Fascinating Facts

A 747-400 has six million parts (half of which are fasteners) made in 33 different countries.

The first time a golf ball was hit on the moon was in the year 1971.

The Wright brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, NC could have been performed within the (150-foot) economy section of a 747-400.

Before Air Traffic Control Towers were developed, pilots avoided other aircraft by a method called "see and be seen".

747s carry more passengers each year than the population of Germany.

Prior to 1926, a person could fly passengers or goods without obtaining a pilot’s license.

The first animal aviators were a sheep, a duck and a cockerel that were sent aloft in a hot air balloon in 1783.

Slinkys were invented by an airplane mechanic; he was playing with engine parts and realized the possible secondary use of one of the springs.

An airplane leaves the earth every three seconds.


Aviation Timeline

1783 – The first person to fly—Francois Pilatre de Rozier of France—in a hot air balloon rising 84 feet on a tether

1900 – Count Ferdinand Zeppelin's airship flies

1903 – Orville and Wilbur Wright fly first successful self-propelled airplane

1909 – Raymonde de Laroche becomes the first licensed female pilot

1909 – First Flight in Canada – John A.D. McCurdy flew the Silver Dart off the ice in Baddeck Bay, Nova Scotia in February 1909. This was the first controlled powered flight in Canada.

1924 – First flight around the world

1927 – Charles Lindbergh makes first solo, nonstop transatlantic flight

1932 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean

1933 – Boeing 247 is built

1947 – The sound barrier is broken by Chuck Yeager

1950s – Technologies such as long-range missiles, computer systems, electronic controls, combustion chemistry, and new composite structures made possible by the aerospace industry

1958 – The first American satellite to be placed in orbit around the Earth, "Explorer 1", is launched

1959 – NASA selects its first seven astronauts

1969 – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first persons to walk on the moon

1971 – Boeing 747 makes its first commercial flight from New York to London

1976 – Concorde flies

1980 – Janice Brown pilots Paul MacCready's Gossamer Penguin, first solar-powered aircraft without battery-stored energy, in 15-minute test flight in California.

1981 – First Space Shuttle flight

1981 – MacCready's Solar Challenger is first solar-powered aircraft to cross English Channel.

2003 – Aviation celebrates its first century

2009 – Canada celebrates 100 years of flight