Flying Experience Want a gift to give you a lift? A flying experience in either a private aeroplane of a helicopter is a day out that will be long remembered. Venues across the country
With experienced pilots to give you ease of mind, you are in for a treat as you soar like a bird above the green fields and rocky mountains of the beautiful Irish landscape - a flying experience that's guaranteed to give you a lift! Read More »
Taking off from either Weston Airport, Co. Kildare or Cork city Airport, you will experience both the thrill of flying in a small private aircraft or helicopter, and the spectacular views that are only possible from low altitude flying.
Flying Experience - History of Aviation
The Chinese first discovered flying around 400 BC by inventing kites, which they used in religious ceremonies.
Kites seemed to fire man’s imagination about being able to fly like birds…literally. The Greek myth of Icarus who built himself wings to escape capture on the island of Crete, and flew too close to the sun, causing the wings to melt and him to fall to his death – was not untypical of many centuries of man’s dangerous obsession with trying to emulate the flight of birds by building wings and attaching them to their arms and launching themselves from heights.
But the world had to wait for the genius of Leonardo da Vinci to make the first real studies into mechanised flight experience in the 1480s. As well as dozens of drawings showing “man bird” designs, da Vinci made details drawings of a flying machine called The Ornithopter. This contraption, which was never actually built, was to become the basis for the first helicopters 400 years later.
In the 1780s, two French brothers, Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier, developed the first hot air balloons. They made the first manned balloon flight on the 21st November 1783.
The work of English engineer George Cayley was instrumental in the early nineteenth century in developing fixed wing aircraft. Cayley spent decades perfecting gliders with aerodynamic fixed wings and control tails. He conducted many gliders flights using children and adults as test pilots. Eventually, he perfected the design for aircraft wings and tails, and concluded that machine engines fitted to his glider designs would lead to manned flights – and he was right, but he died in 1857 before this transpired.
In the 2nd half of the 1800s, several esteemed engineers took up the challenge of developing machine-powered aircraft. Otto Lilienthal in Germand, Samuel Langley in the USA and Octave Chanute in France all made valuable contributions to developing the technology. Some, like Otto Lilienthal were even killed testing their experimental flying machines.
However, it took until 1903 for the first powered flight to be achieved by the brothers Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright, who had spent years meticulously studying all the research that had gone before and having carried out endless experiments on different designs and engines.
Humankind’s fist ever flight experience was a modest one – 12 seconds at 20 feet covering about 120 feet. But this was the historic milestone in the history of aviation nonetheless.
Of course, very soon following the Orville brothers breakthrough, airplane development became driven by the military. The Italian army was the first to deploy airplanes in battle during the Italian-Turkish war in 1911. During World War I rapid advances were made in airplane technology, and airmen such the Red Baron and René Paul Fonck became famous (or infamous) for their exploits.
The years between World War I and World War II saw great advancements in aircraft flight experience and technology. Planes went from low-powered wooden biplanes made to high-powered monoplanes made of aluminum.
The 1920s also saw the start of commercial flights. The US Post Office started offering airmail as a business services mainly for banks, and by 1925 was delivering 14 million air packages and letter in the USA. Non-airmail aviation ventures in the 1920s were unsuccessful. However, when Charles Lindbergh made his famous solo flight to Paris in 1927, his flight set off a Wall Street rush to invest in aviation. Still though in 1930, travelers could travel across the US faster by train than they could fly. And flying was extremely expensive and uncomfortable in those early commercial airplanes.
In 1930, a milestone of sorts for commercial aviation was reached, when the first female air hostesses (who were all qualified nurses) were introduced by Boeing. Very soon, this became an established career for young single woman of short stature, though it didn’t become a really glamorous profession until the golden era of commercial jet planes in the 1950s and 1960s.
World War II saw a drastic increase in airplane technology and production. Both Germany and Britain would both independently develop the jet aircraft by the end of World War II. After World War II, commercial aviation grew rapidly, mostly using the abundance of surplus ex-military aircraft to transport people and cargo.
In 1947 Chuck Yeager’s rocket-powered Bell X1 became the first controlled flight to break the speed of sound. Further barriers of distance fell in 1948 with the first jet crossing of the Atlantic. USSR's Aeroflot became the first airline in the world to operate a regular jet service in 1956 by introducing the Tupolev Tu-104. The Boeing 707, which established new levels of comfort and safety, helped to usher in the age of mass commercial air travel soon after.
Supersonic air passenger services began in the mid-1970s with Aeroflot’s started regular Tu-144 and British Airway’s Concorde. More recently airplane development has focused on avionics or “fly-by-wire”, and UAV (unmanned Aerial Vehicles.) In October 2003 the first totally autonomous flight across the Atlantic by a computer-controlled model aircraft occurred.