The Dream of Flight: A Library of Congress Special Presentation Commemorating the Centennial of Flight
Sections: The Dream | The Achievement | Timeline of Flight

Timeline
1000 B.C.E.–2000 A.D.

1000 B.C.E.–1650 A.D.

1000 B.C.E.

Kite is invented in China.

c. 852 B.C.E.

English King Bladud is apparently killed attempting to fly.

c. 400 B.C.E.

Archytas of Tarentum is reported to have made a steam-propelled pigeon.

c. 1250 A.D.

Roger Bacon, English cleric, writes about mechanical flight.

1485-1500

Leonardo da Vinci designs flying machines and parachute.

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1660–1783

1670

Francesco de Lana Terzi publishes a design for lighter-than-air ship.

1680

Giovanni Borelli, Italian mathematician, concludes human muscle is inadequate for flight.

1709

Bartolomeu Laurenço de Gusmao designs model glider.

1783

Jean François Pilâtre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes make the first free aerial voyage in a Montgolfier hot-air balloon

1783

Jacques Alexandre César Charles and M.N. Robert fly in a hydrogen balloon..

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1785–1843

1785

Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries cross the English Channel by balloon.

1785

Jean François de Rozier and Pierre Romain are the first ballooning fatalities.

1797

André Jacques Garnerin makes the first human parachute descent, from a balloon.

1809

George Cayley publishes classic treatise on aviation.

1843

William Henson's design for aerial steam carriage is published.

1843

George Cayley's biplane design is published.

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1850–1895

1852

Henri Giffard's steam-powered airship makes first flight.

1867

Wilbur Wright is born.

1870

Alphonse Pénaud experiments with twisted rubber to power model helicopter.

1871

Orville Wright is born.

1889

Otto Lilienthal publishes Der Vogelflug als Grunlage der Fliegekunst.

1891

Otto Lilienthal begins successful gliding experiments.

1895

Otto Lilienthal flies biplane gliders.

James Means. The Problem of Manflight. Boston, Massachusetts: W.B. Clark & Co., 1894. (111)

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1896–1915

1896

Octave Chanute begins biplane gliding experiments in Michigan.

1896

Samuel P. Langley produces successful steam-powered models that fly.

1896

Otto Lilienthal crashes while gliding and dies next day.

1901

Alberto Santos-Dumont, Brazilian aviator, circles Eiffel Tower in airship.

1903

Samuel Langley's full-size manned "Aerodrome A" crashes on take-off.

1903

Orville and Wilbur Wright make first powered, sustained, and controlled flight in a heavier-than-air flying machine.

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1905–1935

1906

Alberto Santos-Dumont makes first successful powered flight in Europe.

1909

Louis Bleriot, French aviator, makes first airplane crossing of English Channel.

1926

Robert H. Goddard makes first free flight of a liquid-fueled rocket.

1927

Charles A. Lindbergh completes first solo, nonstop trans-Atlantic flight.

1930

Frank Whittle, British inventor, invents the jet engine.

1932

Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly a solo non-stop trans-Atlantic flight.

1933

A modern airliner, Boeing 247, flies for the first time.

1939

Germany's Heinkel 178 is the first fully jet-propelled aircraft to fly.

1947

Charles E. Yeager pilots Bell X-1--the first aircraft to exceed the speed of sound in level flight.

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1936–2000

1957

Soviet Union launches first man-made earth satellite, Sputnik 1.

1961

Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, is the first man in space.

1962

John H. Glenn, Jr., is the first American to orbit the earth.

1969

U.S. astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., are the first to walk on the moon.

1971

First space station, Soviet Salyut 1, is launched into earth's orbit.

1981

U.S. launches the first reusable spacecraft, the Columbia shuttle.

1998

First two modules of the International Space Station are launched and joined together in orbit.

2000

First crew arrives to take up residence in the International Space Station.

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Sections: The Dream | The Achievement | Timeline of Flight