Aviation has been one of the most important changes and inventions in the world. It has changed everything about civilization and society. In the time since the Wright brothers made their 12-second flight in North Carolina in 1903, aviation and flight have become a vital part of the country’s culture and society (Hughes 25). In the United States, aviation has created a world of possibility for leisure, industry, war, and the economy.
Leisure has changed dramatically because it is now openly available for anyone to enjoy a vacation or an out of town visit. Aviation has cut down on travel time, meaning that one can spend more time in a destination instead of allotting for driving or sailing time. In addition, many forms of entertainment have come from aviation, such as the wing walkers of the 1900’s as well as the various teams of stunt plane pilots.
Industries in the United States have been greatly impacted by aviation because of the ability to export and import goods quicker than in previous years. Airplane manufacturing industries were about to sprout up and take advantage of the opportunity to create businesses that made planes. There are also opportunities to work with the government selling surplus planes (Lee 80). In the 1920’s the Kelly Air Mail Act was passed, which established private contractors for air mail and package delivery (Lee 97). This gave more companies the opportunity to get in to business through aviation delivery services. In the 1900’s, the United States was credited with having the best air mail system in the world to date (Hughes 27).
Perhaps one of the most notable areas where aviation has had a significant impact on the United States is war. Flying has revolutionized the way that the United States fights wars. The first use of planes in the United States military was during World War I (Townshend 263). They were used for all kinds of functions, such as scouting and spying, transporting troops, and to drop artillery (Townshend 263). During the First World War, aircraft production reached a rate of 21, 000 planes yearly and employed approximately 175,000 people (Lee 82). During World War II, the United States army began to develop weapons of mass destruction that could be dropped from the air from airplanes. This cumulated in 1945 when the United States dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Townshend 151). Without the use of aerial warfare, made possible through airplanes, the United States would not have been able to achieve victory in World War I or World War II, or any wars afterward.
Everything that needs to be done overseas, or even cross-country, can now be done in less time, saving the economy a lot of money (Lee 92). The United States has been made reachable by the invention of aviation, which means that tourism to the country is now possible. Over time, this has allowed the United States to make money from tourism, boosting the economy greatly. It opened up an entire new section of economics and profit that had been unthinkable before. Aviation, especially commercial aviation, has opened up job positions, from pilots to flight attendants to the thousands of people who work in airports. Adding such a large chunk of employment opportunities allowed another boost for the economy.
In conclusion, aviation has been one of the most important inventions to happen to the United States and the rest of the world. It has greatly impacted areas of American culture such as leisure, industry, war, and economy. The great things that aviation has brought this country could fill thousands of books, and will be studied for years to come.
Hughes, G. F. “Impressions of Civil Aviation in the United States of America.” AQ: Australian
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Lee, David D. “Herbert Hoover and the Development of Commercial Aviation, 1921-1926.” The
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Townshend, Charles. The Oxford History of Modern War. New York: Oxford University Press,