“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
When you look skyward to see a descending jet plane and feel the earth rumble as it soars overhead, it feels almost impossible that it was only 117 years ago that the first-ever flight was recorded. But that’s the truth.
At Adagold Aviation we believe there’s an intrinsic wonder tied to flying. Nothing has sped-up human advancement faster than the discovery of powered flight. We have crossed seas in days, broken the sound barrier, entered outer space, and overall achieved the impossible – what’s more, this was all done within half a lifetime.
Here’s a timeline showing some of the highlights in the history of flight:
From first flight to the birth of an industry: 1903 – 1950
The first-ever successful flight was technically a private flight. In 1903 trailblazers Orville and Wilbur Wright made history when they piloted the first sustained and controlled flight in a heavier-than-air flying machine. With only two people on board, we say that’s as private as it comes.
The Wright brothers also took the record of the first-ever passenger flight in 1908 when Wilbur took an employee along for a ride. Australia’s neighbours were just short of making history when New Zealand’s Richard Pearse had his first powered flight documented in 1904. However, witnesses interviewed years later claimed that Pearse flew and landed a powered, heavier-than-air machine on 31 March 1903, beating the Wright brothers by 18 months. But with no concrete evidence, it will stay as one of life’s mysteries.
Needless to say, the Wright brothers set the world alight and inspired man to take to the sky. The technology was quickly refined and mastered, and within just 20 years planes were able to circumnavigate the globe.
We won’t delve too deeply into the early birth of aviation because the jet-powered private aviation industry did not officially start until the 1950s. However, planes have been used for corporate reasons since the 1930s.
Around 25,000 corporate planes existed in the United States alone by 1957. Wealthy businessmen, celebrities and royalty commonly used them. While the industry was booming, the most significant advancement would come in the next decade.
Highlights of this era:
- 1919 – The first scheduled international passenger flight departed on 25 August. The flight went from London to Paris.
- 1923 – First transcontinental non-stop flight.
- 1935 – Boeing designs the first commercial aircraft with a pressurised cabin in their 307 Stratoliner.
- 1939 – Germany’s Heinkel 178 became the first jet-propelled aircraft to take to the sky.
- 1947 – Aircraft exceeds the speed of sound – Piloted by Charles Yeager.
Birth Of The Commercial Aviation Industry We Know Today
The world was abuzz with the newfound possibilities of flight, but it wasn’t until 1963 when the first private jet flight was truly founded. First, we must go back 13 years to discuss the first commercial aircraft which paved the way.
In 1950 the De Havilland DH 106 Comet was unveiled. This aircraft accommodated ten passengers plus two crew members. A few other aircrafts were created between the 1950s and ’60s, but the game was completely changed in 1963 with the Learjet 23.
This American light purpose-built jet fit two crew and four to six passengers. The twinjet aircraft was a high-speed business jet and could reach 561 miles per hour (100mph faster than the Comet). The jet was not designed for commercial purposes; it was specifically engineered to transport VIP’s and business executives from one place to another at blitzing speeds. And so, the private charter industry was birthed.
Engineers focused on improving travel speeds and carry sizes. The Gulfstream II entered the picture in 1966 and set the standard for private jets because of its spacious cabins. The jet could transport up to 19 passengers and flew up to 4000 miles without needing to refuel. In 1970 the famous Boeing released the 747 VIP Private Jet and gave access to the largest cabins available at the time for private aircraft.
Jet travel bloomed soon after. Private jets weren’t only for luxury anymore; for many they became a key tool to transport important people quickly and maximise efficiency.
In 1980, the world’s first private jet dedicated airport was created in France. The Le Bourget Airport in Paris paved the way for the thousands of small airports and fixed-base operations across the world. Australia is scattered with these remote, private airports that allow unique access to private jet users that is inaccessible to most people.
Now jets can do so much more with less human involvement. Vtols, electric aircrafts and planes that are more automated than ever are technologies being adopted by engineers worldwide. The future of air travel is just as bright as it was 117 years ago.
Private Jet Charters Broaden Your Horizons
With so many years of history involved, there are private jets made to suit various occasions. Private jets have different speeds, cabin spaces, and fittings – so it can be tough knowing what’s right for you. That’s where we come in!
Luckily the need for individually privately owned jets is a thing of the past. Private jet charters give you access to the best aircraft for your needs and costs significantly less than buying. Need to transport 12 people overseas last minute, or want a solo flight to a holiday destination? No problem, charter brokers help by looking at a broad selection and picking the best jet for the job.
The future of private aviation is as bright as ever and Adagold Aviation looks forward to taking you to new horizons. If you’re looking for a private jet charter service, contact our team of experienced master brokers. We’ll help you get to your next destination in style.