Look! What’s that in the sky? Is it a bird? Is it the sun? By golly, it’s an airplane.
Now we take seeing these marvels of engineering for granted. But back 120 years ago it was likely just a bird up in the air.
Today we mark the 81st anniversary of National Aviation Day. Yes, it’s a little-known holiday, but that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating! In 1939 President Roosevelt proclaimed August 19th, Orville Wright’s birthday, a day to commemorate the historic work of the Wright brothers.
The Wrights were not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, but they invented aircraft controls that made fixed wing flight possible. And since that initial, historic, 1903 flight, brave men and women took to the skies in the 10s and 20s. And now most US residents have flown at some point in their life.
What an impact the Wrights’ work has had! One can go cross-country in an afternoon. Behold the power of flight!
Honor Aviation Day and the Wrights. Let your spirits soar by partaking of these great titles.
Memphis Belle (2009) Based on a true story about the famous plane of World War II, the Flying Fortress. Memphis Belle is about the crew of one of the B-17s flying their last mission before they can go home to a hero’s welcome.
The Aviator (2004) Howard Hughes as the twenty-something millionaire, having already made a fortune improving the design of oil-drilling bits, comes to Hollywood with an interest in getting into the picture business. His film was a massive hit, and the eccentric inventor became a mogul in Hollywood, making Jean Harlow a star and enjoying a romance with Katharine Hepburn. But in time his passion for flying began to reclaim his attentions. He began designing new planes, setting air speed records, flying around the world, and founded his own airline, Trans-World Airlines.
Sully (2016) The world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain Sully glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.
Planes: from above the world of Cars. (2013) Dusty is a crop-dusting plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing, and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator, who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test.
Airplane! (1980) In this spoof of disaster movies, an ex-Navy pilot with a deep aversion to planes finds himself on a flight with an ex-girlfriend he wants to win back. He becomes embroiled in a crisis where the crew and many of the passengers have fallen seriously ill. Now, it is up to him to overcome his fear of flying and land the airplane safely before the poisonings become fatal.
Unlocking the sky : Glenn Hammond Curtiss and the race to invent the airplane By Seth Shulman. (2002) The first commercially sold airplane. The first flight from one American city to another. The first pilot license issued in this country. These were just a few of the milestones in the career of Glenn Hammond Curtiss. A tale of the race to design, refine, and manufacture a manned flying machine that took place in the air, on the ground, on the water, and in the courtrooms of America. Who would be the first to make a workable airplane, and almost as critical, who would control the right to use or sell this revolutionary technology?
Area 51 black jets : a history of the aircraft developed at Groom Lake, America’s secret aviation base By Bill Yenne. (2014) When most of us think of Area 51, we think of aliens, UFOs, and controversial government cover-ups. It’s easy to forget that, since the mid-1950s, the United States’ famed extension of Edwards Air Force Base has served as a top-secret CIA testing ground for many of the most groundbreaking advancements in American military aviation technology. The first fully illustrated chronology of Area 51‘s most famous aircraft projects. This book reveals Area 51 for what it truly is: a clandestine area for the United States’ most cutting-edge technological innovators in military aviation.