Neither Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) nor Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782) could ever see an airplane fly in their lifetimes.
Yet their theories are today applied to explain how an aeroplane flies in textbooks.
The reality behind it is a different story.
Whatever we are able to talk, write or discuss about flying, it is only because of the basic fact that today we really indeed have a thing called an ‘airplane’. There used to be a time in the history of human civilisation when there was no airplane; no man could even dream of flying. He can only watch in awe birds and insects fly.
When their friend died in an attempt to fly like a bird by jumping from a cliff, they vowed at his grave, “We will not let your death go to waste.” Had they not taken the pledge on that fateful day, the mankind would never have seen the airplane.
They went to their school teacher to ask the rudiments of flying. When the teachers could not answer their questions, they chose to drop out of school.
It was that decision, that resolve of the Wright brothers sometime in December 1899 which gave the mankind a flying machine called the Aeroplane. No specific courses, no books, no certificates, no degrees, no diplomas. Nobody came forward to support them. On the contrary, everyone mocked the Wright brothers and called them mad. Today, the irony is, the airplane is the result of that madness.
However, the story does not end here.
The inventors of the aircraft had never imagined that the airplanes would be used as bombers. But the fact is, it did happen. You may call this a typical human nature emanating from political aspirations.
There is still more in the story.
In 1939, Germany made the Jet engine for aircraft. It was nearly four times quicker than the traditional piston-engined airplane. Sensing its capabilities, Germany began the WWII. It was highly successful for at least a year. Its success lasted only till its opponents too made the Jet engined aircraft.
The aircraft even today is widely put into military use. The modern aeroplane is the result of 100s of trials and R&D done. One simply cannot deny that technological enhancements continued to evolve mainly due to this. Even the civil aviation benefitted.
So, today’s modern airplane is a product of such history.
Furthermore, after the airplanes were made and put into operation, the need to make Civil Aviation Laws were felt. The Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, was signed in 1944 by 52 countries. Today India follows the Indian Aircraft Act made in 1934. Then various departments were created. While the bureaucracy handles the Ministries, the Lawyers, Environmentalists, educationists and media people look after the legal, judicial and social procedures. Herein, you can see a different kind of supply chain at work due to aviation.
Thereafter, various R&D have been undertaken, several books on aeronautics have been written, and then various courses have been designed in schools and colleges.
Always remember that an airplane never flies, it is the Man who makes the machine fly. This particular fact compelled the Law makers to describe the aircraft as a ‘man-made flying machine’ as its legal definition.