As an aviator, I understand just how important the industry is. It has changed the way we travel, trade, fight and view the world. Aviation has made for some incredible technological breakthroughs and we will always continue to push forward to blur the line between fantasy and reality. And for anyone that was born into the modern world of commercial aviation, it can be very easy to forget just how revolutionary and important this industry was and still is. In order to remind you, I will give a brief overview of aviation’s impact on the world.
Before the first commercial flights in the early 1900s, human beings were relatively limited in their travels. Very few people had access to automobiles, so walking, riding in a carriage, or riding horseback were the three most popular methods of traveling back then. Traveling from one city to another could take days, if not weeks, and if you wanted to travel to another continent the only way to do so was on a ship, which could take months. Once commercial aviation came into play, humans no longer looked at the world as a vast landscape that was too large to traverse; we could now travel halfway around the world in mere hours.
Much like travel, trade has been greatly affected by aviation in a similar manner. Before aviation, trade was conducted either on land or by sea. Trade routes were established and used frequently. Large ships would carry goods across the seas while merchants would transport their wares on horseback or carriage. While the process worked, it was largely inefficient as it took far too long for supplies to reach their destinations. However, after aviation was mastered, traders began using large airplanes to ship their goods across the world. Today, various goods and products are internationally transported through the use of airplanes, including electronics, clothing, food, and even mail. Today, we can purchase an item online and have it to our house the next day all thanks to aviation.
Aviation has also drastically impacted one of the least positive aspects of our society: war. With the introduction of airplanes in the battlefield, armies could now drop payloads from the skies, creating a much more terrifying, and elusive, enemy. Airplanes can carry massive amounts of weight in the form of weapons, ammunition, vehicles, warheads and other items necessary for war. These items can then be airdropped to save soldiers that desperately need them. Wounded soldiers can be transported from the battlefield to the safety of a command base in minutes, and paratroopers can drop in on unsuspecting enemies for a successful ambush attack. There is no doubt that aviation has changed the battlefield forever.