The major part of all transport operations belongs to air transport. The transportation of goods by air is quite expensive, but it requires less time than the delivery by car or by train. This is especially true for the leaders of the large countries, on which the world economy depends directly. Air transport is the fastest, although a rather expensive form of transport that plays an important role in international passenger traffic. Apart from the speed, its other advantages include supply quality, geographical mobility, and a possibility to extend and modify the route easily. The network of regular airlines has covered the whole globe, stretching over millions of kilometers.
Important Federal Acts in Aviation
After WWI, the American aviation industry faced continued stagnation due to the low budgets, poor demand (a network of roads and railways was already developed), and high competition among foreign manufacturers, who possessed more advanced technologies than the United States. Moreover, the main demand for aircraft shifted to military targets. This situation lasted until the mid-1920s, when airplanes became widespread means of transport along with the existing and growing demand for passenger transportation. At the same time, to support the aviation industry, the US government approved the airmail transportation. In addition, in 1925, it adopted a document - Kelly Airmail Act that prompted competition among airlines, which ultimately led to the expansion of airmail, cargo, and passenger transportation services. The legislature, through the Air Mail Act of 1925 and the following changes, guaranteed that the new carriers could benefit; while through the Air Commerce Act of 1926 it guaranteed that the operations would be as safe as it could be expected under the circumstances (Van der Linden, 2012).
This law allowed private companies to transport by airmail (previously they were only contractors from the US Postal Department) on a competitive basis. In fact, the free market of air transportation in the United States was introduced there. Owing to this law, the new improved airlines appeared there and have currently become the largest in the world.
Interestingly, the important changes in the aviation industry are connected with another institution. Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) is the abolished Federal Agency of the US government involved in the management of the aviation industry in the country, including the operation of regular domestic commercial air transport as well as accident investigation. It was headquartered in Washington, DC. In 1936, several leading airlines formed the Air Transport Association in the United States, which purpose was to address the issues that each airline alone could not solve. At that time, the country was in the height of the Great Depression when under the conditions of tough competition among various companies they were forced to reduce their prices, sometimes even below the cost price. It was a critical situation for airlines, as during this struggle many of them could be closed. It was necessary to create a central authority that would manage this competition. However, the government was considering civil aviation defense primarily as a reserve, and only then as a part of the economy. The researches demonstrate that advancements in the airline industry completely relied on the desire of transporters to contribute to the expensive equipment or not (Das, Sharma, Parti, & Singh, 2016).
Three main functions can be explained through the CAB activities: identifying the airline routes and schedules, delegating these airlines to certain companies, and adjusting the tariffs for each airline. The additional function was connected with the antitrust regulation: certification of carriers entering the market, promotion or competition ban for airlines in emerging markets, regulation of monopolization of the market indicating no dominants, elimination of destructive competition, restrictions on airline bankruptcy and merger; subsidizing unprofitable routes, and regulation of the quality of passenger service.
After a collision of two civil airplanes in the air over the Grand Canyon at the beginning of the 1950s, in 1958, the Federal Aviation Act was adopted. It was created by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which had the task of developing the air traffic control system. The Federal Aviation Administration was the central organ of government of the United States of America in the field of civil aviation. To provide the passengers with a safe and dependable air transportation framework, it is essential for the FAA to have a solid inspection support system (Sadasivan & Gramopadhye, 2009). Founded on August 23 by the federal US Aviation Act of 1958, it was called the "Federal Aviation Agency". At present, it is a structural subdivision of the Ministry of Transportation, headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
Important Technological Developments in the United States Air Force
The main objective of the US civil aviation is the fast, secure, and efficient air transport of passengers or goods. US airlines are composed of the entire fleet of aircraft maintenance departments with a large staff of aircraft mechanics and huge aircrew (pilots and crewmembers) as well as administrative staff. With one traveler lethality for every 7.1 million air-voyagers, 2011 was the most secure year on record for business flying around the world (Oster, Strong & Zorn, 2013).
They work in a variety of countries around the globe and their activities affect, in particular, international relations. Mainly, their propulsion units - engines, determine the scheduled performance of aircraft. Assets are restricted and dangers to the flight framework are perpetually evolving (Wong & Brooks, 2015). Since the time of Wright brothers, famous in aviation, engineers repeatedly attempted to create a powerful, compact, and lightweight engine that would work reliably and economically.
By 1950, the piston engine has reached the limit of possible under flight conditions: it developed power of 2600 kW with weight (with respect to the weight of the engine maximum power in kilowatts), equal to 0.61. Furthermore, in the early 1950s, advanced gas turbine engines were created in the United States. By the time the turboprop engine developing 3,700 kW power with weight less than 0.3 was also implemented, they were no longer powerful piston engine size. Modern wide-body aircrafts use turbojet engines that develop a cruising power of 5000 kW. Technological process grows on a regular basis, but it cannot secure any company from failure. The US carrier industry experienced colossal turmoil in the mid-2000s, with four noteworthy insolvencies, two significant mergers, and different changes in the system structure (Berry & Jia, 2010).
Modern passenger turbojet aircraft can develop a speed exceeding 960 km/h (the speed of sound at cruising altitude is about 1060 km/h). They can also fly for a long time at high altitudes, which provides big fuel savings. The development of the aeronautics business and the expansion in the worldwide aggressiveness require legitimate approach to guarantee efficient, supportable, and deliberate improvement of the national common flight sector (Itani, O'Connell & Mason, 2015).
The ability to achieve high-speed flight is determined not only by high performance of jet engines and aircraft aerodynamic layout but also by designing the latest advances in aerodynamics, materials, and strength.
Increased Efficiency Due to the Progress in Structural Materials Properties
The main requirements for the material design of modern aircraft are strength and lightness. In addition, critical peculiarities may acquire other properties under certain conditions: hardness, toughness, fatigue life, ability to resist thermal and corrosive influences, and ease of processing. The evolution of structural materials for aircrafts began with wood and fabric covering, and then the aluminum materials appeared. Nevertheless, structural disadvantages of these materials determined the transition to the next phase, which has become a competition between high-strength steels and thermally processed aluminum alloys.
In the 1960s, titanium and titanium alloys were used in the aircraft as they were inferior to aluminum in the degree of development, manufacturability, and cost. They are used as a substitute for steel in the chassis, pipes, and fasteners in the design of the passenger aircraft. Large weight effect is achievable when using composite materials that constitute the fiber composition, the load bearing (glass fiber, graphite fiber etc.), and the matrix of the manufactured epoxy, and polyester or other resins. Composite materials are typically manufactured in the form of tape or in combination with the metal. The main advantages of composites are static high specific strength, high specific stiffness, good heat fatigue strength, and relatively small weight. However, the composite materials have a number of drawbacks that prevent their common use in aircraft structures: instability of the strength characteristics, low resistance to erosion that requires special coatings, and the high price.
Modern composite materials support the manufacture of metal structures or some parts of the structure produced entirely by composites. The use of composite materials to reduce material consumption structure increases the utilization rate of material up to 80-90%, yet decreases labor intensity of production by limiting the number of parts in the design. In the recent 45 years, commerce, innovation, and economic development have reached a period of globalization in which the welfare of individuals, firms, and countries have come to be perpetually interconnected (Gillen & Morrison, 2015). Air transport plays the crucial role as one of the main carriers of passengers over long distances.
In conclusion, throughout the whole history of aviation, there were many changes in legislation. Governments tried to make this kind of transport safer and cozier. Scientists worked hard to popularize travelling by air among people. They used all the scientific achievements including new materials to improve this industry. It is worth noting that the current US transportation system as a whole is quite developed. In addition, taking into account the number of people in the US who use air and road transport every day, it is several times larger than the number of people who use the railway.