Since the beginning of history, people watched birds soaring overhead and wished they could fly too. Aviation history refers to the history of development of mechanical flight — from the earliest attempts in kites and gliders to powered heavier-than-air, supersonic and spaceflight.
The first truly scientific study of flight was made in the late 1400’s by the Italian artist and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci. But it wasn’t until 1903 when, for the first time, a manned machine left the ground by its own power, moved forward under control without losing speed, and landed on a point as high as that from which it started.
It’s been 110 years since that first successful airplane flight launched by the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. From the early inventors who bravely tested their own experimental aircraft, to the modern space pilots on the cutting edge of the newest frontier, the history of flight continues to this day. Read more about flight and aviation history at the following websites:
http://howthingsfly.si.edu – How Things Fly, interactive page from the Smithsonian.
http://airpowermuseum.org/?page=cms/index&cms_page=44 – Teacher Resources & Activity Sheets on the Dynamics of Flight, from the American Airpower Heritage Museum.
http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/teachers/learning.html – NASA Aviation & Aircraft Lesson Plans for All Ages.
http://www.aviation-history.com – Aviation History Online Museum: browse through a selection of airplane photographs from the beginning of aviation history to the present day.
http://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/pioneers-of-flight/online – Pioneers of Flight.
http://nationalaviation.org – The National Aviation Hall of Fame.
http://airandspace.si.edu/collections – Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum: Collections.
http://aviation.technomuses.ca – Canada’s Aviation Heritage interactive exhibit.
http://www.wright-brothers.org – Wright brothers and flight.
http://www.famoushomeschoolers.net/bio_wrightbros.html – Wright brothers biography.
http://www.knowledgehouse.info/njfk/flight.html – History of flight, and the myth of “Daedelus and Icarus.”
http://tinyton.org/Aviation_History_Month.pdf – Printable handout for Aviation History Month, from the Reading Public Library.
http://www.ellejet.com/from-biplanes-to-jets-the-history-of-the-airplane.php – From Biplanes to Jets: the History of the Airplane (with additional links).