From the Wright Brothers’ historic flight at Kitty Hawk to today’s corporate jet, the history of aviation has grown tremendously over the past century. One of the leading aircraft manufacturers, Pratt & Whitney, and later United Aircraft Transport Corporation, developed today’s air-cooled radial engine with faster, safer and more easily-controlled aircraft.
Pratt and Whitney
Today, Pratt & Whitney’s engines account for more than 40% of the world’s passenger planes, serving customers in more than 160 countries. In 2007, Pratt & Whitney surpassed 1 billion flight hours of service, playing an integral role in the history of aviation.
The radial engine developed by Capt. Frederick Rentschler and partner George J. Mead became standard for aircraft engines during World War II – these were produced by Pratt & Whitney. Radial engines continued to be the most popular aircraft engine until the development of jet engines. In fact, the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp remains the most-produced engine in the history of aviation.
Looking to the Future
When looking at the history of aviation, it is important to look to the future as well. Each step in aviation history led to an invention improving the current methods and models, and the same is true of today’s aviation. Today’s aircraft are lighter, faster and more fuel-efficient than those of past generations, though the planes of the future will undoubtedly improve even more. Researchers are studying alternative fuels like electricity, organics and other methods for powering aircraft in an effort to reduce environmental impacts.
Today’s aviation is a result of the ever-evolving history of aviation, and reflects what is to come in the aviation world. For more information on the history of aviation, join Covington Aircraft’s online community on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
[gravityform id=”2″ name=”Contact Us – Call (918) 932-3993″]