Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

The Future of Flight

PostedDecember 17, 2003

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Six years after the first flight, Wilbur Wright himself began training this country's first military pilots in College Park, Maryland.  That airfield, in fact, saw many aviation firsts.  Among them: the first U.S. mail flight, the first controlled helicopter flight, and the first completely "blind" flight—using only radio navigation.  That pioneering use of electronics led to today's auto-pilot.  And it began a continuing revolution in aviation based upon largely invisible technology the Wright brothers probably didn't even dream of.  As Northrup Grumman Chairman Kent Kresa says: "It will be mainly the flight of electrons that pushes the envelope of aerospace engineering."  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.