History of Aviation


Historyof Aviation


Flying Tiger was the first cargo airline used to transport soldiersand army supplies during the Cold War (Kaplan 2013). On the otherhand, Slick Airways was founded in 1946 and operated charteredflights for two decades. Both airlines achieved considerable successand expansion. In particular, Flying Tiger was established in 1945and operated on a contract basis for the first few years (Petrescu,2013). The airline expanded its network of flight routes such thattravelers could access other cities within the country. Furthermore,Flying Tiger continued to increase its capabilities by acquiringseveral trucking companies. In 1949, the Civil Aeronautics Board(CAB) issued certificates to both airlines on a five-year,experimental basis (Petrescu, 2013).

Flying Tiger and Slick Airways facilitated the growth of the aviationindustry in several ways. For example, the two airlines led to thedevelopment of new methods owing to stiff competition. The CAB hopedthat such improvements would ensure cost-reduction and efficiency(Petrescu, 2013). The aviation sector was also destabilized due tothe provision of irregular services at low rates. Nevertheless, theindustry became more involved in passenger travel than cargotransportation (Petrescu, 2013). Therefore, the relative influence ofall-cargo airlines such as Flying Tiger and Slick Airways waned.

Notably, the existence of the CAB led to intense price wars betweenestablished carriers and new operators. Moreover, air transportbecame riddled with bureaucracy and hence many airlines experiencedstagnated growth (Heffernan, 2014). Consequently, the DeregulationAct of 1977 and 1978 was formed to address some of these challenges.The policy enhanced the level of competition through the creation ofvaried pricing options (Heffernan, 2014). Previously, the CAB hadimplemented rigid freight rates that hindered the success of manyairlines (Heffernan, 2014). Therefore, companies could now set lowerprices to attract more clients and increase their relativecompetitiveness. Besides, the Deregulation Act promoted the adoptionof innovative practices. Other airlines could also enter and exit theindustry without submitting to the CAB’s stringent guidelines(Heffernan, 2014). Hence, the aviation sector experienced manychanges with regards to mergers and acquisitions. For example, FlyingTiger purchased Seaboard while United Parcel Service (UPS) linked upwith United Air Express. Airlift International and Federal ExpressCorporation (FedEx) also acquired Slick Airways and Flying Tiger,respectively (Heffernan, 2014). Consequently, deregulation has notonly enhanced the quality of services but also reduced the prices ofair travel.

In 1938, the U.S. Congress adopted the Civil Aeronautics Act(Heffernan, 2014). The policy was highly significant since it led tothe inception of cargo transport. In the preceding years, most of thegoods on airlines were airmail (Van der Linden, 2015). Nonetheless,cargo transport experienced various challenges. Firstly, grounddoor-to-door deliveries seemed to offer cheaper options to clients.In this regard, cost disadvantages hindered the extent of growth ofcargo transport. Additionally, the aircraft range and capacities werequite limited. Hence, it would be illogical to use such airplanes totransport large amounts of cargo. Furthermore, the aviation industrywas plagued by limited freight facilities. Consequently, the passageof the Civil Aeronautics Act led to the development of extensiveinfrastructure.

A fundamental regulatory event occurred when Congress passed the AirCommerce Act of 1926 (Heffernan, 2014). The policy establishedguidelines concerning air traffic, navigational facilities, airmen,and aircraft (Heffernan, 2014). Hence, the Act ensured that airwayswere maintained to avoid tragic accidents. The policy also mandatedthe regular inspection of aircraft. In this respect, airlines wererequired to place identification marks on their fleet (Heffernan,2014). Such regulations set precedents that guide the modernpractices of the aviation industry.


Heffernan, D. (2014). Aviation regulation in the United States.Chicago, Ill.: American Bar Association.

Kaplan, P. (2013). Naval Aviation in the Second World War.Havertown, PA: Pen and Sword.

Petrescu, F. I. (2013). Aviation history. New York, NY: BooksOn Demand

Van der Linden, F. R. (2015). Airlines and Air Mail: The PostOffice and the Birth of the Commercial Aviation Industry.Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky.