When Was the First Airplane Made?

At Cirrus Aviation, we have been in business for over 40 years. Over this time, we have accumulated a fleet of aircraft in varying styles and sizes, all of which we keep expertly maintained and manned by our highly trained pilots and attendants. Over the course of our own history, we have observed many changes in the airline industry, reflecting the needs of passengers who choose airline travel for a variety of reasons. We are proud of the role we play in aviation and whether your interests are in booking a charter for a business trip or getting a luxurious private jet in Las Vegas for personal travel, we want to share with you the humble beginnings of how it all got started.

The Wright Brothers - the First Successful Airplane

Many people are familiar with the story of the Wright Brothers. They launched the first successful powered airplane on December 17, 1903 in Kitty Hawk, a small town along the coast of North Carolina known as the Outer Banks. Known as the Wright Flyer, it had a wingspan of just over 40 feet, measured 21 feet in length, and weighed 750 pounds, which included the weight of the pilot. (In contrast, a modern Boeing 747 has a total length of more than 250 feet and can carry up to 975,000 pounds fully loaded.)

While the Wright Flyer seems primitive by today’s standards, it was an engineering marvel at the time. According to the National Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the design evolved out of gliders the brothers had been working on and flying for several years. Interesting design details include the following:

  • It was constructed largely of fabric, wood, and metal;
  • The Flyer engine sat beside the pilot in the cockpit;
  • A hand-held anemometer was used to gauge wind speeds;
  • The four-cylinder, 12 horsepower engine operated on regular gasoline and traveled at a speed of 26 knots, or roughly 30 miles per hour. (Today, most commercial aircraft travel at 500 miles per hour or more.)

Other Airline Firsts

While the Wright Flyer made history in 1903, the plane itself continued to be modified by the brothers and a more practical design was introduced in 1905. While these early aircrafts still required a catapult to launch, the airline industry was on its way.

Air and Space reports the first passenger plane took off several years later, in 1908. Another Wright Brother creation, it carried a distant uncle. From there, they opened the first airport in 1909 and the first aviation school a year after that. By 1911, the Burgess Co. became the first commercial airplane manufacturer, designing aircraft that could carry multiple passengers and setting the airline industry on its path today.

Book a Private Jet in Las Vegas Through Cirrus Aviation

The airline industry has come a long way since the Wright Brothers. Today, Cirrus Aviation is a leader in providing comfortable and convenient charter flights filled with the types of luxury amenities passengers want. Call or contact us online to book a private jet in Las Vegas today.