It seems all news is bad news when it comes to aviation these days, and it's too bad because it overshadows just how wonderful it is that we can fly. Think about it -- 100 years ago, few could imagine it. Today we take it for granted.
It's an amazing accomplishment, and too often people lose sight of that. Aviation.com has compiled a list of the greatest innovations of aviation that have taken us ever further and faster in the 100 years since the Wright Brothers took wing. It includes things like the monoplane, transatlantic flight, the steam catapault and human-powered aircraft.
We looked at their list, tweaked it a bit and came up with our top 12 because 10 wasn't enough.
1. Cabin pressurization -- The average passenger doesn't think about cabin pressurization until their yellow safety masks fall from the ceiling, but the reality is that if the technology hadn't been developed during WWII, we wouldn't be able to fly much above 10,000 feet.
2. Black Box -- Morbid but essential, the black box was invented in the mid-1950s, and not only helps investigators learn why a plane crashed, but how that information can be applied to other aircraft to prevent a repeat.
3. The Concorde -- It never delivered on its commercial promise, and it was an environmental bad boy, but who can deny that breaking the sound barrier aboard a commercial aircraft is cool. And have you ever seen a more beautiful plane?
4. Radar -- Sure, the airlines are dying to replace it with GPS technology, but for decades it's been radar that helps air traffic controllers locate and track planes up to 200 miles away. Would our modern air traffic infrastructure exist without it? Probably not.
5. The jumbo jet -- Whether you think they're graceful or ungainly, you can't deny that jumbo jets have changed the face of commercial aviation. The economies of scale provided by a 400-seat airliner meant airlines could offer cheap tickets that made it possible for the masses to fly.
6. The hub and spoke system -- People hate, hate, hate having to make stopovers at jam packed airports controlled by a single airline. Yeah, they're expensive to fly into and delay prone, but hub airports are a big part of the reason that you have 20 flights a day to choose from when flying between most large American cities.
7.The Very Light Jet (VLJ) -- It's been a tough road for the VLJ, with manufacturers suffering production problems and customers going out of business, but that doesn't diminish the allure of a 37 foot, 3,500 pound plane designed to carry four to six passengers on short hops that would otherwise require a car ride.
8. Winglets -- Here's another one that most of us don't think about. The small upward-pointing extensions at the tips of aircraft wings reduce drag, improve climb performance, increase range, and make flight more fuel efficient. With oil at over $100 a barrel, no wonder most airlines have added winglets across their fleets.
9. The flying wing -- Yves Rossy keeps breaking records and defying expectations with his 8-foot-diameter, carbon composite flying wing. Last week he made a successful 13 minute, 125 mph trip across the English Channel.
10. Stealth aircraft -- What's cooler than a plane that can outsmart radar? Because the surfaces of a stealth are designed to absorb radio waves or reflect them away from the receiver, stealth planes can sneak in and sneak out undetected. Too bad they're so expensive: The 21 plane B-2 program cost over $45 billion.
11. Jetway -- Another one most of us don't think about is the long covered walkway the connects our departure gate with our plane. It means we don't have to wait outside on the tarmac in sleet and rain, or contend with the shriek of jet engines. The A380 is served by three jet bridges, one of them leading directly to the first class lounge.
12. Deicing -- Ice buildup is the cause of many fatal aircraft accidents, which is why applying monopropylene de-icing fluid to wings pre-flight has become standard operating procedure. Without it, air traffic would ground to a halt every time things got a little stormy.
That's it. That's our top 12. Use the Reddit Widget below to tell us what we got wrong, what you'd add and why you think it's important.