The aeronautical artist Roy Cross spent most of his working life researching and illustrating aeroplanes becoming the pre-eminent British aeronautical artist. He is famed for his designs for Airfix model plane boxes. He also created a beautiful set of large lithographs of vintage aeroplanes developed in period from Wright Brothers to the end of the first world war.
The first heavier than air, powered flying machine was created by the Wright Brothers in 1903. It took many centuries of trial and error to arrive at this moment. In the Middle Ages, some brave souls tried flying from castle walls tarred and feathered. The first manned flight was in a hot air balloon in France in 1783. Between then and the Wright Brothers success, gas balloons and gliders were flown, but none were powered.
Once the Wright brother's had demonstrated powered flight, the vintage period in the early history of the aeroplane moved forward at remarkable speed. The planes created up until the end of the first war in 1918 were incredibly varied and beautiful.