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How man conquered the skies – The history of aviation

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December 17, 2010, marks the 107 years of the birth of the global aviation industry. Its modest beginnings and rapid evolution make very interesting history and it is my hope that readers shall be inspired by this historical process.

After, seemingly, an eternity of humankind looking on with envy as birds soared freely through the skies, two brothers decided it was time humans joined the birds, by reaching for the skies.

Between the years of 1900 to 1902, Wilbur and Orville Wright, built and tested a series of kite and glider designs before attempting to build a powered design.

On December 17, 1903, this was finally achieved when the brothers made the first sustained, controlled, powered heavier-than-air self motorized flight at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, USA.

The first flight by Orville, of 120 feet (37 m) in 12 seconds, was recorded in a famous photograph. In the fourth flight of the same day, Wilbur flew 852 feet (260 m) in 59 seconds. The flights were witnessed by three coastal lifesaving crewmen, a local businessman, and a boy from the village, making these the first public flights and the first well-documented ones.

From these small beginning, the Wright brothers helped found modern aviation through their curiosity, their inventiveness, and their unwillingness to give up their vision.

Today, we salute the Wright brothers as we say, ‘HAPPY AVIATION BIRTHDAY!’

By Captain Victor Amoah

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