The first form of an aircraft was the kite, designed in the 5th century. In the 16th century, Leonardo da Vinci studied bird's flight, and later produced the airscrew and the parachute. The airscrew, leading to the propeller later on, and the parachute were tremendously important contributions to aviation. On December 17, 1903, at 10:35 a.m. in Kitty Hawk North Carolina, the Wright brothers made the first heavier-than-air, machine powered flight which lasted 12 seconds and spanned 120 feet although they are credited for successfully having the first flight, there is one thing that separates their flying from today's flight, the Wright plane was catapulted straight to give it speed. As the year went on, the design and mechanics of the plane greatly advanced, cockpits were built for the pilot and suggestions were made to make the plane a weapon. The first dogfight was in 1912 between British and German planes. During World War One, aviation was first used as a weapon. The two most popular types of plane being built were bi and tri planes. Pilots would carry grenades and the first bombs with them and simply throw them out of the plane as they fly above the enemy lines. Cameras would also be given to pilots so they could take pictures of enemy positions, creating the first reconnaissance plane. .
After the war the first planes were used for commercial travel. In the beginning people traveled in the air by airships because they were more comfortable and quieter than planes. As the years past the commercial industry grew heavily and the largest operator of all international airlines in operation at this time was Pan American Airways. Pan American served 46 countries and colonies linking all continents and nearly all oceans. Small aircraft production increased significantly. .
During World War fighter planes were built with two wings. Heavy bombers were being produced that became to be the biggest planes of their time with four engines and large wing spans.