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Brought up Apr 22, 2010

Most important tech advances #15: Flight

Since the dawn of humanity we have looked to the skies in wonder and hope. We could see the birds fly and asked ourselves one question. Why couldn't we?

Throughout history, the concept of flight has existed. The Greeks had myths about Icarus and Hermes, The Chinese had heroes who were given the gift of flight by the gods. Demons, Angels, and many more wondrous creatures were made all the more awe inspiring by the presence of wings. Throughout all times in history and found in every culture, flight captured the imagination.

No one really knows for sure who was the first to attempt flight. Most likely it was someone a very long time ago using a pair of constructed wings. However, as technology progressed, so did our understanding of flight. Eventually humanity began to experiment with flying machines of our own and the rest they say is history.

While the Wright Brothers are generally given credit for the first human flight, this is not one hundred percent true. There were actually several recorded flights that happened well before the Wrights flew at Kitty Hawk. However, the Wright Brothers were the first to successfully use the three axis control system which is the basis of all aircraft today.

There is not doubt that flight has become an important part of our civilized world. It enables us to transport goods and people over large distances at amazing speeds, and was the foundation of going into space. While there may be some people who believe that flight deserves a higher place on this list, I am very comfortable with placing it here.

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