The critical observation by Courtwright reveals a perfect survey of the United States development with respect to the development of aerospace and aeronautics since the early times following the success of the flight by the Wright Brothers. The clarity and understanding of the above development follow the analysis of various eras as stipulated by Courtwright. The discussion included here follows the provisions of the first period, which is the era immediately following the successful invention of the airplane and the subsequent mass production – the Age of the Pioneers. It is in the analysis of the above age that Courtwright’s analogy of the frontier relates in the most efficient and understandable manner. During the above era, the contemporaries honored aviators, such as Charles Lindberg who flew across the Atlantic in 1927, as pioneers; they referred to aviation as the conquest of the air, as well as brought forth by the talk of the aerial frontier. Courtwright deems the aerial frontier as superficial as well as a metaphor. The interest of Courtwright has more to do with the changing spatial, demographic and temporal aerospace frontier aspects. It is upon such interests that he talked about two types of frontiers, that is, Type I and Type II Frontier (Courtwright).
Ideally, type the above frontier types are different with respect to their underlying devotions. Type I frontiers have their primary devotion channeled towards agricultural production. On the other hand, Type II frontier engagements are primarily in support of extractive and mining industries. Ideally, the Type I or agricultural frontier is was more opposed to attracting settlers. In the process, it resulted to the surfacing of various isolated small nuclear families. The above families would chop down trees and clear some parts of the natural vegetation to make way for the establishment of homesteads. As a result, the above kind of frontier fostered civilization across the United States, which spread evenly across the land as a consequence of the presence of the numerous isolated homesteads.
The mining and extractive frontier, on the other hand, Type II frontier, operated on another level and perspective altogether. The above frontier found existence in the human nature of seeking resources that require constant movement. In light of the above, it featured the fishing culture, the search for minerals such as gold, diamond, coal, precious artifacts and the like. The Type II frontier thus did not feature nuclear families but rather tumble and rough populations dominated by males.
Despite the structural differences between the above two kinds of frontiers, they had some similar characteristics in some instances. Ideally, the establishment and development of both depended hugely on the enthusiasm and dedication of the individuals supporting either. In light of the above, the similarity comes with respect to the fact that in both, the populations are composed of young, unmarried, and at one time nomadic people. Additionally, the individuals in either frontier handle undertaking considerable risks, resulting in fatalities such as death at times. According to the view of Courtwright, however, the early development of the aviation industry featured more dominantly on the extractive and mining Type II frontier than the on the agricultural frontier.
In concurrence with the opinion of Courtwright, the early aviation industry features more characteristics that align it more exclusively as a Type II frontier than a Type I frontier. Ideally, the above rationale is specifically true with respect to the consideration of the mid-1920s era. The above argument finds its basis in some various facts. First, the above period featured massive production of airplanes. The massive production of the airplanes was as a result of two reasons. The first was to increase the number of airplanes commensurate to the demand by the consumers. The second one was with respect to the pursuit of creating and developing better designs of airplanes. Irrespective of the underlying reason, the massive production of airplanes heightened the need for building materials. As a result, the above period experienced the search for the suitable building raw materials, leading to more extraction and mining across the United States. Ideally, the mass production of the airplanes to suit the demand by the United States consumers would only be possible if there were enough raw materials necessary for the manufacture of the airplanes.
From another perspective, the presence of the airplane as a new mode of transport made it possible for the United States residents to venture into new lands. Initially, some parts of the world were unreachable by most United States residents. The reason for the above is either as a result of the distance or as a consequence of the topography. Before the airplane, all the other transport means were limited by land topographies making it remotely impossible to reach some places. However, the successful invention of the airplane made it possible to not only reach various destinations across the world, but to do so relatively fast. Most of the above surfaced with various young pilots like Lindbergh attempting and succeeding in such endeavors. Ideally, the above promoted a culture of exploration and seeking civilization from different parts of the United States, and the world in general. Clearly, the invention of the airplane brought forth a culture that diminished the development of the permanent settlement. The mining and extractive frontier featured vigorously and exclusively with the development of the airplane industry in the mid-1920s since it gave the ability to explore new lands resulting from the use of airplanes.
Courtwright, David T. Sky as Frontier. College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 2005. Print.
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