Thursday, January 25, 2007

Flying Machine

The invention of the flying machine changed humanity. It changed the way and the speed at which we travel. It made the world seem a little smaller as people and places in distant lands suddenly seemed much nearer by the lessened time it would take to reach them. It increased our communication between people and nations as they could travel across oceans and meet in person rather than communicating by letters or other non-personal means. Flying quickly became a recreational sport, an attractive career, and an appealing science. It lifted man into the skies, where before he only dreamt of going. It freed us from the confines of this earth upon which we live. Flight drastically changed the way wars are fought. Suddenly nations were no longer protected by standing armies at their borders. A plane could easily fly over their borders and attack a city deep in the heart of a country. Planes were merciless war machines dropping bombs on cities, respecting neither soldiers nor citizens. All were vulnerable and targets of the loads of bombs dropped by planes. Later other uses of airplanes were created, more recreational and sporty, such as the model airplane and the radio control airplane.

The airplane model is a replica of the larger, real planes that are or were actually flown. From the first plane flown by the Wright Brothers to our modern aircraft and space shuttles, you can find model airplane replicas. The replicas consist of planes flown in all of the wars, from many different countries. Each country was always trying to outdo the others in their command of the skies. In the days of airplanes, if you controlled the skies, you controlled the war. This competition between countries led the quick development of a variety of different types of fighting military aircraft. The more effective types of planes were quickly adopted by all of the countries, however, and nations began selling airplanes to other nations, so that now many countries have similar sophisticated and modern military aircraft.

With all of this in mind, a model airplanes hobby can obviously be, not just some little simple thing that people do, but it can teach about history and science. One can learn about modern military aircraft right alongside with the plane flown by the Red Baron in WWI. One can learn the evolution of the aircraft; the different types of planes and styles that countries developed and built upon or discontinued. Currently there are very many modern developers of airplanes. There are even more airlines that are supplied by these airplane manufacturers. If you are at all interested in aviation, what better way to start than to purchase your own model airplane and begin learning the history of airplanes?

There are also radio control airplanes. This side of a model airplane hobby may focus more on the science and actual flight of airplanes. Model airplanes work according to the same laws of science and physics as a real airplane. They use the same laws of thrust and lift. The wings, tails, and propellers of a model all have to be built according to the same principles of flight. The model airplane can stall in the air or crash similar to real plane.

Not surprisingly, the airplane and its offshoot developments are continuing to change humanity, from their wars, their communications, their travels and finally to their hobbies. Who knows what will happen next, where the airplane will lead us next. But it is obviously important to take a part in this continuing human experiment in aviation and flight, even if you just start with a model airplane or radio control airplane.