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The idea of flying like the birds in the sky was a fantasy until the men of science began unlocking the mysteries of the universe in the 15th century. Innovation was then needed but by the end of the first decade of the twentieth century men and machines were taking to the air successfully in Europe, America and Australia. War had an enormous impact on aircraft development. Aircraft quickly became the deadliest of weapons and when the hostilities were over the pilots and machines formed the basis of a fledgling air transport industry. The need to go faster and travel longer distances saw records set and broken. Attention to safety and passenger comfort allowed air travel to become a viable alternative to road and rail within Australia and sea travel internationally and put Australia in the forefront of the airline industry in the world.

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