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(Note: The background section of this page uses most of the same words as the forward-swept wing aircraft page of Terra Futura to save time.)
China was the first to experiment with fixed-wing flight. The Chinese were the inventors of the kite. Kites were being flown for thousands of years in China before they came to Europe. Fixed-wing flight began to advance. In 1799, Sir George Cayley came up with a concept called a glider. He finally succeeded in 1853 with his own glider. Other scientists created their own gliders afterwards. Then, on December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers successfully flew the Wright Flyer. This was the first airplane.
Early airplanes used a piston engine that drove a propeller. This was the kind of plane used in World War I. After World War I, planes were used for mail. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic Ocean. This helped bring about passenger planes. The first successful passenger plane was the DC-3 in 1936. The plane was pioneered by Lindbergh's old company which now merged with other airlines to create American Airlines. The DC-3 would be the standard transport plane of World War II. After World War II, planes started to get faster. The DC-6 was the first four-engine pressurized plane of American Airlines. In 1959, American, Pan-Am, and other airlines started buying the Boeing 707, the first successful jet plane. By the early 21st century, the biggest airplane was the Airbus A380, introduced in 2005. By that time, planes were becoming more efficient and more automated. Soon, the designs would be radical.
The Forward-Swept Wing Aircraft was first proposed in 1936 in Germany. This concept was later explored by the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. They were more maneuverable than conventional aircraft because the wings went forward. They did not stall. They were more controllable and could lift 15% more. Light, stronger materials were used to build the planes, and computer controls were important for aerodynamic stability. Thrust vectoring was also used for stability. The early 21st century started seeing these appear in the form of box wing aircraft.
Tech Level: 10
Box Wing Jets were pioneered by Lockheed Martin in the second decade of the 21st century. They were more efficient, quieter, cleaner, more stable, and cleaner than conventional or forward-swept wing aircraft. The two pairs of wings, one conventional and one forward-swept, were connected to inprove stability even further. The lift-to-drag ratio was 16%. This allowed for less fuel and less money. Also, box wing jets did not stall like conventional jets. They could also handle supersonic speed better. Lockheed Martin added carbon fiber composites and ultrahigh bypass turbofans to the plane to achieve 50% efficiency. Lockheed Martin begin to specialize in box wing jets only.