmosphere. Unlike gas balloons, the envelope does not have to be sealed at the bottom, since the air near the bottom of the envelope is at the same pressure as the surrounding air. In modern sport balloons the envelope is generally made from nylon fabric and the inlet of the balloon is made from a fire resistant material such as Nomex. Modern balloons have been made in all kinds of shapes, such as rocket ships and the shapes of various commercial products, though the traditional shape is used for most non-commercial, and many commercial, applications.

Otto Lilienthal German aviation pioneer

Karl Wilhelm Otto Lilienthal was a German pioneer of aviation who became known as the "flying man". He was the first person to make well-documented, repeated, successful flights with gliders. Newspapers and magazines published photographs of Lilienthal gliding, favorably influencing public and scientific opinion about the possibility of flying machines becoming practical. On 9 August 1896, his glider stalled and he was unable to regain control. Falling from about 15 m (50 ft), he broke his neck and died the next day, 10 August 1896.

Wright brothers American aviation pioneers, inventors of the airplane

The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were two American aviation pioneers generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world's first successful airplane. They made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft with the Wright Flyer on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In 1904–05, the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft, the Wright Flyer III. Although not the first to build experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.


The word aviation was coined by the French writer and former naval officer Gabriel La Landelle in 1863. [1] He derived the term from the verb avier (an unsuccessful neologism for "to fly"), itself derived from the Latin word avis ("bird") and the suffix -ation. [2]

A neologism is a relatively recent or isolated term, word, or phrase that may be in the process of entering common use, but that has not yet been fully accepted into mainstream language. Neologisms are often driven by changes in culture and technology, and may be directly attributable to a specific person, publication, period, or event. In the process of language formation, neologisms are more mature than protologisms.


Early beginnings

There are early legends of human flight such as the stories of Icarus in Greek myth and Jamshid and Shah Kay Kāvus [3] in Persian myth. Later, somewhat more credible claims of short-distance human flights appear, such as the flying automaton of Archytas of Tarentum (428–347 BC), [4] the winged flights of Abbas ibn Firnas (810–887), Eilmer of Malmesbury (11th century), and the hot-air Passarola of Bartholomeu Lourenço de Gusmão (1685–1724).

Icarus in Greek mythology, the son of the master craftsman Daedalus

In Greek mythology, Icarus is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus, the creator of the Labyrinth. Icarus and his father attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Icarus' father warns him first of complacency and then of hubris, asking that he fly neither too low nor too high, so the sea's dampness would not clog his wings nor the sun's heat melt them. Icarus ignored his father's instructions not to fly too close to the sun; when the wax in his wings melted he tumbled out of the sky and fell into the sea where he drowned, sparking the idiom "don't fly too close to the sun".


Jamshid is the fourth Shah of the Pishdadian dynasty of Persia according to Shahnameh.

Shah Persian title

Shah is a title given to the emperors, kings, princes and lords of Iran. It was also adopted by the kings of Shirvan namely the Shirvanshahs. It was also used by Persianate societies such as the rulers and offspring of the Ottoman Empire, Mughal emperors of the Indian Subcontinent, the Bengal Sultanate, as well as in Afghanistan. In Iran the title was continuously used; rather than King in the European sense, each Persian ruler regarded himself as the Shahanshah or Padishah of the Persian Empire.

Lighter than air

LZ 129 Hindenburg at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, 1936 Hindenburg at lakehurst.jpg
LZ 129 Hindenburg at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, 1936

The modern age of aviation began with the first untethered human lighter-than-air flight on November 21, 1783, of a hot air balloon designed by the Montgolfier brothers. The practicality of balloons was limited because they could only travel downwind. It was immediately recognized that a steerable, or dirigible, balloon was required. Jean-Pierre Blanchard flew the first human-powered dirigible in 1784 and crossed the English Channel in one in 1785.

Montgolfier brothers French brothers inventor duo, inventors of a hot air balloon or globe aérostatique, 1783

Joseph-Michel Montgolfier and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier were paper manufacturers from Annonay, in Ardèche, France best known as inventors of the Montgolfière-style hot air balloon, globe aérostatique. They launched the first piloted ascent, carrying Étienne. Joseph Michel also invented the self-acting hydraulic ram (1796), Jacques Étienne founded the first paper-making vocational school and the brothers invented a process to manufacture transparent paper.

Airship type of aerostat or lighter-than-air aircraft

An airship or dirigible balloon is a type of aerostat or lighter-than-air aircraft that can navigate through the air under its own power. Aerostats gain their lift from large gasbags filled with a lifting gas that is less dense than the surrounding air.

Jean-Pierre Blanchard French inventor and aviation pioneer

Jean-Pierre [François] Blanchard was a French inventor, best known as a pioneer in balloon flight.

Rigid airships became the first aircraft to transport passengers and cargo over great distances. The best known aircraft of this type were manufactured by the German Zeppelin company.

Rigid airship airship with internal framework to support the envelope

A rigid airship is a type of airship in which the envelope is supported by an internal framework rather than by being kept in shape by the pressure of the lifting gas within the envelope, as in blimps and semi-rigid airships. Rigid airships are often commonly called Zeppelins, though this technically refers only to airships built by the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin company.

Zeppelin airship type

A Zeppelin is a type of rigid airship named after the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin who pioneered rigid airship development at the beginning of the 20th century. Zeppelin's notions were first formulated in 1874 and developed in detail in 1893. They were patented in Germany in 1895 and in the United States in 1899. After the outstanding success of the Zeppelin design, the word zeppelin came to be commonly used to refer to all rigid airships. Zeppelins were first flown commercially in 1910 by Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG (DELAG), the world's first airline in revenue service. By mid-1914, DELAG had carried over 10,000 fare-paying passengers on over 1,500 flights. During World War I, the German military made extensive use of Zeppelins as bombers and scouts, killing over 500 people in bombing raids in Britain.

The most successful Zeppelin was the Graf Zeppelin. It flew over one million miles, including an around-the-world flight in August 1929. However, the dominance of the Zeppelins over the airplanes of that period, which had a range of only a few hundred miles, was diminishing as airplane design advanced. The "Golden Age" of the airships ended on May 6, 1937 when the Hindenburg caught fire, killing 36 people. The cause of the Hindenburg accident was initially blamed on the use of hydrogen instead of helium as the lift gas. An internal investigation by the manufacturer revealed that the coating used in the material covering the frame was highly flammable and allowed static electricity to build up in the airship. [5] Changes to the coating formulation reduced the risk of further Hindenburg type accidents. Although there have been periodic initiatives to revive their use, airships have seen only niche application since that time.

Heavier than air

In 1799, Sir George Cayley set forth the concept of the modern airplane as a fixed-wing flying machine with separate systems for lift, propulsion, and control. [6] [7] Early dirigible developments included machine-powered propulsion (Henri Giffard, 1852), rigid frames (David Schwarz, 1896) and improved speed and maneuverability (Alberto Santos-Dumont, 1901)

First powered and controlled flight by the Wright brothers, December 17, 1903 First flight2.jpg
First powered and controlled flight by the Wright brothers, December 17, 1903

There are many competing claims for the earliest powered, heavier-than-air flight. The first recorded powered flight was carried out by Clément Ader on October 9, 1890 in his bat-winged, fully self-propelled fixed-wing aircraft, the Ader Éole. It was reportedly the first manned, powered, heavier-than-air flight of a significant distance (50 m (160 ft)) but insignificant altitude from level ground. [8] [9] [10] Seven years later, on 14 October 1897, Ader's Avion III was tested without success in front of two officials from the French War ministry. The report on the trials was not publicized until 1910, as they had been a military secret. In November 1906, Ader claimed to have made a successful flight on 14 October 1897, achieving an "uninterrupted flight" of around 300 metres (980 feet). Although widely believed at the time, these claims were later discredited. [11] [12]

The Wright brothers made the first successful powered, controlled and sustained airplane flight on December 17, 1903, a feat made possible by their invention of three-axis control. Only a decade later, at the start of World War I, heavier-than-air powered aircraft had become practical for reconnaissance, artillery spotting, and even attacks against ground positions.

Aircraft began to transport people and cargo as designs grew larger and more reliable. The Wright brothers took aloft the first passenger, Charles Furnas, one of their mechanics, on May 14, 1908. [13] [14]

During the 1920s and 1930s great progress was made in the field of aviation, including the first transatlantic flight of Alcock and Brown in 1919, Charles Lindbergh's solo transatlantic flight in 1927, and Charles Kingsford Smith's transpacific flight the following year. One of the most successful designs of this period was the Douglas DC-3, which became the first airliner to be profitable carrying passengers exclusively, starting the modern era of passenger airline service. By the beginning of World War II, many towns and cities had built airports, and there were numerous qualified pilots available. The war brought many innovations to aviation, including the first jet aircraft and the first liquid-fueled rockets.

NASA's Helios researches solar powered flight. Helios cthomas.jpg
NASA's Helios researches solar powered flight.

After World War II, especially in North America, there was a boom in general aviation, both private and commercial, as thousands of pilots were released from military service and many inexpensive war-surplus transport and training aircraft became available. Manufacturers such as Cessna, Piper, and Beechcraft expanded production to provide light aircraft for the new middle-class market.

By the 1950s, the development of civil jets grew, beginning with the de Havilland Comet, though the first widely used passenger jet was the Boeing 707, because it was much more economical than other aircraft at that time. At the same time, turboprop propulsion began to appear for smaller commuter planes, making it possible to serve small-volume routes in a much wider range of weather conditions.

Since the 1960s composite material airframes and quieter, more efficient engines have become available, and Concorde provided supersonic passenger service for more than two decades, but the most important lasting innovations have taken place in instrumentation and control. The arrival of solid-state electronics, the Global Positioning System, satellite communications, and increasingly small and powerful computers and LED displays, have dramatically changed the cockpits of airliners and, increasingly, of smaller aircraft as well. Pilots can navigate much more accurately and view terrain, obstructions, and other nearby aircraft on a map or through synthetic vision, even at night or in low visibility.

On June 21, 2004, SpaceShipOne became the first privately funded aircraft to make a spaceflight, opening the possibility of an aviation market capable of leaving the Earth's atmosphere. Meanwhile, flying prototypes of aircraft powered by alternative fuels, such as ethanol, electricity, and even solar energy, are becoming more common.

Operations of aircraft

Civil aviation

Civil aviation includes all non-military flying, both general aviation and scheduled air transport.

Air transport

Northwest Airlines Airbus A330-323 Nwa a330-300 n805nw arp.jpg
Northwest Airlines Airbus A330-323

There are five major manufacturers of civil transport aircraft (in alphabetical order):

Boeing, Airbus, Ilyushin and Tupolev concentrate on wide-body and narrow-body jet airliners, while Bombardier, Embraer and Sukhoi concentrate on regional airliners. Large networks of specialized parts suppliers from around the world support these manufacturers, who sometimes provide only the initial design and final assembly in their own plants. The Chinese ACAC consortium will also soon enter the civil transport market with its Comac ARJ21 regional jet. [15]

Until the 1970s, most major airlines were flag carriers, sponsored by their governments and heavily protected from competition. Since then, open skies agreements have resulted in increased competition and choice for consumers, coupled with falling prices for airlines. The combination of high fuel prices, low fares, high salaries, and crises such as the September 11, 2001 attacks and the SARS epidemic have driven many older airlines to government-bailouts, bankruptcy or mergers. At the same time, low-cost carriers such as Ryanair, Southwest and WestJet have flourished.

General aviation

1947 Cessna 120 Cessna.120.g-btbw.arp.jpg
1947 Cessna 120

General aviation includes all non-scheduled civil flying, both private and commercial. General aviation may include business flights, air charter, private aviation, flight training, ballooning, parachuting, gliding, hang gliding, aerial photography, foot-launched powered hang gliders, air ambulance, crop dusting, charter flights, traffic reporting, police air patrols and forest fire fighting.

Each country regulates aviation differently, but general aviation usually falls under different regulations depending on whether it is private or commercial and on the type of equipment involved.

Many small aircraft manufacturers serve the general aviation market, with a focus on private aviation and flight training.

The most important recent developments for small aircraft (which form the bulk of the GA fleet) have been the introduction of advanced avionics (including GPS) that were formerly found only in large airliners, and the introduction of composite materials to make small aircraft lighter and faster. Ultralight and homebuilt aircraft have also become increasingly popular for recreational use, since in most countries that allow private aviation, they are much less expensive and less heavily regulated than certified aircraft.

Military aviation

Simple balloons were used as surveillance aircraft as early as the 18th century. Over the years, military aircraft have been built to meet ever increasing capability requirements. Manufacturers of military aircraft compete for contracts to supply their government's arsenal. Aircraft are selected based on factors like cost, performance, and the speed of production.

The Lockheed SR-71 remains unsurpassed in many areas of performance. Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.jpg
The Lockheed SR-71 remains unsurpassed in many areas of performance.

Types of military aviation

Air safety

Aviation safety means the state of an aviation system or organization in which risks associated with aviation activities, related to, or in direct support of the operation of aircraft, are reduced and controlled to an acceptable level. It encompasses the theory, practice, investigation, and categorization of flight failures, and the prevention of such failures through regulation, education, and training. It can also be applied in the context of campaigns that inform the public as to the safety of air travel.

Aviation accidents and incidents

A USAF Thunderbird pilot ejecting from his F-16 aircraft at an air show in 2003 Crash.arp.600pix.jpg
A USAF Thunderbird pilot ejecting from his F-16 aircraft at an air show in 2003

An aviation accident is defined by the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight until such time as all such persons have disembarked, in which a person is fatally or seriously injured, the aircraft sustains damage or structural failure or the aircraft is missing or is completely inaccessible. [16]

The first fatal aviation accident occurred in a Wright Model A aircraft at Fort Myer, Virginia, USA, on September 17, 1908, resulting in injury to the pilot, Orville Wright, and death of the passenger, Signal Corps Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge. [17]

An aviation incident is defined as an occurrence, other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft that affects or could affect the safety of operations. [18]

An accident in which the damage to the aircraft is such that it must be written off, or in which the plane is destroyed, is called a hull loss accident. [18]

Air traffic control

Air traffic control towers at Amsterdam Airport Towers Schiphol small.jpg
Air traffic control towers at Amsterdam Airport

Air traffic control (ATC) involves communication with aircraft to help maintain separation – that is, they ensure that aircraft are sufficiently far enough apart horizontally or vertically for no risk of collision. Controllers may co-ordinate position reports provided by pilots, or in high traffic areas (such as the United States) they may use radar to see aircraft positions.

There are generally four different types of ATC:

ATC is especially important for aircraft flying under instrument flight rules (IFR), when they may be in weather conditions that do not allow the pilots to see other aircraft. However, in very high-traffic areas, especially near major airports, aircraft flying under visual flight rules (VFR) are also required to follow instructions from ATC.

In addition to separation from other aircraft, ATC may provide weather advisories, terrain separation, navigation assistance, and other services to pilots, depending on their workload.

ATC do not control all flights. The majority of VFR (Visual Flight Rules) flights in North America are not required to contact ATC (unless they are passing through a busy terminal area or using a major airport), and in many areas, such as northern Canada and low altitude in northern Scotland, Air traffic control services are not available even for IFR flights at lower altitudes.

Environmental impact

Like all activities involving combustion, operating powered aircraft (from airliners to hot air balloons) releases soot and other pollutants into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) are also produced. In addition, there are environmental impacts specific to aviation: for instance,

Water vapor contrails left by high-altitude jet airliners. These may contribute to cirrus cloud formation. Contrails.jpg
Water vapor contrails left by high-altitude jet airliners. These may contribute to cirrus cloud formation.

Another environmental impact of aviation is noise pollution, mainly caused by aircraft taking off and landing.

See also


  1. "Aviation ou Navigation aerienne par G. de La Landelle".
  2. Cassard 2008, p. 77.
  3. The Sháhnáma of Firdausí. Vol. II. (1906), pp. 103-104, verse 111. Translated by Arthur George Warner and Edmond Warner. London. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. Ltd,
  4. Berliner 1996, p. 28.
  5. De Angelis 1997, pp. 87–101.
  6. "Aviation History". Archived from the original on 2009-04-13. Retrieved 2009-07-26.
  7. "Sir George Carley (British Inventor and Scientist)". Britannica. Archived from the original on 2009-03-11. Retrieved 2009-07-26. English pioneer of aerial navigation and aeronautical engineering and designer of the first successful glider to carry a human being aloft.
  8. "Clement Ader – French inventor". Archived from the original on 2012-03-08.
  9. "FLYING MACHINES - Clement Ader". Archived from the original on 2012-02-04.
  10. "EADS N.V. – Eole/Clément Ader". 20 October 2007. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007.
  11. Gibbs-Smith, C. H., Aviation. London, NMSO 2003, p. 75.
  12. L'homme, l'air et l'espace, p. 96
  13. Tom D. Crouch (August 29, 2008). "1908: The Year the Airplane Went Public". Air & Space/Smithsonian . Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  14. "This Month in Exploration: May". NASA. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  15. Kingsbury, Kathleen (October 11, 2007). "Eyes on the Skies". Time. Archived from the original on October 31, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  16. The Investigation Process Research Resource Site. "International Investigation Standards". Archived from the original on 27 April 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  17. About.com Inventors. "Wright Brothers – First Fatal Airplane Crash in 1908" . Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  18. 1 2 AirSafe.com. "Definitions of Key Terms Used by AirSafe.com". Archived from the original on 20 April 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  19. "Aviation and the Global Atmosphere". Archived from the original on 2007-06-29.
  20. Lin, X.; Trainer, M. & Liu, S.C. (1988). "On the nonlinearity of the tropospheric ozone production". Journal of Geophysical Research. 93 (D12): 15879–88. Bibcode:1988JGR....9315879L. doi:10.1029/JD093iD12p15879.
  21. Grewe, V.; D. Brunner; M. Dameris; J. L. Grenfell; R. Hein; D. Shindell; J. Staehelin (July 2001). "Origin and variability of upper tropospheric nitrogen oxides and ozone at northern mid-latitudes". Atmospheric Environment. 35 (20): 3421–33. Bibcode:2001AtmEn..35.3421G. doi:10.1016/S1352-2310(01)00134-0 . Retrieved 2007-11-20.


Related Research Articles

Military aircraft Aircraft designed or utilized for use in or support of military operations

A military aircraft is any fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft that is operated by a legal or insurrectionary armed service of any type. Military aircraft can be either combat or non-combat:

The Federal Aviation Regulations, or FARs, are rules prescribed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) governing all aviation activities in the United States. The FARs are part of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). A wide variety of activities are regulated, such as aircraft design and maintenance, typical airline flights, pilot training activities, hot-air ballooning, lighter-than-air aircraft, man-made structure heights, obstruction lighting and marking, and even model rocket launches, model aircraft operation, sUAS & Drone operation, and kite flying. The rules are designed to promote safe aviation, protecting pilots, flight attendants, passengers and the general public from unnecessary risk. Since 1958, these rules have typically been referred to as "FARs", short for Federal Aviation Regulations. However, another set of regulations is titled "Federal Acquisitions Regulations", and this has led to confusion with the use of the acronym "FAR". Therefore, the FAA began to refer to specific regulations by the term "14 CFR part XX".

History of aviation history of the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft

The history of aviation extends for more than two thousand years, from the earliest forms of aviation such as kites and attempts at tower jumping to supersonic and hypersonic flight by powered, heavier-than-air jets.

In aviation, a go-around is an aborted landing of an aircraft that is on final approach. A go-around can either be initiated by the pilot in command or requested by air traffic control for various reasons, such as an unstabilized approach or an obstruction on the runway.

Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Articles related to aviation include:

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1910:

1909 in aviation

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1909:

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1907:

A transatlantic flight is the flight of an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe, Africa, or the Middle East to North America, Central America, or South America, or vice versa. Such flights have been made by fixed-wing aircraft, airships, balloons, and other aircraft.

Aviation safety state of an aviation system or organization in which risks associated with aviation activities, related to, or in direct support of the operation of aircraft, are reduced and controlled to an acceptable level

Aviation safety means the state of an aviation system or organization in which risks associated with aviation activities, related to, or in direct support of the operation of aircraft, are reduced and controlled to an acceptable level. It encompasses the theory, practice, investigation, and categorization of flight failures, and the prevention of such failures through regulation, education, and training. It can also be applied in the context of campaigns that inform the public as to the safety of air travel.

Private pilot licence in aviation

A private pilot licence (PPL) or, in the United States, a private pilot certificate, is a type of pilot licence that allows the holder to act as pilot in command of an aircraft privately. The licence requirements are determined by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), but implementation varies widely from country to country. According to the ICAO, it is obtained by successfully completing a course with at least 40 hours of flight time, passing seven written exams, completing a solo cross country flight, and successfully demonstrating flying skills to an examiner during a flight test. In the United States, pilots can be trained under Title 14 of federal code part 141, which allows them to apply for their certificate after as few as 35 hours. However, most pilots require 60–70 hours of flight time to complete their training. The minimum age for a student pilot certificate is 14 for balloons and gliders, and 16 for powered flight. The minimum age for a private pilot certificate is 16 for balloons and gliders, and 17 for powered flight. Pilots can begin training at any age and can solo balloons and gliders from age 14, and powered aircraft from age 16.

This is a list of aviation-related events during the 19th century :

Airplane A powered, flying vehicle

An airplane or aeroplane is a powered, fixed-wing aircraft that is propelled forward by thrust from a jet engine, propeller or rocket engine. Airplanes come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and wing configurations. The broad spectrum of uses for airplanes includes recreation, transportation of goods and people, military, and research. Worldwide, commercial aviation transports more than four billion passengers annually on airliners and transports more than 200 billion tonne-kilometres of cargo annually, which is less than 1% of the world's cargo movement. Most airplanes are flown by a pilot on board the aircraft, but some are designed to be remotely or computer-controlled.

Beechcraft 1900 Commuter airliner and light transport aircraft

The Beechcraft 1900 is a 19-passenger, pressurized twin-engine turboprop fixed-wing aircraft that was manufactured by Beechcraft. It was designed, and is primarily used, as a regional airliner. It is also used as a freight aircraft and corporate transport, and by several governmental and military organisations. With customers favoring larger regional jets, Raytheon ended production in October 2002.

Sometimes dubbed the Golden Age of Aviation, the period in the history of aviation between the end of World War I (1918) and the beginning of World War II (1939) was characterised by a progressive change from the slow wood-and-fabric biplanes of World War I to fast, streamlined metal monoplanes, creating a revolution in both commercial and military aviation. By the outbreak of World War II in 1939 the biplane was all but obsolete. This revolution was made possible by the continuing development of lightweight aero engines of increasing power. The jet engine also began development during the 1930s but would not see operational use until later.

Large aircraft

Large aircraft allow the transportation of large and/or heavy payloads over long distances. Making an aircraft design larger can also improve the overall fuel efficiency and man-hours for transporting a given load, while a greater space is available for transporting lightweight cargoes or giving passengers room to move around. However, as aircraft increase in size they pose significant design issues not present in smaller types. These include structural efficiency, flight control response and sufficient power in a reliable and cost-effective installation.

1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision mid-air collision

The Grand Canyon mid-air collision occurred on June 30, 1956, when a United Airlines Douglas DC-7 struck a Trans World Airlines Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation over the Grand Canyon National Park. All 128 on board both flights perished, making it the first commercial airline crash to result in more than 100 deaths.

Capital Airlines Flight 300

On May 20, 1958 a Vickers Viscount airliner operating Capital Airlines Flight 300 was involved in a mid air collision with a USAF T-33 jet trainer on a proficiency flight in the skies above Brunswick, Maryland. All 11 people on board the Viscount and one of the two crew in the T-33 were killed in the accident. Flight 300 was the second of four fatal crashes in the space of two years involving Capital Airlines Vickers Viscounts; the other were Capital Airlines Flight 67 Capital Airlines Flight 75 and Capital Airlines Flight 20.