Famous Firsts

Throughout aviation history there were famous people. The fame that they achieved was earned. There were also people that were behind the scenes. The ones that were behind the scenes were the unsung heroes. Technology with regards to aviation and aerospace has advanced at a rapid pace. The following are some examples of famous firsts.

The Wright Brothers were the first to fly a heavier-than-air airplane but they didn’t do it alone. Without the Weather Service they wouldn’t have known the location in the United States that had constant moderate to heavy winds so they could test there gliders. They corresponded with others such as Octave Chanute. Without the help of Charlie Taylor, their mechanic, they wouldn’t have had an engine to power their airplane. The Wright Brothers didn’t attend an Aeronautical University because one did not exist. They built there own wind tunnel and they designed and made there own propellers. NASA tested them and they were found to be 80% efficient (today’s are only 85%). The Wright Brothers had been told that they were crazy and that man was not meant to fly but they both persisted. They did not give up.

Charles Lindbergh deserves all the fame and accolades that were bestowed upon him when he made his solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean at the age of 25. But he didn’t do it alone either. He had financial backers to fund his flight. Also, without the designers, engineers, and craftsman the airplane he flew wouldn’t exist. There were many detractors and naysayers. But he was a persistent man. He was told that he needed a multi-engine plane and he said that wasn’t necessary

Chuck Yeager was the first man to break the sound barrier. He was 24-years old at the time. He would not have been able to do so without the people from NACA (the precursor to NASA), or the U.S. Air Force. The Bell X-1 which he flew wouldn’t exist without the designers, engineers, craftsman, and technicians at Bell Aircraft. Hundreds of people were behind his endeavor. The aircraft was shaped like a.50 caliber bullet and was built exceptionally strong. People at the time were saying that the sound barrier was a physical barrier that could not be broken, and even if it was it would lead to the destruction of the aircraft and fatality for the pilot.

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