An excerpt from an OUPblog article published on 24th July 2017, written by the Oxford Reference marketing team.
'The history of aviation spans over two thousand years – from the earliest kites in Ancient China to balloons in eighteenth century France, and from modern supersonic and hypersonic flight, to military drones and reconnaissance. Despite its long history, the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early-twentieth centuries witnessed an unprecedented interest into powered flight, with several pioneers leading the way. French physicist, chemist, and aeronaut Jacques Alexandre César Charles is credited with inventing the hydrogen balloon (at the same time as the Montgolfier brothers rediscovered the hot-air balloon and began manned flights), whilst little known figures such as Bessie Coleman led the way for black and female aeronauts...'
Discover more: Read the rest of the article and watch the video on the OUPblog.