Bright Ideas - the business of invention.  

So whose bright idea was it then?

It could be said that few things have had a more marked effect upon our civilisation than the invention of the flying machine. Communicable diseases, weapons of mass destruction and politicians (amongst others) can be delivered to any point on Earth within the space of a day.

The ramifications are astounding. Just look at World War Two. Half of Europe was levelled by the efforts of a relatively small number of aviators. And chances are you've had some evil dose of the 'flu, brought to you by an airline passenger from a distant corner of the globe. As for the politicians... well we won't go into that.

The point is, even when compared to such things as the telephone or the lightbulb, aircraft have had a profound effect upon our world. They've helped reconfigure the political map and certainly redefined the way we see our world... it's become significantly "smaller", in a very real way.

So who gets the credit for this stroke of genius? Whose bright idea was it, then?
Chances are, you'd say "the Wright brothers". At least that's the way the history books all seem to put it. But why? Is it really true that Wilbur and Orville Wright were the first human beings to attain sustained, controlled and powered flight? Or are there others perhaps more eligible who for some reason never rose to those dizzying heights of glory?

My point is this: brilliant inventors may have a "claim to fame". But credit doesn't always land where credit's due. Invention can be a dirty business (that's why there are patent attourneys).
So before you let your imagination soar with some bright idea, check out "The Great Swoop" --- a classic example from history.




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