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It's National Aviation Day! Here's Why You Should Be Proud.

Today marks the 77th anniversary of National Aviation Day, established in 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in honor of Orville Wright's birthday.

So how far have we come? Let's take a look...

1) Excluding airlines and military aircraft, there are 362,000 general aviation aircraft worldwide, 199,000 of which are located right here in the United States.


2) General aviation supports $219 billion in total economic output in the United States, in addition to 1.1 million total jobs.

Swayne Martin

3) Over 1 week in July, EAA's AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI attracts more than a half-million visitors and 10,000 airplanes to the world's largest fly-in. It's one big aviation family reunion.

4) There are well over 9,000 airports in the United States, both with paved and un-paved runways.

Swayne Martin

5) The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird holds the official Air Speed Record (flown in July of 1976) for a manned air-breathing jet aircraft with a speed of 2,193 mph (3,530 km/h).


6) With its inaugural Singapore Airlines flight on October 25th, 2007, the Airbus A380 became the world's largest passenger airliner.

7) According to the International Air Transport Association, airlines will transport 3.6 billion worldwide passengers in 2016.


8) As of December, 2014, there were 593,499 certificated pilots in the United States.

Swayne Martin

9) Of those pilots, the 25-29 year old age group held the most commercial pilot's certificates at 19,103. Compare that to a second place of 13,082 certificates for 30-34 year olds, or a third place of 10,739 commercial certificates for 60-64 year olds.

Nick Meyer

10) While it's nowhere near the levels of the 1970s, there were still 49,566 student pilot certificates issued in 2013. We think that's pretty awesome.

Jack Bell

Happy National Aviation Day! Now go celebrate with a flight.

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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