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This Day In Aviation History — August
August Aviation Events & Milestones

August 1

  • 1 August 1907 (USA) — The Aeronautical Division of the United States Army Signal Corps is created. Their goal is, “to study the flying machine and the possibility of adapting it to military purposes.”

  • 1 August 1916 (USA) — The first issue of America's most influential and long-running aircraft magazine appears at a price of 5 cents. Called Aviation and Aeronautical Engineering, it is ancestor of Aviation Week & Space Technology and is published twice a month.

  • 1 August 1922 (USA) — Eight-seven radio equipped planes start fire control over national forests.

  • 1-15 August 1922 (USA) — 104th Squadron, Maryland National Guard, holds first annual encampment at Langley Field, Virginia.

  • 1 August 1929 (USA) — Distinguished Flying Crosses are awarded to Lieutenant's James H. Doolittle, Harry A. Sutton, John P. Richter, and Capt. Lowell H. Smith.

  • 1 August 1929 (Germany) — Dr. Hugo Eckener commands the first airship flight to circumnavigate the globe when the flight leaves Friedrichshafen, Germany. “Graf Zeppelin” arrives Back at Friedrichshafen on September 4, having logged 21,000 mi. in 12 days, 12 hours, 20 minutes flying time.

  • 1 August 1938 (USA) — A mass flight of forty-one Pratt & Whitney “Twin Wasp” engine Consolidated PBY-1 United States Navy patrol boats fly from Seattle, Washington to San Diego, California covering a distance of 1400 miles.

  • 1 August 1943 (South Pacific) — PT-109 commanded by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy is rammed and sunk by the Japanese.

  • 1 August 1943 (Romania) — 177 B-24 Liberators drop 311 tons of bombs from low-level on oil refineries at Ploiesti, Romania.

  • 1 August 1946 (UK) — British European Airways (BEA) is established under the Civil Aviation Act of 1946, which makes the entire British air transport industry nationalized.

  • 1 August 1949 (USA) — Following a mid-air crash on July 30 between a scheduled transport and a Grumman F6F “Hellcat” at Fort Dix, New Jersey, Senator Edwin C. Johnson, calls for greater disciplining of military fighters.

  • 1 August 1949 (USA) — Northrop Aircraft test-flies its C-125 “Raider” at Hawthorne California.

  • 1 August 1949 (USA) — Arthur M. Young, New York City aviation engineer, receives Edward Longstreth Medal for helicopter developments.

August 2

  • 2 August 1909 (USA) — The first flying machine purchased and put into service by a government is the Wright “Flyer.” The United States Army accepts its first airplane and pays the Wrights $25,000, plus a $5,000 bonus, because the machine exceeded the speed requirement of 40 mph.

  • 2 August 1911 (USA) — The first woman in the United States licensed as a qualified pilot is Harriet Quimby, a drama critic.

  • 2 August 1917 (UK) — Squadron leader E. H. Dunning of the British Royal Naval Air Service becomes the first pilot to land an airplane on the deck of a moving ship when he puts a Sopwith “Pup” down on HMS Furious.

  • 2 August 1922 (Haiti) — Fourth Air Squadron, 1st Brigade, United States Marine Corps, gives aerial exhibition, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for High Commissioner and President of Republic.

  • 2 August 1922 (USA) — Capt. W. P. Hayes and Master Sergeant C. W. Kolinsky, United StatesA.S., fly a DH-4-B plane from Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana, covering a distance of 560 miles in 4½ hours.

  • 2 August 1922 (USA) — Ascending to 23,350 feet in a Martin Bomber, Lieutenant Leigh Wade, United StatesA.S., test pilot at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio, breaks his own record for airplane carrying three passengers.

  • 2-9 August 1929 (England/India) — Flying a Fokker with Bristol “ Jupiter” engines, the Duchess of Bedford, with Capt. C. D. Barnard, pilot, and Robert F. Little, mechanic, flies from London to India and return, approximately 10,000 miles, establishing a record for the round trip.

  • 2 August 1949 (USA) — Civil Aeronautics Board reaffirms its freight case decision by issuing five-year certificates to Flying Tiger Line Inc., Slick Airways Inc., United States Airlines Inc., an Airnews Inc. These carriers may not handle Railway Express Agency shipments.

  • 2 August 1949 (USA) — The Civil Aeronautics Board finds that carbon dioxide in the cockpit caused the United Air Lines Douglas DC-6 accident on June 17.

August 3

  • 3 August 1861 (USA) — John La Mountain becomes the first balloonist to use boats for aerial operations in a military conflict. Using the Union tug “Fanny,” he ascends from its deck to a height of 2,000 ft. to conduct aerial reconnaissance of Confederate forces during America's Civil War.

  • 3 August 1904 (USA) — In a dirigible named “California Arrow,” Thomas Scott Baldwin carries out the first circular flight by an airship in America. Powered by a converted motorcycle engine, it is built and dispatched by Glenn Curtiss.

  • 3 August 1921 (USA) — Lieutenant John A. Macready of the United States Army Air Corps finds a new use for airplanes when he sprays a patch of ground infested with caterpillars. This practice becomes known as crop dusting.

  • 3 August 1922 (USA) — Detroit News experimental radio set installed in Aeromarine flying boat “Buckeye”. The passengers heard a concert while in flight between Detroit and Cleveland.

  • 3 August 1922 (USA) — Lieutenant Clayton Bissell, United StatesA.S., makes a night flight from Bolling Field, DC, to Mitchell Field, Long Island, New York, and return in a DH-4-B aircraft.

  • 3-14 August 1929 (Europe) — Challenge International de Tourism, annual White Plains toward Europe, in which the 43 contestants covered 3,907 miles to 12 countries, is won by Fritz Morzik (Germany) flying a B.F.W. M-23 powered by a Siemens Sh.13 engine.

  • 3 August 1949 (USA) — The National Pilots Association seeks to replace part of the seniority promotion system with a new one permitting older pilots to receive seniority pay without flying larger, heavier and faster aircraft.

  • 3 August 1955 (USA) — President Eisenhower signs the Civilian Airport Modernization Bill. The legislation establishes a long-term program of federal government aid toward the construction of airports in the United States.

August 4

  • 4 August 1807 (France) — Andre-Jacques Garnerin in Paris, France makes the first night ascent in a balloon.

  • 4 August 1901 (USA) — Octave Chanute arrives at the Wright brothers' camp at Kill Devil Hill and photographs their flight tests with the 1901 glider.

  • 4 August 1908 (France) — Wilbur Wright makes the first flight using stick controls near Le Mans, France. The flight lasts 1 minute and 45 seconds.

  • 4 August 1908 (Germany) — Count von Zeppelin takes the LZ4 on a 24-hour flight from Lake Constance, down the Rhine to Basel, then to Strasbourg and Mainz and Back to Stuttgart, a total non-stop distance of 435 miles.

  • 4 August 1949 (USA) — The Veterans Administration reports a 33% reduction in G.I. enrollment for flight training courses during the first six months of 1949.

  • 4 August 1949 (USA) — Douglas Aircraft Company appoints L. E. Tollefson asked secretary.

  • 4 August 1955 (USA) — The Lockheed U-2 flies for the first time.

  • 4 August 1959 (USA) — The first medical evacuation by helicopter from a Mobil Army Surgery Hospital (MASH) team takes place when an Sikorsky S-51 “Dragonfly” flies out a casualty from a fire flight along the Pusan Perimeter.

August 5

  • 5 August 1917 (France) — The first Aero Squadron of the Signal Corps leaves the United States for Europe under the command of Maj. Ralph Royce.

  • 5 August 1918 (USA) — The first American night patrol of the war takes place when a Felixstowe F.2A flying boat crewed by Ens. Ashton W. Hawkins and Lt. George F. Lawrence take off on patrol from RAF Killinghome, England.

  • 5 August 1933 (USA) — French Air Force pilots Lts. Paul Codes and Maurice Rossi begin a record-breaking straight-line distance flight (5,657 mi.) between New York and Rayak, Syria in their Blériot 110 monoplane.

  • 5 August 1938 (USA/Colombia) — Three United States Army planes make a non-stop flight from Langley Field, Virginia to Techo Airport, Bogotá, Colombia. The distance covered is 1,540 miles in 8 hours 19 minutes. The aircraft were Boeing B-17s powered by 4 Pratt & Whitney “Twin Wasp” engines.

  • 5 August 1949 (USA) — Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York announces an agreement reached between the Port of New York Authority and major airlines over use of New York International (Idlewild) airport after a two-year deadlock. The airlines involved will pay a flat fee for every flight.

  • 5 August 1949 (USA) — Alaska Airlines' non-scheduled operation certificate suspended by the Civil Aeronautics Board.

  • 5 August 1954 (USA) — The first Boeing B-52A “Stratofortress” makes a 78 minute maiden flight.

August 6

  • 6 August 1910 (Scotland) — An International aviation meeting opens at Lanark, Scotland, drawing a wide range of flyers and airplanes. In all, 22 competitors participate.

  • 6 August 1922 (Belgian) — DeMuyter covers 870 miles in a free balloon, winning the Gordon-Bennett International Balloon Race from Geneva, Switzerland.

  • 6-20 August 1922 (France) — Soaring and gliding competition at Clermont-Ferrand, France.

  • 6 August 1945 (Japan) — First A-Bomb, code-name “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima. August 6 was chosen because clouds had previously obscured the target. The 393rd Bombardment Squadron Martin B-29 “Superfortress Enola Gay”, piloted and commanded by 509th Composite Group commander Colonel Paul Tibbets, was launched from North Field airbase on Tinian in the West Pacific, about six hours flight time from Japan. The Enola Gay (named after Colonel Tibbets' mother) was accompanied by two other B-29s, The Great Artiste commanded by Major Charles W. Sweeney carried instrumentation; and a then-nameless aircraft later called Necessary Evil (the photography aircraft) was commanded by Capt. George Marquardt.

  • 6 August 1969 (USSR) — The biggest helicopter ever built, the Soviet Mil V-12 secures an unbeaten world lifting record for rotary-winged aircraft by carrying 40,205.5 kg (88,636 lb.) to a height of 2,255 m (7,400 ft.).

August 7

  • 7 August 1917 (France) — The Morane-Saulnier A. I. Parasol fighter airplane makes its first flight in France.

  • 7 August 1919 (Canada) — Capt. Ernest C. Hoy becomes the first pilot to fly over the Canadian Rockies when he carries mail from Vancouver, British Colombia to Calgary, Alberta in a Curtiss JN-4 biplane.

  • 7 August 1922 (USA) — Lts. Hine and Weber, United StatesA.S., returned to Rockwell Field, San Diego, California, from a 4000 mile mapping trip, covering Las Vegas, Nevada; Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; El Paso, Texas and Nogales, Arizona. Their total flying time was 39 hours, embracing 10 flights.

  • 7 August 1922 (UK) — J. H. James in Gloucestershire “Bamel” wins London Aerial Derby at Croydon, England, covering 198 miles at 177.85 mph.

  • 7 August 1922 (Italy) — Pilot Zimmerman for Germany, in a Junkers Seaplane wins the Tyrrhenian Cup at Naples Italy, covering 1996.3 kilometers in 17 hours 8 minutes 5.2 seconds.

  • 7 August 1928 (USA) — One of the most successful designs of the day, the first Curtiss Model 50 Robin, takes to the air. A typical Robin has a wingspan of 41 ft. and a length of 25 ft., 8 in. with a 185-hp engine.

  • 7 August 1931 (Australia/England) — Jim Mollison lands after flying from Australia to England in 10 days, knocking two days off the existing record.

  • 7 August 1942 (South Pacific) — The first United States amphibious landing of the Pacific war by the United States Marines on Guadalcanal.

  • 7 August 1959 (North Pole) — Two USAF North American F-100F “Super Sabres” make the first jet fighter flight over the North Pole.

August 8

  • 8 August 1908 (France) — Wilbur Wright makes his first flight in Europe by flying the Wright “Flyer A” from the racetrack at Hunaudières, 5 miles south of Le Mans, France.

  • 8 August 1910 (USA) — The first aircraft tricycle landing gear is installed on the United States Army's Wright airplane.

  • 8 August 1929 (Germany) — The Zeppelin LZ-127 “Graf Zeppelin” makes the first flight around the world by an airship. Capt.ed by Hugo Eckener, the airship makes its 21,500-mile circumnavigation in 21 days and 7 hours.

  • 8 August 1949 (USA) — The Douglas Aircraft Company and Monsanto Chemical Company develop a non-flammable hydraulic fluid for use in the Douglas “Super DC-3.”

  • 8 August 1949 (USA) — The second Lockheed F-90 twin-jet penetration fighter goes to Muroc Air Force Base for flight tests.

  • 8 August 1949 (USA) — The revenue pounds hauled in and out of the San Francisco Airport has increased 978% in the past decade.

August 9

  • 9 August 1884 (France) — Built by Frenchmen Charles Renard and Arthur Krebs, the airship “La France” is powered by a 9-hp electric motor driving one large propeller. It makes a fully-controlled circular flight while traveling about 5 miles at 14 mph.

  • 9 August 1896 (Germany) — Otto Lilienthal crashes in his No.11 glider while flying from the Rhinower Hill range and dies the next day. He made approximately 2,500 flights in his various gliders.

  • 9 August 1922 (USA) — Ten Cleveland bankers flying to Detroit aboard Aeromarine cruisers for lunch.

  • 9-24 August 1922 (Germany) — Soaring and gliding competition at Gersfeld, Germany.

  • 9 August 1945 (Japan) — The second A-Bomb, code-named “Fat Man” was dropped on Nagasaki by the United States B-29 “Superfortress” Bockscar, flown by the crew of 393rd Squadron commander Major Charles W. Sweeney.

  • 9 August 1949 (USA) — The B-36 hearings begin with Major General Frederick H. Smith, Jr. (Operations, United States Air Force) as the first witness.

  • 9 August 1949 (USA) — W. E. (Dusty) Rhoades, United Air Line test pilot, receives the Air Transportation Association trophy for air navigation work.

  • 9 August 1956 (Italy) — The Fiat G.91, produced for NATO as a light strike-fighter, makes its first flight.

August 10

  • 10 August 1840 (Canada) — American Louis Lauriat, whose balloon flies at 21 mph in New Brunswick, makes the first manned balloon flight in Canada.

  • 10 August 1910 (UK) — Claude Grahame-White attempts to fly the first airmail in the world to be carried on a powered airplane when he takes off from Squires Gate near Blackpool, England heading for Southport. The attempt in his little Blériot monoplane fails and he is forced to land.

  • 10 August 1912 (USA) — Two Army planes participated for the first time in ground force maneuvers.

  • 10 August 1912 (UK) — Englishman Francis K. McClean becomes the first pilot to fly under bridges spanning the Thames River when he takes off from Harty Ferry, Eastchurch in his Short biplane S.33.

  • 10 August 1922 (Guam) — USS Henderson with Secretary Denby on board, reaches Sumay, Guam. A Naval F-5-L specially equipped with photographic laboratory takes photograph of ship entering harbor, develops and prints pictures and drops the same upon deck of the vessel before it comes to anchor.

  • 10-11 August 1938 (Germany/USA) — Alfred Henke, Rudolf von Moreau, Paul Dierberg and Walter Kober, fly from Berlin Germany, to New York City, in a record time of 24 hours 56 minutes 12 seconds . The aircraft flown was a Focke-Wulf Fw.200 “Condor” powered by 4 BMW “Hornet” engines.

August 11

  • 11 August 1906 (USA) — Mrs. C. J. S. Miller becomes the first woman passenger in an airship. The 40-hp craft is owned and operated by her husband, Major Miller.

  • 11 August 1915 (USA) — The United States Naval Observatory asks Eastman Kodak to develop a special aerial reconnaissance camera that could be used from an airplane flying at heights of 3,000 ft. to 6,000 ft.

  • 11 August 1949 (USA) — President Truman signs unification bill.

  • 11 August 1949 (USA) — The Ryan XQ-2 jet-propelled pilotless target plane undergoes preliminary inspection by Air Force, Navy and Army Field Force technicians at the Ryan Aeronautical Company plant.

  • 11 August 1950 (USA) — The Fairchild XC-120, a detachable fuselage transport, completed its first flight.

  • 11 August 1952 (UK) — British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) inaugurates its new weekly service between London and Colombo, the capital of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

August 12

  • 12 August 1888 (Germany) — The first gas-powered aircraft flies. Built by the German experimenter, Wolfert, the powered airship (dirigible) fitted with a 2-hp Daimler benzene engine running two propellers, flies for 2½ miles from Seelberg to Kornwestheim, Germany.

  • 12 August 1908 (USA) — Controlled by Thomas Baldwin and Glenn Curtiss, the Signal Corps' Dirigible Balloon No.1, known as SC-I, the first Army dirigible, begins flight trials at Fort Meyer near Washington, D.C.

  • 12 August 1922 (Italy) — Capt. Henry Charles Biard of the Supermarine Aviation Works of Great Britain, wins the Jacques Schneider Competition for seaplanes at Naples, Italy. He flew a triangular course of 200 nautical miles piloting a Supermarine “Sea Lion” Mark II powered by a 450 hp Napier “Lion” engine. The winning time was 1 hour 34 minutes 51.6 seconds.

  • 12 August 1946 (USA) — President Harry Truman signs a bill authorizing an appropriation of $50,000 to establish a National Air Museum in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. The small museum eventually becomes the National Air and Space Museum — the most visited museum in the world.

  • 12 August 1949 (USA) — Air Force Chief of Staff General Hoyt S. Vandenberg denies influence charges at the B-36 hearings.

August 13

  • 13 August 1824 (France) — The first aerial ascent by a Native American as a passenger, Chief Waschisabe, in Dupuis-Delcourt's balloon “Flotilla” takes place at Montjean, France.

  • 13 August 1914 (UK) — The first British airplane to reach French soil after mobilization is a BE.2a, serial number 327, flown by Capt. F. F. Waldron and Air Mechanic Skerritt of No. 2 Squadron RFC commanded by Major C. J. Burke.

  • 13-14 August 1938 (USA/Germany) — Alfred Henke, Rudolf von Moreau, Paul Dierberg and Walter Kober, fly from New York City to Berlin, Germany in a record time of 19 hours 55 minutes 1 second. The aircraft flown was a Focke-Wulf Fw.200 “Condor” powered by 4 BMW “Hornet” engines.

  • 13 August 1952 (USA) — The USAF announced it had ordered the Boeing B-52 “Stratofortress&rdquo bomber into full production.

  • 13 August 1976 (USA) — The Bell Model 222, the first twin-engine light commercial helicopter, developed in the United States, makes its first flight, powered by the 650 SHP Avco Lycoming LTS 101-650C.

August 14

  • 14 August 1909 (UK) — The first woman passenger to fly in a powered airplane in Great Britain is the wife of Samuel F. Cody. She is taken for a 3-minute flight from the Royal Engineers Balloon Factory at Farnborough in Cody's British Army Aeroplane No.1.

  • 14 August 1922 (USA) — Work is started on the aircraft carriers USS Lexington (CV-2) and USS Saratoga (CV-3).

  • 14 August 1931 (USSR) — Piloted by M. M. Gromov, the Tupolev ANT-14 large passenger aircraft makes its first flight. The largest landplane of its day, it could carry 36 passengers.

  • 14 August 1945 (Japan) — The Japanese except unconditional surrender, ending World War II.

  • 14 August 1953 (Australia) — The sound barrier is broken over Australia for the first time by Flight Lt. Bentleigh, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), in the first Australian-built “Sabre” fighter at Avalon, Victoria.

August 15

  • 15 August 1922 (USA) — First delivery of an automobile by air. The Aeromarine flying boat “Buckeye” carries a Ford car from Detroit to Cleveland in 90 minutes.

  • 15-20 August 1929 (USA) — Flying a Buhl powered by a Wright engine, the “Spokane Sun God,” N. N. Mamer and Art Walker, complete a nonstop trip from Spokane to New York, and return in 115 hours 45 minutes 10-seconds. They refuel at 11 points along the route.

  • 15 August 1949 (USA) — The B-36 investigation is recessed until August 22 to permit probe of West Coast manufacturers and former Air Force Commanding General H. H. Arnold.

  • 15 August 1949 (USA) — $311 million wind tunnel and aircraft development equipment bill passed by the United States Senate.

  • 15 August 1949 (USA) — Lt. General Harold L. George, war-time Chief of Air Transport Command and now vice president and general manager of Hughes Aircraft Company, receives the Air Force Association Award for his contribution to American Air Power.

  • 15 August 1949 (USA) — The Ryan Aeronautical Company cuts the Navion price by $1,000.

  • 15 August 1951 (USA) — Test pilot Bill Bridgeman reaches a record altitude of 79,494 ft. in the #2 Douglas D-558-II ”Skyrocket“ (BuNo 37974, c/n 6568, NACA-144) rocket research aircraft, although this does not qualify for FAI (Federal Aeronautique Internationale) recognition.

  • 15 August 1951 (UK) — Powered by a Roll Royce Dart, a DC-3 of British European Airways becomes the first turboprop aircraft operated on a freight run.

  • 15 August 1957 (USA) — General Nathan F. Twining became first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

  • 15 August 1958 (USA) — Congress approves a bill creating the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) to regulate all United States commercial and military aviation.

August 16

  • 16 August 1922 (Canal Zone/Costa Rica) — Two Naval HS-2-L's make a flight from Coco Solo, Canal Zone, to Costa Rica and courtesy flights are made with the President of Costa Rica.

  • 16 August 1942 (USA) — The 82nd Airborne (All American) paratroop division is formed.

  • 16 August 1949 (USA) — Senator Edward C. Johnson proposes federal regulation of intrastate lines on competitive routes. He also introduces legislation which would give the Civil Aeronautics Board control over domestic and foreign contract air carriers.

  • 16 August 1949 (USA) — Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer supports separation of mail pay from subsidy.

  • 16 August 1952 (UK) — The prototype Bristol Type 175 “Britannia” (G-ALBO) makes its first flight from Filton, Bristol, England.

  • 16 August 1960 (USA) — Capt. Joe Kittinger jumps from a gondola, suspended from a balloon, 102,800 feet to the ground using a parachute. He breaks the records for greatest altitude from which a parachute descent had been made and the longest delayed parachute jump.

August 17

  • 17 August 1910 (France/England) — The first English Channel crossing by an airplane with a passenger is made by John Moisant who takes his mechanic in his two-seater Blériot on the flight from Calais, France to Dover, England.

  • 17 August 1922 (USA) — Walter Hinton in a H-16 flying boat leaves New York with four companions on a flight to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

  • 17 August 1943 (Germany) — 8th Air Force bombers attack the Regensburg Messerschmitt works and the Schweinfurt ball bearing plants. They lose 60 out of 376 bombers in the daylight attack.

  • 17 August 1946 (USA) — The first person to be ejected from an airplane by means of its emergency escape equipment is Sergeant Lambert at Wright Field in Ohio.

  • 17 August 1949 (USA) — The Chase Aircraft Corporation holds a production contract for its YC-122 Air Force assault transport.

  • 17 August 1978 (USA/France) — The United States balloon, “Double Eagle II,” becomes the first balloon to cross the Atlantic. The trip begins in Maine and ends almost 6 days later in France.

August 18

  • 18 August 1871 (France) — Alphonse Pénaud achieves the first flight of an inherently stable airplane when his “Planophore” is flown 131 feet in 11 seconds before the Société de Navigation Aérienne in the Tuileries Gardens, Paris.

  • 18 August 1901 (USA) — At the invitation of Chanute, Wilbur Wright addresses the Western Society of Engineers in Chicago with a 10,000-word paper titled “Some Aeronautical Experiments.”

  • 18 August 1911 (UK) — The British F.E.2 biplane makes its first flight from Farnborough, England piloted by its designer, Geoffrey de Havilland.

  • 18 August 1922 (USA) — New model airway open between Dayton, Ohio, and Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York.

  • 18 August 1922 (USA) — Fighting Plane Squadron at San Diego, California, makes record for aerial combat — maximum 145 hits and 27 seconds.

  • 18 August 1922 (USA) — The “AGA” beacon (American Gas Accumulator) begins operation at Naval Air Station, Hampton Roads. It makes 18 flashes a minute. Its strength is 6,000 candle power. His optical range is 20 miles horizontally.

  • 18-23 August 1929 (USA) — Goodwill Air Tour, under sponsorship of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

  • 18-26 August 1929 (USA) — Women's Derby, Santa Monica to Cleveland, in which 19 women participate, is won by Mrs. Louise McP. Thaden, in 21 hours 29 minutes 12 seconds flying time. She flew a Travel Air powered by a Wright engine.

  • 18 August 1930 (Germany/USA) — Capt. Wolfgang von Gronau and crew make the first east to west crossing of the Atlantic from Germany to New York.

  • 18 August 1932 (Ireland/Canada) — J.A. Mollison makes the first solo flight east to west across the Atlantic by a light airplane. He flies from Ireland to Canada.

  • 18 August 1948 (Germany) — The Berlin Airlift corridor to be equipped with flight aids to ensure winter airlift operations.

  • 18 August 1949 (USA) — Eugene V. Wilson resigns as chairman of the Aircraft Industries Association's board of governors.

  • 18 August 1949 (USA) — The Solar Aircraft Company elects Edmund T. Price as president and general manager.

  • 18 August 1949 (USA) — The Boeing Airplane Company develops a device to eliminate “ Dutch roll,” the tendency of high-speed aircraft to lose wing lifting ability because of tail yaw caused by side gusts.

August 19

  • 19 August 1871 (USA) — Orville Wright is born in Dayton, Ohio. He is co-inventor, with his brother Wilbur, of the first airplane to achieve powered, sustained, and controlled flight and the first fully practical powered airplane. Orville piloted the famous first flight at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina after winning a coin flip against his brother.

  • 19 August 1911 (UK) — British naval officer Comdr. Charles R. Samson sets a new British endurance record of 4 hours, 58 minutes, 30 seconds. The Short S.38 biplane has special tanks allowing sufficient fuel for more than 4 hours flying.

  • 19 August 1919 (USA) — A Curtiss 18-T flown by Curtiss test pilot Roland Rholfs establishes a new world speed record of 163 mph carrying a load of 1,076 lbs.

  • 19 August 1929 (USA) — The first metal airship built for the United States Navy makes its first flight. The ZMC-2 is a 22,600 ft³ helium balloon supported by transverse metal frames and longitudinal stiffeners with a thin metal covering forming the outer skin.

  • 19 August 1949 (USA) — Rep. Melvin Price (Democrat, Illinois) reports that the B-36 conspiracy charges “ completely exploded” as a result of the west coast investigation.

  • 19 August 1949 (USA) — Northrop Aircraft announces long-range jet engine currently being developed.

  • 19 August 1960 (Pacific Ocean) — The first mid-air recovery of a re-entry capsule is made by a USAF Fairchild C-119J “Flying Boxcar.”

August 20

  • 20 August 1901 (USA) — The Wright brothers leave Kitty Hawk, N.C., at the end of their second season of testing gliders and return to Dayton, Ohio.

  • 20 August 1908 (USA) — The Wright Flyer built for flight trials before the United States Army arrives at Fort Meyer, near Washington, D.C., eight days ahead of schedule. Before trials begin, tests to check transportability, another stipulation, start.

  • 20 August 1910 (USA) — The first United States Army experiments with firing a rifle from an airplane takes place when Lt. Jacob Earl Fickel conducts firing trials from a Curtiss biplane piloted by Curtiss himself.

  • 20 August 1913 (France) — French aviator Adolphe Pégoud carries out the first parachute descent ever made whereby the parachute is deployed before the pilot leaves the airplane.

  • 20 August 1919 (Germany) — The first regularly scheduled passenger service by airship begins in Berlin with a Zeppelin LX 120 Bodenese.

August 21

  • 21 August 1908 (France) — Wilbur Wright begins flying demonstrations of his “Flyer A” from the artillery ground known as Camp d'Auvers, 7 miles east of Le Mans, France, having moved from the Hunaudières race course.

  • 21 August 1908 (France) — The first turn in the air performed by a monoplane is carried out by “Antoinette II,” first flown at Issy-les-Moulineaux on July 22,1908. It lasts 1 minute, 36 seconds.

  • 21 August 1922 (USA) — Lawrence Sperry drops landing wheels and lands with skid device at Farmingdale, Long Island.

  • 21 August 1923 (USA) — The first use of electric beacons mounted on the ground to provide sight direction for night flying is made in the United States.

  • 21 August 1944 (USA) — Grumman XF8F-1 “Bearcat” prototype (BuNo 90460) first flight.

  • 21 August 1947 (USA) — W. Stuart Symington named first Secretary of the Air Force.

August 22

  • 22 August 1909 (France) — The first great aviation meeting in Bétheny, France, opens as 23 European airplanes make 87 flights during one week. The meeting will have a strong influence on the technical and military aspects of flight.

  • 22 August 1922 (UK) — The Vickers “Victoria” (s/n J6869) military transport makes its first flight, taking off from Brooklands, England with Stan Cockerell at the controls.

  • 22 August 1923 (USA) — The Barling bomber made its initial flight.

  • 22 August 1938 (USA) — The Civil Aeronautics Act becomes effective in the United States, coordinating all non-military aviation under the Civil Aeronautics Authority.

August 23

  • 23 August 1878 (UK) — The British government uses its first military aviation budget (£150) to build and fly their first balloon, the “Pioneer.”

  • 23 August 1913 (France/Germany) — Léon Letort carries out the first non-stop flight between Paris and Berlin when he flies his Morane-Saulnier monoplane fitted with an 80-hp Le Rhône engine the 560 miles between the two capitals in 8 hours.

  • 23 August 1923 (USSR) — The I-1 (Il-400), the first independent design from Nikolai Nikolayevich Polikarpov, makes its first flight. Polikarpov has worked at the RBVZ [Russko-Baltijskij Vagonnyj Zavod (Russo-Baltic Cart Works)] on the Ilya Muromets and later becomes chief engineer at the GAZ-1 plant.

  • 23 August to 31 October 1929 (USSR/USA) — The Russian aircraft “Land of the Soviets,” is flown on a goodwill tour from Moscow across the North Pacific, entering the United States at Seattle, then on to New York, having covered 13,300 miles in 142 flying hours.

  • 23 August 1937 (USA) — First wholly automatic landing in history accomplished.

  • 23 August 1938 (USA) — The American racing and record-breaking pilot Frank Hawks is killed along with his mechanic when his Gwinn Aircraft “Aircar” becomes entangled in telephone lines shortly after taking off from East Aurora, New York.

  • 23 August 1942 (South Pacific) — United States Marine Raiders attack Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.

August 24

  • 24 August 1921 (UK) — In the worst airship disaster thus far, 44 people die when the British dirigible R.38 is destroyed during routine operations off the coast of Yorkshire, England, by fire started by electrical sparks that engulfed the airship.

  • 24 August 1922 (USA) — Pilot Hentzen, flying a Hanover sail plane, contains an altitude of 1000 feet and remains in the air for 3 hours and 17 minutes.

  • 24 August to 2 September 1929 (USA) — National Air Races and Aeronautical Exposition at Cleveland, Ohio.

  • 24 August 1949 (USA) — Defense Secretary Louis Johnson advocates economy program which would close numerous Air Force and Naval bases. Military cutBack is part of a large-scale program to say between $1 billion and $3 billion a year.

  • 24 August 1951 (USA) — Medal of Honor posthumously awarded to Major L. J. Sebille, first Korean Conflict recipient.

  • 24 August 1956 (USA) — A United States Army helicopter becomes the first rotary-winged aircraft to fly non-stop across the United States.

  • 24 August 1961 (USA) — Beginning this day through October 12, United States aviatrix Jacqueline Cochrane flying a Northrop T-38A “Talon” sets a wide range of records for women (altitude of 56,071 ft., a distance of 1,492 mi., a 100-km (62.14 mi.) closed circuit speed record of 784.337 mph and 15-km (9.32 mi.) course speed of 844.2 mph).

  • 24 August 1970 (USA) — Two USAF Sikorsky HH-53C helicopters complete a non-stop trans-Pacific crossing from Eglin AFB, Florida to Da Nang, South Vietnam, aided by refueling encounters with Lockheed C-130 “Hercules” tankers.

August 25

  • 25 August 1784 (UK) — The son of a Scottish minister, James Tytler, makes the first manned balloon hop in England when his hot-air device makes a brief uncontrolled ascent with Tytler in the basket to an altitude of a few hundred feet.

  • 25 August 1919 (UK/France) — The first daily commercial scheduled international air passenger service starts between London and Paris. A single fare to Paris is 21 pounds.

  • 25 August 1922 (Germany) — F. H. Henson in Rhön Soaring Flight Competition near Gersfeld, breaks the existing records for borderless flying by remaining up in his “Vampyr” glider for 3 hours 10 minutes.

  • 25 August 1932 (USA) — The first woman to fly non-stop across the United States is Amelia Earhart. She flies in a Lockheed “Vega.”

  • 25 August 1949 (USA) — House Armed Services Committee votes clean bill of health on the B-36 procurement and recesses investigation until October 8.

  • 25 August 1949 (USA) — National Airlines tells the Civil Aeronautics Board that “reduction in fares are essential to placing its operations on a sound economic base.”

  • 25 August 1958 (USA) — The USAF launched a Northrop “Snark” missile on a 6000 mile course.

August 26

  • 26 August 1922 (Hawaii) — Secretary of the Navy Denby, returning from the Orient, visits Honolulu and within a few hours compasses the three planes of the Navy by flying an airplane, going aboard a surface craft and then entering a submarine.

  • 26 August 1922 (Italy) — Lt. Brackpapa flies a course 4 times at 336.468 mph in a Fiat biplane powered by a 700-hp Fiat engine.

  • 26 August 1925 (USA) — In a record that would stand until Feb. 24, 1983, Farman Parker of Anderson, Indiana becomes the world's youngest pilot to fly solo. Born on January 9, 1912, he flies at the age of 13 years, 7 months, 17 days.

  • 26 August 1929 (Netherlands) — The first flight of the largest trimotor transport aircraft built by Fokker, the F.IX, takes to the air on its first flight. The prototype (PH-AGA) was handed over to KLM on May 8, 1930, and given the name “Adelaar” (Eagle).

  • 26 August 1949 (USA) — $29,192,000 contract awarded to Pratt & Whitney by Navy for R-4360-53 “Wasp Major” engines.

  • 26 August 1949 (USA) — Air Force awards Sikorsky Aircraft a $1 million contract for five H-19A helicopters.

  • 26 August 1949 (USA) — Luscombe Airplane Corporation declares bankruptcy.

  • 26 August 1954 (USA) — The Bell X-1A rocket aircraft reached a record official altitude of 90,443 feet.

  • 26 August 1959 (France) — French flyer Jacqueline Auriol, piloting the “Mirage III,” becomes the first woman to attain the speed of Mach 2.

  • 26 August 1959 (USA) — President Eisenhower replaces his airplane with a jet, a USAF VC-137A, which is a modified Boeing 707 jet-airliner. The switch allows the President to cut his travel time in half.

August 27

  • 27 August 1783 (France) — Jacques Alexandre César Charles flies the first balloon filled with gas rather than fire-heated air using hydrogen produced by pouring 489 lbs. of sulfuric acid on 1,000 lbs. of iron. The balloon has a diameter of 12 ft.

  • 27 August 1910 (USA) — Radio is first used to send messages between the ground and an airplane when James McCurdy both sends and receives messages from a Curtiss biplane at Sheepshead, New York, using an H.M. Horton wireless set.

  • 27 August 1913 (USSR) — Lieutenant Petr Nesterov of the Russian Army in Kiev performs the first loop-the-loop. The complete circle and other intentional acrobatic stunts prove to be valuable experience for the wartime maneuvers needed during aerial battles.

  • 27 July 1922 (USA) — Fifteen thousand people witness aero meet at Scott Field, Belleville, Illinois, in conjunction with Chanute Field, Rantoul, Illinois.

  • 27 August 1939 (Germany) — The first fully jet-propelled aircraft to fly is Germany's Heinkel 178. A centrifugal flow turbojet engine powers it.

  • 27 August 1945 (China) — USAAF B-29s made first supply dropping mission of World War II POWs in China.

August 28

  • 28 August 1908 (USA) — The United States Army accepts its first dirigible. It is 96 feet long, with a 20-hp Curtiss engine.

  • 28 August 1919 (Netherlands) — The International Air Traffic Association (IATA) is formed at The Hague, Holland.

  • 28 August 1922 (USA) — Air Service of the Tennessee National Guard complete summer encampment at Montgomery, Alabama, Air Intermediate Depot.

  • 28 August 1922 (USA) — Army Air Service pilots from Crissy Field, San Francisco, California, participate in relief work in conjunction with the Jackson, California, mine disaster, when some 48 men were entombed alive in the mine. They transport various civilian mining experts from San Francisco to the scene of the disaster with great speed.

  • 28 August 1923 (USA) — A New World refueled flight duration record of 37 hours 15 minutes 4.8 seconds set.

  • 28 August 1957 (UK) — A record altitude for manned aircraft is achieved by the RAF Canberra serial no. WK 163 piloted by chief test pilot M. Randrup. He flies the aircraft to 70,310 ft. with the aid of a Double Scorpion rocket motor.

August 29

  • 29 August 1879 (Canada) — In Ontario, Nellie Thurston becomes the first Canadian woman to fly in a balloon.

  • 29 August 1909 (Germany) — At the end of a two-day flight from Lake Constance during which Count von Zeppelin travels a total distance of more than 400 miles, he makes a spectacular flight in his dirigible LZ5 over the city of Berlin, Germany.

  • 29 August 1911 (UK) — Mrs. A. Hewlett is the first British woman to gain a pilot's license.

  • 29 August 1922 (Italy) — Lt. Brackpapa at Milan, Italy, makes a record speed flight of 208.5 mph over a 1 km course.

  • 29 August 1929 (USA) — “Graf Zeppelin” lands at Lakehurst, New Jersey, completing round-the-world flight, begun on 8 August. The distance flown was 20,000 miles in 21 days 7 hours. The actual flying time was 263 hours 43 minutes.

  • 29 August 1938 (USA) — Flying from New York to Los Angeles, Major Alexander de Seversky makes an east-west transcontinental speed record flight of 10 hours 3 minutes. The aircraft flown was a Seversky “Pursuit” powered by a Pratt & Whitney “ Twin Wasp” engine.

  • 29 August 1938 (USA) — Edwin Francis Conway Memorial Trophy recommended for award to Oakland, California, Naval Reserve aviation base.

  • 29 August 1949 (USA) — Sixteen domestic trunk airlines end first six months of 1949 $20 million over same period last year.

  • 29 August 1949 (USA) — Ryan Aeronautical Company receives a $1 million Air Force Contract for additional XQ-2 target planes.

  • 29 August 1949 (USA) — The United States Senate okays a 70-group United States Air Force.

  • 29 August 1949 (USA) — The first successful operational objection was made from a North American F-86 “Sabre.”

  • 29 August 1955 (UK) — W. F. Gibb flies on Olympus-engine “Canberra B.2” to a world record altitude of 65,889 ft.

August 30

  • 30 August 1913 (USA) — American inventor Lawrence B. Sperry successfully demonstrates the first gyroscopic automatic stabilizing device for powered airplanes when Lt. Patrick N. L. Bellinger pilots a United States Navy flying boat designated “C-2” and relinquishes full control to the autopilot.

  • 30-31 August 1929 (USA) — Eight Annual Convention of the National Aeronautic Association, held at Cleveland, at which Senator Hiram Bingham is re-elected President.

  • 30 August 1933 (France) -Air France, France's national airline, is formed.

  • 30 August 1949 (USA) — The United States Senate passes and airport bill allowing grants up to $50,000 for development of Class 4 or larger airports without Congressional authorization. The bill also okays inclusion of Logan International Airport, Boston, in 1950 airport program.

  • 30 August 1949 (USA) — Senator Edward C. Johnson (Democrat, Colorado) introduces a bill permitting technical training for certain Civil Aeronautics Board personnel.

  • 30 August 1949 (USA) — Alvin P. Adams and Associates, New York aviation consultants, report that air travel during May exceeded first class rail for the first time.

  • 30 August 1949 (USA) — The Westinghouse J-34 engine passes Air Force-Navy qualification test.

  • 30 August 1949 (USA) — President Truman signs air star route bill.

  • 30 August 1960 (USA) — The USAF's first “Atlas” intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) squadron became fully operational.

August 31

  • 31 August 1921 (UK) — The first production Vickers “Vernon,” the first troop carrier designed for the British RAF (Royal Air Force), is delivered by the British manufacturer.

  • 31 August 1932 (USA) — Air Corps pilots flew 5 miles above the Earth's surface to photograph an eclipse of the Sun.

  • 31 August to 1 September 1938 (USA/Canal Zone) — Fourteen United States Navy planes make a mass flight from San Diego California, to Coco Solo, Canal Zone in 26 hours 40 minutes (Consolidated PBY's, 2 Pratt & Whitney “ Twin Wasp” engines).

  • 31 August 1956 (USA) — The first Boeing KC-135A (55-3118) makes its first flight and is taken over by the USAF on January 31, 1957.

  • 31 August 1977 (USSR) — Soviet test pilot Alexander Fedotov claims a new world height record for manned aircraft when he climbs to a height of 37,650 m (123,523 ft.) flying the Mikoyan E-266M.


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