A lot of works have gone into building the world of flights leading to the invention of aircrafts. Geniuses have committed mental efforts into building what could have only be dreams to many. The invention of aircrafts have contributed to the growth of flights; else flight would have been for birds only.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) drew his plans for a helicopter hundreds of years before planes could fly. Helicopters are lifted into the air by their large rotating propellers or rotors.
These work like narrow wings, generating lift as they spin rapidly through the air. It climbs by increasing the angle of the rotor blades. It moves forward by increasing the angle of the blade moving back on every rotation so that it pushes against the air.
People had been flying in small airships, but there was a race on to make the first successful aeroplane.
The Wright Brothers were the first people to invent a practical aeroplane that could be flown under full control. Their first flight took place in 1903 at Kitty Hawk in the United States.
The Wright biplane looked like a huge box kite, with a home-made engine that drove two propellers by means of chains. It was however a practical and successful aircraft as it flew and it was controllable, unlike an earlier steam-powered aeroplane flown in 1890 by Clement Adler in France.
Frank Whittle designed the first true jet engine between 1928 and 1930. But it was not used to fly a jet aircraft until 1941.
A German engineer, Hans van Ohain, began work on a similar jet engine in 1936. His engine had flown a Heinkel aircraft by the year 1939.
The hovercraft is an ingenious machine that rides on a cushion of air. It looks like a flat-bottomed ship and is powered by huge propellers.