A quick look at some of the most significant achievements in the history of aviation
Boarding a flight and taking off for work or leisure is such a common thing that it is hard to imagine airplanes did not exist a century ago. Thanks to technological advancements, air travel is not only safer and more affordable now, it has spawned new industries and is bridging distant lands and peoples. Seven of the most significant milestones in aviation are recorded here so that you know how far we have come in such a short span of time.
# 1 – On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers flew the first airplane successfully, although the flight lasted only 12 seconds and covered just 36 metres. The inaugural flight launched the aerial age and fired the imaginations of many inventors and aviators.
# 2 – On May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh flew an airplane named ‘Spirit of St Louis’ non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris. His feat surprised the world and led to the aviation boom and within a few years, airplanes were flying across the American continent.
# 3 – In 1935, the Douglas DC-3 became the first profitable passenger airplane, able to carry a maximum of 21 passengers and travelling at speeds of up to 340km per hour.
# 4 – In 1959, just 56 years since the Wright brothers flew their first airplane, the rocket-powered North American X-15 became the world’s fastest aircraft that reached the edge of space. It was also the first aircraft to attain speeds of up to 7,242km per hour.
# 5 – In July 1969, Apollo 11 became the first spacecraft to carry humans to the moon, land there and successfully return to earth. However, after the Apollo 13 accident in April 1970, the space program was scrapped amid budget cuts.
# 6 – In January 1970, Boeing 747 became the first wide-body commercial jet airplane to fly at a cruising speed of 948km per hour and a range of 11,265km.
# 7 – In October 11, 2018, Singapore Airlines launched the world’s longest non-stop flight (SQ22) between Singapore and New York. The flight time was around 17 hours and 52 minutes and the distance covered was 16,700km.
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