1908 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events
1908 Aviation Records
Speed: 40.26-mph, Henry Farman, Voisin Biplane, 30 October 1908, France
Distance: 77.48-miles, Wilbur Wright, Wright A, 31 December 1908, United States
Altitude: 361-feet, Wilbur Wright, Wright A, 18 December 1908, United States
Weight: 1,200-lbs, Wright Brothers, Wright A, United States
Engine Power: 79-hp, Gobron-Brille, Gobron, France
January 13 (Paris, France) — Henry Farman makes aviation history by flying the first circular flight in Europe at Issy-les-Moulineaux. Watched by a handful of people, Farman piloted his Voisin-Farman I biplane over a monitored one-kilometer circuit to win the coveted Deutsch-Archdeacon prize of 50,000!
February 10 (Washington DC) — The United States Army contracts to buy aircraft. The United States government has gone a long way to accepting the Wright Flyer for the Army Signal Corps. The army is inviting bids for a biplane which must be able to fly for an hour, carry two men, reach 40-mph, and take fuel to cover 125 miles.
March 12 (Hammondsport, New York) — AEA Red Wing, flying from the surface of Keuka Lake near Hammondsport, New York. Flight distance is 97.2 meters (319 ft) but ends with the aircraft collapsing to the ground, leaving the pilot slightly bruised. This is the first public demonstration of a powered aircraft flight in the United States.
March 17 (Hammondsport, New York) — AEA Red Wing is destroyed in a crash on its second flight.
March 29 (Paris, France) — Léon Delagrange makes the first recorded flight with a passenger, the well-known flier Henry Farman, at Paris, France. The flight distance is 454 feet (138 m).
June 8 (Brooklands, Surrey, England) — Alliot Verdon Roe flies his first aircraft, the Roe I Biplane at Brooklands, Surrey.
June 28 (Germany) — Jacob Ellehammer makes the first piloted, powered aeroplane flight in Germany.
June 28 (United States) — First flight of the AEA June Bug.
July 4 (Hammondsport, New York) — Glenn Curtiss wins the distance prize of $2,500 and the silver trophy offered by Scientific American for an official flight of over one kilometer. The June Bug, piloted by Glenn Curtiss flew nearly twice the required distance, achieving 1.1 miles and landing gently.
July 8 (Turin, Italy) — Thérèse Peltier officially becomes the first woman to fly in an aeroplane. She is a passenger on a flight made by Léon Delagrange at Turin. However, this flight may not have been fully controlled.
August 8 (Le Mans, France) — Wilbur Wright makes his first flights at the Hunaudieres racetrack at Le Mans, France. The Wright Flyer used for this and later flights had been shipped to Le Havre by Orville the previous year. It had been seriously damaged by custom officials when it arrived in France and uncrated. Wilbur spent the whole summer of 1908 rebuilding the machine and getting it into flying condition. Wilbur's flights in this machine will have a profound effect on European aviation during the following months.
August 9 (Le Mans, France) — Wilbur Wright silenced those French critics who still doubted that he and his brother Orville had really achieved the flights they claimed to have made in the United States. At the controls of his biplane, he astonished the French with his skilled handling of an aircraft that is far superior to any French machine.
August 21 (Camp d'Auvours, Le Mans, France) — Wilbur Wright moves to Camp d'Auvours, 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) east of Le Mans, where all his flights for the remainder of the year will be based.
September 5 (France) — First flight of the Goupy No.1, the world's first triplane.
September 9 (Fort Myer, Virginia) — Orville Wright American aviation pioneer, impressed the watching crowd as he flew for over an hour today through the open Virginia skies. He also took up Lt. Frank Lahm, a prominent officer of the U.S. Army Signal Corps for a short flight, making him the first military air passenger. Orville Wright flies 1 hour 3 minutes and 15 seconds.
September 17 (Fort Myer, Virginia) — During a test flight at Fort Meyer, Lt. Thomas Selfridge, became the first person to be killed as a result of a powered flight. Orville Wright was at the controls of the aircraft with Lt. Selfridge , a US Army Flyer, as a passenger when this incident occurred.
September 17 (Turin, Italy) — Thérèse Peltier makes a flight of 200 meters at a height of approximately 2.5 meters at the Military Square in Turin, Italy. Photos of Peltier with the aeroplane are published on 27 September. This is the first unofficial flight by a female aviator.
October 5 (Echterdingen, Germany) — The Zeppelin-airship LZ IV is destroyed by fire at Echterdingen.
October 7 (Camp d'Auvours, Le Mans, France) — Wilbur Wright flies with Mrs. Hart O. Berg as passenger at Camp d'Auvours. This is the first fully controlled flight with a woman passenger.
October 14 (Bouy/Reims, France) — Henry Farman makes the first cross-country flight in a power-driven aeroplane, from Bouy to Reims 27 kilometers (17 mi) in 20 minutes.
October 16 (Farnborough, England) — On this date, Samuel F. Cody became the first man to fly in Britain. In his British Army Aeroplane N°1, powered by a 50-hp Antoinette engine, he flew the 52-foot wingspan craft for a distance of 1,391 feet from the take-off point at an altitude of approximately 30 feet. Unfortunately, his landing resulted in a crash due to a too sharp of turn. Cody was slightly injured in the mishap.
October 18 (Camp d'Auvours, Le Mans, France) — Wilbur Wright climbs to 115 meters (380 ft) above Camp d'Auvours.
October 19 (France) — First flight of the Antoinette IV.
November (London, England) — Horace, Eustace and Oswald Short found Short Brothers, the first aircraft manufacturing company in England, in Battersea, London.
December 18 (Camp d'Auvours, Le Mans, France) — Wilbur Wright at Camp d'Auvours, 11 kilometers east of Le Mans. flies 99.8 kilometers (62.0 mi) in 1 hour 54 minutes 2/5 sec. rising to 110 m (360 ft) - a new world record.
December 31 (Camp d'Auvours, Le Mans, France) — Wilbur Wright wins a prize of FF20,000 from Michelin for the longest flight of the year (a world record) - 123.2 kilometers (76.6 mi) in 2 hours 18 minutes and 33 1/5 seconds from Camp d'Auvours.
- Gunston, Bill, et al. Chronicle of Aviation. Liberty, Missouri: JL Publishing Inc., 1992. 14-17
- Parrish, Wayne W. (Publisher). "United States Chronology". 1962 Aerospace Yearbook, Forty-Third Annual Edition. Washington, DC: American Aviation Publications, Inc., 1962, 446-469.
- Wikipedia, 1908 in aviation
- Shupek, John (photos and card images), The Skytamer Archive. Skytamer.com, Whittier, CA
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