Academic journal article International Journal on World Peace

The Evolution of Aviation in Times of War and Peace: Blood, Tears, and Salvation

Academic journal article International Journal on World Peace

The Evolution of Aviation in Times of War and Peace: Blood, Tears, and Salvation

Article excerpt


The year 2014 marked seventy years since the International Civil Aviation conference in Chicago (commonly referred to as the Chicago Convention). On 7 December 1944, the Chicago Convention was adopted and today still remains the primary source of public international air law. But it was not until the end of the Second World War (WWII: 1939-1945) that the Convention came into force, on April 4, 1947. This also heralded the new organisation called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).1

Aviation has always stood at a crossroads, where air transport has been used as a means to take life, save life, and balance sovereign demands for control with security and trade.

War has been instrumental in aiding and developing aviation technology. WWI I heralded the delivery of mass destruction and saw the development of capacity and speed. On August 6 and 9, 1945, in Japan, aircraft were used to deliver destruction on a scale never previously witnessed, with atomic bombs being dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.2 The "flying fortress," a multi-engine bomber provided capacity over extended distances, while jet engine technology was also advanced. Jet engines were developed and introduced at the end of the war with the German's flying the Me 262 and the British using the Gloster Meteor for homeland defence. The development stages of the jet engine remain somewhat refuted with initiatives and inventions being simultaneously researched, largely in Germany and the UK. Development was shrouded in wartime secrecy and protection. Aid, while WWII may have been instrumental in facilitating advancement of aviation technology, it was also noticeable in showing the fatal potential of aviation-to take lives.

This paper reviews the many facets of aviation, the "blood" the "tears" and the "salvation," examining the cornerstones of international controls, the origins and incentives of governments. Comment is passed upon key events, and old threats, as well as new contemporary ones that are considered to influence the current international order.

The research design is based upon a mixed methods, cross-disciplinary approach, which discusses current international air law, the origins and rationale, and interjects this with historical data and a naturalist approach/ contemporary analysis theory.


The word "symbiosis" was allegedly first used by Albert Bernhard Frank in 1877,3 but it is Aitón De Bary (1879)4 who is attributed with providing a clearer definition for a relationship and interaction between two different entities that have clear links and dependencies to each other. To say that aviation is dependent upon war is perhaps inaccurate; nevertheless, it would be appropriate to relate war with the evolution of air transport and cite the reasoning and rationale for the controls placed on an international service with the anxiety of nations post historic wars and events.

Roossinck5 states that "symbiosis implies cooperation as in mutualistic symbiosis or antagonism as in parasitic symbiosis." Applying this concept it could therefore be argued that war has been an influential factor both in terms of supporting development and of antagonizing advancement. The latter is due to sovereign state reluctance and protectionism emanating from known and perceived security risks, as well as dominance and control over what is still regarded as a national asset.

Arguably, competition has also been stifled by overexertion of governments retaining control in international commercial air operations and, although transformation of the industry continues, it is thwarted by state controls that prevent globalized evolution.

Continuing the scientific concept, Charles Darwin's6 evolutionary theory concerned natural selection through a gradual change system that stems from the accumulation of random mutations followed by a competitive selection process. The development of commercial air operations, however, has been subject to unnatural and controlled selections in the main and, although not a living organism, it is undeniable that air transport has an incredible influence on our lives and existence. …

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