These days, when you step onto a plane for a flight to a destination hundreds of miles away, it’s easy to forget how that was even made possible.
It certainly wasn’t achieved overnight.
How many sleepless nights have there been to enable passengers to fly from A to B? And how many stories of dedication and graft to facilitate flight have been left untold?
Of course, every achievement and success in aviation started somewhere, a moment in aviation history where a dream was achieved that changed how we fly.
One of the most important aviation firsts was Otto Lilienthal’s glider flight in 1891. It captured the imagination of the whole world and inspired the Wright brothers, and you don’t need to be an aviation expert to know what they went on to achieve.
The first jet engine, the first airborne radio communications, the first pilot to break the sound barrier and the first transatlantic jet passenger service are just a few of the incredible endeavors that brought aviation to the point it’s at today.
But what are the aviation firsts of the future that could shake the foundations of flight and set the industry on a different course?
First emissions-free airline
According to Our World in Data, the airline industry is responsible for 2.5% of global emissions, so it’s understandable that the sector is under increasing pressure to act.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for air travel now shows no sign of slowing down, with airlines making record-breaking orders for new jets.
To combat the effects of global warming, in 2021 the International Air Transport Association (IATA) committed its airline members to achieve net zero carbon by the year 2050.
Despite the negative headlines, many carriers have responded by increasing their use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), buying fuel-efficient aircraft or making significant investment in more sustainable power sources.
Airlines such as…