1918 Master Index 1920

1919 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

1919 Aviation Records

  • Speed: 191.1-mph, Joseph Sadi-Lecointe, Nieuport-Delage 29v, 16 December 1919

  • Distance: 1,884-miles, Alcock and Brown, Vickers Vimy, 15 June 1919

  • Altitude: 34,610-feet, Roland Rohlfs, Curtiss Wasp, 18 September 1919

  • Weight: 44,672-lbs, WG Tarrant Ltd., Tarrant Tabor

  • Engine Power: 700-hp, Fiat, A. 14


  • 1919 — First flight of the Savoia S.16 flying boat.

  • 1919 — First flight of the Armstrong Whitworth Siskin.

January 1919

  • January — First flight of the De Havilland Oxford.

  • January 2Ipswich, England … A new altitude record is established by Captain Lang, R. A. F., at Ipswich, England, with a passenger. An altitude of 30,500 feet is reached unofficially.

  • January 6United States Transcontinental Pathfinding Tour … Four US Army Curtiss JN-4H (Hispano-Suiza) airplanes complete a 4,000 mile flight in 50 flying hours. Aerial photographs and maps taken and aerial mail routes and landing fields selected.

  • January 8 — Civil aviation resumes in Germany.

  • January 10 — Airco DH.4s of No.2 (Communications) Squadron, RAF are converted for transporting passengers and mail between London and Paris, in support of the Versailles Peace Conference.

  • January 12United States, Rockaway to Key West … United States Naval dirigible C1 (Goodyear) flies 1,450 miles.

  • January 16 — Maj A.S.C. MacLaren and Cpt Robert Halley arrive in Delhi, completing the first England-India flight, in a Handley Page V/1500.

  • January 19 — Jules Védrines claims a FF 25,000 prize by landing an aircraft (a Caudron G-3) on the roof of a department store in Paris. Védrines is injured and his aircraft is damaged beyond repair in the hard landing in a space only 28 m x 12 m (92 ft x 40 ft).

  • January 24New Italian Record … A Italian biplane, the Marchetti Vickers Terni, equipped with a 200 horsepower Spa motor, and piloted by Sergeant Elia Lint, attains under official tests, and over a closed circuit, an average speed of 160 miles per hour.

  • JanuaryUnited States … A U.S. Navy airplane is successfully launched from a dirigible in flight.

  • January 26Marseilles to Algeria … Lieutenant Roget and Captain Coli pilot a French Breguet airplane across the Mediterranean Sea for a distance of 457 miles in five hours.

February 1919

  • February 1Cape May, New Jersey … A Goodyear Airship flies 33 hours. Assuming an average speed to have been 40 miles per hour, approximately 1,320 miles were flown.

  • February 2San Diego, California … The Annual Flying Circus was held at Rockwell Field, San Diego, California, in which more than 200 airplanes of all types took part.

  • February 5 — Beginning of regular flights between Berlin and Weimar by the Deutsche Luft-Reederei with AEG and DFW biplanes.

  • February 8 — Henry Farman carries 11 paying passengers in his plane from Paris to London on first commercial flight between the two cities.

  • February 12Paris to Brussels … Paris to Brussels and return. Farman Goliath carrying 17 passengers flies 325 miles in 4 hours and 52 minutes.

  • February 12Romorantin, France … New looping record set by Lieutenant B. W. Maynard, a test pilot at American assembly plant at Romorantin, France, loops 318 times without losing altitude, flying a British Sopwith Camel.

  • February 13North Atlantic Ocean … British non-rigid airship N.S.11 patrols North Sea for four days, four hours and fifty minutes with crew of 10.

  • February 13London to Paris … London to Paris flight. Airco DH-4 airplane flies to Paris from London in I hour and 50 minutes.

  • February 19United States … Lieutenant E. E. Harmon, piloting a Lepere biplane, 400 horsepower Liberty engine, flies from Mineola, Long Island, to Washington, in 85 minutes.

  • February 21 — First flight of the Thomas-Morse MB-3, first US-built fighter.

  • February 21Ithaca, New York … American Speed Record. Thomas-Morse Scout, equipped with 300 horsepower Hispano-Suiza motor, attains speed of 164 miles an hour at Ithaca, N. Y., recorded as witnessed and officially recognized by Director of Military Aeronautics.

March 1919

  • March 1 — German airline Deutsche Luft-Reederei (DLR) begins scheduled flights to Hamburg. An airmail service begins Folkestone and Cologne.

  • March 1-15New York City, NY … First Annual Aeronautical Exposition of Manufacturers Aircraft Association at Madison Square Garden and 69th Regiment Armory, New York City.

  • March 1France … French Aerial Mail Service established between Paris, Bordeaux and Marseilles.

  • March 2Padua, Italy to Vienna, Austria … Italian Aerial Mail Service is established between Padua, Italy, and Vienna, Austria, a distance of 304 miles.

  • March 3Vancouver, BC to Seattle, WA … Canada to United States Air Mail service is initiated when William E. Boeing, in a Boeing seaplane, flies from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Seattle, a distance of 200 miles. The trip was authorized by the Canadian Post Office and the bag was officially received in Seattle by the Mayor of that city.

  • March 6United States … Pilot C. J. Zimmerman in an Aeromarine Model 40 Flying Boat, meets the S.S. Leviathan carrying the 27th Division at sea, and drops a bag of letters of welcome on board addressed to Major-General John J. O'Ryan.

  • March 10 — Australia's Prime Minister announces a £10,000 reward to the first aviator who will fly from Great-Britain to Australia in less than 30 days.

  • March 12New York … Commercial delivery merchandise by airplane made in Curtiss J.N. by Roland Rohlfs for a New York department store on a flight from Mineola Long Island, to Mt. Vernon, NY.

  • March 13New York … A Curtiss M.F. boat is sent by Commander Schofield as an aerial ambulance from Far Rockaway, Long Island, to St. Luke's Hospital, New York City.

  • March 20United States … A 150 mile radio telephone conversation is carried out by the Secretary of Navy Daniels as he talks to pilot in seaplane in flight.

  • March 22California to Nevada … Three DH-4 airplanes cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains at an altitude of 14,000 feet, flying from Mather Field, Sacramento, to Carson City, Nevada City, in 85 minutes, as compared with average train time of 9½ hours.

  • March 22 — First regular international commercial route opens between Paris and Brussels, flown by an F.60 Goliath from Farman airlines.

  • March 23France … On a flight from Marseilles to Paris, M. Roget covers an approximate distance of 500 miles in 3 hours and 45 minutes.

  • March 24 — Igor Sikorsky flees Europe for the United States.

April 1919

  • April — First flight of the British Aerial Transport Company F.K.26 Commercial - first purpose-built airliner.

  • April 4Chile … Lieutenant Cortinez, of Chilean Army, crosses the Andes Mountains at an altitude of 19,800 feet in a British Bristol monoplane.

  • April 6Lyon, France to Rome, Italy … M. Goget makes a non-stop flight from Lyon, France to Rome, Italy flying a distance of 684 miles in 7 hours.

  • April 10 to May 10Remarkable records made by Victory Loan Flying Circus … The Victory Loan Flying Circus, composed of three flights, each flight consisting of 15 pilots and many types of airplanes, tours the country with performances given in 88 cities in 45 states. A total of 1,275 flights are made with 368 civilians taken as passengers and 19,124 miles flown.

  • April 16Flight across Continent … Major T. C. Macauley piloting a DH-4 airplane arrives at Southern Field, Americus, Georgia, from San Diego, California, covering a distance of 2,400 miles, in 19 hours flying time, completing round trip flight in 44 hours and 15 minutes.

  • April 18 — CMA (Compagnie des Messageries Aériennes) commences a mail and freight service between Paris and Lille, using ex-military Breguet 14's.

  • April 19Non-Stop Flight … Captain E. F. White, piloting a DH-4 army biplane, makes the first non-stop flight between Chicago and New York City. An average speed of 106 miles per hour is maintained for the 727 miles.

  • April 23Sixth National Foreign Trade Convention … held in Chicago adopts the following resolution calling for establishment of separate department of Aeronautics: "Realizing the unquestioned advantages of having the speediest possible mail, and express service in enabling American enterprise to compete successfully in securing the specifications and requirements of our foreign contracts, this convention urges prompt Congressional consideration of suitable plans for developing aerial navigation. The establishment of the necessary aids to such navigation, the investigation of development of the fundamental principles of commercial aeronautics, the promotion of airship service to distant countries, are matters which demand the prompt establishment of a separate department of the government. One of its chief duties should be to provide the necessary information which will make possible the use of aerial navigation as an aid to foreign trade."

  • April 23 — The North Sea Aerial Navigation Company begins a passenger run between Leeds and Hounslow in ex-military Blackburn Kangaroos.

  • April 26Garden City, NY … Final speed tests on Curtiss Wasp at Garden City show 160.1 to 162 miles per hour with full military load.

  • April 26World Duration Record … A United States Naval F-5-L Flying Boat remains in the air 20 hours and 19 minutes with a crew of four; 1,250 nautical miles covered.

May 1919

  • May — A Fairey IIIC seaplane is used for a regular newspaper run, carrying the Evening Times to towns along the Kent coast.

  • May 2 to May 10Macon, Georgia … Southeastern Aeronautical Congress meets at Macon, Georgia.

  • May 3New York to Atlantic City … First Passenger Air Service in United States. Mrs. J. A. Hoagland and Miss Ethel Hodges are carried from New York to Atlantic City and return by pilot Robert Hewitt in an Aeromarine Model 50 "S" Flying Boat.

  • May 5France … French machine climbs to altitude of 4,860 meters with 24 passengers.

  • May 8 to 31North Atlantic Ocean … First crossing of the North Atlantic by air achieved by Lt. Cdr. A. C. Read of the U.S. Navy, flying a Navy Curtiss NC-4 flying-boat.

  • May 8Trans-Atlantic Flight … Departure of NC-1, NC-3, and NC-4 from Rockaway on first leg of Trans-Atlantic flight.

  • May 8Macon, GA to Washington, DC … Martin Bomber flies 650 miles in 7 hours and 55 minutes completing round trip flight from Macon, Georgia, to Washington.

  • May 8Hampton Roads, VA … United States Naval Macchi flying boat establishes altitude record of 10,800 feet in 15 minutes at Hampton Roads, Virginia, with one passenger.

  • May 10 — First flight of the Avro Baby.

  • May 10Berlin to Stockholm … German machine flies from Berlin to Stockholm, 570 miles, in 7 hours.

  • May 10Paris to Copenhagen … French machine flies 690 miles from Paris to Copenhagen in 8 hours.

  • May 11Navy Balloon Race … Navy's free balloon race won by Lieutenant P. D. Collins. Winner remains aloft 21 hours 9 minutes and covers 420 miles.

  • May 14Dirigible Record … Navy's C-5 dirigible (Goodyear) makes record flight of 1,115 miles from Montauk Point, Long Island, to St. Johns, Newfoundland, in 25 hours and 40 minutes on first leg of Trans-Atlantic flight. Severe storms after landing tears dirigible from its moorings and carries it out to sea, where it is lost.

  • May 15Boston to Atlantic City … M. W. Hodgden in a Whittemore-Hamm I-2 biplane with a 90 horsepower engine flies from Boston to Atlantic City in 3 hours and 59 minutes.

  • May 15 — A transcontinental air route between Chicago and Cleveland is inaugurated by US Mail.

  • May 15Aerial Mail Service … established between Chicago and Cleveland.

  • May 17Houston to Belleville … Colonel G. C. Brant, U. S. A., flies DH-4 army airplane from Houston, Texas, to Belleville, Ill. 720 miles in 453 minutes.

  • May 18Trans-Atlantic Flight Attempt … Harry G. Hawker and Lieutenant-Commander Kenneth Grieve attempt a Trans-Atlantic flight in a Sopwith biplane equipped with a 375 horsepower Rolls-Royce motor. Motor trouble develops after about 1,200 miles are covered and machine is forced down near a passing steamer and the pilot and observer are rescued.

  • May 18 — Harry Hawker and Lt Cdr Kenneth Mackenzie-Grieve attempt a non-stop Atlantic crossing but are forced to ditch their aircraft only 2,253 km (1,400 miles) after leaving Newfoundland. London's Daily Mail newspaper awards them a prize of £5,000 for their attempt anyway.

  • May 19Turin to London … A 3-engine Caproni, with a crew of eight, makes a non-stop flight from Turin, Italy, to London, England, 600 miles.

  • May 22United States … Departure of American Aviation Mission to study aviation problems of foreign countries.

  • May 23Cleveland Ohio … Army Goodyear dirigible A-4, piloted by James Shade, lands on roof of Cleveland hotel.

  • May 24Medical Flight … First visit of a surgeon to patient made by Dr. F. A. Brewster, Beaver City, in a Curtiss J.N.

  • May 24Paris to Morocco … Lieutenant Roget of French Army flies 1,375 miles in non-stop flight from Paris to Morocco.

  • May 27First Trans-Atlantic flight … United States Navy's NC-4 (Navy-Curtiss) successfully completes Trans-Atlantic flight, landing at Lisbon, Portugal.

  • May 31First Trans-Atlantic flight … NC-4 arrives at Plymouth, England, completing last leg of first Trans-Atlantic flight.

June 1919

  • June 1 — A permanent flight of aircraft is stationed in San Diego to serve as a forest fire patrol. The machines are war-surplus Curtiss JN-4s.

  • June 1 — Establishment of aerial forest patrol.

  • June 1 — Baroness de la Roche ascends 12,870 feet in single motored Caudron G.3, breaking world's altitude record for women.

  • June 3 — Regular merchandise delivery begun at Chicago with Curtiss JN's by cloak manufacturers.

  • June 12 — Raymonde de Laroche breaks the women's altitude record, flying to a height of 5,150 m (16,896 ft).

  • June 13 — Lieutenant Casale, of French Army, reported to have reached an altitude of 33,100 feet in type Nieuport 29 airplane. This reading of the barograph is without air temperature and other corrections.

  • June 14 — First non-stop Trans-Atlantic flight. Captain John Alcock, pilot, and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown, navigator, complete first non-stop flight across Atlantic Ocean in 15 hours and 57 minutes.

  • June 17-20 — The largest of British dirigibles, R-34, cruises for 56 hours.

  • June 23 — Six Zeppelins (LZ 46, LZ 79, LZ 91, LZ103, LZ 110, and LZ 111) are destroyed at Nordholz by their own crews in order to prevent them from falling into Allied hands.

  • June 25 — First flight of the Junkers F.13.

July 1919

  • July — First flight of the Westland Limousine.

  • July 1 — London's first airport is opened, at Hounslow Heath. The facilities include a permanent Customs hall.

  • July 2 — The Airship R34 achieves the first airship crossing of the Atlantic and the first East-West Atlantic flight, leaving East Fortune, Scotland, to arrive in New York on July 6. The journey becomes a successful two-way crossing when the airship arrives in Back in the UK on July 13.

  • July 2 — "NC" heroes officially dined by the American Flying Club in New York City.

  • July 6 — First Trans-Atlantic dirigible flight. R-34 lands at Roosevelt Field after having successfully completed the first leg of its round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight.

  • July 7 — Non-stop speed record. Captain L. H. Smith in a De Havilland Bluebird flies from San Francisco to San Diego, 610 miles in 246½ minutes.

  • July 9 — R-34 starts on return trip to England.

  • July 10 — Curtiss Trans-Atlantic Dinner. Glenn H. Curtiss host to naval officials, including Lieutenant- Commander A. C. Read, in honor of first Trans-Atlantic flight, gives dinner at Hotel Commodore.

  • July 11-14 — W. H. Blair pilots Curtiss Seagull from New York to Detroit, Michigan, via Hudson River, Barge Canal, and Great Lakes.

  • July 11 — Navy mail left by a destroyer fleet is brought to New York from Block Island in a seaplane.

  • July 11 — Army airship A-4 flight from Akron, Ohio, to Langley Field, Virginia. Makes 407 miles in 18 hours. Lieutenant G. W. McEntire in command.

  • July 12 — R-34 arrives in England completing round trip Trans-Atlantic flight.

  • July 12 — Seaplane crosses Alps. Taddioli, Swiss aviator, first flier to cross in this type of plane.

  • July 12 — Army Balloon School's carnival at Fort Omaha.

  • July 12 — Night altitude flight. Lieutenant C. C. Chauncey in a Lepere attains an altitude of 20,000 feet at Arcadia, Florida.

  • July 13 — First permits granted by Canadian Military authorities for flight across international boundary are given to Lieutenant 0. S. Parmer and Ensign G. D. Garman, Americans.

  • July 14 — A Fiat BR makes the first direct flight from Rome to Paris.

  • To protest against the fact that pilots have to parade on foot at the victory parade on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, French pilot Charles Godefroy flies his Nieuport fighter under the arches of the famous Arc de Triomphe.

  • July 15 — Sid Chaplin Aircraft Company establishes Los Angeles-Catalina Island daily passenger service with Curtiss Seagulls, first regular passenger-carrying line in United States.

  • July 16 — Rome to England. Lieutenant F. Brockpapa makes flight via Paris in 8 hours, 30 minutes covering a distance of 950 miles.

  • July 18 — Air delivery available for all first class United States mail.

  • July 20 — Mediterranean crossed. Captain Marchal, French, flies 450 miles from St. Raphael to Bigerta in 5 hours, 40 minutes in a seaplane.

  • July 21 — Anthony Fokker founds the Dutch Aircraft Factory at Schiphol.

  • July 23 — South American record. Antonio Merolla, the Argentine aviator, ascends 16,500 feet in a seaplane with one passenger.

  • July 24-Nov. 9 — "Round the Rim" flight. Lieutenant - Colonel R. L. Hartz and Lieutenant E. E. Harman in a Martin Bomber start from Bolling Field, Washington, District of Columbia. Complete circuit of the United States is made covering 9,823 miles.

  • July 28 — First test by United States Bureau of Fisheries of observation of fish schools from aircraft is made at Cape May, New Jersey, with the cooperation of Naval Air Station, showing possibilities of aircraft in research and commercial lines.

  • July 28 — Independent Air Service. Representative Curry introduces bill to establish a Department of Aeronautics, which is referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.

  • July 30 — Flight over the Andes. Lieutenant Locatelli, Italian, first to cross South American Continent by air-from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, 800 miles.

  • July 30 — New American altitude record. Officially made by Roland Rohlfs in Curtiss Wasp triplane when lie ascends 30,300 feet.

  • July 31 — Flight over the Sierra Nevadas. Lieutenants J. M. Fetter and Tobin S. Curtiss make a trip from Sacramento, California, to Ogden, Utah, 540 miles in Curtiss-Hispano machines.

  • July 31 — Independent Air Service. Senator New introduces a bill to create a Department of Aeronautics, which is referred to Committee on Military affairs.

August 1919

  • Aug. 1-Sept. 14 — International Aircraft Exposition, Amsterdam, Holland. First exposition in Europe since Armistice. Among aircraft flown to the show was an 8 passenger Blackburn which flew from Leeds via London and Brussels-440 miles. By night, planes flew to London for theater, returning in morning. 10,000 flights were made during show.

  • August 1 — Lieutenant J. P. Corkville with Sergeant J. R. Cook in Lepere fly 186 miles from Arcadia, Florida, to Daytona Beach in 75 minutes, flying 148 miles an hour at 6,000 feet altitude.

  • August 2 — 137 miles an hour at altitude of 18,400 feet. Lepere machine piloted by Major R. W. Schroeder, and equipped with a 400 horse-power Liberty motor establishes a record at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio.

  • August 2 — Glides 35 miles. "Tex" Marshall in Thomas-Morse plane, makes record from altitude of 17,000 feet, when he glides 35 miles, renewing power at an altitude of 6,000 feet.

  • August 4 — Pikes Peak circled by Lieutenants A. Landrum and Ira J. Humphries.

  • August 3 — London to Madrid. British service plane flies 900 miles in 7 hours, 45 minutes.

  • August 5 — Test Flight. Major S. M. Strong and associates arrive at Arcadia, Florida, completing round trip flight to New York, 2,972 miles in 2,851 minutes flying time. Stops were made in 20 cities.

  • August 5 — Andes again crossed. Lieutenant Locatelli, Italian, flies 750 miles from Santiago, Chili, to Buenos Aires, in 7 hours, 10 minutes.

  • August 6 — Madrid to Rome. Aviator Stopanni makes a non-stop flight of 900 miles in 11 hours, 45 minutes using Italian seaplane.

  • August 7 — Flight over Canadian Rockies. Captain A. C. Hoy, D. F. C., makes trip from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Lethbridge, Alberta.

  • August 8 — Passenger height record. Maurice Walbaum and mechanic at Villacoublay, climb 25,740 feet.

  • August 8 — Speed record. Colonel H. B. Claggett in a D.H.-4 flies from Washington to the Statue of Liberty, 210 miles, in 1 hour, 24 minutes.

  • August 11 — Paris to Morocco. Farman Goliath carrying 10 passengers, makes 1,116 miles in 16 hours, 20 minutes.

  • August 13 — One passenger record. Lieutenant Weiss with mechanic Ian Begul, both French, attains an altitude of 30,000 feet in 52 minutes.

  • August 13 — All-American Pathfinders. Thirteen army airplanes fly 4,000 miles through 15 states to collect landing field and mapping data and stimulate recruiting.

  • August 14 — First mail delivered by flying boat to steamer at sea Aeromarine flying boat drops bag on forward deck of White Star liner Adriatic 1½ hours after she leaves her pier in New York.

  • August 18 — Lieutenant De Rissis flies from Buenos Aires to Asuncion and return, 1,300 miles, in Bristol airplane.

  • August 18 — England to Denmark. Major F. Gron with 7 passengers. in Handley-Page machine, flies from London to Copenhagen, 640 miles.

  • August 22 — Buffalo to New York. Curtiss 3 passenger Oriole biplane, piloted by J.D. Hill, flies 440 miles in 4 hours, 10 minutes.

  • August 22 — Aerial Mail Day in Cleveland. Members of Manufacturers Aircraft Association, Officials of Army Air Service, and Aerial Mail participate in ceremony under auspices of Cleveland Aero Club and Cleveland Chamber of Commerce.

  • August 24 — Airship over Berlin. With 35 passengers the "Bodensee," 394 feet long, circled Berlin at a speed of 75 miles an hour.

  • August 25London to Paris … World's first scheduled daily international commercial airline service began, Aircraft Transport and Travel's London to Paris service.

  • August 25-29 — New York-Toronto Aerial Derby. Conducted by American Flying Club.

  • August 25-29 — Curtiss Oriole takes first prizes for speed and reliability among commercial machines in New York-Toronto Air Race.

  • August 25 — Italian dirigible circles Naples with 20 passengers arrives over city after three hour flight from Rome and makes return trip in afternoon.

  • August 25 — Indian Aerial Mail. Sites for aerial mail aerodromes have been selected at all the principal cities of India, excepting Bombay where land is very expensive. British mails will be landed at Karachi and distributed over country by subsidiary aerial services.

  • August 28 — Low parachute drop. Major O. Lees, R.A.F., makes 250 foot jump from seaplane into New York Harbor.

  • August 29 — Airplane with passenger lands on roof. Edwin E. Ballough, pilot, then hops off at Newark, New Jersey.

  • August 29 — Timber hunting. Captain Daniel Owen, R.A.F., in command of expedition, hunting timber, locates by use of air planes great timber lands in Labrador.

  • August 29 — Norweian fishermen buy a seaplane to search for herring shoals.

September 1919

  • September 2 — Speed record. Sadi Lecointe in SPAD flies 125 miles in 48 minutes, 8 seconds. Performance in Italy, not officially observed.

  • September 2 — France to Italy. Pilot Maneyvol, French, in Morane monoplane flies from Paris to Rome, 1,250 kilometers in 5 hours, 59 minutes.

  • September 4 — Spain to Italy. Aviators Busco and Casatti flying Nieuport machine, make the trip from Barcelona to Varise in 5 hours, 50 minutes, 500 miles.

  • September 5 — Naval speed record. Pontoon seaplane, piloted by Lieutenant L. T. Barin and carrying Lieutenant Commander N. H. White, Jr., U. S. N., commanding Naval Air Station, Hampton Roads, flies from Hampton Roads to Philadelphia, cover in a course of approximately 270 miles in 135 minutes at the rate of 2 miles a minute.

  • September 5 — Berlin to Switzerland. Regular passenger air service is opened between resorts of these countries.

  • September 5 — Whale-hunting with airplanes. Machines patrol west coast of Vancouver Island, and when whales are spotted the news is wired to whaling ships.

  • September 5 — Air service for Belgian Congo. An aeronautic mission is now in the Belgian Congo, organizing a passenger carrying air service. Twelve seaplanes will be used between Kinchasna and Stanleyville, 1,050 miles.

  • September 6 — New altitude record officially made by Major R. W. Schroeder and Lieutenant G. Elfrey who ascend 29,000 feet in a Lepere airplane, at Dayton, Ohio.

  • September 8 — Italy to Holland. Lieutenant Campacii and petty officer Guarnieri of the Royal Italian Navy cross Alpine mountain chain in Switzerland with a Savoia seaplane, then follow Rhine to Amsterdam.

  • September 13 — Lawson air liner arrives in New York from Milwaukee.

  • September 14 — Altitude record. Roland Rohlfs makes a new record of 34,200 feet flying Curtiss Triplane. Unofficial.

  • September 14 — Cairo to Paris. Commander Vuillemin, French, makes a trip of 2,500 miles, stopping at Constantinople and Istris near Marseilles, using a French service plane.

  • September 15 — Holland to England. Vickers-Vimy commercial machine with 8 passengers makes trip from Amsterdam to Hounslow in, 2 hours, 50 minutes.

  • September 16 — Radio test. Airplane 2,000 feet up sends radio to submerged submarine. Test is made at Fishers Island.

  • September 17 — Austria to France. Lieutenants Story and Blizence of the Czecho-Slovak aviation service make flight from Prague to Paris via Mayence, approximately 600 miles.

  • September 17 — Twelve passenger Glenn L. Martin army transport flies to Dayton, Ohio, from Cleveland at 117 miles an hour.

  • September 18 — Official World's Altitude Record. Roland Rohlfs climbs 34,910 feet in a Curtiss Wasp triplane, equipped with a Curtiss K-12 400 horse power motor. For purposes of international comparison the barograph was read without air temperature corrections, thus conforming with European practise. After calibration by the Bureau of Standards, Rohlfs' barograph showed a minimum corrected altitude of 32,450 feet. These readings give Rohlfs the official record in both corrected and uncorrected classes, his nearest rival being Lieutenant Casale, who is reported to have reached an uncorrected altitude of 33,100 feet.

  • September 19 — Roland Rohlfs in Curtiss Wasp climbs 19,200 feet in 10 minutes and in the first two minutes of flight climbs 4,800 feet. Ten minute climb approved by Bureau of Standards.

  • September 19 — CMA (Compagnie des Messageries Aériennes) commences a regular service between Paris and London, using ex-military Breguet 14's.

  • September 21 — Swedish record flight. Aviator Rodehn, flying a 260 horsepower Swedish airplane, makes non-stop flight from Ystad to Haparanda, 1,420 kilometers, in 7½ hours.

  • September 23 — N.C.-4 off on a recruiting trip.

  • September 24 — The Schneider Trophy race is flown at Bournemouth, UK. An Italian Savoia S.13 is the only finisher, but is disqualifed for missing a turning buoy. When judges ask pilot Guido Janello to complete another lap, he runs out of fuel.

  • September 26 — Army-Navy Balloon Race starts at St. Louis.

  • September 29 — New hydro-monoplane altitude record. Caleb S. Bragg with passenger makes new world's altitude record of 18,759 feet in Loening 300 horse-power Hispano-Suiza hydro-monoplane.

  • September 29 — Loening Monoplane, as a seaplane with Twin Floats, breaks the world's seaplane altitude record for two passengers, climbing to 18,759 feet, developing at the same time a speed of 131 miles per hour which is said to be considerably faster than any other American Seaplane.

  • September 30 — The British Aerial Transport Company begins domestic flights between London and Birmingham in a Koolhoven FK.26.

  • Commander Biard, flying the Supermarine route between Southampton and Le Havre, knocks his passenger out during the flight. The man, a Belgian banker named Lowenstein, wanted to open his umbrella to protect himself from the wind and rain.

October 1919

  • October 1 — Goodyear airship wins 1,021 mile National Free Balloon Race, St. Louis, Missouri.

  • October 4 — Two man Altitude Flight. Major R. W. Schroeder, Pilot, and Lieutenant George W. Elsey, Observer, reach indicated and uncorrected altitude of 33,335 feet, in Lepere biplane, equipped with 400 horse-power Liberty motor. The engine was fitted with a supercharger and the plane was otherwise specially prepared. Barographs to the date of this writing had not been corrected by the Bureau of Standards. McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio, where the flight was made, reports corrections bringing the record down to 31,796 feet.

  • October 7 — KLM is formed.

  • October 7 — Boy flies 2,000 miles with mother. A Curtiss Oriole 3 passenger biplane, piloted by Ralph Block arrives at Mineola Long Island, from Houston, Texas, with Mrs. Seymour E. J. Cox and her nine year old son, Seymour, as passengers, establishing a new record for a cross country airplane flight by civilians.

  • October 8 — The US Army Air Service begins a trans-continental air race. By the time Lt Belvin Maynard wins it on October 31, seven airmen have died in the attempt.

  • October 8-30 — New York to San Francisco airplane reliability test. Race under auspices of American Flying Club.

  • October 11 — Handley Page Transport begins offering the first in-flight meals, on its London-Brussels service. The meals, consisting of a sandwich, fruits and chocolate, are sold at 3 shillings each.

  • October 13 — Convention relating to the Regulation of Aerial Navigation signed in Paris.

  • October 14 — Air mail in Colombia (South America). Experimental aerial mail service starts between Barranquilla and Puerto, Colombia.

  • October 14 — France to Australia flight. Begun by Lieutenant Poulet, French pilot in French biplane.

  • Oct. 14-Dec. 10 — London to Australia, 11,500 miles. Four machines enter. Trip carries pilots over three continents and many oceans with a 1,750 mile hop at the end of the journey, from Bandoeng (Java) to Port Darwin (North Australia). Captain Ross Smith left London at 9 o'clock, November 12, and December 10 arrived at Port Darwin.

  • October 17 — Japan appropriates the equivalent of $125,000,000 for air service.

  • October 17 — Air mail in Brazil. Brazilian budget for 1920 includes the establishment of aerial mail service. Government's loan will amount to $25,000,000.

  • October 17 — Iceland sees airplane for first time. Captain Cecil Farber, late R.A.F., establishes commercial aviation at Danish Island Colony.

  • October 18 — Speed record between London and Paris. Captain Gather good, flying an Airco D.H.-4 machine with a Napier engine makes a new record of 80 minutes for a distance of 250 miles.

  • October 20 — The French pilot Bernard de Romanet, flying a Nieuport-Delage 29v, sets a new world speed record of 166.92 mph.

  • October 21 — Chinese aviation. The Vickers Company of England contracts to supply airplanes and equipment to the Chinese Government for $43,000,000.

  • October 21 — London to Australia flight. Captain George Matthews, English, with Sergeant Kay, Australian, begins 13,000 mile flight in Sopwith two-seater.

  • October 21 — Air route covers Finland from Sortavala on the Lagoda to Murmansk.

  • October 24 — The Curtiss Eagle, an eight passenger aerial liner, and first American three motored machine, makes its first public flight, Garden City, Long Island, to Washington, District of Columbia, and return. In ten days in Washington it made 82 flights and carried 476 people, mostly United States government and foreign government officials.

  • October 27 — Keyport New Jersey, to Havana, Cuba. C. J. Zimmerman begins 1,421 mile flight in Aeromarine flying boat.

  • October 27 — Key West to Cuba Air Service. Three Aeromarine flying boats, models 50S, 40C, 40L fly from Key West to Cuba, inaugurating the service between these points.

  • October 28 — New looping record. Alfred Flamval, French, in military airplane, loops 624 times in 2 hours at Villacoublay, France.

  • October 28 — R-38, England's largest airship, is purchased by United States Navy for $2,500,000.

  • October 28 — New York to Cuba air freight service is begun.

  • October 29 — Glenn L. Martin mail plane, the first twin motored mail ship, begins service.

  • October 30 — Reversible propeller. New American device tested at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio, permits airplane to land and be brought to a stop within 50 feet.

November 1919

  • November 1Key West, FL to Havana, Cuba … America's first scheduled international commercial air service began, between Key West, Florida, and Havana, Cuba, by Aeromarine West Indies Airways.

  • November 1 — Two, Aeromarine boats leave New York for Miami, covering 1,350 miles in 19½ hours flying time.

  • November 6 — Aerial flower service from Paris to Copenhagen. French plane covers trip with one intermediate landing in Holland, in one day, carrying half a ton of flowers.

  • November 9 — Morocco to Tunis. Major Chentin and Lieutenant Pontanchan flies 1,250 miles without a stop.

  • November 10 — First flight of the Blériot-SPAD S.27.

  • Nov 12 to Dec 10England to Australia … First flight from England to Australia completed by Australian brothers Keith and Ross Smith.

  • November 12 — Keith and Ross Macpherson Smith set out to fly a Vickers Vimy, G-EAOU, from England to Australia, the first flight between these two places. They arrive in Darwin on December 18.

  • November 14 — The American Railway Express Company hires a Handley Page V/1500 to carry 454 kg (1,000 lb) of parcels from New York to Chicago, but the attempt fails due to mechanical problems.

  • November 15 — Alameda officials make an announcement stating that suspected criminals will be subjected to perilous flight to make them confess their crimes.

  • November 16 — Captain Henry Wrigley and Sgt Arthur Murphy make the first aerial crossing of Australia, flying a Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2e from Melbourne to Darwin, Northern Territory, taking 47 hours.

  • November 17 — Navy reports total hours of flight in heavier than air machines on other than patrol duty, for the year 1919, up to a total 57,452. There were 3,399 hours spent in lighter-than-air flights. Approximately 1,000 hours were spent in patrol flights of all kinds.

December 1919

  • December 2 — First flight of the Handley-Page W8.

  • December 2 — Aerial mail speed record. An L. W. F. remodeled D.H. mail airplane, equipped with two Hall-Scott motors, establishes new speed record from Washington, District of Columbia, to Belmont Park. Time, I hour, 34 minutes. Distance flown, 218 miles; speed, 138 miles an hour. 30,000 letters weighing 630 pounds carried.

  • December 3 — Havana to New York. Pilot Zimmerman, in Aeromarine flying boat, makes return flight from Havana.

  • December 3 — Airplane Coast Patrol starts from Mineola, L. I. Two D.H. machines leave Mitchell Field on flight to Langley Field, Virginia, establishing first coast patrol. The pilots will report ships between New York and Virginia and in the case of accident will wireless the position of the disabled vessels.

  • December 5 — Avianca is founded as the Sociedad Colombo-Alemana de Transporte Aéreo in Barranquilla.

  • December 5 — Senate Military Affairs Committee by a vote of 9 to 2, approves the Senate bill recommending a Department of Aeronautics, headed by a member of the President's cabinet.

  • December 5 — Endurance flight. Goodyear airship flies 41 hours, 50 minutes at Key West, Florida. Assuming average speed to have been 30 miles per hour, the ship probably flew 1,255 miles.

  • December 16 — Three and three quarter miles a minute reported. Sadi Lecointe, French Aviator, said to have attained speed of approximately 226 miles an hour in an airplane test. He covered the distance of a kilometer at an average speed of 307.225 kilometers (about 190 miles) an hour. During some seconds of his flight he reached a speed of 364.5 kilometers (226 miles) an hour or about 3¾ miles a minute.

  • December 17-18 — Mineola, N. Y., Hampton, Va., and Return - Non-stop. 1st Lieutenant C. E. Duncan and I st Lieutenant L. M. Wightman, in a D.H.4. flew from Mitchell Field, Mineola, L. I., N. Y., to Langley Field, Hampton, Va., non-stop in 190 min.; and on the following day return was made in 215 min.

  • December 18 — Sir John Alcock is killed in a crash at Rouen.

  • Dec. 19-Jan. 4, 1920 — International Aeronautical Exposition held at the Grand Palais, Paris, France. The commercial application of aerial navigation was given prominence in this exposition.

  • December 27 — First flight of the Boeing Model 6, Boeing's first commercial design.

Works Cited

  1. Gunston, Bill, et al. Chronicle of Aviation. Liberty, Missouri: JL Publishing Inc., 1992. 14-17
  2. Manufacturers Aircraft Association, Inc. Aircraft Year Book 1920. New York City: Doubleday, Page and Company, 1920. 246-258
  3. Parrish, Wayne W. (Publisher). "United States Chronology". 1962 Aerospace Yearbook, Forty-Third Annual Edition. Washington, DC: American Aviation Publications, Inc., 1962, 446-469.
  4. Wikipedia, 1919 in aviation
  5. Shupek, John (photos and card images), The Skytamer Archive., Whittier, CA

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