The 5 Most Influential People in the Aircraft Maintenance Industry
Powered flight became a reality on the 17th December 1903 when the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur capped off their four years of research with a heavier-than-air air aircraft known as the Kitty Hawk. Before that, people had only flown in gliders and hot air balloons.
So, who are the top 5 most influential persons in the aircraft maintenance industry?
Spaceref lists the all-time top 100 personalities of aerospace and civil aviation “as voted by their peers.” And the top 5 are;
Wilbur and Orville Wright
Wilbur Wright (April 16, 1867 to May 30, 1912) born in Millville, Indiana and Orville Wright (August 19, 1871 to January 30, 1948) born in Dayton, Ohio are credited with the invention of the modern aircraft. They were the first to invent aircraft controls which ultimately made fixed wing powered flights possible. The Wright brothers also invented the three-axis control mechanism enabling the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively while maintaining equilibrium. According to them, a reliable pilot control mechanism was the only solution to the flying problem. This came at a time when other experimenters worked on ways of developing more powerful engines.
Wernher Von Braun
Popular as the founder of rocket science, the German rocket engineer and space architect was born Wernher Magnus Maximilian von Braun on March 23rd 1912 in Wirsitz, Posen. Von Braun initially worked for Nazi’s rocket development program where he played a key role in developing the V-2 combat. He arrived in the US after World War II where he worked with NASA for a long time. He was the chief architect of Saturn V, the super-booster that helped propel the Apollo to the moon. He died in 1977 on June 16th.
American professor Robert Hutchings Goddard (October 5, 1882 to August 10, 1945) who was also a recognized physicist is credited with designing and building the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket. His rockets flew at altitudes of more than 2.6km and at speeds or up to 885km/hr. Goddard who was born in Worcester Massachusetts is rightfully referred to as the father of the Space Age; he was the first to study, design and use rockets for atmospheric research, space travel and ballistic missiles.
Leonardo da Vinci
Mostly known as a painter, the multi-talented Da Vinci was one of the first scientists to make experiments for the aviation industry. Born on April 15th 1452, da Vince was obsessed with flights and left behind 160 pages of sketches of what the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum calls ornithopters – machines that used “flapping wings to generate both lift and propulsion”.
Born Glenn Hammond Curtis on 26th May 1878 in Hammondsport, New York, Curtis was the pioneer of the American Aviation and the founder of the U.S. aircraft industry. He designed and implemented a V8-Powered motorcycle that used an air- F-head engine – again designed and constructed by him. The F-head was actually designed to be used in aircrafts. He became the first licensed aircraft manufacturer in the US in 1909. Curtiss died on the 23rd of July 1930.
Mostly designers, the listed five are by far also the greatest contributors to aircraft maintenance. Of course there are many other generous, selfless personalities that helped shape the aircraft industry but the contribution of these five was simply phenomenal.
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