Free «History of Air Transport» Essay

History of Air Transport

The origin of the air transportation system that people have now is from the concept of exploring and promoting aviation in the United States. The first powered flight ever to be done was on December 17, 1903 by the Wright Brothers. The first practical plane in 1905 developed, due to this flight made by the Brothers (Terman, 1989).

Flights that were made between 1903 and 1914 were mostly for sports, and only the rich could use these airplanes. During that time, the airplanes were small, slow and unreliable. World War 1 provided a chance for the airplanes prove that they were a highly essential tool for the military, despite challenges they faced. Pilots were using magnetic compasses as their navigation devices, so they could only fly 200 to 500 above the ground, so as to use roads and railways for navigation.  There were frequent accidents because of low visibility and night landings made use bonfires.

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There was the creation of a commercial airline industry, and airline companies, which include Western Air express, Pan American Airways and Ford Air Transport Service, due to the Air Mail Act of 1925 (Terman, 1989). They began to organize commercial passenger service. People could now travel using airplanes, and by the mid-1930s, there were four domestic airlines namely; Eastern, United, America and Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA). Air travels increased which made some airport operators introduce Air Traffic Control (ATC). These were visual signals. They used to wave flags, in order to communicate with pilots.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is an agency of the United States Department of Transport. It has the mandate control all aspects of non-military (civil) aviation in the United States.

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Forms of Free Flight

1. Airborne

The pilot detects and resolves all problems during the flight. He is given information from the ATC; then he makes his decision based on this information. For example, the ATC will forward information on the position of the aircraft or the weather and leave the decision-making to the pilot. The surveillance system is on the aircraft or the ground (Fallows, 2002). However, the surveillance system could experience malfunctioning, resulting to a problem with communication. Smaller aircrafts are not able to carry the equipment. This will make the small aircrafts leave some components behind, which could result to problems in communication. It is quite difficult to have total assurance for all air traffic. In case two small aircrafts with different equipment encounter each other, the receiving equipment will have to receive the equipment’s data, as well as some normal data, like speed (Terman, 1989). If there is a failure in the system, the aircrafts will have to be making blind flights.

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2. Ground

The communication is made from the aircraft to the ATC (Fallows, 2002). The pilot sends the data to ATC asking for a path. In this type of Free Flight, the Aircrew will not have full awareness of the situation, as it is in the airborne approach (Fallows, 2002). The crew will not be in a position to assist with handling any uncertainties. Incase an aircraft does not follow a directive that has been given by ATC, it will be issued again. This translates to increase in the workload for the Air Traffic Management (ATM) operators (United States Congress Committee, 2011).

3. Mixed focus

This type is a combination of airborne and ground approach. A route is sent to the aircraft and the ATM. The aircrew examines it, and if it does not like, it sends changes to the ATM (Terman, 1989).

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Free Flight system is helpful. It provides a much safer environment to work. That way, pilots will be assured of safety during their flights. It is hard to trust life in the hands of people who have been undertrained, underpaid and overworked. They might also go for strikes and leave control centers paralyzing the air transport (Fallows, 2002). On the one hand, no one is self-sufficient. Pilots may not be competent enough to do all the work on their own. There is, consequently, a need for third party’s help to resolve conflicts of flight paths supervise takeoffs and landings, and keep a watch on the movements in space.

Free Flight is a brilliant idea. Its forms give an excellent deal. It has its disadvantages that one would not consider as main shortcomings. It is time that people enjoy a new and safer system in the air travel industry.

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