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How Air Travel Has Evolved in the Past Century

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Throughout the history of man, people have yearned to fly – but it is doubtful that even 100 years ago anyone would have thought that air travel would have evolved to what it is today. Here is a quick history of how air travel has evolved through the years.

It Can Be Used for Many Purposes

Air travel at its very basic started out with man just wanting to get into the air, whether just to see what it felt like or to see if it could be done. However, soon after people realized that airplanes were here to stay, true visionaries began to see all the ways air travel could be used, for war, for mail delivery, and eventually to make it much easier for people to get to where they wanted to go.

As early as 1918 airplanes were being used to fly mail across the country. It was dangerous work, with no radios or instruments to help guide the pilot, and flying could only be done during the daytime. Now, of course, flying mail and cargo across the country is not only much safer for the pilot and crew but much faster and more efficient. Often cargo is placed in passenger planes, but there are also all-cargo planes. The industry has seen a boost in recent years as ordering online is such a common practice, and people are always in a hurry to receive what they’ve ordered.

Measures to ensure that the cargo gets to its destination in one piece have improved as well. Pressurized cargo planes are used to carry livestock, special planes are built to carry heavy items such as cars and construction equipment, and cargo planes are outfitted so that perishables can arrive at their destination in tip-top shape. An item that is vital for the safety of the cargo plane crew and for the protection of the cargo is cargo straps. Not just any strap will do – they have to be sturdy and tough to keep the cargo in place and withstand the movement of the plane. Cargo is less likely to be damaged when ancra straps are used to strap down cargo.

It Is Much Safer Now

We’ve all seen the film of the Hindenburg’s last flight in 1937, catching on fire as it landed, which quickly put a stop to rigid airships and paved the way for airplanes to take center stage as the way to transport people through the air. Of course there are always going to be accidents, but the odds of dying on an airplane are projected to be 1 in about 3 billion. This rate is so low because of advances in technology, highly trained pilots and crew members, and a multitude of backup systems to help if something does go wrong.

It Is a Little Less Fun Now

If there is a downside to modern air travel, it is that it is no longer the “event” it used to be. In the 1930s as commercial air travel was really becoming popular among the more wealthy, the comfort of the passenger was the main goal of the airline. The staff was attentive, the seats were plush and comfortable, and there were even sleeping berths available for overnight flights. Some flights even had a chef who would come out to greet the passengers and then serve them their meal. Passengers knew flying was a special treat as well, and it was common for people to put on their nicest clothes for the trip.


Air travel is such a common thing now that it is not as exciting as it used to be. However, the upside is that it is more efficient, faster, and does a very good job of just getting people, mail, and cargo where they need to go, which, after all, is the main goal. Looking back at the past century makes you wonder what changes are in store for this evolving industry in the next hundred years.

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Tags: air, flight, travel