The Airplane's Impact On Human Society

Improved Essays
The Airplane’s Impact on Human Society
Step outside most days around the country and chances are you will see a contrail high in the sky or hear the roar of an aircraft’s engine as it flies overhead. While the sight of might have not prompted the thought, these technological marvels have had a tremendous impact upon human society. With this paper, I hope to give a brief glimpse of the impact they have had. First, I will look at the most obvious influence the airplane has had upon travel. Next, I will go into the aircraft’s inevitable impact upon humanity’s age old hobby, warfare. Lastly, I will explore how the airplane has had an influence in the field of medicine.
Perhaps the most apparent effect airplanes have had are transportation, especially
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(History of Flight Medicine) Physicians routinely made trips in hot air ballons to make observations of the effects of flight on the human body. “Exposures to higher and higher altitudes for longer and longer durations slowly increased understanding (sometimes with disastrous consequences) of medical conditions such as hypoxia, decompression sickness, hypothermia, frostbite, and cosmic radiation exposure.” (History of Flight Medicine) While these early tests were conducted using the only operational “flying” machines, hot air and helium balloons, much of the basic understanding we have for these conditions came from these studies. Following the Wright Brothers successful flight, militaries around the world started to realize what an important tool this could become for warfare and homeland security. The German government in 1910 were the first in the world to establish a criteria of medical fitness to be able to pilot an aircraft, a step followed by other European countries and the United States. The medical fitness standards that were set forth for pilots in the United States were strongly advocated by its early pioneers, chiefly Dr. Isaac H. Jones, who championed the idea that flight surgeons should fly on a regular basis “to better understand the physiologic consequences of flight.” (History of Flight Medicine) From these beginnings, medical professionals have been included in all aerospace milestone, from Col. Chuck Yeager’s flight to break the sound barrier to the extensive medical staff at NASA that prepares every astronaut for space flight. Were it not for the information gained and shared from the early experimetns, one could say with great certianty that we would not have left our atmosphere. Not to be left out, the helicopter, which is classified as an aircraft, has also been crucial several medical

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