List of firsts in aviation

This is a list of firsts in aviation. For a comprehensive list of women's records, see Women in aviation.

Period drawing of Montgolfier hot air balloon that made the first confirmed flight by man in 1783

First person to flyEdit

The first flight (including gliding) by a person is unknown. Several have been suggested.

 
1920 Stained glass window of the monk Eilmer of Malmesbury holding his wings (early 11th century)

None of these historical accounts are adequately supported by corroborating evidence nor have any been widely accepted. The first confirmed human flight was accomplished by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier in a tethered Montgolfier balloon in 1783.

Lighter than air (aerostats)Edit

 
Zeppelin LZ 1, first rigid airship to fly, 1900
 
The Breitling Orbiter 3 in which the first non-stop balloon circumnavigation was achieved in 1999

Heavier than airEdit

Pioneer era 1853–1916Edit

 
Otto Lilienthal in mid-flight, c. 1895
  • First manned glider flight: was made by an unnamed boy in an uncontrolled glider launched by George Cayley in 1853.[30][31]
  • First controlled manned glider flight: was made by Otto Lilienthal in a glider of his own design, in 1891.[32]
 
The Wright brothers' Wright Flyer making the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered airplane in 1903. Orville piloting while Wilbur observes
 
Louis Blériot in the process of crossing the English Channel, 1909
 
Eugene Burton Ely making the first takeoff from the USS Birmingham in 1910
 
Armour Company poster showing Calbraith Perry Rodgers's Vin Fiz Flyer transcontinental flight route, autumn 1911
 
First four-engine aircraft to fly, the Sikorsky Bolshoi Baltiskiy, after two of the engines had been moved out on the wings, 1910
 
Pyotr Nesterov with the Nieuport IV.G he looped in 1913
 
Kurt Wintgens' Fokker M.5K/MG used on July 1, 1915
 
Felixstowe Porte Baby with Bristol Scout composite before flight, 1916

Practical flight 1917-1938Edit

 
Alcock and Brown beginning their non-stop transatlantic flight in their Vickers Vimy, 1919
 
Fairey III.D that completed the first crossing of the South Atlantic in 1922
 
USAAS Douglas World Cruisers on their world circumnavigation flight in 1924
 
Charles Lindbergh and his monoplane the Spirit of St. Louis that made the non-stop flight from New York to Paris on May 21, 1927
 
Amelia Earhart with the Lockheed Vega 5B she crossed the Atlantic in May 1932
 
Tupolev ANT-25RD which completed the first polar crossing in 1937

Jet age, 1939–presentEdit

 
Heinkel He 178, the first turbojet-powered aircraft to fly
 
First turboprop to fly, the Gloster Meteor F.I powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent turboprops in 1945
 
Bell X-1, first aircraft confirmed to have exceeded Mach 1, flown by Chuck Yeager on October 14, 1947
 
Tupolev Tu-155, the first aircraft to fly solely on hydrogen
 
The Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer that Steve Fossett piloted solo around the world non-stop in 2005

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Note that each of these has been accomplished before, but each had lacked a key ingredient - control being the most difficult to achieve - the Wrights contribution was in having them all at once.
  2. ^ Unless specified, most circumnavigation flights were not done along the greatest distance, at the equator, but merely crossed all lines of longitude - often at high latitudes, and as far north as possible.
  3. ^ The Grumman F9F-9 Tiger was redesignated after its first flight as F11F-1 Tiger
  4. ^ Points on opposite sides of the globe

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