Were there planes 1000 years ago? | Sunday Observer

Were there planes 1000 years ago?

2 May, 2021

Were there planes 1000s of years ago?

Have you ever come across the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat’ but if you give some thought to it curiosity was the key to bring mankind to who we are today by exploring and experimenting.

Most of us know that the Wright brothers invented the first airplane in history but is it the origin of aviation? The idea of humans flying started from way back when people saw the birds flying high up in the sky.

We still get jealous sometimes whenever we see a bird cruising in the blue sky through the cotton clouds. Our ancestors started being curious thinking ‘what if we could fly as well’?

According to Greek mythology people have tried flying by sticking bird feathers on to their body with wax and jumping from towers. You may think that’s one idiotic way of flying, but well that’s a start! According to mythology a man called Icarus has flown over the sea and due to the heat of the sun the wax started melting causing the loosening of the feathers and Icarus fell from the sky and drowned in the sea. Icarus The history of aviation goes back for more than two thousand years.

The folk tales in the Ramayana about the Dhandu Monaraya, the legendary pre-historic aircraft of King Ravana and the kite flying in China date back to several hundred years BC and it slowly spread around the world. It is thought to be the earliest example of man-made flight.

In the 18th century the discovery of hydrogen gas led people to invent air balloons.

From then onwards inventions like hot air balloons and airships began the era of manned flights. In other words, people started getting more curious and physicists started exploring more with advanced mechanics plus theories. The evolution of aviation in the world started to have a noticeable progress during the end of the18th century.

The concept of heavier-than-air craft came in to focus and started experimenting with gliders. With all the Greek myths, Ramayana legends and innovations of centuries let’s look at the year 1903 at the beginning of the 20th century.

According to written history, the Wright brothers were able to make the first motorised aircraft. Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first airplane flight at Kitty hawk, North Carolina, USA on December 17,1903. This indeed was a big step and a great breakthrough for mankind.

The pilot was Orville, since Wilbur had taken his turn in a failed previous attempt. The Wright Flyer was in the air for 12 seconds and went up to120 feet. From the flight duration of 12 seconds to the long flights which operates for more than 15 hours and from 120ft of altitude to cruising at 35000ft the evolution of aviation has been remarkable.

The Wright brothers would be so glad if they get to experience the aviation of today. Around 1914 World War 1 began. Everything has its ups and downs but for aviation there was a positive impact for the industry.

Mechanics and engineers started expanding the potentials of the aircrafts like durability of the structure, powerful rotor engines, capability of cargo, flight duration and also looked at upgrades. At the start of World-War 1 airplanes like ‘B.E.2 Biplane’ were used primarily for reconnaissance purpose only.

At the end of World War 1, around 1918 the first carrier based airplane attack was carried out aiming at a land target in the month in July and from there onwards air to air combats known as dog fights and much more happened throughout World War 1 and 11. From 1920 onward, aircraft were mainly used for passenger and cargo transport services. Aircraft started playing a huge role in the transportation industry and the evolution of these mighty machines is an amazing part in the journey of mankind.

Now, in the world, there are five thousands airlines with aircrafts which can carry up to more than 800 passengers like the A380 and the Boeing 777 which can carry up to more than 500.

Back in the old day in 19th and 20th centuries, an airplane could only fly or cruise more than 500 miles per hour.

Some jets which were used for military purposes could fly up to a speed of three times the speed of sound (Mach 3) which is 3704km/h of speed. Mankind has never stopped exploring the possibilities and we are lucky to live in an era of outer space travel beyond earth and who knows what we will achieve in another 1000 years?