1915 Master Index 1917

1916 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

1916 Aviation Records

  • Speed: 134.54-mph, Norman Spratt, RAF S.E. 4, June 1914

  • Distance: 1,180.61-miles, Werner Landman, Albatros, 28 June 1914

  • Altitude: 26,739-feet, Heinrich Oelerich, DFW14, July 1914

  • Weight: 26,265-lbs, Staaken, R. VI

  • Engine Power: 296-hp, Louis Renault, Renault 12F

January 1916

  • January 12Germany … German aces Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke, with 8 kills, are the first pilots awarded with Pour le Mérite (“the Blue Max”).

  • January 29Paris, France … The second and last Zeppelin raid on Paris inflicts 54 casualties.

February 1916

  • FebruaryEngland … The Airco DH.2 entered service with No. 24 Squadron RFC.

  • February 9England … First flight of the Sopwith Pup flown by Harry Hawker.

March 1916

  • March 15Mexico … First use of US Army aircraft in military operations, in support of a punitive expedition into Mexico.

  • March 16Mexico … US military aircraft fly their first mission over foreign soil when Curtiss JN-3's of the 1st Aero Squadron carry out reconnaissance over Mexico.

  • March 18France … German ace Ernst Udet scores his first kill.

April 1916

  • AprilFrance … First flight of the SPAD S.VII

  • AprilEngland … The Sopwith 1½ Strutter entered service.

  • April 15Kut el Amara, Mesopotamia … RFC and RNAS aircraft deliver 13 tons of stores into Kut el Amara, Mesopotamia, while it is besieged by the Turks. This was the first time aircraft were used for such a purpose.

  • April 20France … The Escadrille Américanne, later to be known as Lafayette Escadrille, is established as an American volunteer unit in France, equipped with Nieuport 11's.

May 1916

  • May 2England … Eight German Zeppelins raid the east coast of England, causing 39 casualties. The Zeppelin L 20 (LZ59) is wrecked in a storm off Stavanger, Norway on the return journey.

  • May 17England … Parasite fighter experiments begin in the UK to launch a Bristol Scout from a Porte Baby airship.

  • May 28England … First flight of the Sopwith Triplane flown by Harry Hawker.

  • May 31North Sea … A British navy Short 184 seaplane launched from the British seaplane carrier HMS Engadine spotted for the British fleet at the Battle of Jutland, marking the first use of an aeroplane in a major fleet battle.

June 1916

  • June 16Isle of Grain … First flight of the Port Victoria P.V.2.

  • June 17England … First flight of the Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8.

  • June 17France … The first French ace, Jean Navarre, is shot down and wounded, ending his combat career with 12 confirmed kills.

  • June 18France … The first German ace Max Immelmann is shot down and killed by a FE.2b from No. 25 Squadron RFC — a symbolic end of the "Fokker Scourge". He had scored 15 kills.

  • June 23France … Victor Chapman of Lafayette Escadrille becomes the first US airman to be killed in action, shot down near Verdun.

  • June 29Seattle, Washington, United States … First flight of th B & W Seaplane, William Boeing's first aircraft.

July 1916

  • JulyEngland … No. 3 Wing RNAS becomes Britain's first strategic bombing unit, equipped with Sopwith 1½ Strutters.

  • July 1England … Beginning of the Battle of the Somme. In the five months of the battle, the British lose 782 aircraft and 576 pilots but maintain air superiority over the battlefield.

  • July 25Russia … First flight of the Anatra DS.

August 1916

  • AugustEngland … First flight of the Airco DH.4.

  • AugustFrance … The SPAD S.VII enters service with Escadrille No. 26.

  • August 2England … 16 German Zeppelins raid southeast England. Lt William Leefe-Robinson, RFC shoots down Zeppelin SL 11 in a BE.2c.

  • August 6France … French ace Capitaine René Fonck gains his first confirmed victory.

  • August 27Germany … Oswald Boelcke creates the first German special fighter squadron Jagdstaffel 2 (Jasta 2).

September 1916

  • September 9England … First flight of the Bristol F.2A.

  • September 12United States … The Hewitt-Sperry biplane, in effect the world's first radio-guided flying-bomb, was tested in America. The craft was designed by Lawrence Sperry and was built by Curtiss. The aircraft has a 50 mile range, can carry up to 300-lbs of bombs, and is powered by a 10-hp engine.

  • September 15Mediterranean Sea … British submarine B-10 is sunk by Austrian Lohner flying boats, led by Fregatten-Leutnant Zelezny, becoming the first submarine sunk by aircraft; French submarine Foucault is sunk by two Austrian Lohner flying boats, led by Fregatten-Leutnant Zelezny, becoming the first submarine sunk at sea by aircraft.

  • September 17France … Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen scores his first kill, from a Albatros D.II.

  • September 23 to 24England … Eleven Zeppelins attack England. Two are shot down, LZ 76 by ground fire, and LZ 74 by Lt Frederick Sowrey.

October 1916

  • October 5London, England … The first British airline company, Aircraft Transport and Travel Ltd. was registered by George Holt Thomas.

  • October 12France … Canadian Royal Naval Air Service ace Raymond Collishaw claims his first victory.

  • October 25England … First flight of the Bristol F.2B Fighter.

  • October 28Douai, France … German ace Oswald Boelcke is killed in a mid-air collision.

November 1916

  • NovemberEngland … The Sopwith Triplane entered service.

  • November 22England … First flight of the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5.

  • November 23Bapaume, France … British ace Lanoe Hawker VC is shot down by Manfred von Richthofen.

  • November 28London, England … Central London is bombed by an LVG C.II flown by R. Brandt.

December 1916

  • December 24England … The Sopwith Pup entered service with No. 54 Squadron RFC.

Works Cited
  1. Gunston, Bill, et al. Chronicle of Aviation. Liberty, Missouri: JL Publishing Inc., 1992. 14-17
  2. Parrish, Wayne W. (Publisher). “United States Chronology”. 1962 Aerospace Yearbook, Forty-Third Annual Edition. Washington, DC: American Aviation Publications, Inc., 1962, 446-469.
  3. Wikipedia, 1916 in aviation
  4. Shupek, John (photos and card images), The Skytamer Archive., Whittier, CA

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