In 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright built the first functional airplane. A little more than 100 years after that small wooden one-man airplane, we’ve made passenger planes that carry hundreds of passengers, broken the sound barrier, flown people to the moon and a rover to mars, and are on the verge of making spaceflight available to civilians.
Here’s a timeline showing some of the highlights of the modern history of flight:
1903: The Wright brothers make the first manned, powered, controlled flight.
1919: the NC4 is the first plane to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
1927: Charles Lindbergh completes the first solo, nonstop transatlantic flight in The Spirit of St. Louis, traveling from New York to Paris, France.
1930s: The first Transatlantic Proving flights take place, with PanAm and BOAC traveling from Newfoundland to Foynes and vice verse.
1940s: Transatlantic passenger flights to Foynes commence. After WWII, landplanes take over.
1950s: Flights are offered in the first commercial jet airliner, the de Havilland DH 106 Comet.
1960s: Man lands on the moon and Boeing releases the 747.
1970s: Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation unite to develop the Concorde, the first and only supersonic civilian aircraft.
1980s: The first reusable spacecraft, Space Shuttle, is launched.
1990s: NASA sends the Mars Pathfinder to Mars to commence the first exploration on the surface of another planet.
2000s: The first nonstop, round-the-world flight by solar and battery-powered airplane is completed. Airbus release the A380 double-decker civilian passenger jet.
2010s: Virgin Galactic start civilian passenger flight into space.