Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.
Many cultures have built devices that travel through the air, from the earliest projectiles such as stones and spears, the
A boomerang is a flying tool with a curved shape used as a weapon or for sport.-Description:A boomerang is usually thought of as a wooden device, although historically boomerang-like devices have also been made from bones. Modern boomerangs used for sport are often made from carbon fibre-reinforced...

 in Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, the hot air Kongming lantern, and kite
A kite is a tethered aircraft. The necessary lift that makes the kite wing fly is generated when air flows over and under the kite's wing, producing low pressure above the wing and high pressure below it. This deflection also generates horizontal drag along the direction of the wind...

s. There are early legends of human flight such as the story of Icarus
-Space and astronomy:* Icarus , on the Moon* Icarus , a planetary science journal* 1566 Icarus, an asteroid* IKAROS, a interplanetary unmanned spacecraft...

, and Jamshid
Jamshid is a mythological figure of Greater Iranian culture and tradition.In tradition and folklore, Jamshid is described as having been the fourth and greatest king of the epigraphically unattested Pishdadian dynasty . This role is already alluded to in Zoroastrian scripture Jamshid (Middle-...

 in Persian myth, and later, somewhat more credible claims of short-distance human flights appear, such as the flying automaton of Archytas
Archytas was an Ancient Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, and strategist. He was a scientist of the Pythagorean school and famous for being the reputed founder of mathematical mechanics, as well as a good friend of Plato....

 of Tarentum
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base....

 (428–347 BC), the winged flights of Abbas Ibn Firnas
Abbas Ibn Firnas
Abbas Ibn Firnas , also known as Abbas Qasim Ibn Firnas and عباس بن فرناس , was a Muslim Andalusian polymath: an inventor, engineer, aviator, physician, Arabic poet, and Andalusian musician. Of Berber descent, he was born in Izn-Rand Onda, Al-Andalus , and lived in the Emirate of Córdoba...

 (810–887), Eilmer of Malmesbury
Eilmer of Malmesbury
Eilmer of Malmesbury was an 11th-century English Benedictine monk best known for his early attempt at a gliding flight using wings.- Life :...

 (11th century), and the hot-air Passarola of Bartolomeu Lourenço de Gusmão (1685–1724).

The modern age of aviation began with the first untethered human lighter-than-air flight on November 21, 1783, in a hot air balloon
Hot air balloon
The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. It is in a class of aircraft known as balloon aircraft. On November 21, 1783, in Paris, France, the first untethered manned flight was made by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes in a hot air...

 designed by the Montgolfier brothers
Montgolfier brothers
Joseph-Michel Montgolfier and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier were the inventors of the montgolfière-style hot air balloon, globe aérostatique. The brothers succeeded in launching the first manned ascent, carrying Étienne into the sky...


When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.

Leonardo da Vinci

No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings.

William Blake

Pilots take no special joy in walking. Pilots like flying.

Neil Armstrong

The way I see it, you can either work for a living or you can fly airplanes. Me, I'd rather fly.

Len Morgan|Len Morgan

Pilots are a rare kind of human. They leave the ordinary surface of the word, to purify their soul in the sky, and they come down to earth, only after receiving the communion of the infinite.

José Maria Velasco Ibarra|José Maria Velasco Ibarra, President of Ecuador.

If God had intended us to fly, He would have given us wings.

Anonymous proverb. Note that many humorous variations have been made from this, replacing the second half of the sentence with things such as, "He would have given us more money" or "He would have bought us the tickets" or in the quixotic commentery of Michael Flanders, "he would never have given us railways".

If God had intended us to fly, he wouldn't have invented Spanish air traffic control.

Dave Lister, Red Dwarf

Any landing that you can walk away from is a good one!


Flying may not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.

Amelia Earhart

Ours is the commencement of a flying age, and I am happy to have popped into existence at a period so interesting.

Amelia Earhart 20 Hrs 40 Mins 1928.