How Did Humans Try to Fly in Ancient Times?

Throughout history, humans have been fascinated with the idea of flying. From the mythological Icarus to the modern-day aircraft, people have always tried to take to the skies.

But did you know that humans have been trying to fly for centuries? In this article, we will explore how humans attempted to fly in ancient times.

Early Attempts at Flight

The desire to fly can be traced back to ancient Greece, where people believed that gods could fly. The Greek legend of Icarus and Daedalus is one of the earliest recorded attempts at flight.

According to the legend, Daedalus created wings made of feathers and wax for himself and his son Icarus. They were warned not to fly too close to the sun as it would melt the wax on their wings. However, Icarus ignored his father’s warning and flew too close to the sun, causing his wings to melt and leading to his tragic death.

While this story is a mythological tale, it is a testament to how early humans were fascinated with flight.

Chinese Innovations in Flight

Ancient China also has a rich history of attempts at flight. One notable example is kite flying, which dates back over 2000 years ago.

Kites were originally used for military purposes such as sending signals or measuring distances. However, they soon became popular among civilians as a form of entertainment.

In addition, Chinese inventors also invented manned kites that could carry a person into the air. The first recorded manned kite flight was by Wan Hu in the 16th century. According to legend, he attached forty-seven rockets to his chair and attempted to launch himself into space.

While this story may seem far-fetched, it shows how early humans were willing to risk their lives in order to achieve flight.

The Renaissance of Flight

During the Renaissance period, there was a renewed interest in flight. Leonardo da Vinci, the famous Italian inventor and artist, was one of the key figures in this movement.

Da Vinci created designs for flying machines such as the ornithopter, which was inspired by the mechanics of bird flight. He also designed a parachute and a glider.

While da Vinci’s designs were never built during his lifetime, they were influential in shaping future developments in aviation.


In conclusion, humans have been trying to fly for centuries. From mythological tales to modern-day aircraft, our fascination with flight has never waned.

While early attempts at flight may seem primitive compared to modern-day aviation, they paved the way for future innovations. Without these early attempts, we may not have the advanced technology that we have today.

As we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in aviation, it is important to remember and acknowledge the contributions of those who came before us.