Aviation and man go together like peanut butter and jelly. For sure humans have always wanted to sprout wings and take the first flight the moment they came into their senses. But Mother Nature had a few different things for us, humans. Therefore she gave us a grey matter and allowed us to utilize its potential. Well, that was it, the human mind started developing things of its own interests and one of them was the aircraft. Aviation has drastically changed throughout the decades and the technologies involved, seem to surprise us at every step.
Say, for yet another eye-catching feast, here are a few facts about the world of aviation. Ready for some evasive maneuvers eh?
First things first, humans accomplished the art of flying way back on December 17, 1903. This historical moment was made possible by the contributions of the Wright brothers. Their first “Heavier than air” model aircraft going by the name of Flyer 1 or Wright Flyer 1, cemented the practical approach which would later be the foundation upon which aircraft manufacturing would become somewhat a reality. Now that’s how you start the thing on the right note.
Aircraft, in the beginning, were tools with which humans were now able to touch the skies and perform things which could never be done before. But a serious role for aircraft came in the form of aerial combat. Blam! It was the First World War or the Great War which saw the usage of aircraft for strategic bombing, reconnaissance, and the first aerial engagement which was given the name Dogfighting.
The rules of engagement
While the First World War saw the usage of aircraft for military purposes, the rules of engaging an enemy in the field of battle were laid down by a skilled and legendary German fighter pilot who went by the name of Oswald Boelcke.
He penned down the maneuvers which would result in the decisive victory of many fighter pilots and in turn, would give rise to legendary aces. His book, the Dicta Boelcke is considered to be the Holy Grail among aviation enthusiasts, and it is still taught in air force academies across the globe.
Even though the First World War saw chaos and mayhem on both sides. Dogfighting was still considered to be a gentleman’s thing. Pilots would write in their personal diaries about the confrontations they had faced in their previous sortie. Many would go on to praise the opposing fighters for their skills and abilities. Perhaps the most successful fighter from that era was none other than Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen or simply the Red Baron. Now, this guy had some serious set of skills because he racked up a staggering 80 kills during his reign. He was indeed the “Ace among the aces”.
Now that we’ve talked about a legendary ace, let’s first know what an ace is. Well, it had been stated long ago that if a pilot scored 5 or more than 5 kills in a day or mission then he/she was considered to be an ace. Notable aces like The Red Baron, Billy Bishop,
Georges Guynemer and Ernst Udet have become legends in aviation history.
The fast mover
It was back in the Second World War when things began taking serious shape. With intense research and industrialization, things were no longer the same. It was at this time when aviation’s jewel saw its genesis. The first practical jet fighter was born, from the shadows of Nazi Germany. It was the Messerschmitt Me 262, only the bravest of the braves had the guts to go head to head against a bird which was way faster than the rest of the piston driven counterparts. Though the bird saw limited production, it still is considered to be the turning point in military aviation.
The bird which could see you
Aviation technology continued to grow faster and faster. And this pace skyrocketed back in the Cold War, with Soviets and the US searching for the most probable weak points, things entered into the supersonic dimension. The very the first aircraft to reach an altitude of more than 80,000 feet and have match 3 plus capabilities was none other than the Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird. This Titanium made, the otherworldly bird could do wonders. It’s been said that nearly 5 countries tried shooting it down with missiles but it could outrun them easily and vanish way too quickly. It was used for reconnaissance operations and had a set of high definition cameras which would even read the registration plate of vehicles while being way up in the Stratosphere. Now that’s badass.
Military aviation has always proved itself to be a test of time. From the first maiden flight to the modern day stealth-capable fighter jets, aviation has seen a lot of changes throughout the decades. I bet pretty soon we’ll be having our own space-age vehicles which would take us through different galaxies and star systems. That’ll be Star Wars kinda thing, but until then, keep an eye out in the sky cause you never know which bird is watching you from up top.