Science History

History of Aeronautics

Space Shuttle AtlantisThe wonders of science allow us to explore our vast world, as well as other places in outer space. These scientific advances made it possible for us to travel and observe our world more quickly compared to our predecessors. It is evident in our modern world that science reached a new boundary in developing advanced technologies, which make our daily lives more comfortable.

One significant invention present in our world today are aircraft. This product of science is one way for us to travel the world faster and easier. Hundreds of years ago, during the age of exploration, courageous men embark on a journey across the vast ocean in search of new land, treasure, and glory. For it to possible, explorers typically take days, weeks, or even months, to reach a destination. Interestingly, the invention of aircraft made human transportation reach a new stage.

Throughout the years, different designs of aircraft are used by people for various purposes, such as public transportation, military mission, as well as scientific researches. With all these said, we can say that the aircraft made a remarkable impact on our modern world. For it to reach the advanced stage that it is today, it underwent several studies, observations, experiments, and errors, especially during its early stages. And because of its complicated design and principles, the creation of aircraft is under a branch of science devoted to the study of various flying machines.

Physics is a branch of science that may catch our interests. Furthermore, the branch of science responsible for studying the different principles of the aircraft is categorized under physics, which is called aeronautics.

Aeronautics is a common term we often hear or see in our modern world. In this article, we are going to look into the more profound definition of aeronautics and its history.

What is Aeronautics?

Aeronautics is a branch of science under physics devoted to the study of air flight-capable machines. This field of science includes the design and manufacturing knowledge of the aircraft, as well as how to operate it.

The definition of aeronautics is not limited to these factors, and the true sense of the word also describes it as technology, business, and any other aspects related to aircraft.

Moreover, aeronautics may be divided into three branches, which focuses on a more detailed study on its principles. These branches of aeronautics include aviation, aeronautical science, and aeronautical engineering.

What is the origin of aeronautics?

Early designs of flying machines by Leonardo da Vinci

The idea of flying is common to many people hundreds of years ago. In fact, many people attempted to fly by using artificial wings, which often ended in unpleasing results. As a result of countless trials and errors, people learned to study the principles of flying more seriously. One way to profit from this study is to carefully observe how birds fly, and this method was used by Leonardo da Vinci and George Cayley.

Leonardo da Vinci studied the flight of birds further in the late 15th century, wherein he made initial designs for flying machines. His versions of flying machines include the flapping-wing ornithopter and rotating wing helicopter. His design gained recognition, and it influenced other scientists to innovate because of its rational design. However, they were not utilized because of their impracticality, which still lacked various scientific principles. Interestingly, his work led to several observations and realizations that result in scientific advances.

Hundreds of years later, aeronautics reached a new milestone in the late 18th century. This scientific breakthrough was the work of the English engineer, inventor, and aviator, Sir George Cayley. Cayley made several contributions to the advancement of aeronautics, which made a significant impact on its development. His works earned him various titles related to aeronautics; he was widely considered as ‘founder of modern aeronautics, father of aeroplane, and father of aerial navigation.’ All of these titles defined the greatness of Cayley and his works.

Cayley was the first scientist to publish scientific aerial investigations, which provides detailed explanations of physics principles occurring during a flight. During the early 19th century, Cayley published a treatise called ‘On Aerial Navigation.’ In this publication, he wrote various scientific principles, which contributes to the movement of flying machines.

His works sparked the interests of many other scientists, which led to several studies and innovations throughout the years. These numerous innovations led to upgrades that continuously improved the flying machines. Over the years, scientists and engineers continued to reach more scientific advances until today.

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