Aerospace Engineering History

Aerospace Engineering History and Facts

Aerospace Engineering is the field of engineering which deals with development of Aircraft and Spacecraft. Aerospace Engineering History begins in the 19th century with the first flight of Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1903. It is further divide into two branch Aeronautical Engineering which involves powered than light aircraft such as gliders, fixed wing airplanes, jets and helicopters, inside earth’s atmosphere and Astronautical Engineering which involves design and development of spacecraft outside of earth’s atmosphere. All information regarding Aerospace Engineering History and Facts is given here in this page.

Aerospace Engineering History and Facts


Where do the idea come from?

All early concepts and thinking of human flight comes from the imitation of birds.

Origin of Aerospace Engineering

The origin of aerospace engineering can be traced back to the aviation pioneers around 19th century. Many of the Scientist read birds characteristics and gave their concepts about aerospace engineering. But nobody succeeded in their theory, later on two brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright made this possible. And the first successful flight in Aerospace History recorded on 17 December 1903. All credit goes to Orville and Wilbur Wright. The Wright brothers gave the concepts of lift, weight, drag and thrust from a suitably powerful engine, and three-axis control of pitch, roll and yaw.

The stepping stones involved in the Aerospace Engineering History and Facts to controlled manned heavier than air flight are as follows

  • Leonardo the Vinci comes with Ornithopter and made more than 500 sketches of his design from 1486 to 1490. However he was unsuccessful over his attempt.
  • The Montgolfier hot air ballon floats over Paris on 21 November 1783. It is the first thing which lifted a human being for some time.
  • Sir George Cayley gave the concept of fuselage, a fixed wing and horizontal and vertical tails in 1799. He is the first person who proposed separate mechanism for the generation of lift.
  • The first two powered flights achieved by Felix Du Temple in 1874 and Alexander F. Mozhaiski in 1884. But they failed to control this and withdraw their hands.
  • Otto Lilienthal designs the first fully successful gliders in Aerospace Engineering History. From 1891 to 1896, he achieves more than 2000 successful gliders flights. But he died in a glider crash.
  • Samuel Pierpont Langley achieved the first successful unmanned heavier than air flight and made Aerospace Engineering History in 1896. However he was unsuccessful in manned flight 9 days before Wright Brothers.
  • Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first controlled, sustained, powered, heavier than air manned flight in Aerospace Engineering History. They both made their first successful flight on 17 December 1903.
  • The development of aeronautics than takes off exponentially after the Wright Brothers public demonstration in Europe in 1908.

Aerospace Engineering disciplines include aerodynamics, propulsion, avionics, materials science, structural analysis and manufacturing. Aerospace engineering, particularly the astronautics branch, is often referred to as “rocket science”

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