Army -Nextgen Aviation System

Topics: Air traffic control, Federal Aviation Administration, Air safety Pages: 10 (3591 words) Published: February 10, 2013
NextGen Aviation System

NextGen Aviation System
As Edward Vernon Rickenbacker once said, “Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible” (Aviation is Proof, n.d.). From the beginning of aviation, many ideas and requirements have been made to allow pilots to fly passengers and cargo on the forever growing need for a more efficient/safe flying experience. The airway routing structure has gone from a ground-based point to point structure, to going into the implementation of the NextGen aviation system which will provide a more direct routing structure and a higher situational awareness factor for other aircraft which will increase the efficiency and safety of airlines. The development of the airplane started building when Orville and Wilbur Wright had the very first successful flight that lasted all of 12 seconds, on 17 December 1903. By the Wright brothers accomplishing this, the first practical airplane was established in 1905, making it a worldwide effort in building bigger, better, and more efficient flying machines. As the years went on, the government began to sponsor experimental flights to see what capabilities the airplane could offer the United States economy. Between the years of 1911 and 1918, the U.S. Air Mail was formally established. This service was implemented for the United States Post Office on 15 May 1918 (Airmails of the United States, 2012). It was such a big deal, President Woodrow Wilson wanted to be present for the inaugural flight departing from Washington, stopping in Philadelphia, and then finishing off in New York. The pilots chosen to fly the mission were, “Lieutenants Howard P. Culver, and Torrey H. Webb.” The Post Office insisted they add two more pilots that would have political and family connections, “Lieutenants George L. Boyle and James Edgerton. Both had completed pilot school but had barely flown” (Airmail Gets Off, n.d.). These pilots were brand new in the flying arena, and the pilot selection could have been made a little bit better. During these flights it was determined that the routing structure and navigational aids needed improvements. The pilots had maps that would show large cities, but would not show elevations or landmarks. Pilots would also carry a magnetic compass that would be distorted from the metal of the aircraft. The airmail service was so new that safety was not a factor; keeping to the schedule, regardless of weather, was the priority. Flying at 200-500’ AGL (Above Ground Level), pilots would use roads, railways, and airports to find their way around during the day time; at night and times of limited visibility, pilots would use bonfires to guide them cross-country. “Pilots also watched the horizon to make sure they were flying with the aircrafts nose and wings in the proper position relative to the ground, called attitude” (Principles of aircraft navigation, n.d.). Accidents were a common problem. Later in the 1920s more equipment was established to help maintain attitude such as, “a bubble of liquid to help keep wings level and a device that measured pressure at different heights, called an altimeter that told a pilot his altitude above ground level” (Principles of aircraft navigation, n.d.). In 1921, the Army constructed the first lighted airway between Dayton and Columbus Ohio, using rotating beacons, field floodlights and flashing markers that were 72 miles long, trying to get away from using bonfires. All this helped begin the development of The Air Commerce Act of 1926. From all the accidents, and aviation in America not being regulated, many aviation leaders felt it was necessary for the federal government to regulate aviation, in order to give the public confidence in the safety of air transportation. Many aviation leaders believed the airlines’ future would not reach its full potential without federal action improving and maintaining safety standards. President Calvin Coolidge had...
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