Room 9 - Airplanes - 20th century

For many centuries, people wanted to fly. Lots of people made flying machines but none of these were really able to fly.

People also made balloons powered by hot air in an attempt to fly. Balloons were not reliable. You could make them go up and down, mostly. However, without a motor you could not keep them in the air for a long time. Also, if there were strong winds, they could be carried to places one did not expect. In addition, balloons had only a very small basket attached to the bottom of the balloon so you could not carry a lot of people or things.


In 1903 the Wright Brothers made the first airplane. At last, man could fly! People worked on the Wright Brothers' design and made airplanes that could fly faster and farther.

As time went on, more motors were added to airplanes. Jet engines were developed so that airplanes no longer needed propellors to move the engines. Airplanes grew larger and could fly farther and faster.

Activity - Take a sheet of paper 8-1/2 by 12 and make something that flies. Will adding something to it make it fly better or faster? What could you add?

Learn about the lives of the Wright Brothers.


Visit the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Visit the Aviation OnLine Museum.




Learn how planes fly.