The invention of the airplane redefined the way in which people travel, conduct commerce, spend their leisure time, and wage war. From the Wright brothers' wood-and-fabric Flyer to the modern jet aircraft, the airplane has evolved in countless ways as its many uses have unfolded. The development of safe and efficient air travel required solving multiple engineering riddles about aerodynamics, control, propulsion, and structures. This volume in the Greenwood Technographies series shows how the solutions to these riddles have helped spur dramatic changes in the world's social and cultural life. Airplanes: The Life Story of a Technology: Shows both students and general readers how the airplane has become such an integral part of daily life Shows how the airplane altered military doctrine, completely changing how modern wars are fought and won Demonstrates the importance of govenrment and society in the aeronautical revolution of the 1920s and 1930s Examines the new revolution of jet engines that required new ideas in airplane propulsion and design Discusses the commercial airlines and the effect of economic deregulation. The volume includes a glossary of terms, a timeline of important events, and a selected bibliography of useful resources for further information.