Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as hot air balloons and airships.
Aviation began in the 18th century with the development of the hot air balloon, an apparatus capable of atmospheric displacement through buoyancy. Some of the most significant advancements in aviation technology came with the controlled gliding flying of Otto Lilienthal in 1896; then a large step in significance came with the construction of the first powered airplane by the Wright brothers in the early 1900s. Since that time, aviation has been technologically revolutionized by the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world.
The Metropolitan Borough of Dudley is a metropolitan borough of West Midlands in England. It was created in 1974 following the Local Government Act 1972, through a merger of the existing Dudley County Borough with the municipal boroughs of Stourbridge and Halesowen. The borough borders Sandwell to the east, the city of Birmingham to the south east, Bromsgrove to the south in Worcestershire, South Staffordshire District to the west, and the city of Wolverhampton to the north.
Being a metropolitan borough Dudley is effectively a unitary authority, with the exceptions of Transport for West Midlands, (publicly branded as West Midlands Network), fire and police services, and the local government pension fund (West Midlands Pension Fund), which are jointly run by the seven metropolitan boroughs of the West Midlands county.
For Eurostat purposes, Dudley is a NUTS 3 region (code UKG36), and is one of seven boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "West Midlands" NUTS 2 region.