Mankind has always been passionate about freedom and traveling throughout the history. In order to overcome geographic obstacles, it has always tried for a discovery and invention. He tried to resemble the birds to fly and the fish to swim. For this reason, millions of people dreamed, but only some had their names written to the history of aviation in gold letters because they had the courage to try. We would still be just dreaming if these brave people didn’t exist. We would like to talk about the stories of these brave people and important events in aviation;
The first known name in the history of Turkish aviation is Abu Nasr Ismail Bin Hamudmiul Cevheri (Imam Cevheri), who was born in Farab (Otrar) of Turkestan. Ismail Cevheri was killed in 1010 while trying to fly with wings.
Then Siracettin Dogulu made a flying show with wings in 1159 in Istanbul in the celebration ceremonies and after a period of flying he fell and became a martyr. In 1600, Hazerfen Ahmet Çelebi flew 6 kilometers by flying from Galata to Üsküdar with his wings and stayed in the air for 5 minutes. Because of this success, he was first rewarded, but then he was exiled to Algeria to die. His name was given to Turkey’s first private international Airport which was founded in 1992.
Lagari Hasan Çelebi
In the early 17th century, Lagari Hasan Çelebi successfully completed the first vertical flight with an air rocket powered by gunpowder.
The information about the life of Lagari Hasan Çelebi, who is rumored to fly with rockets prepared from gunpowder paste during the period of Ottoman Sultan Murad IV, is based solely on what is told in Evliya Çelebi’s travelogue.
According to Çelebi in 1632-1633, during the celebrations of the birth of Murad IV’s daughter Kaya Sultan, he invented a seven-armed firecracker rocket from 50 okka gunpowder paste (equal to 64 kg) and after saying “My Dear Sultan, I ordered you to the God, I’m going to talk with Prophet Jesus”, he got on the air rocket and went up in the sky after his helpers fired the firecracker rocket.
When he was up in the air, he fired the flares he had with him and the surface of the sea was enlightened. When the gunpowder of the big rocket was finished, he opened the eagle wings in his hands while falling down and went into the sea in front of Sinan Pasha Pavilion. From there he swam and came before the sultan and jokingly said, “My Sultan, Prophet Jesus sent you his greetings.” Sultan Murad made him a sipahi (knight) due to this success. Hasan Çelebi, who was first supported by the sultan, was later tried because of the pressure from the ulama (Muslim theologians) and sent into exile in Crimea. According to Evliya Çelebi, Lagari went to Selamet Giray Khan in Crimea and died there.
1783 First Balloon Flight
Jacques and Joseph Montgolfier brothers flew the first hot air balloon.
1843 First Propeller Aircraft Patent
The design of the plane, which was designed and detailed for the first time, was patented by William Samuel Henson.
1856 Jean Marie Le Bris-First Glider
A French sailor, Captain Le Bris was impressed by the Albatross bird he saw around the Cape of Good Hope and in December of 1856 he built a glider which was an exact copy of the Albatross.
1874 Felix du Temple; First Successful Flight in History
The first airplane flying with its own power was made by M.Luis and Felix du Temple in France, all of which were made using aluminum, with a wingspan of 13 m and a weight of 80 kg.
1896 Vecihi Hürkuş
Vecihi Hürkuş, one of the most important names in our aviation history, was born in 1896. He is Turkey’s first aircraft designer and manufacturer. The plane that he named Vecihi K is his own design.
1900 First Airship Flight
1900 The first airship flight was made by Ferdinand von Zeppelin.
1903 Wright Brothers
The next step for the Wright brothers, who began their research on the flight in 1890 and carried out many attempts at intervals until 1902, was to find an engine. They produced a very light engine as a result of their hard work. In fact, the first plane propeller was found by the Wright brothers.
On December 17, 1903, Orwille Wright stayed in the air for 12 seconds in his first attempt and traveled 37 meters. At the end of the same day, the brothers continued the experiment to 59 seconds and succeeded to take a path of 280 meters.
On their flight on October 5, 1905, the Wright brothers remained in the air for 38 minutes traveling 38.4km.
1907 Louis Bleriot
Louis Bleriot who built a covered top aircraft with a single-engine in the front, single-wing and tail layout, is the first person to build today’s aircraft model for the first time.
1908 Henry Farman – First Intercity Flight
Flying at a speed of 95k / h for 17 minutes, the first open-air and first intercity flight was realized in the world. 95 kilometers per second?
1908 World’s First Airport
The world’s first airport was opened 19 km outside of Paris with the name “Port Aviation”.
1911 The First Official Air Mail in the World
The first official air mail flight in the world was made in India by Henri Peugeot from France. Six thousand letters and postcards were taken from Allahabad and taken to Naini, which is 8 km away with a “Humber –Sommer” type aircraft.
1911 First Flight
Pierre Prier carried passengers from London to Paris with a non-stop flight.
1911 First Charter
The world’s first aircraft chartering was made for a New York merchant to transport the repaired glasses from New York to Philadelphia.
1911 First Turkish Pilots
Cavalry Captain Fesa Evrensev and Engineer Lieutenant Yusuf Kenan were the first pilots of the Turkish army.
1912 Turkey’s First Airport
In 1912, Yeşilköy Airport was opened in the immediate vicinity of today’s Atatürk Airport between Yeşilköy and Sefaköy. In February 1933, with the first flight between Istanbul and Ankara, civilian flights have started.
It was opened to international air traffic in 1953. The name Yeşilköy Airport was changed to Atatürk Airport in 1985.
1913 Sabiha Gokcen
Born on 21 March 1913, Sabiha Gökçen is Turkey’s first female pilot and the worlds first female combat pilot. In 1996, she was selected as one of “The 20 Greatest Aviators in History” by the United States Air Force in 1996 for her contributions to the history of aviation. She is one of the adopted daughters of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
1916 Boeing Company Established
Boeing, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of civil and military aircraft-helicopters, was founded in Washington, USA.
1919 World’s First Modern Aircraft
The world’s first modern aircraft, the Junkers F-13 flew in Dassau-Germany.
1921 First 100 Passenger Aircraft
The three-winged 25-ton airplane, produced for the first time with a capacity of 100 passengers in Italy, lifted from the Lake Maggiore in Italy, but could not hold in the air and was smashed into the lake.
1925 Turkish Aircraft Society was established
With the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turkish Aircraft Society was established. In 1935, its name was changed to “Turkish Aeronautical Association.’’
1925 Aircraft Automobile and Motor Turkish Joint Stock Company was Established
TOMTAŞ was established as a joint venture between the German Junkers Company and the Turkish Aircraft Society. In the first years the company has done mainly maintenance, repair and assembly, but later in 1930 the factory was revised and turned into an aircraft production center. In 10 years, 5 different types of 134 airplanes were produced.
1927 First Solo Transatlantic Flight
On May 20, 1927, the first solo transatlantic flight took off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island, New York.
1930 First Jet Engine
In 1930, Frank Whittle designed the first jet engine.
1933 First Non-stop Flight
The first non-stop flight from England to South Africa was made.
1933 Turkish Airlines was Established
Turkish Airlines is Turkey’s national airline. On 20 May 1933 the Airline was established as a State Operational Administration.
1937 World’s First Gas Turbine Motor Aircraft
On April 17, 1937, Frank Wihettle successfully operated the world’s first gas turbine aircraft.
1940 First Helicopter
In the modern sense, the first helicopter was manufactured by Igor Sikorsky.
1944 The First Turkish Passenger Aircraft Took Off
Turkey’s first domestically manufactured aircraft NU.D38, which was a twin-engined 6 passenger, successfully completed its flight from Istanbul to Ankara.
1945 IATA was Founded
IATA (International Air Transport Association) was founded in 1945 in Havana, Cuba.
1947 First Supersonic Flight
The first supersonic flight (faster than the speed of sound) was made by Captain Charles Elwood Yeager on October 14, 1947.
1961 First Human in Space
Yuri Gagarin, the first cosmonaut traveling in space, was launched into the orbit of the earth with the Russian Vostok-1 spaceship.
1968 First Commercial Supersonic Flight
The Aeroflot Tupolev TU-144, which was faster than the speed of sound, made its first flight.
1970 Airbus was Established
Airbus, the world’s largest passenger aircraft manufacturer, was established as a French-German partnership. The company currently consists of a partnership between Germany, France, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
1976 First Scheduled Commercial Flights Faster than the Sound
The Concorde airliner, which was produced faster than the sound by the French-British partnership, started its regular flights from London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio (from Dakar).
1977 First Turkish Air Freight Company (BAL) was Established
Bursa Airlines was established. It made its first flight in August 1977.
2001 Sabiha Gökçen Airport
The second international Airport of Istanbul which opened to traffic on January 8, 2001, is the first airport on the Asian side.
When we consider the 10 centuries of the developmental age of aviation history, the developments in the last 100 years has been at the top of all times and started the space age. The realization of the thought completely was made possible with the discovery and production of the materials and supplies needed in many areas. The point we reached at commercial aviation is, it’s a global industry and the locomotive sector of national economies. In this context, with a strategic decision taken by the competent authorities of the Republic of Turkey in 2017, Istanbul airport project has been put into practice which will enter to the list of largest airports in the world. Istanbul New Airport was opened in Arnavutköy on 29 October 2018.
As GATA HAVAYOLLARI VE TAŞIMACILIK A.Ş, we have taken our place in this adventure and we are a growing part of global aviation industry since 2007 with sure steps.
We live every day with excitement like the first day of mankind’s dream of flying. Our philosophy is to create a new world brand by combining the principle of safety and punctuality with Turkish hospitality and traditions.