Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Aviation refers to actions involving man-made flying devices, counting the people, organizations, and dictatorial bodies concerned with them.

Many cultures have built devices that travel during the air, from the earliest projectiles such as stones and spears, to more complicated buoyant or aerodynamic strategy such as the mechanical pigeon of Archytas in Ancient Greece, the boomerang in Australia, the hot air Kongming lantern, and kites. There are early myths of human flight such as the story of Icarus, and later, more believable claims of short-distance human flights counting a kite flight by Yuan Huangtou in China, and the parachute flight and forbidden glider flight of Abbas Ibn Firnas.

The practicality of balloons was incomplete because they could only travel downwind. It was instantly recognized that a steerable, or dirigible, balloon was necessary. Jean-Pierre Blanchard flew the first human-powered dirigible in 1784 and cross the English Channel in one in 1785. Subsequent early dirigible development included machine-powered propulsion, rigid frames, and better speed and maneuverability.

Aircraft began to convey people and cargo as design grew larger and more reliable. In contrast to small non-rigid blimps, giant rigid airships become the first aircraft to transport passengers and cargo over great distance. The best known aircraft of this type were artificial by the German Zeppelin company.

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