Airplanes allow transport of goods, services, and people across the world. It has transformed the economy and our lives to be able to travel across the world in just a day or less. Humans have always had a fascination with flight. As early as 400 BC, early Greeks are believed to have invented a self-propelled flying device, that is suspected to have flown for 200 meters. However, this was just an early glider and it would be a couple thousand years before a true airplane was created.
The first three flying machines were created in 1886 by Clement Ader. A steam-engine powered the movement of a 4-blade propeller. On October 9th, 1890, one of these machines took to the sky and was able to travel for 50 meters at a height of 20 centimeters. Not very high, but it is the first recorded documented flight.
In 1903, the Wright brothers created what is truly known as the first airplane. It was heavier than the air around it and could travel much higher and for much greater distances than any of its precursors. It was also fully controllable by the person flying it, which none of the precursor machines were able to do.
Although these early inventions were interesting, they were considered more modern curiosities than anything useful. This is until the onset of World War I. The onset of this war really pushed governments across the world to invest and use airplanes as machines of war. During this war, the machinery and design of the airplane took off. Despite being created for war, there were other commercial and economic purposes for airplanes as well and the first commercial flight took place in 1919 between the United States and Canada.
A jet airplane was the next big improvement on airplanes. The jet airplane is much larger and more powerful than previous designs and could travel for much greater distances and carry much larger amounts of material and people. The first jet airplane was of German design and produced in 1939. However, it wasn't until the 1950s that jet airplanes were used commercial or for travel.
Today, millions of people use airplanes to travel small and large distances each and every day. Without it, we would all be limited in our ability to receive goods and services, and travel to far corners of the world. Thus, airplanes make our lives easier and more fun by carrying us as far as we would like to go!