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Word Count: 802
Mans desire to rule the skies has been the driving force behind one of his greatest adventures In prehistoric times birds and dragonlike flying reptiles sailed through the air When man appeared on Earth he watched and envied the birds flying in the skyEarly man also wondered about the smoke climbing from his campfires and about the falling stars streaking through the sky These mysteries of nature--the bird the smoke and the meteor--symbolize the three principal types of vehicles that today fly in the aerospace within and above the Earths atmosphere Heavier-than-air craft and lighter-than-air craft fly in the atmosphere while spacecraft hurtle through space hurley pg23-24 Not satisfied with the limitations of the balloon in controlling flight direction Sir George Cayley of England turned to the study of heavier-than-air craft He advanced the basic principle of the airplane and is called the father of British aeronautics Beginning in 1810 he built model gliders In 1843 he proposed the aerial carriage which combined the principle of the airplane and the helicopter but he lacked the technical skill to build such a machine World War II demonstrated the vital importance of air power in modern total war Hitlers Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive-bombers spearheaded his blitzkrieg of France When the Luftwaffe Germanys air force attacked Great Britain the Hawker Hurricanes and Supermarine Spitfires of the Royal Air Force fought it to a standstill The Luftwaffes planes included the Messerschmitt Me 109 Focke-Wulf Fw 190 and Messerschmitt Me 262 all fighters and the Dornier bombers Other planes of the RAF were the fighters Hawker Tempest and Westland Whirlwind the bombers Avro Lancaster Short Stirling Halifax and Bristol Blenheim MK-1 and the fighter-bomber De Havilland Mosquito After the Japanese bombers attacked Pearl Harbor the United States entered the war Its aircraft production skyrocketed until in 1944 its output was almost 100000 planes for the year Among the
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