Aeronautics: the science, or art, of sailing in the air. This is a word you would not expect to find in Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary, but, there it is. In his dictionary, however, you will find an additional phrase: by means of a ballon.
Aeronautical science has changed.
Originally, this word was French, aéronautique. The first free flight with human passengers took place in Paris on November 21, 1783. According to the series John Adams, he, Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson were witnesses to the event.
The French word derives from the Greek words ἀήρ (air) and ναυτικός (sailor, mariner).