Man did not know flight and flight in the sky until the end of the eighteenth century, after the two inventors, the Montgolfier brothers, launched their flying vehicle (the airship) among a group of people in a historic event in the suburbs of the French capital, Paris.
It was a very simple invention compared to other inventions in the world of aviation, as it was an air balloon suspended at the bottom of a cage with a burning coal stove to heat the air, thus pushing a stream of hot air upwards to fill the inside of the balloon, which pushes it to rise from the surface of the earth.
It is the practical application of Archimedes’ principle of buoyancy, which he formulated in the third century BC. Although scientists have known about this law for about two thousand years from the moment of this event, no applications were made to the principle of buoyancy in the air, but only to the level of bodies floating on water.
Starting from that incident, the world witnessed the emergence of a new industry market, the aviation industry, and it spread and varied, so there are several models of aviation such as air balloons, balloons, airships, and others, and all of these was included in the list of “flying objects with less air weight”.
On the other hand, the work on combustion engines in cars was taking a serious turn in the world of transportation, as German engineer “Karl Benz” was able to invent a high-speed combustion engine running on liquid petroleum fuel in 1887, to install it on the chassis of the car called “Benz Patent Motor”. It is the first of its kind in history. And only a few years passed, until prominent engineers such as “Wilhelm Maybach” and “Gottlieb Daimler” joined the ranks of the automobile industry.
“Right Flyer”… A flight that defies a snowstorm
In the mid-nineties of the eighteenth century, German engineer and aviation pioneer “Otto Lilienthal” was conducting experiments to analyze aerodynamic forces on gliders with flat wings raised from the fuselage, which attracted the attention of the two inventors “Wright” who was obsessed with flying at the time.
Despite the tragic death of “Lilienthal”, which witnessed the crash of his glider, the Wright brothers did not hesitate to show their enthusiasm in starting their project in the world of aviation and heading toward flying boats powered by engines (energy), which we call today’s aircraft.
On the seventeenth of December 1903, after several attempts and extensive studies on airframes and wing designs, and research in engine power and fuel efficiency, the Wright brothers decided to break the barrier of fear and face the snowstorm that morning.
At the age of ten, they launched their flying machine, “Right Flyer”, which flew unsteadily, cutting 120 feet in 12 seconds, and perhaps this period does not represent any value to us today, but it was one of the greatest achievements of man in the twentieth century from that moment on, the era of aviation began
Fighter Industry. Prepare for World War
The aviation industry has been relatively slow in growth due to the human novelty in dealing with air and its effect on flying objects, especially since the study of structures and wings requires a lot of experiments and revisions. The Wright brothers could not monopolize the aircraft manufacturing market, despite having obtained a patent recognized in Europe and America. The French government was the first to strike a deal with the Wright brothers’ company to buy the patent for one million francs.
After nearly a decade and before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the governments of Germany and France realized the necessity of air armament, so they began to manufacture warplanes on a large scale for several years. The German fleet with 1,000 aircraft, a vast difference from the English fleet, which amounted to only 176 aircraft.
As for the United States of America, it was far from behind, and this necessitated the establishment of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) from the US Congress, which later changed its name to the National Center for Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). With the end of the war, and with great effort, the US government was able to produce 4,000 Airco DH4 combat aircraft. Globally, there were 210,000 aircraft manufactured in that era, which is a huge growth in this modern industry.
In the following years, a fundamental shift occurred in combat aircraft from biplane structures to monoplanes, which gives them greater flexibility in maneuvering and movement, and the manufacture of all-metal airframes, often from lightweight aluminum alloys.
At that time, the military realized that the aviation establishment is a weapon to be reckoned with, and it has become an integral part of the military system until this moment.3
From New York to Paris… the first civilian flight to cross the Atlantic Ocean
In 1927, the American aviator Charles Lindbergh flew by himself across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris in an accident that was the first of its kind, which boosted the enthusiasm of the masses and pushed them to take the same path in flying and flying until the percentage of aircraft sales increased to more than three times around the world, He called this phenomenon “Lindbergh Boom”.
Then, in 1929, several aircraft manufacturers were merged under the umbrella of the “Boeing” airline, and in the same year the “Boeing 247” passenger plane was manufactured, and it remained in service until the outbreak of World War II. The same was true for American aircraft manufacturers and production companies such as “Lockheed”, which was founded in the same period.4
As happened in the First World War, the Air Force played a decisive role in determining the fate of many of the battles that took place. Germany, led by the Nazi Party, showed great readiness in the aircraft industry, and the Empire of Japan became the largest importer at that time from the government of the Third Reich. Meanwhile, American companies were providing the Allies with huge numbers of combat aircraft, until the production number reached 100,000 aircraft per year by 1944.
Airbus… European competition for the American industrial giant
As the spark of war died down, the world witnessed an unprecedented increase in flights and the aircraft industry. Airports and support services flourished. Travel became easier and safer than before. It became the preferred means of transportation and was even within the reach of middle-income employees.
In the early seventies, several European countries established the “Airbus” company, to become a fierce competitor to the American “Boeing” in the struggle to manufacture civil aircraft. This was accompanied by the emergence of several airlines that were often adopted by governments to represent the front of the country, as well as private airlines that appeared as an additional option.
With time, the focus became on the quality and capacity of the seats instead of the number and number. Instead of making two planes that carry 400 passengers, they can be replaced by one plane carrying the same number, and this saves fuel, maintenance, and crew. There are many other options today to suit the requirements of each airline.
According to the American management consulting company Oliver Wyman, there are more than 25,000 aircraft currently in service around the world, representing the active global commercial fleet, and it is expected to witness a growth of 3% over the next five years.6
Airworthiness. the miracles of engineering that protect us in the sky
Any engineering machine succumbs to certain factors to determine its life span, and airplanes are no exception to the rest of engineering machines, but the sensitivity of the environment calls for taking all precautions to avoid a disaster. It is hardly a secret to any of the workers in the field of aircraft manufacturing that two types of damage may occur in aircraft at the level of the external structure, namely: stress and structural failure.
According to Boeing, today, structural failures represent about 20% of aircraft accidents, and this is a relatively very good indicator, as the percentage previously represented 80% of accidents.7
And the life of the aircraft is evaluated when it is built according to the calculations of specialists and manufacturers, which is technically called “Airworthiness”. Airworthiness relates to safety standards in all parts of the aircraft and all aspects, such as electrical systems, internal pressure, and hydraulic systems, as well as to structural parts exposed to aerodynamics.
Before the aircraft is certified and safe, it submits to the highest levels of strict tests, and inspections and maintenance at airports continue periodically until its life span expires, and it is disposed of while trying to make use of valid spare parts to the extent possible. The life span is what is technically called the “Limit of Validity”, and it gives a period estimated in hours during which the aircraft can operate.8
Airplane graves… Structures stacked in the final resting place
Airplane cemeteries are called the places where unwanted planes are disposed of, and they are found on a large scale in the developed world such as America and the United Kingdom. The scene may seem depressing to those who are fond of flying and flying.
If someone had passed by those tombs, he would have come across many aircraft structures stacked and lined up with impressive regularity. And the matter is not limited to storing and stockpiling them, but there are several companies today that are interested in the service of dismantling aircraft and selling them to those interested at satisfactory prices.
James Kobild, sales manager at International Air Salvage, one of the leading companies in this service, indicates that they can deal with aircraft of all models, and the dismantling process may take from 6 to 8 weeks for a medium-sized aircraft in several stages.
Dismantling the plane. Thousands of engineering pieces are for sale
The engine is the first object to be extracted from the fuselage, and it is the most valuable as well. The process is carried out with caution after the engine has been emptied of fuel and separated from the electronic parts connected to it. Then the next stages come in succession to separate the electronics, air conditioning, control devices, and the landing gear.
The plane in itself is an exquisite engineering icon because it contains thousands of small and delicate engineering pieces that are integrated to give it a single solid structure. If necessary, all of these parts are cleaned and offered for sale separately, such as chairs, toilets, kitchen, luggage boxes, etc., and the utilization of aircraft parts and parts may reach about 92% of the total structure, while a large portion goes to recycling plants. Some reports indicate that more than 500 aircraft are demobilized annually.9
Davis-Montagne Air Force Base is the largest aircraft cemetery in the world, containing 4,000 scrap aircraft, and is located in the deserts of the southwest of the United States of America.
Fortunately, other planes escaped this fate and found a more interesting and enjoyable life after retirement, as old age and advanced age give it a bit of privacy to be a destination for visitors.
Airplane restaurants. A simulation of aerial eating on the surface of the earth
Although the major airlines in the world are trying hard to provide the most delicious meals on board their planes within their service to passengers, complaints remain persistent, and the reason behind this is that the sense of taste on the tongue may be subjected to change at high altitudes, and some claim that the mood in While flying affect our ability to judge the quality of the food served.
So, some merchants have provided an experience of eating delicious dishes on board the planes, but while they are on the ground, it is okay to rearrange the furniture and decorate the place according to a romantic atmosphere, perhaps.
The most famous of these (flying) restaurants are the “Verka Hawaii Ada” restaurant located in the Indian city of Ludhiana, as well as the “La Tanti DC10” restaurant located near Kontoka International Airport in Ghana. The McDonald’s chain of restaurants also joins the list, as it owns a restaurant on an airplane in one of its branches in New Zealand.
It is seen that the escalating aircraft industry was a decisive factor in the emergence of aircraft cemeteries, and the increase in the industry is due to two things, one of which is the expiration of the aircraft, which we discussed, and the second is the continuous development of technology and the need to keep pace with this development.