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Aviation, term referring to all aspects of building and flying aircraft. Aviation has not only changed the face of long-distance travel, but affected medical accessibility, farming practices, and the way nations wage war. The aviation industry, which includes the manufacture of aircraft and the operations of airlines, involves the work of millions of engineers, mechanics, pilots and air traffic controllers, as well as many governmental agencies. The world's first successful airplane flight was made by Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1903. Within a few years Europe and the United States had several small airplane-producing factories. Interested in developing their own air forces, various governments around the world began to purchase airplanes for military purposes. The first solo, nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean was accomplished by Charles Lindbergh on May 21, 1927. Amelia Earhart was the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California in 1935. The use of commercial airplanes in the late 1930s assured the growth of aviation as an industry. The jet airliner, developed in the 1950s, gave the industry a further boost. Because of the rapid growth of civil aviation, more effective government regulation was needed. In 1958, various governmental agencies combined to form the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), which was responsible for establishing and enforcing air traffic procedures and controls.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Augusta to Barlach, Ernst