Levin from Zofingen would like Bernie and Lexi to answer her question:

When did people fly for the first time?

Eine Boeing 777-300ER am Himmel über Bernie

Bernie: "You know, Levin, people have always dreamt about flying. This is recounted in many old stories, for instance the Greek legend about Icarus, who is supposed to have fled from a prison using wings made out of birds' feathers and wax."

Die Bildschirme in der Boeing 777Lexi: "Yes, but these are just stories. The first person to really fly, was presumably the academic, Abbas Ibn Firnas. In the 9th Century, he succeeded in achieving a short glide, but unfortunately he was injured in the process. So, it wasn't really a success."

Bernie: "You are right. Around 1500, the famous Leonardo da Vinci also had several clever ideas for flying machines. To this aim, he studied precisely how birds fly. I bet he could have learnt a lot from you too, Lexi, because his machines wouldn't have been able to fly, even though the ideas were great."

Lexi: "For sure! However, the first vehicle people flew with in 1783 wasn't an airplane, but a hot air balloon built by the Montgolfier brothers. Before the first vehicle with an engine took off, people still kept attempting to fly using a glider.

Otto Lilienthal studied birds for almost 20 years for this purpose - he also had the same idea as da Vinci. He actually succeeded in taking off in 1891: With his invention Lilienthal managed to fly a good 250 metres.

The first airplane that was engine-operated was built by the Wright brothers. They flew for the first time on 17 December 1903. But people still aimed much higher."

Bernie: "That's right, Lexi. Today, the modern aircrafts, for instance those of SWISS, can take us to destinations all around the world. Isn't it great that people were able to fulfil their dream of flying?"