100 years of the airplane

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight. In my opinion, this was one of the 3 most world-changing inventions ever, along with the telephone and the computer.

I rather got a kick out of an article I read the other day by Thomas Sowell.) He opens like this:

[The airplane] was the work of a couple of young men who had never gone to college and were just a couple of bicycle mechanics in Dayton, Ohio.

That part of the United States is often referred to disdainfully as "flyover country" because it is part of America that the east coast and west coast elites fly over on their way to what they consider more important places. But they are able to fly over it only because of those mechanics in Dayton.

According to this site, they had glided a record distance of 620 feet over a year before their historic powered flight, which covered 120 feet in 12 seconds. At 10 ft/s, you can easily run faster than Orville flew. But he and Wilbur propelled more than just their plane that day - they propelled the human race into a new age.

Re: 100 years of the airplane

I think I'd put the printing press in there at number one or two.

Re: 100 years of the airplane

D'oh! That one slipped by me. Oh well, with the internet, who uses paper anymore?