For the aerospace industry, the past decade has proved to be the most exciting, dynamic and innovative time in its history. Record commercial orders, new government and environmental regulations, unpredictable fuel prices and global conflicts are just a few of the key aerospace industry drivers that have sparked an unprecedented launch of new platforms and technology implementations. SKF Aerospace technical teams from around the world work side by side with SKF customers to make sure that the challenges of today and tomorrow are met.
Race for speed and reliability
The history of aviation has extended for more than 2,000 years, from the earliest forms of aviation, kites and attempts at tower jumping, to supersonic and hypersonic flight by machinepowered, heavier-than-air jets. Famous inventors such as Leonardo
da Vinci, John Stringfellow and Lawrence Hargrave conjured up ideas on how to get some of the strangest machines to fly long before the Wright Brothers’ famous first flight at Kitty Hawk. Experiments with gliders provided the groundwork for heavier-than-air craft, and by the early 20th century advances in engine technology and aerodynamics made controlled, machine-powered flight possible for the first time.
On 17 December 1903, at 10:35 a.m., the Wright Brothers, with Orville at the controls, made the first heavier-than-air, machine-powered flight. It lasted 12 seconds and spanned 36.5 metres (fig. 1). The modern aeroplane with its characteristic tail was established by 1909, and from then on the history of the aeroplane became tied to the development of more and more powerful engines.