Recently, I boarded a Delta Boeing 757 plane. The plane held 180 passengers with a cruising speed of 517 mph. My flight to Portland, Oregon lasted just under two hours, of which I slept for more than an hour. By contrast, Wilbur Wright covered 852 feet in 59 seconds on that day in 1903 when the Wright brothers completed the first four sustained flights with a powered, controlled airplane.
It’s hard for the modern day traveler to imagine that the airplane and way of life we understand today wasn’t always the case. What enabled the evolution of the aviation industry from the first recognized flight of the Wright brothers to the kind of aviation travel we have today? Continue reading