History of Military Flights

P40 Warhawk in Flight

Aviation technology has played a major role throughout our daily lives over the past century. Just 100 years ago for the first time, airline tickets became available to the public. Flights on the Zeppelin Airship had limited spaces available and only operated to select locations due to limited areas supporting the airship’s take off and final descents. Fast forward to present day 2014 and you’ll see just how much technology has advanced in the world of aviation.

Modern aircraft now fly at nearly every level of Earth’s atmosphere, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, it’s convenient to hop on a flight from San Diego to Hawaii, technology now permits military pilots to operate flights around the entire world on a single mission, Felix Baumgartner (Red Bull Space Jump) successfully jumped from the edge of Earth’s atmosphere breaking the sound barrier wearing nothing but a space suit, and more recently…Virgin Galatic’s SpaceShipTwo will be the first commercial aircraft for space travel!

History of Military Flights


1903 – Wright Brothers successfully complete the world’s first powered flight controlled by man.
1907 – Paul Cornu in France builds the first helicopter.
1909 – Louis Bleriot crosses the english channel by flight for the first time flying the Bleriot XI.
1909 – The world’s first airplane of Zeppelin Airship is designed. It would carry 35,000 passengers in 5 years.
1914 – The first airline – founded by Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft, the airships were manufactured by the Zeppelin Corporation.
1914 – WW1, rapid advancements of military flights are designed.
1917 – Pacific Aero Products Company’s name changes to Boeing Airplane Company. Boeing is established.
1923 – First Lieutenants Oakley Kelly and John Macready land at Rockwell Field, San Diego. After numerous hours of military flights, they would become the first aviators to travel non-stop across the continental United States.
1924 – First around the world military flight by two Army Air Service planes completed the first ever circumnavigation of the world by air travel; their mission took 175 days and ended in Seattle.
1927 – Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo flight over the atlantic
1927 – First transoceanic flight from Oakland, CA (OAK) to Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL).
1929 – First rocket-powered plane is built by Fritz Opel in Germany.
1931 – First ever non-stop flight across the pacific.
1931 – Frank Whittle builds the first ever jet engine in Britain.
1932 – Amelia Earhart is the first woman to travel solo over the atlantic.
1933 – First round-the-world solo flight
1933 – The world’s first airliner Boeing 247 takes flight.
1935 – First controlled airspace by tower at Newark.
1936 – Lockheed Aircraft Corporation develops first pressurized cockpit.
1939 – Start of World War II, fast advancements made to military aircraft and technology for pilots to have the best of military flights.
1940 – Boeing Stratoliner, first airliner with a pressurized cabin allowed the plane to operate up to 20,000 ft. to avoid turbulence.
1947 – Flying the Air Force’s Bell X-I, General Charles “Chuck” Yeagar, travels faster than the speed of sound. Yeagar’s aviation career had a significant impact on the advancement of military flights.
1957 – World’s first satellite, Russian Sputnik I, is launched to travel around space by orbit.
1961 – Yuri Gagrin, is the first man in space. He orbited on Vostok I spacecraft.
1969 – Concorde launches first public flight.
1969 – Neil Armstrong is the first man on the moon.
1975 – Video games are first introduced onboard flights
1976 – Viking I. travels to Mars and makes the first ever surface landing.
1981 – First space shuttle launch, Space Shuttle Columbia on 12 April, 1981 and returned to Earth on April 14, having orbited Earth 37 times.
2001 – First space tourist, Denis Tito paid $20 mil for a seat on the Russian Solyuz.
2001 – MH B772 is the first twin engine commercial aircraft to fly over North Pole
2003 – Concorde makes it final flight on 24 October 2003. All aircraft are grounded and retired. The Concorde was the only public jet to travel faster than the speed of sound.
2012 – Felix Baumgartner is the first man to enter earth’s atmosphere wearing only a spacesuit from 127,000 ft.
2014 – Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, commercial spacecraft, successfully completes testing reaching an altitude of 70,000 ft at speeds of 1.4 mach. Virgin Galactic is expecting commercial space travel to be open to the public by the end of 2014. A ticket is $250,000.

By Military Travel Exchange

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