Introduction 

K.S. Raman is the author of the extract. The author was fascinated by the book “The Invention of the Aeroplane 1799-1909.” Although the article’s title is “A Dream of Flight” and the author kept referring to a dream, we can see that the events that play out are more than just dreams, the y are the product of the author’s imaginative creativity. We infer from the text that the speaker has completed reading Charles H. Gibbs Smith’s book and is now brimming with thoughts and knowledge gleaned from it. Even as he drifts off to sleep, he imagines the several eras that shaped aviation history.

The Longing To Fly

Man’s goal to soar through the air like a bird in 1496 A.D. never materialized. Numerous adventurers attempted to soar in the skies in vain, and worse still, some even perished in the process. With his arms flapping in the air, “The Bird Man” attempted to fly, but instead of rising into the air, he crashed to the ground and died.

Significant Milestones In Aviation

After nearly three centuries, in the year 1783 A.D., aviation enthusiasts succeeded in sending a massive, spherical fabric envelope flying into the skies in the French town of Annonay. The first passengers aboard the balloon were a sheep, a hen, and a duck that were placed in its basket. Sir George Cayley produced a boat-shaped machine with wheels at the bottom and a large wing successfully gliding across a valley in the year 1853. Cayley also sent his chauffeur aboard.  It landed on the other side of the valley while floating in the air. Finally, man had created a device that would allow him to launch himself off of a hill and glide to the earth!

Otto Lilienthal raised an unusual wooden and cloth contraption out of a shed on top of a large hill in 1891 AD. This ship featured a ring-shaped frame in between the two 6 m long bat-like wings that were stacked on top of one another with a horizontal and vertical surface behind. Otto Lilienthal put his own life at threat by dangling under a craft he fashioned out of wood and cloth and propelled into the air. After a short distance, Lilienthal’s vehicle began to float in the air.  While hanging below, Lilienthal travels for a good distance before coming to rest at the base of the hill.

The Wright brothers’ invention of the world’s first airplane in North Carolina in 1903 A.D. marked the greatest turning point in human history. Wilbur Wright piloted the airplane as Orville Wright lay inside. The alarm clock’s loud tone woke the speaker up after he had visualized all these momentous events and ground-breaking experiments.