To fly though the air to harness the power and freedom of the birds. This was mankind's dream and desire, most arguably, since crawling out of the primordial ooze. It would be centuries before that dream would come true.
Aviation itself has only been around in aircraft form since 1900. The first airplanes initially were crude machines without much use or perceived use. In a short 10 years after 1903 starting with World War I, aircraft became very useful and integral to war efforts. A newer design would quickly replace and cause the prior design to become obsolete in a matter of months or within a year. This obsolescence of aircraft repeated during World War II and later during the Cold War.