Aug 19, 2014 - 4:45pm

A Brief History of Aviation in 7 Videos

Senior Editor, Digital Content


Wright Brothers' first flight.
Wright Brothers' first flight.
The Wright Brothers' first flight.

Since August 19 is National Aviation Day let's take a brief tour of aviation’s past, present, and future.

1. First Flight

On December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers successfully flew their airplane at Kitty Hawk, NC.

2. Air Travel for the Masses

By the middle of the 20th Century, the public could comfortably fly all over the country.

3. Innovation

In the 1980s and 1990s, under the leadership of Robert Crandall, American Airlines developed such innovations as frequent-flier miles and electronic reservations.

4. Rise of the Low-Cost Airlines

Low-cost airlines like Southwest and Sir Richard Branson's Virgin America further democratized aviation.

5. Current Challenges

At the U.S. Chamber’s Aviation Summit in April, Ben Baldanza President and CEO of Spirit Airline, talked about the challenges facing airlines today.

6. NextGen

Once in place, the Next Generation Air Traffic Control system (NextGen) will use satellite technology to improve airline safety and reduce delays.

7. Space Tourism

Following SpaceShipOne successfully winning the X Prize, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo offers the potential of space tourism.

Bonus: Aviation Supports Jobs

Through the hard work of pioneers like the Wright Brothers and the innovators of today, aviation helps support 14.9 million travel and tourism jobs in the United States.

More Articles On: 

About the Author

About the Author

Sean Hackbarth standing in front of oil pumps near Baker, Montana.
Senior Editor, Digital Content

Sean has written for various Chamber properties since 2012. In 1999, Sean launched a “weblog” and never looked back, becoming a self-proclaimed pioneer of the medium.