In 1910, the world witnessed the manufacturing of the first aircraft. This was the first significant trend in civil aviation as it portrayed the probable possibilities in the industry. During the same year, the first jet propelled aircraft was developed. According to Bilstein (2008) these two innovations were the first major step towards a developed the modern day civil aviation industry considering the impact the trends had in the industry.
In 1920, civil aviation most important development was achieved by the realization of the first airline. The founding of the first airline saw the commercialization steps the industry had undergone. The impact of the events is still felt today as airlines are the core driving forces of the civil aviation industry. Airlines have played a major role in developing the industry in regards to developing operating and commercialization approaches.
It is during the same year, 1920; the first intercontinental flight was made without making a stop. Prior to this event, aircrafts used to fly intercontinental, but stops were made regularly as technology used was not that effective. In 1920, the aircraft used to make the first non-stop intercontinental flight was developed which also opened ways to possibilities towards attaining non-stop intercontinental flights. It is as an impact of the same event that the world witnessed the first ever crossing of the Atlantic without stopping.
Considering the high number of disasters in the industry including the Hindenburg Disaster, more events after 1920 aimed at improving the safety of aircrafts. In 1928, the first two way radio communication was realized. In this technology, aircrafts were able to communicate, and pilots communicated to during flight sessions. This was mainly done to allow for communication during safety concerns, a step which a played a huge role in minimizing aircraft disasters.
In 1933, the advanced on the auto pilot was developed. In this technology, the auto pilot option provided the possibility of planes to internally control operation even in the absence of a pilot. De Angelis (2001) is of the assumption that the auto-pilot is a significant safety inclusion in the civil aviation industry considering the risks involved while on flight. In addition, the author assets that the autopilot option began to limit the responsibility of pilots when on board as they would allocate other operational requirement to the planes’ operating system.
In 1944, the first v2 rocket was launched. Goodal (2007) points out that it was at this point that the world realized the possibilities of technologies in the industry. This is because the v2 rocket was the first man made machine to reach outer space, and the possibilities of the technology were immense. However, the event did not receive as much praised as most people saw it as a weapon as its first objective was to be used as a weapon during the Second World War.
In 1946, aircrafts were developed with an internal power generation technology. With the technology airplanes could now be able to develop their own energy rather than rely on external or induced energy sources. The technology improved the safety standards that planes could have such dependable energy sources.
In 1952, the world saw the birth of the first jet airliner. Jet airliners were defined as aircraft which were powered using jet engines other than previously used plane engines (FAA, 2017). This technology aimed at improving both safety and speed as the aircraft allowed for intercontinental travelling in a shorter period, and safer conditions. The event was a success as jet airliners are more prominent today, but under more advancement in regards to speed and safety (Indranath, 2001).
In 1958, the Boeing 707 was realized. The plane used a four engine power technology of the airliner. This was a huge event in the commercial sector of the civil aviation industry. The Boeing 707 huge engine power meant an increase in size could be supported. This meant that the planed could carry more than 200 passengers and still be within required safety standards (Timmis et.al, 2014). This realization saw in increase in size of planes, and more distance covered across continents.
In 1957, a human developed satellite known as the Sputnik was developed. This saw the first rocket technology that could also be used for communication purposes. The main impact of this event was the applications possibility of the technology such as communication (Visser, 2012). Satellite communication in civil aviation immensely improved the safety standards as communication between aircraft personnel and control was made more effective.
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In 1970, SR-71 was launched. The aircraft had the highest and fast flight speed yet. The creation was made more significant by the fact that the growth of the civil aviation also required to decrease the speed of transport across continents. The technology used in the SR-71, was slowly and effectively applied in commercial airlines as speed became a huge necessity (International Civil Aviation Organization, 2003).
In 1976, speed in civil aviation was still a major attraction, and need. This saw the first flight made by the Concorde whose main asset was its speed. In addition to speed, the Concorde also offered luxury service, and was also highly priced (Lehmann, 1937). This also saw the birth of differentiation in quality in the aviation industry.
In 2005, the largest commercial airliner was created. The airliner, Airbus A380, made its first flight in 2007. The airbus was a double deck, and very wide bodied. The airbus also used a four engine powered jetliner technology. In civil aviation, this was a huge technology as it increased the volume of passengers in one flight, and also the speed between continents.
In 2010, the first aircraft only powered by solar panel and electric power was realized. The technology came at a point where the world needed more clean energy options, and the introduction of the technology in civil aviation was a huge boost towards achieving green energy solutions (Goodall, 2007).
Regardless of these events, the most relevant and significant event in civil aviation was the creation of the Air Commerce Act in 1926 (FAA, 2017). The legislation was defined as a landmark as it created and enforced traffic rules. The legislation also ensured that the creation of airlines that ensured passenger safety.
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- Bilstein, R. (2008). Flight Patterns: Trends of Aeronautical Development in the United States, 1918-1929. Georgia: University of Georgia Press.
- De Angelis, G. (2001). The Hindenburg. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers.
- Federal aviation Administration (FAA). (2017). A Brief History of the FAA. https://www.faa.gov/about/history/brief_history/
- Federal aviation Administration (FAA). (2017). A Historical Perspective. https://www.faa.gov/about/history/historical_perspective/media/historical_perspective_ch1.pdf
- Goodall, C. (2007). How to Live a Low-carbon Life: The Individual’s Guide to Stopping Climate Change. Boston: Earthscan Publications Ltd.
- Indranath, R. (2001). Aviation Trends in the New Millennium. New York: Ashgate.
- International Civil Aviation Organization. (2003). The World of Civil Aviation. New York: Author.
- Lehmann, E (1937). Zeppelin: The Story of Lighter-than-air Craft. London: Longmans, Green and Co.
- Timmis, A.; Hodzic, A.; Koh, L.; Bonner, M.; Soutis, C.; Schafer, A.; Dray, L. (2014). “Environmental impact assessment of aviation emission reduction through the implementation of composite materials”. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. 20: 233–243
- Visser, L. et.al. (2012). Trends and Issues in Distance Education. London: IAP.