Saint Louis played a significant role in the development of aviation.
- 1904 World's Fair: During the 1904 World's Fair held in St. Louis, the Wright brothers showcased their newly invented Wright Flyer III, which was the world's first practical airplane. The 12-minute flight made by Wilbur Wright captured the attention of the public and helped popularize aviation.
- Lambert-St. Louis International Airport: Built in 1920, Lambert Airport became one of the busiest airports in the United States and played a crucial role in the advancement of aviation. It served as a hub for both commercial and military aviation due to its strategic location in the country.
- Boeing and McDonnell Douglas: Two major aerospace companies, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, had significant operations in St. Louis. McDonnell Douglas developed several aircraft, including the DC-3, F-4 Phantom II, and F-15 Eagle. Boeing acquired McDonnell Douglas in 1997, further strengthening the aviation industry in St. Louis.
- Charles Lindbergh: Born in Detroit but raised in St. Louis, Charles Lindbergh became one of the most pivotal figures in aviation history. He made the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight in 1927, flying from New York to Paris in his aircraft, Spirit of St. Louis. Lindbergh's achievement brought global recognition to St. Louis and inspired further advancements in aviation.
Overall, St. Louis played a crucial role in the development of aviation through its association with early flight demonstrations, the establishment of an important airport, contribution to aircraft manufacturing, and being the birthplace of notable aviator Charles Lindbergh.