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Air Travel Through the Ages: A History of Aviation, Then and Now 

From the dawn of time, humankind has looked to the skies and pondered their potential. The Chinese crafted kites; Greek legend holds that Icarus attempted to make himself a bird. Leonardo da Vinci postulated theories of the mechanics of flight as early as the 1480s.

But it wasn’t until 1903 that man actually ascended into the heavens and had his first taste of flight, a technology that would dramatically alter the world forever. Below, we take a look at air travel through the ages.

1903: The Wright Brothers Take Flight


The history of air travel begins with just one passenger—who also served as the pilot.
On a blustery North Carolina day in December 1903—after years of diligent study, experiments, and working models with a vision of flight as the goal—Orville and Wilbur Wright finally had liftoff.


Orville piloted the rudimentary glider for 120 feet over the course of 12 seconds, welcoming in man’s first taste of the open skies. As the brothers continued on that day with more attempts at staying aloft, Wilbur set a new record, a flight that lasted just under a minute and covered about 850 feet.

1914: First Commercial Flight


Airplanes were not immediately made accessible to the average person; they were used in war before they became available for use by travelers. But just after the tenth anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk, the first commercial flight took off in Florida.


On January 1, 1914, the St. Petersburg–Tampa Airboat Line commenced operations and pilot Antony Jannus flew the first paying airline passenger 21 miles and 23 minutes from St. Petersburg to Tampa, much to the delight of thousands of spectators. Subsequent air boat flights over Tampa Bay reached a cruising altitude of about 5 feet above the water, and tickets cost $5 each way.

1978: Airline Travel Is Deregulated


Over the span of the next several decades, aviation continued to expand, but it wasn’t until after World War II—in the 1940s and beyond—that commercial aviation as we know it today began to take shape. The 1950s saw the dawn of mass commercial air travel, with airlines beginning to sustain regular, reliable, and safe services.


With the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act, airlines were able to set their own routes and prices. Air travel exploded in popularity, with millions of Americans choosing planes as their transportation of choice, and reaching farther than ever in their travels.

2008: Magellan Jets Was Founded


In July 2008, Massachusetts natives Joshua Hebert, Anthony Tivnan, and Gregory Belezerian founded Magellan Jets, setting a new standard in private aviation. 
With a goal to elevate expectations, the Magellan Jets story has since thrived on defining the private travel experience through the combination of a personalized customer approach and an unwavering commitment to safety.

As the future rushes in with far-flung plans for space travel, teleportation, and beyond, Magellan Jets ventures forth as the premier choice for the bespoke private traveler, continuing to set the standard for private aviation, present and future.

Learn more about Magellan Jets!

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