It was unthinkable, crazy, and often deadly. Only a small portion people would ever think about taming the skies above them. I am talking about the early years in aviation. If you ask someone about the first aviators, they will most likely answer that the Wright brothers were the first in the sky. However, the Wright brothers were not in fact the first aviators. There would be many other brave souls that would explore the sky and perish while doing so before them. I will tell you about some of these people and their contributions to aviation as I talk about the beginnings of aviation.
The idea of flight was first recorded by people like Emporer Shun, who would imitate the wing motion of birds with makeshift wings with feathers attached in an attempt to achieve flight. The idea of flight even emerged in Greek mythology. One of the most well known Greek mythological creatures is Pegasus, the flying horse. In the great Greek story about Icarus and Daedus human flight is depicted as the two men try to escape imprisonment by creating wings made of wax and feathers. This early era of imagining flight would be followed by a time of invention.
Leonardo Da Vinci is one of the most famous inventors of all time. Da Vinci would also express his interest in flight as he tried his hand at inventing aeronautical machines. Da Vinci would invent such things as an early type of helicopter, which never flew or was even built, and draw plans for a parachute. Da Vinci would never successfully create a machine that flew or a parachute, but he opened the eyes of other inventors by these attempts.
As time progressed, others would try their hand at creating a machine that would fly, but would never be successful, this would be changed by two English brothers. In the late 1700's the Montgolfier brothers would become interested in the "force" that caused smoke and the sparks in it to rise. In an experiment, one of the brothers would make a small balloon out of silk and light a fire underneath it causing it to rise.