The civil aviation sector has been transformed over the past hundred years. There has been massive technological development in passenger traffic and comfort and now the civil aviation industry accounts for around 30% of the entire aerospace industry. A brief account of the history of civil aviation is presented in this article.
The 1920s saw even more change in the aerospace industry. Since the first flight powered by the Wright brothers on December 17, 1903, for the first time aircraft began to be used for passenger and airmail service. Giant rigid airships became the first aircraft to transport passengers and cargo over great distances. The most successful Zeppelin was the Graf Zeppelin. He flew over a million miles, including a flight around the world in August 1929. However, the dominance of Zeppelins over aircraft of this period, which only had a range of a few hundred miles, was waning. as aircraft design advanced. The “golden age” of airships ended on May 6, 1937, when the Hindenburg caught fire, killing 36 people. Although there have been periodic initiatives to revive their use, airships have only seen niche applications since then.
Great advancements were made in aviation during the 1920s and 1930s, such as Charles Lindbergh’s solo transatlantic flight in 1927 and Charles Kingsford Smith’s transpacific flight the following year. One of the most successful designs of this period was the Douglas DC-3, which became the first profitable airliner carrying exclusively passengers, marking the beginning of the modern era of passenger air service. By the start of World War II, many cities and towns had built airports and many skilled pilots were available. The war brought many innovations to aviation, including the first jet aircraft and the first liquid-fueled rockets. Commercial aircraft began to transport people and cargo as designs became larger and more reliable.
In the 1950s the development of civilian jets grew, starting with the de Havilland Comet, although the first widely used passenger jet was the Boeing 707 as it was much more economical than other aircraft at the time. era. At the same time, turboprop propulsion began to appear for small regional aircraft, allowing low-volume routes to be served in a much wider range of weather conditions.
In the 1960s, the aerospace industry was coming back to life. International travel has increased significantly and passenger volume has increased. Spurred by this increase in popularity, aircraft manufacturer Boeing launched its first jumbo jet in 1969 – the iconic 747. Competition intensified among major commercial aircraft manufacturers as demand for aircraft grew. Airbus launched its A300 during this period and proved to be a major competitor for Boeing.
Since the 1960s, quieter, more efficient composite airframes and engines have become available, and Concorde has provided supersonic passenger service for over two decades, but the most significant lasting innovations have been in instrumentation and engine control. control. The advent of solid-state electronics, global positioning, satellite communications, and small and powerful computers and LED displays have changed the cockpits of airliners and, increasingly, smaller aircraft. Pilots can navigate much more accurately and view terrain, obstacles and other nearby aircraft on a map or by synthetic vision, even at night or in low visibility.
From 2000, aircraft manufacturers benefited from stable revenues and driven by the increase in air passenger traffic. Another key factor in the growth of the industry during this period is the increase in traffic from an emerging country such as Latin America, China and India. As these continue to expand, the demand for air travel is expected to increase further.
The advent of space travel was another significant development in the aerospace and defense industry. In the 1970s NASA created a space shuttle for regular access to space and in the 1980s NASA increased spending on space programs, and engineers also worked on plans for a space station permanent international. On June 21, 2004, SpaceShipOne became the first privately funded aircraft to perform space flight, opening up the possibility of an aviation market capable of leaving Earth’s atmosphere.