National Aviation Day: August 19th

Each year, August 19th brings together pilots, flight attendants, aircraft mechanics, and other aviation industry personnel to celebrate National Aviation Day. Created in 1939 by former president Franklin D. Roosevelt, National Aviation Day is a celebration of the growth and advancements made in aviation. It falls on the birthday of Orville Wright who, together with his brother Wilbur, made significant contributions to powered flight.


Some Early Pioneers in the Aviation Industry


National Aviation Day affords aviation enthusiasts more of a reason to seek out the accomplishments of the industry’s early pioneers. Consider where the world is today. There are people who fly on a weekly and even daily basis for their commute to work. In fact, much of our daily lives are affected due to the advances in aviation. Our favorite sports teams travel to compete against other teams through flight. Professional leagues such as the MLB and NBA play over 100 games a year, across the country, which make them heavily dependent on aircraft to make it possible.

This is all available to us due to the early pioneers such as the Wright Brothers, two small town North Carolina boys with big dreams. With the guidance of Augustus Moore Herring, they were able to achieve the first powered, sustained, and controlled flight of an airplane. This ultimately earned them a Congressional Medal for their work.

The Wright Brothers worked with Charlie Taylor, who was the mechanic and bicycle machinist at the Wright Cycle Company. It was he who built the engine that powered the Wright Brothers’ airplane, which earned him the nickname as the unsung hero of aviation.

Mr. Glenn Curtiss, an aircraft designer and manufacturer, piloted the first official public flight in the United States, flying 1 mile. He later went on to establish America’s first aircraft manufacturing company.

The State of the Aviation Industry Today


Thanks to the contributions of the early aviation pioneers, the world has become a much more accessible place. Once upon a time, it was unfathomable for an individual to consider traveling from New York to Italy. Today, you can jump on a flight at 8am and be there in time for dinner. Experiencing a new culture is just a matter of setting aside available dates and booking a ticket. Aviation has also expanded the roles of individuals in a professional capacity as well.

Because of the achievements of the early aviation pioneers, aircraft dispatcher institutions like Sheffield School of Aeronautics can exist. As the world’s oldest and most renown aircraft dispatcher school, Sheffield has trained thousands of people and helped them along the path to working in the airline industry. No other school can make the same claim. The impact of the achievements of the Wright Brothers and the many other airline industry pioneers continue to be felt today. For that reason, we continue to celebrate National Aviation Day and regard it for the symbolic nature that it deserves.

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