Powered flight began more than a century ago with the Wright Brothers. The first airplane had little practical use, but man had developed controlled flight. By the end of World War 1, the airplane had become a fairly reliable machine, but had not yet come of age. The aircraft had use for reconnaissance and there were aerial battles, but the aircraft had little effect on the outcome.
Between the world wars saw an increase in aviation. There were air shows, the airplane crossed the Atlantic Ocean, passenger travel and airmail was introduced. Flying was still prohibitively expensive and unreliable. Rail and ship were the method of travel.
World War 2 saw great advances in aviation technology. The airplane won or lost battles. Troops and passengers were carried by air, but ship and rail remained the most common form of transportation. After World War 2, airlines began to develop, but were still inaccessible to the average person. The late 1950s saw the dawn of the jet age. Aviation was here to stay!
In the 21st century, global trade and travel have greatly increased. Everyone is in a hurry to go places fast, to keep ahead of the competition. Passengers and cargo can no longer travel for days or weeks across and ocean or continent. It has to be done in hours! Only the aviation industry can meet that demand.
Today, every flight on every airline is almost always filled to capacity. Even when there is an economic down-turn, people have to go places fast. The world is constantly on the move, and the economy of the 21st century could not exist as we know it without aviation. Rail, or ship are no longer the most common methods of transportation; most of it is done by air. The existing fleets of most airlines cannot handle the massive increase in demand for air travel. Almost every airline is drastically increasing their aircraft fleet to keep up with the demand. Even in tough economic times, the demand for air travel remains strong. This has resulted in not only more career opportunities for aviation personnel, but in a more stable career environment than ever before.
Aviation has become one of the most important industries in the world. Never before have there been more opportunities in the industry, and never before has the industry played such vital role.