Top Technologies: 'Protecting the Pilot' to 'Keeping It Together'Guy Norris Graham Warwick
World War II and the years immediately before and after were ones of soaring sophistication in aviation. Aircraft gained retractable gear, pressurized cabins, high-lift systems, ice protection, and eventually airborne radar, inertial navigation and digital computers. Pilots gained ejection seats and G suits. Propulsion technology advanced from turbocharged pistons to afterburning turbojets and bypass turbofans. They were decades of transition, the airship fading away and swept wing becoming dominant. They also heralded the future, from unmanned aircraft to solar-powered spacecraft.
Here are some of the most important technologies, innovations and novel ideas that have made aviation and space what they are today.
This gallery was originally published on May 6, 2016 as part of Aviation Week & Space Technology's centennial issue. It is part of a series of top 100 technologies in the last century.