The most incredible flying objects in history made by man

For millennia, humans have been obsessed with flying. Almost every ancient civilization has its myth of flying creatures, gods, or totem animals. One of the most famous stories belongs to the Greeks – this is the famous story of Icarus’ attempt to get to the sun.

The history could well be based on actual events: the inventors dreamed of and tried to assemble prototypes of flying machines, focusing on the structure of the bird’s wing.

Despite the enormous danger of such experiments and the extremely high level of risk, man was still able to overcome gravity – the millennial dream has become a reality.


© – Ornithopter

Leonardo da Vinci developed the earliest concept of an ornithopter in the 15th century. The great master was inspired by the flight of birds, bats, and insects: his model could stay in the air for up to three minutes. In 1894, Otto Lilienthal, a German aviation pioneer, made the first manned ornithopter flight.


Jacques Charles, in 1783, invented the first hydrogen balloon.
©Hulton Archive / Getty Images – Jacques Charles, in 1783, invented the first hydrogen balloon.

A reliable future was predicted for this type of air transport. The airship was capable of covering considerable distances and carrying impressive cargo. At the beginning of the era, designers used hydrogen, but after the terrible Hindenburg disaster, they switched to safer helium.



The glider’s genius lies in its simplicity. No engine, no confusing dashboard: the glider pilot must rely only on his knowledge of physics and experience.


Seaplanes of the flying boat type are equipped with a specially designed fuselage, which allows the vessel to land on the water and move in this element at a very decent speed. The golden age of seaplanes fell on the Second World War

, but now their use is gradually dying.


In the 1950s, the designers of Lackner Helicopters proposed an unusual vehicle to the American army. The aerocycle was intended for reconnaissance purposes, but the prototypes became too difficult for untrained foot soldiers to master. After several accidents, this ambitious project was canceled.


The transport aircraft is designed to carry super heavy loads. These giants bring tanks to the battlefield, and in peacetime, they can move even a tiny dismantled plant from place to place. The AN-225, built in 1988, is still the largest cargo aircraft in history.

Rocket plane

A rocket plane can reach much higher speeds than a jet aircraft of the same size. However, the engines of this aircraft are not designed for a constant load: after a short explosive period, the pilot must significantly slow down. At the moment, there is an evolutionary development of a rocket plane into a suborbital plane.

Strategic bomber

Strategic bombers are designed to carry out long-range missions. The development of technology leaves no chance for enemy supply bases, factories, and shipyards located far beyond the front line. The only aircraft of this kind can be enough to end the war – remember the same Hiroshima.


An aerospace vehicle, thanks to which our generation will be able to visit space as space tourists. At the moment, five spaceplanes have passed successful tests: X-15, Space Shuttle, Buran, SpaceShipOne, and Boeing X-37.

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