For millennia man has looked to the skies and dreamed of weird and wonderful ways to fly, and many have lost their lives. The ancient Greek legend has Icarus flying too close to the sun and the winged horse Pegasus taking a king into battle. It was when the Chinese first made kites more than 3,000 years ago that humans started to consider the possibility of flying themselves. For centuries, people tried to make wings from feathers with little success. The invention of the hot air balloon in 1783 took the first animals and people up nearly 6,000 feet and traveled a mile.
This colorful infographic takes a look at the history of flight on a timeline. At the beginning of the First World War, this was new technology. It made heroes of the fighter pilots who lost their lives and those who were lucky enough to make it through the war.
When the war ended, these heroes were out of work, so many of them sought to commercialize flight. The early twentieth century is peppered with stories of young men, and even a few women, who lost their lives trying to cross the world’s oceans. When Charles Lindbergh finally crossed the Atlantic, he became an international star.
The infographic takes a bold step into space travel as part of the history of flight, but it omits some interesting stepping stones along the flight path. Who can forget the giant passenger-carrying airships like the Hindenburg or the iconic Concorde that could break the sound barrier?
And where will the future lead us? We already have drones that carry goods into difficult to reach places. Men have also demonstrated that it is possible to strap on a backpack and take to the air. How long before our daily commute to work takes to the skies?