If one had to travel a long distance in today’s day and age, they would do the obvious thing and go to the airport and get on an airplane. Since they were invented planes have come a long way and have had a huge effect on the world today. From traveling to war the plane is used for countless reasons. Each reason has changed the way that life runs and works today. Consider how different the world would be if airplanes did not exist.
Wilbur and Orville Wright, commonly referred to as The Wright Brothers, were two brothers who owned a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio. (www.library.thinkquest.org) The brothers began to experiment with many different types of gliders, both unmanned and piloted.
The perfect spot for them to test their gliders was Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. This was due to the wind, sand, hilly terrain, and the remote location of the area. With this experimentation they developed a rudder, or the tail of the plane, and the wing flaps. With these two new components the brothers were able to successfully fly the first manned airplane in December of 1903. Their first flight lasted approximately twelve seconds in which the plane flew 120 feet.
Another flight was conducted on this day and that plane went the farthest with Wilbur Wright piloting the plane. The plane flew 892 feet and was in the air for about fifty-nine seconds. This was a biplane equipped with a twelve horse power engine and a propeller. The wing span was forty feet wide and was made out of wood and covered in a cotton cloth. This plane was known as the Flyer.
(www.library.thinkquest.org) Years later with numerous improvements and alterations they were eventually able to build a plane that could fly for an hour and a half in 1908. Shortly after this news came out, Orville and Wilbur Wright were able to sign a contract with the military to build the first official military plane.
(www.library.thinkquest.org) Ever since that first plane, planes have been used in wars, and are still used today, there is even a branch of the military dedicated to these flying vehicles, the Air force. In the early years of World War I, aircrafts were mainly used for scouting, not for any sort of combat.
In later years, pilots soon began to take their guns in the planes with them and shoot at enemy planes. Immediately after that the idea of mounting machine guns to the front of the planes came about. This technique did not last long however due to pilots accidently shooting off their own propeller blades. For this reason, a timing belt or chain was invented and put on the propeller motor so the timing of the passing blade and bullet would not meet. (Lacey, notes on World War I) In later years and still today, planes are being constantly innovated and improved.
In modern warfare, planes are not just used for combat but transporting soldiers, dropping off supplies, bombing, and spying on the enemy. Other than battle, planes are used for various other reasons. The most common is traveling. Today, commercial airplanes can hold hundreds of people and travel the entire world. Using airplanes to travel reduces the time of traveling far distances and is safer than many other ways of transportation.
Planes allow people to get to where they need to go fast and efficiently. Today, a commercial airplane may cost hundreds of million dollars to build. The use of airplanes also allows many people to acquire jobs in many different areas of aviation. The invention of the airplane led to new technologies, new ways of battle, modern warfare, and safer and more efficient travel. Space travel also would not have been possible without the idea of air travel. The Wright Brothers could not possibly of imagined the enormous impact their invention had on the lives of people today and how improved their little plane would become.
Bibliography Lacey, Laura. “World War I Notes.” (2011). http://www.library.thinkquest.org/18033/wright2.html