Aircraft

In: Historical Events

Submitted By JackT81
Words 564
Pages 3
An aircraft is a machine that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.
The human activity that surrounds aircraft is called aviation. Crewed aircraft are flown by an onboard pilot, but unmanned aerial vehicles may be remotely controlled or self-controlled by onboard computers. Aircraft may be classified by different criteria, such as lift type, aircraft propulsion, usage and others.
History
Flying model craft and stories of manned flight go back many centuries, however the first manned ascent – and safe descent – in modern times took place by hot-air balloon in the 18th century. Each of the two World Wars led to great technical advances. Consequently the history of aircraft can be divided into five eras:
Pioneers of flight, from the earliest experiments to 1914.
First World War, 1914 to 1918.
Aviation between the World Wars, 1918 to 1939.
Second World War, 1939 to 1945.
Postwar era, also called the jet age, 1945 to the present day.
Methods of lift
Lighter than air – aerostats
Aerostats use buoyancy to float in the air in much the same way that ships float on the water. They are characterized by one or more large gasbags or canopies, filled with a relatively low-density gas such as helium, hydrogen, or hot air, which is less dense than the surrounding air. When the weight of this is added to the weight of the aircraft structure, it adds up to the same weight as the air that the craft displaces.
Small hot-air balloons called sky lanterns date back to the 3rd century BC, and were only the second type of aircraft to fly, the first being kites.
A balloon was originally any aerostat, while the term airship was used for large, powered aircraft…...

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