Norman Wilkinson

  • Norman      Wilkinson was a distinguished British maritime painter and landscape      artist who worked during the first half of the 20C. The artist also made      important contributions to maritime camouflage, during WW1, and to the      development of poster design in Britain. Wilkinson was a prolific poster      designer for the London Midland and Scottish Railway during throughout the      1920s and 1930s.

Norman Wilkinson was twice married: to Evelyn Mackenzie in 1918, and with whom he had a son and a daughter; and to Joyce Jervis in 1968.

He was awarded an OBE in 1918 and made CBE in1948. Wilkinson was elected President, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours; and was also appointed Marine Painter to the Royal Yacht Squadron.

He died on the 13th May 1971.

Early Life

Wilkinson was born in Cambridge on the 24th November 1878. He attended Berkhampstead School and St Paul’s Cathedral Choir School.

Wilkinson received little formal training in art and design. Nevertheless, he developed a facility for rendering the lively bulk of maritime shipping in pen and ink, oils and watercolours. His first commissions for pictures were from the Illustrated London News before WW1. Wilkinson was sufficiently famous for one of his paintings to be used in the decoration of the smoking parlour aboard the Titanic

During WW1, he served on a submarine in the Eastern Mediterranean and on a minesweeper in the English Channel.

Wilkinson’s maritime and artistic experience was acknowledged in his appointment to investigate the problems of camouflaging shipping.


Dazzle Camouflage WW1

The advent of heavily armoured Dreadnought type battleships, before WW1, transformed the terms of engagement in maritime conflict. Firstly, the new battleships provided for much heavier calibre cannon. Secondly, the hydraulic control systems of the gun platforms on the new battleships allowed for a greatly increased rotation and elevation of guns. In consequence, both the range and the arc of fire of the big guns became greater. The risks to shipping were correspondingly increased.

In order to minimise these risks, Wilkinson was invited to consider the advantages of camouflage on shipping. A laboratory was established at Burlington House, London and a team of model builders and painters placed at his disposal. In addition, a number of young British artists also contributed to these efforts.

The specific context of maritime engagement in modern war, with ships at some distance from each other and moving at speed, suggested a need for new forms of camouflage. These were designed to confuse the range-finding calculations of estimating the target’s speed and direction, rather than to disguise the ship from view.

Perhaps surprisingly, Wilkinson found that the most effective forms of camouflage were based on the optical disturbance of dazzle patterns. These were, typically, geometric and angular shapes that broke up the outline of the ship. The resulting confusion was sufficient to cause enemy range-finding calculations to go awry.

The official reaction to these proposals remained equivocal. However, and in the context of Modern British painting, the camouflage patterns elaborated by Wilkinson have provided a practical link to the experimentation of Englsh Vorticst artists and other avant-guardists, such as Edward Wadsworth, Christopher RW Nevinson, and David Bomberg.

Poster Design for the London Midland and Scottish Railway

The Railways (Grouping) Act, 1921, provided for the consolidation of over 120 railway companies into four large geographical groups. By far the largest of these was the London Midland and Scottish Railway. The railway provided services between London and Liverpool, and up to Glasgow and beyond.

A consequence of railway grouping was to focus competition between the east-coast and west-coast mainlines to Scotland. The London and North Eastern Railway, serving Edinburgh, was quick to recruit a number of exceptional poster designers to promote its services. In response, Wilkinson was invited to co-ordinate a campaign of artistic advertising by members of the Royal Academy. Amongst the artists chosen were such luminaries as Sir David Young Cameron, George Clausen, Stanhope Forbes, George Henry, Wiliam Orpen, and Adrian Stokes.

Norman Wilkinson provided several contributions to the initial series of posters. His designs revealed a remarkable facility for both landscape painting and for the detailed depiction of machinery. This was especially important in relation to the railway and shipping interests associated with the LMS. Accordingly, Wilkinson was best placed of all the pictorial advertising artists to benefit from the patronage of the LMS.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Wilkinson became one of Britain’s best-known poster designers. Wilkinson claimed to be the originator of the modern pictorial poster. His idea was to replace the piecemeal visual presentation of the traditional railway poster and to offer a single, larger, picture as the focus of attention. Wilkinson also understood that in order to assure the effectiveness of this advertising the image would require a level of sensitive simplification.

In general, Wilkinson eschewed the brutal geometry and flat-colour simplifications associated with the work of modernist poster design in favour of a more pictorial style. Nevertheless, Wilkinson’s poster style drew on his experience of battleship camouflage in the modernist style.

The patterns of light and shade, across mountaintops or factory, were rendered so as to appear visually coherent – the exact opposite of the kinds of optical disturbance that he had supervised during WW1. Wilkinson’s familiarity with the problems of the visual reading of large objects made him especially skilful in rendering complex topography in the simple terms required of the poster form.

Wilkinson enjoyed enormous prestige during his own lifetime and was recognised as Britain’s most distinguished maritime painter of the mid-20C. Nevertheless, Wilkinson remains an ambiguous figure in the history of Modern British painting with neither his contribution to landscape painting, nor that to poster design, fully recognised.

Cyril Kenneth Bird was born 17/12/1887, in London. He was the son of an English cricketer Arthur Bird (1847 – 1914) and his Mother Mary Wheen (1852 – 1942).  Cyril attended King’s College where he studied engineering as his father had forced him to do. He graduated in 1908 with a BSc in civil engineering. Cyril also attended art night classes at the Regent Street Polytechnic and the London County council School Of Photo-engraving and Lithography at the same time.

In 1913 Cyril Bird had enlisted into the army. He became an officer in the Royal Engineers. The following three years were very eventful; Bird married Mary (Mollie) Holden in 1914.  Mary was an artist. In 1915 bird shattered his back when he blown up by a bomb whilst in Gallipoli. He could not walk for three years but was lucky to be alive. Whilst recovering Bird carried on his art studies, via correspondence from Percy Bradshaw’s Press Art School.

In 1916 Bird adopted the pseudonym “Fougasse” when submitting his first cartoon to the satirical ‘Punch’ magazine. The cartoon was titled ‘War’s brutalising influence.’ There was another cartoonist with the same surname so Bird chose Fougasse (A small unpredictable land mine).

Fougasse worked his way up to art editor for Punch magazine. In 1949 he became editor of Punch and retired in 1953. At this time he began publishing his own books of cartoons and illustrations all propaganda regarding Second World.

Cyril Kenneth Bird (Fougasse) (1887-1965)

“Fougasse, who served in the Royal Engineers during the First World War, took his pen name from an anti-personnel mine noted for its erratic performance, sometimes it hit the spot and sometimes it didn’t. The only artist to become editor of Punch magazine, Fougasse developed an elegant cartooning style, rendering figures, objects and landscapes in a few bold, fluid lines. One of his most memorable cartoons was ‘Careless Talk Costs Lives’, drawn for a series of government posters in the Second World War.”

World War Two poster designers

Frank Newbould (1887-1951)

 ( em/object/20271)

Frank Newbould was born in 1887 and died in 1951. In 1942 Newbould became an assistant designer to Abram Games. Newbould specialised in deigning travel posters. His style of design showed an idyllic British landscape and he created a group of four famous posters. Newbould’s poster design style remained the same during the war. This kept the patriotic enthusiasm to keep Britain idyllic and British, in a country that was at war.

Newbould designed this poster depicting Salisbury Cathedral framed by heavily shadowed two toned trees with the slogan (which is used in all four posters) situated bent around the top left of the poster. The colours used in the slogan emphasise the message and point out “Your fight for it” and “Britain Now.”

 Newbould creates a pastoral view that almost looks gauzed or dreamlike. The shepherd and his sheep add an element of serenity. The slogan is still in two colours but situated across the bottom so that the distance and sky is not interrupted. This keeps and emphasises the tranquillity of the poster. These images would inspire people to travel around Britain during the war.

Newbould shows a village Green. An ideal rural setting; with a church, public house and a row of houses that are dominated by an enormous oak tree. The oak tree is part of British heritage and the British oak is the most common of this type of tree. The slogan appears at the bottom again but is now in black and except for Britain which is coloured white. This is set on a gradient background.

Newbould cleverly balances the rural idyllic landscape and the fun of the fair in this colourful poster. The image shows the fun at a village fair. There is a strong sense of fun and community in this poster with various rides and people dancing merrily.

The slogan is halved and put at the top and bottom of the poster. This time Newbould gradients BRITAIN and the text is in Greys.





1. Round brush
This is the main brush used and comes in a number of sizes from very small to very large.  It’s more for smaller details on a painting but a bigger round brush is good for washes.

2. Filbert or cat’s tongue
These have a rounded tip.  I use this brush for bigger washes and mixing colours as it soaks more water and colour up.  Sometimes it can hold too much water which spreads when you put it on the paper. 

3. Flats
Flat brushes are useful for stippling.  It is also useful for washes and to do clean edges.

4. Angle or chisel
This type of brush is useful for working on one side of a line.  It makes smooth lines for example on an eyelid where you want a narrow line of colour.

5. Fan
I have not used this brush recently but it is useful for tree effects.  When it is wet it forms smaller brushes in one brush that give a number of lines.  It might be useful for hair.

6. Sword or dagger
An extreme version of the angle brush (No. 4, left). Usually made in softer hair, the taper can be quite extreme. The watercolourist enjoys the paint holding capacity for big, free washes with the fine tip for detail. Made in limited sizes.

7. Mop

The mop brush was taken up by the watercolourist simply because it holds prodigious amounts of colour and has a fine point. The head is fixed to the handle with polythene (originally quill) bound with brass wire. Polythene is used, because it doesn’t harden with age. The standard mop head is of squirrel hair, but, nowadays, versions with synthetic or sable heads are available. I like squirrel mops in the larger sizes for creating big washes, but smaller sizes are limp and unresponsive. The brushes are made in a moderate range of sizes.

8. Rigger
This round long-haired small brush was designed for the marine artist to paint a line of rigging in one stroke. It is still useful for this and for other fine work, having a longer paint reservoir than the standard small round brush. The brushes are made in a limited range of sizes with sable or synthetic heads.

9. Spotter is made for photo-retouching and miniature painting, with sable or synthetic heads. Whereas most brushes are engineered to hold as much paint as possible, the miniaturist needs only tiny amounts of colour, but a very fine point on the brush. The head of a spotter is short, but with enough of a reservoir to give a controlled flow to the point. Spotter brushes are made in a limited range of small sizes.

10. Hake
A hake is an inexpensive flat brush. Its goat hair head is stitched in the oriental way into a split wooden handle. This kind of brush was popular in the 1980s.


Watercolour techniques


Use a larger brush and a wet paint mix work the paint across and down the paper to cover the area you want to paint.  The more water you add the lighter the colour is.  To build a darker colour let the area dry and then add another wash. 


If you want more texture you can use the bristles of a larger brush (10 or 12) and splay the ends out.  The paint is stabbed downwards to give a bristly effect that is good for leaves on trees.

Use lighter colours first

Black shows through all other colours once it is on the paper.  When the water is on black paint it spreads and covers all other colours then can’t be taken off. 

I found it is good to stand back and look from a distance to look at how the painting appears.  It is difficult to see how it looks when you are working on a flat surface. 

 Rock salt

Putting rock salt on the wet paint can give a marbled effect.  You’ve got to do this quickly before the paint dries or it won’t work, and can’t take the salt off until the paint is properly dry.


I did some watercolour painting and found the paper became bent when I used too much water.  I didn’t want to wait for it to dry if I soaked the paper but when I painted it had raised areas where the paint had spread.  It sets solid and can’t be flattened out.   

To use proper watercolour paper the first thing is to soak the paper.  Put it in the bath tub for five or ten minutes in lukewarm water and then take it out to dry on a clean board.  You know it is soaked enough when the corners don’t spring back but are not floppy.  Soak up the water with a sponge then stretch the paper.

The paper then needs to be stretched.  I used masking tape to tape the paper to a table but the paper still buckled in the middle.  One way to use tape is to tape the top edge and soak up the water by pressing with a sponge or paper towel.  Then stick the next edge down and flatten the paper then do this for the next edges.  The paper has to dry flat.

You can also staple it to a board to dry.  The water stretches it and it dries tight on the board to keep it flat.  The paint soaks into the paper evenly without sticking in blobs or running too much over the paper.

When you use watercolour it is best to paint a bit at a time and leave it to dry overnight before doing some more otherwise doing too much can spoil it.   



Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon

Born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930, Armstrong was fascinated with flying at an early age. He received his student pilot’s license at the age of 16 even before he could legally drive. After graduating from high school, Armstrong was given a U.S. Navy scholarship to study aeronautical engineering.

He became a Navy fighter pilot and served in the Korean War, flying 78 combat missions and receiving the Air Medal and two Gold Stars for his service. After returning from the war, he completed his studies at Purdue University and became a test pilot.

Armstrong eventually made his way to Edwards Air Force Base in California, where he flew the X-15 and other advanced aircraft. The X-15 was America’s most advanced rocket plane, capable of flying more than 50 miles above the Earth at speeds of up to Mach 6.7.

In 1962, NASA selected Armstrong and eight other pilots as part of its second group of astronauts. He underwent four years of training before being assigned as command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission. He and David Scott accomplished the first-ever docking in space when they linked to an Agena target vehicle. Their triumph was short-lived. A stuck thruster on their Gemini spacecraft caused the vehicles to spin out of control. Armstrong and Scott undocked from the two vehicles and brought Gemini back under control.

For the Apollo program, Armstrong was teamed with Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins on Apollo 11. When the flight assignments were made, no one knew which mission would be the first to attempt a Moon landing. NASA officials thought that Armstrong was experienced enough to command such a flight.

In May 1969, Armstrong was flying the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle when, at low altitude, its controls failed. Armstrong bailed out just in the nick of time; if he had waited any longer his parachute would not have opened in time.

On July 20th 1969, he piloted the Eagle landing module to avid a landing which looked dangerous.  Instead, he landed safely and, soon afterwards, became the first human to set foot on the moon. His words at the time have become famous since: “That’s a small step for man, a giant leap for mankind.”

His first task was to take photographs and collect samples or soil and rock in case the mission had to be cut short.  He was later joined by Buzz Aldrin and they did a range of tasks to find out how easy it would be for people to move on the moon surface before planting the U.S. flag on the moon.  They also unveiled a plaque that said “”Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969 AD. We came in peace for all mankind” and was signed by the U.S.  President, Richard Nixon. 

After spending just over two hours on the moon Armstrong went back into the module.  Because the spacesuits were so bulky, they damaged the switch needed to take off, and had to use a pen to start the module up!  They took off and docked with the command module, Columbia.  They returned to earth and landed in the sea, where they were picked up by a Navy ship.

After the moon landing, Armstrong followed a career in teaching, becoming a Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati , and worked as a director for a number of different businesses including Learjet and United Airlines.   

He died in August 2012 after an operation on his heart and, because of his early career as a Navy fighter pilot, was buried at sea. A statement from President Obama said he was “among the greatest of American heroes—not just of his time, but of all time … . Neil’s spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown - including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space. That legacy will endure - sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step.”


The invention of the automobile

Although the first modern automobile that is recognisable as a car was developed by Karl Benz in 1886, there had been a number of different ideas for a vehicle that moved without being pulled by animals.

The wheel was one of the most important human inventions, and being able to make wheels allowed people to carry heavy objects or even themselves over distances, especially when people found ways to build vehicles pulled by animals such as horses or cattle.  However, the first self-propelled vehicle did not come about for centuries, partly because, with animal power, people did not see any need for one.

One of the first known ideas for a self-propelled vehicle was designed by Leonardo Da Vinci.  He designed a wooden cart with cogs and gears made from wood and metal that was basically like a large wind-up toy, operating by clockwork.  Although there is no evidence that it was built, researchers have recently managed to build a working version of this cart.

A Flemish priest, Ferdinand Verbiest, is thought to have made the very first working model of a vehicle that propelled itself.  He left Europe for China in 1658, where he worked for the the Emperor as a tutor, mapmaker and astronomer.  In 1672 he designed a toy for the Emperor which he claims to have successfully produced and which used steam power.  A simple boiler produced steam that worked a turbine and so turned the back wheels. 

At around the same time, a Dutch scientist, Christian Huygens, experimented to create a simple engine.  This worked by exploding gunpowder inside a cylinder and moving a piston to create movement.  Although the engine was too primitive to be of any real use, Huygens immediately saw its potential for powering vehicles on land and water.

The 1700s saw great developments in the use of the steam engine by people such as James Watt and Thomas Newcomen, though the first person to put a steam engine on a full-sized vehicle was probably a Frenchman named Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot.  He produced a steam-powered automobile between 1769 and 1771, thirty years before the first railway locomotive.  His design, meant to transport artillery on the battlefield, weighed about 2.5 tons, had two big wheels in the back and a single thick central wheel at the front, and could seat four people.  It was meant to travel at 5 mph but did not get close to that speed, and was hard to control, especially on rough ground.

The first really practical car was not invented until 1885, and was invented by German engineer Karl Benz.   He created an engine powered by petrol which ran for the first time on New Year’s Eve, 1879. Although this was not used in a vehicle, it brought Benz so much success that he was able to spend more time to follow his dream of producing a lightweight car.  In 1885 he completed a two-seat vehicle which had a tubular steel frame, three wheels and an engine at the back.

In July 1886 the newspapers reported on the first public outing of the three-wheeled Benz Patent Motor Car, model no. 1.  Benz’s wife Bertha made the first long-distance journey using an improved version of the car (and without Benz’s knowledge) with their children in August 1888.  She travelled from the German town of Mannheim to Pforzheim, where she was born, and back – a distance of 180 kilometres.  This brave journey showed the world the potential of the petrol-driven car – it was not just a curiosity, but a practical vehicle for long-distance travel.  Benz later developed steering systems and improved engines, and the Benz Velo, built in 1894, was the world’s first production car.

The development of the car was a great advance and allowed people to travel further and faster than was possible with horse drawn vehicles.  Engines were rated in terms of horsepower, and even the earliest cars devised by Benz could pull as much weight as more than one horse.  Today, there are many different forms of automobile, from small city cars to huge transport vehicles and tanks.  However, in some ways, the damage caused by cars has brought problems to the world and, unlike the horse that it replaced, the car’s fuel is not renewable and its waste products cause a great deal of damage. 

The Invention of Gunpowder

Gunpowder was discovered when Ancient Chinese alchemists in the 8th century were trying to find a potion for eternal life but they ended up making gunpowder.  They found that a mixture of sulphur, charcoal and saltpetre (potassium nitrate) would explode.  As the mixture is black in colour, it was known to the Chinese as black powder.

To summarize, black powder consists of a fuel (charcoal or sugar) and an oxidizer (saltpetre or nitre), and sulphur, to allow for a stable reaction. The carbon from the charcoal plus oxygen forms carbon dioxide and energy. The reaction would be slow, like a wood fire, except for the oxidizing agent. Carbon in a fire must draw oxygen from the air. Saltpetre provides extra oxygen. Potassium nitrate, sulphur, and carbon react together to form nitrogen and carbon dioxide gases and potassium sulphide. The expanding gases, nitrogen and carbon dioxide, provide the propelling action.

The charcoal acts as a fuel and the other ingredients add different gases.  The saltpetre adds extra oxygen to make the mixture burn faster, and this fast chemical reaction releases a hot gas that has the ability to explode with force.

The Chinese began experimenting with the gunpowder filled tubes. At some point, they attached bamboo tubes to arrows and launched them with bows. Soon they discovered that these gunpowder tubes could launch themselves just by the power produced from the escaping gas. The true rocket was born.

Gunpowder was first used to treat skin diseases and to kill insects before its advantage as a weapon was made clear.  However, when people found out that it exploded they used it for fireworks.  These were used in war to frighten the enemy before a battle, but the Chinese realised that the mixture could also cause injury or death if it exploded by people and so tied tubes of gunpowder to arrows.  However, by guiding the force of the explosion out of the tubes, it was soon realised that the tubes could launch themselves.  This lead to the invention of the rocket and, eventually, the gun.

People realised that the force of exploding gunpowder could propel an object such as a stone or lead ball.  The explosion could be contained inside a strong tube, open at one end and closed at the other, and the gases would push the object out with speed and force.  This led to the first guns and so gunpowder changed the world in many different ways.

The invention of guns changed warfare, and made it easier to kill enemies.  It made armour and castles, which people had previously used for protection, useless as guns became more powerful and more accurate, and eventually soldiers stopped wearing armour – it was more important to be able to move fast on the battlefield to avoid being shot.  Eventually, even this did not work when machine guns were invented, and so the old ways of fighting changed.

The first use of gunpowder in Europe was around 1267 though it is not clear whether it was discovered separately or whether someone brought the idea from China to Europe.  However, it was not widely used in guns until about 1346 when cannon were used in battles.

Apart from war, guns have made it easier for hunting for food or for sport.  In some cases, this has helped people to survive in new countries such as America, but overhunting has led to some species of animals becoming extinct.  

Gunpowder has also been used for mining.  It is much easier to blast rocks to dig holes or get things such as coal or gold than it is to dig by hand.  As gunpowder developed, it has been used for clearing railway lines or coal mining, making it possible to build industries.  Although gunpowder has helped to bring death and misery to millions, it has also helped to bring wealth and progress so could be said to have been one of the most important discoveries of all time.

Invention of the aeroplane

Although people had wanted to fly like birds since time began and hot air balloons had been used for over a century, it was not until 1903 that the first powered, fully controllable flight was made.  There had been developments with heavier than air aircraft such as gliders.  Sir George Cayley, an English scientist, developed gliders that flew as early as 1804, but these could not fly for long as they had no power to stay in the air.

The first powered, controlled, heavier-than-air flying machine was revealed to the world by brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903. Their father was a Bishop and encouraged them to learn and as much as possible.  They grew up reading and developed their interest in flight partly from books, though their interest really started when they were given a toy “helicopter” as children.  Made of cork, bamboo, and paper, with a rubber band to twirl its twin blades, it was a little bigger than an adult’s hand. During the next few years, Wilbur and Orville tried to build these themselves, but the bigger they made them the less well they flew. Somewhat discouraged, the brothers turned to kites.

In 1889, with Wilbur’s help, Orville designed and built a printing press and published their own newspaper. In 1892 they opened a bicycle shop, and in 1896 started manufacturing their own brand. When people began experimenting with gliders on the shore of Lake Michigan shore, the brothers’ interest in flight was renewed.  They began to find out as much as they could about flight and did their own experiments.

Orville and Wilbur concentrated on finding ways for pilots to control aircraft and invented “wing-warping.” If the pilot wanted to turn to the left, the wings could be warped to provide more lift on the right side of the biplane. Their system of controls is still used today on fixed-wing aircraft: left and right like a car or boat (a rudder), up and down, and banking to turn like birds do (or like leaning to one side while riding a bicycle). Working with kites in 1899, the brothers figured out and tested these control systems, and in the next two years did experiments with gliders at Kitty Hawk.  This was one of the windiest places in their part of America so was ideal for gliders, but they also used a wind tunnel.

Their 1902 glider was actually the first fully controlled heavier-than-air craft, and some historians believe it was the main invention - essentially the invention of the airplane - and more important than the 1903 biplane.  The next step from the 1902 glider was powered flight.  They experimented to find out how propellers would work, as no one really knew why they worked.  They discovered that propellers were basically moveable wings and tested different shapes in their wind tunnel. The next step was to power the propeller – they ended up building their own lightweight engine as nobody would build one to their design. The engine they produced was just about powerful to lift their aircraft into the air.  They were now ready to test their aircraft.

The first test flight saw the aircraft, piloted by Wilbur, go too fast along its launching track and  went into the air too steeply.  It slowed down then slid back to the ground, becoming damaged.  Although this was a minor setback, they now knew the aircraft would work.  After being repaired, three days later they were ready to try again.

On December 17th, 1903, Orville took the controls while Wilbur went alongside to steady the wing.  The flight only lasted 12 seconds and only covered 120 feet, but it was the first proper controlled flight by an aircraft that was heavier than air.  They made three more flights, getting used to controlling their plane.  The last one lasted 59 seconds and covered 852 feet.

In 1905 the Wright brothers built an aircraft capable of flying for half an hour, and by 1908 were able to fly for an hour at a time.  This hour long flight was made in a demonstration for the US Army who were looking for ways to use flight in war. 

Their invention and discovery of ways to fly has completely changed the world.  Countries have air forces to maintain power and bombers have caused many hundreds of thousands of deaths, but the positives of flight have been vast.  Now it is possible to travel quickly between countries, making tourism and business possible in ways that were never possible before.  Their work has led to more research into flight, meaning that there are now many different ways to get into the air, from jet airliners to small powered microlight aircraft and hang-gliders.