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 Form 2 History and Government online lessons on transport

Meaning of air transport and the development of aeroplanes

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Answer Text:
Air Transport.
- This is the fastest form of transport over long distances and continents.
- Different types of Aircraft exist.
(i) Aeroplane.
- An airplane is an aircraft heavier than air that uses wings to obtain lift in order to fly thus
transporting people, mail and cargo from place to place. They are also used in warfare.
- The development of an aeroplane started in 1783 when a successful manned flight was made in France by two brothers, Jacques and Joseph Montgolfier using a hot air balloon.
- Sir George Cayley, an English scholar and inventor, built model Gliders that could sail in the air in the 19th c.
- Later, Pilcher added wheels to the gliders in order for them to be towed into the air.
- By 1850, power driven planes were built.
- An English engineer, John String built and designed power-driven planes.
- In December 1903, an American astronomer, Samuel Langleys almost won the honour of perfecting the power driven airplanes, by making a full size airplane called the aerodrome.
- The plane unfortunately crashed in Potomac River before being launched.
- On 17th December 1903, two weeks after Langley’s failure, the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, produced the first manned power driven aeroplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina USA.
- Their machine was a wooden glider fitted with a petrol engine and two propellers.
- In 1906, a Brazilian-born aviation pioneer made the first officially observed European flight in a powered bi-plane.
(ii) Helicopters.
- It is a type of airplane which obtains its lift from a set of rotor blades rather than fixed wings.
- The first successful helicopter was made in 1907 when a French helicopter left the ground for a few seconds.