August 19, 2011

Happy National Aviation Day!

Today is National Aviation Day, a time in the United States when we celebrate the progress of the aviation industry and all that air travel has contributed. Former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt founded the holiday back in 1939, chosen on this day in honor of Orville Wright’s birthday (who was still alive when the holiday was named).

We’ve certainly come a long way since 1939! The earliest passenger planes carried fewer than 20 people and did not have adequate heating or cooling systems, or even air circulation of any kind! Planes also flew at very low altitudes, which meant passengers felt every bump and breeze. The smell of fuel was also overwhelming and people had to open their windows to get relief!

Commercial air travel was also very exclusive when it first started, with business and upper class customers as the main clientele. Tickets prices were much higher than the alternative transportation options like railroad and only those who were wealthy could afford to fly.

Times sure have changed! Today we see people from all walks of life taking advantage of more affordable air travel. We have comfortable amenities and our planes can fly upwards of 35,000 feet, soaring high above the turbulent airs that planes of yesteryear weathered.

We take this time to salute our fellow aviation buffs and wish everyone a very happy National Aviation Day!

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