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Many attempts had been made for man to fly before the Wright
brothers invented the airplane. There are various mythologies
that reference these attempts.
During the eighteenth century, balloons consisting of a gasbag, a valve, a suspended basket, and ballast were developed. Leonardo da Vinci was the first individual to solve the principles of flight. Because of this discovery, the Montgolfier brothers were able to send the first passengers aloft in a lighter-than-air craft.
Since that time, there have been many variations in the construction of airplanes. Supersonic jet interceptors and subsonic jet bombers were developed in the 1950s. The jet fighters were replaced with jet bombers that could fly higher and faster. The United States has been successful in maintaining its superiority over other nations because of the advances made by aerospace technology.
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Updated: 12 March, 2004