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

July 1

  • 1 July 1872 (France) — Louis Blériot, the pioneer aviator who made the world's first airplane flight across the English Channel, is born in Cambrai, France. After experimenting first with gliders, he designed and built his own monoplane with a 25-hp engine, which took him across the channel.

  • 1 July 1917 (Canada) — A School of Aeronautics is established at the University of Toronto in Canada.

  • 1 July 1922 (USA) — Army Air Service personnel at Ellington Field, Houston, Texas, save the Government thousands of dollars for transportation expenses when activities of that field are transferred to Selfridge Field, Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Flying 21 airplanes not built for long cross-country flights, the pilots cover 1,600 miles to Selfridge Field in 16 hours 10 minutes actual flying time.

  • 1 July 1922 (Germany) — At Friedrichshafen, Germany, work is started on a Zeppelin airship for the United States Government.

  • 1 July 1922 (USA) — Aeromarine Airways, Inc. opens flying boat passenger service between Detroit, Michigan, and Cleveland, Ohio.

  • 1 July 1922 (USA) — Aeromarine flying boats opened New York-Atlantic City Air Service.

  • 1 July 1925 (USA) — The United States Air Mail Service begins overnight flights between New York and Chicago over the Allegheny Mountains.

  • 1 July 1926 (Sweden) — The Royal Swedish Air Force is formed.

  • 1 July 1927 (USA) — The Boeing Air Transport Company takes over the operation of the Chicago-San Francisco division of the Transcontinental Air Mail Route from the Post Office.

  • 1 July 1927 (USA) — End of the first year's of operation of the air mile air mail route between New York City and Boston by Colonial Air Transport.

  • 1 July 1931 (USA) — The first mail delivered by rocket in the United States is claimed by three high school students from Struthers, Ohio. Led by philatelist, John Kiktavi, they send mail from Struthers to Poland, Ohio.

July 2

  • 2 July 1859 (USA) — Two American balloonists, John Wise and John La Mountain, fly in their balloon from St. Louis, Missouri to Henderson, New York. The 809-mile trip takes 20 hours.

  • 2 July 1900 (USA) — The first trial of the first Zeppelin airship, the LZ-1, takes place over Lake Constance, Germany. The first of the rigid, monster airships, it is 420 feet long and contains 16 separate gas-bags with a total capacity of 338,410 cubic feet. It is tentatively successful, and attains a speed of 8½ mph. It is housed in a floating hangar, the first in history.

  • 2 July 1919 (UK) — The first crossing of the Atlantic by airship, as well as the first double-crossing (return flight), is made by the British rigid airship, R-34. This giant dirigible, which flies non-stop from Scotland to Long Island, New York, has a 30-man crew and is piloted by Major G.H. Scott.

  • 2 July 1926 (USA) — The United States Army Air Corps is formed out of the former Air Services. Provisions are made for an assistant secretary of war and a five-year Air Corps expansion program.

  • 2 July 1927 (UK) — Eighth Royal Air Force Display at Hendon Aerodrome, London.

  • 2-4 July 1927 (USA) — International Aviation Peace Jubilee held at Santa Ana, California, under the auspices of the local aero club and the Aero Club of Hollywood.

  • 2 July 1937 (South Pacific) — Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are lost over the South Pacific near Howland Island in a Lockheed Electra. This was to be her last long-distance attempt.

July 3

  • 3 July 1919 (USA) — Designed and built by the Engineering Division of the United States Bureau of Aircraft Production, the first of four XB-1As (originally designated USXB-1A) makes its first flight at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio.

  • 3 July 1922 (USA) — A thirty-five thousand cubic feet capacity balloon, piloted by Major Harold A. Strauss and Lt. Richard E. Thompson, USAS, leaves McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio, at 7:30 p.m. July 3, and flying through the entire night lands at West Moreland, Tennessee, at 7:30 a.m. July 4.

  • 3 July 1922 (USA) — Taking off from Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas, at 5:15 a.m., Lieutenant James H. Doolittle in Leland S. Andrews, USAS, piloting a DH-4-B airplane, land at Jacksonville, Florida, 1025 miles distance, at 5:15 p.m. on the same day, stops being made at Ellington Field, Houston, Texas and Pensacola Florida.

  • 3 July 1936 (UK) — The first C-class Empire flying boat built by Shorts as the S.23 design, makes a brief 14-min. first flight piloted by John Lankester Parker.

  • 3 July 1981 (USSR) — The first international service with the Ilyushin IL-86 begins with an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to East Berlin, East Germany.

  • 3 July 1992 (Bosnia) — Operation “Provide Promise” begins in Bosnia and becomes the longest sustained humanitarian airlift in history.

July 4

  • 4 July 1908 (Germany) — The Zeppelin LZ-4 makes a 12-hour flight crossing the Alps. It covers the 235 miles from Friedrichshafen to Zürich and reaches speeds of 32 mph.

  • 4 July 1927 (USA) — The first flight of the Lockheed “Vega,” an influence in the design of later, larger transport of the 1930's, takes place.

  • 4 July 1927 (USA) — Lieutenant C. C. Champion, USN, establishes a new altitude record for seaplanes at Anacostia, D.C., reaching a height of 37,995 feet in a Navy “Apache,” powered by a Pratt & Whitney “Wasp” engine.

  • 4-5 July 1927 (USA) — Detroit News Trophy Blue Race is won S. A. V. Rasmussen who covered 572 miles, from Detroit to Hookerton, North Carolina.

  • 4 July 1942 (France) — The 97th Bomb Group B-17's fly first mission over Europe bombing Rouen-Sotteville rail yards in France.

  • 4 July 1956 (USA) — A Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft makes its first operational over-flight. It is designed to fly at subsonic speeds and photograph the earth from 60,000 feet.

July 5

  • 5 July 1912 (USA) — Capt. Charles Chandler and Lieutenants Thomas Milling and Henry Arnold are presented with certificates qualifying them as the United States' first “Military Aviators.”

  • 5 July 1927 (UK) — Lady Bailey establishes a new light airplane altitude record of 17,283 feet, in a de Havilland D.H. 60 “Moth,” at the company's airfield in Edgeware, Middlesex.

  • 5-6 July 1937 (USA/Ireland) — Flying a Sikorsky S-42B powered by four Pratt & Whitney “Twin Wasp” engines, Pan American Airways makes the first “west-east” survey flight across the North Atlantic from Wildwood, Newfoundland, to Foynes, Ireland.

  • 5-6 July 1937 (Ireland/USA) — Flying a Short “Empire” Flying Boat powered by four Bristol “Pegasus” engines, Imperial Airways makes the first “east-west” survey flight across the North Atlantic from Foynes, Ireland to Botwood, Newfoundland .

  • 5 July 1940 (USA) — The first American paratrooper unit is formed at Fort Benning, Georgia.

  • 5 July 1944 (USA) — The first United States rocket-powered military aircraft, the Northrop MX-324, flies at Harper Dry Lake, California. The pilot, Harry Crosby, makes the voyage.

  • 5 July 1945 (Philippines) — Liberation of the Philippines declared.

  • 5 July 1979 (France) — French aviation pioneer and aircraft manufacturer Emile Dewoitine dies at the age of 87.

July 6

  • 6 July 1919 (USA) — The first person to arrive in the United States by air from Europe is Englishman Flt. Lt. J. E. M. Pritchard. He arrives with the airship R.34, which has entered American skies after leaving Scotland on July 2 to cross the North Atlantic.

  • 6 July 1922 (USA) — A Naval seaplane responds to call for help from burning fishing boat off North Island, San Diego, and three of the seaplane's crew rescued five fishermen clinging to the wreckage.

  • 6 July 1950 (USA) — James H. Doolittle named “Aviator of the Decade” by Harmon Aviation Awards Committee.

  • 6 July 1951 (USA) — The first in-flight refueling under combat conditions is made by four United States Lockheed RF-80A “Shooting Stars,” refueled by a Boeing KB-29 tanker.

  • 6 July 1960 (USA) — Sikorsky's S-62 amphibious helicopter wins federal approval for operation as a commercial passenger aircraft.

July 7

  • 7 July 1914 (USA) — American physics professor, Robert H. Goddard receives a patent for his two-stage solid fuel rocket.

  • 7 July 1929 (USA) — Transcontinental Air Transport Inc. inaugurates a 48-hour combined rail and air passenger service from coast to coast in the United States Colonel Charles Lindbergh flies the first plane over the air route.

  • 7 July 1942 (USA) — First sure “kill” of a German submarine made off the Atlantic Coast.

  • 7 July 1962 (USSR) — Colonel Georgi Mossolov sets a new world absolute speed record for airplanes, flying the Mikoyan Ye-166 at 1,665.89 mph.

  • 7 July 1981 (France/England) — The first solar-powered aircraft flight across the English Channel is made by the MacCready “Solar Challenger.” The 163 mile flight takes 5 hours and 23 minutes with pilot Stephen Ptacek at the controls. The aircraft is powered by at least 16,128 solar cells on the upper surfaces of the wing and tailplane. The aircraft flew from Pontoise — Cormeilles Aerodrome, north of Paris, France to Manston Royal Air Force Base in Manston, England.

July 8

  • 8 July 1838 (Germany) — Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin is born in Baden, Germany. The first large-scale builder and pioneer of rigid dirigible balloons, Zeppelin made his first balloon ascent while serving as a volunteer and observer for the Union Army in America's Civil War.

  • 8 July 1908 (France) — Thérése Peltier becomes the first woman to ascend in an airplane when Delagrange, her instructor, takes her up. She flies about 656 feet at a height of 13 feet.

  • 8 July 1927 (USA) — Lieutenants B. G. Connell S. R. Pope, flying any PN-10 powered by a Packard engine, set new world duration and distance records for seaplanes with a useful load of 1,000-kg and 2,000-kg respectively, flying 11-hrs 7-min 18-sec, and a distance of 947.705 miles.

  • 8 July 1937 (Italy) — Flying a Savoia-Marchetti, powered by 3 Piaggio XI engines, Attileo Biseo and Bruno Mussolini set world speed records for 1,000-kms with payloads of 500, 1000, and 2000-kgs of 263.223 mph over the Fiumicino-Antignano-Ansedonia course, Italy.

  • 8 July 1943 (USA) — Col. M. G. Grow, 8th Air Force Surgeon, received the “Legion of Merit” for developing the flak vest.

  • 8 July 1943 (South Pacific) — B-34 “Liberators” bomb Japanese on Wake Island.

  • 8 July 1953 (USA) — New York Airways, America's first scheduled passenger helicopter carrier, begins service.

July 9

  • 9 July 1910 (USA) — Walter Brookins attains an altitude of 6,175 feet in a Wright biplane, becoming the first to fly a mile high and wins a prize of $5,000 for his feat.

  • 9 July 1924 (Netherlands/France) — The first recorded flight of a live bull takes place when champion breeder “Nico V” is flown from Rotterdam, Holland to Paris, France. The bull is carried by KLM in a Fokker F.III transport aircraft.

  • 9 July 1933 (USA) — Flying their Lockheed “Sirius” built in 1929 and used for the 1931 survey flight of Alaska, the North Pacific and China, Charles Lindbergh and his wife begin a major route-proving tour of the North and South Atlantic. They complete their survey on 6 December 1933.

  • 9 July 1964 (Vietnam) — First Air Commando wing C-47 crew awarded “Makay Trophy” for Vietnam rescue mission.

July 10

  • 10 July 1938 (USA) — Howard Hughes, with crewmembers Harry Connor, Tom Thurlow, Richard Stoddart and Ed Lund, begin a record-breaking round-the-world flight in a specially modified Lockheed “Super Electra.” They cut in half the time set by Wiley Post in 1933. Their flying time is 71 hours, 11 minutes, 10 seconds.

  • 10 July 1940 (Germany) — The fourth Messerschmitt Bf.109F series prototype makes its first flight in Germany. It is powered by one of the new 1,350-hp Daimler Benz DB601E engines.

  • 10 July 1945 (Japan) — The “1,000” bomber raids against Japan begin.

  • 10 July 1965 (Vietnam) — Two McDonnell Douglas F-4C “Phantom II” crews shoot down two Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 “Frescos,” becoming the first USAF victories of the Vietnam War.

  • 10 July 1978 (France) — Airbus Industrie announces a decision to proceed with development of the A300B10, a shortened version of the A300 with a capacity of 225 passengers, compared to 281 on the B2 and B4. The designation is later changed to the A310.

July 11

  • 11 July 1922 (USA) — An international convention for the regulation of air navigation begins.

  • 11 July 1935 (USA) — Laura Ingalls arrives in Burbank, California after an 18-hour flight from Floyd Bennett Field, New York, making her the first woman to fly east-to-west across the United States.

  • 11 July 1955 (USA) — The United States Air Force Academy is dedicated at its temporary location, Lowry Air Force Base.

  • 11 July 1955 (USA) — First Air Force Academy class of 306 cadets sworn in.

July 12

  • 12 July 1785 (Netherlands) — The first manned balloon ascent in Holland is made by Jean-Pierre Blanchard in Hague.

  • 12 July 1901 (France) — Alberto Santos-Dumont, making an attempt on the Deutsch prize in Paris, lands his dirigible No.5 in the “Trocadéro” gardens after one of the cords controlling the rudder snaps. He uses a ladder to repair the machine where it lies before taking off again.

  • 12 July 1927 (USA) — End of Third National Reliability Tour for the Ford Trophy, when 13 of the 14 planes which entered the race returned to Detroit. Edward Stinson, flying a Stinson “Detroiter” with a Wright “Whirlwind” engine, is the winner.

  • 12 July 1944 (UK) — The British Royal Air Force (RAF) puts the first operational jet-powered airplanes into service.

  • 12 July 1980 (USA) — The Douglas KC-10A “Extender” makes first flight.

July 13

  • 13 July 1909 (UK) — If brief hops by Alliott Verdon Roe on June 8, 1908 are discounted, the first flight made by an Englishman in an English airplane takes place when Roe flies his “Roe I” triplane for the first time at Lea Marsches in Essex. He flies only 100 ft., but on July 23 he extends the distance to some 900 ft. off the ground.

  • 13 July 1919 (UK) — The British military airship R.34, operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF), accomplishes the first two-way transatlantic air crossing. The outward journey is also the first air crossing of the Atlantic from east-to-west.

  • 13 July 1921 (USA) — Army-Navy bombing tests sank three captured German ships.

  • 13-14 July 1927 (USA) — Ernest L. Smith and Emory B. Bronte fly from Oakland, California, to a point 93 miles southeast of Honolulu, in an attempted flight to Wheeler Field, flying a Travel Air with a “Whirlwind” engine. The distance flown is 2,348 miles in a time 25-hours 36-minutes.

  • 13-15 July 1937 (USSR) — Flying an Antonov ANT-25, powered by a AM-34 engine, Col. Mikail Gromov, Comdt. Andrei Youmachev, and Ing. Sergei Daniline set a world airline distance record of 6,295.662 miles from Moscow, USSR, to San Jacinto California .

  • 13 July 1957 (USA) — President Eisenhower becomes the first United States president to fly in a helicopter when he is flown from the White House to an unnamed military post in a USAF Bell UH-13J.

July 14

  • 14 July 1914 (USA) — Dr. Robert H. Goddard is granted a patent for his liquid fuel rocket engine.

  • 14 July 1922 (USA) — Aeromarine Airways, Inc., opens Great Lakes Division operating 11-passenger Aeromarine cruisers on double daily flying boat service between Cleveland and Detroit.

  • 14 July 1934 (USA) — Flamboyant flying tycoon Howard Hughes lands in New York after a record-breaking flight around the Northern Hemisphere.

  • 14 July 1937 (USSR) — A Soviet crew breaks the world distance flying record by staying airborne for over two days while flying from Moscow over the North Pole.

  • 14 July 1945 (Japan) — First United States naval bombardment of Japanese home islands.

  • 14 July 1945 (Japan) — Douglas A-20 “Havocs” use first rocket bombs against Japanese oil fields.

  • 14 July 1948 (England/USA) — Six Royal Air Force (RAF) Vampires land after completing the first transatlantic flight made by jet aircraft.

July 15

  • 15 July 1916 (USA) — Timber merchant William E. Boeing forms a new aircraft company, the Pacific Aero Products Company.

  • 15 July 1922 (USA) — John M. Miller in Chicago Tribune's Curtiss “Seagull” starts timber cruising flight at Shelter Bay, Québec.

  • 15 July 1923 (USSR) — The Soviet state airline “Dobrolet&rdqauo; opens its first scheduled domestic service, between Moscow and Nizhniy Novgorod.

  • 15 July 1925 (Brazil) — Dr. A. Hamilton Rice's expedition to the Amazon to explore the headwaters of the Amazon, the first exploration by airplane, returns safely.

  • 15 July 1954 (USA) — First flight of the Boeing Model 367-80, prototype for the Boeing C/KC-135 series of four-engine jet tanker aircraft.

  • 15 July 1968 (USSR/USA) — The first direct airline service between the Soviet Union and the United States is inaugurated, ten years after negotiations began.

  • 15 July 1975 (USSR/USA) — The first international manned space flight occurs between the Soviet Soyuz 19 and an Apollo spacecraft.

July 16

  • 16 July 1921 (UK) — Cambridge wins the first air race between Oxford and Cambridge universities, using S.E.5A airplanes.

  • 16 July 1922 (USA) — United States Airmail completes one-year on transcontinental route 1,750,000 miles, carrying 49,000,000 letters, without serious accident.

  • 16 July 1930 (USA) — Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA) is formed when Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express merge.

  • 16 July 1945 — First Atomic Bomb is successfully tested in the United States. “Trinity” was the code name of the first nuclear weapons test of an atomic bomb. This test was conducted by the United States Army in the Jornada del Muerto desert about 35 miles (56 km) southeast of Socorro, New Mexico, at the White Sands Proving Ground, now the White Sands Missile Range. The date of the test is usually considered to be the beginning of the Atomic Age. “Trinity” was a test of an implosion-design plutonium device. The weapon's informal nickname was “The Gadget.” Using the same conceptual design, the Fat Man device was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945. The “Trinity” detonation produced an explosive power equivalent to the explosion of about 20 kilotons of TNT.

  • 16 July 1947 (UK) — Geoffrey Tyson test-pilots the first jet fighter to be modified as a flying boat.

  • 16 July 1957 (USA) — Major John H. Glenn, Jr., USMC, set the Transcontinental air speed record, flying an F8U-1 “Crusader” from NAS Los Alamitos, California to NAS New York — Floyd Bennett Field, in 3 hours, 23 minutes, and 8.4 seconds. “Project Bullet” as the mission was called, provided both the first transcontinental flight to average supersonic speed, and the first continuous transcontinental panoramic photograph of the United States. Glenn was awarded his fifth Distinguished Flying Cross for the mission.

  • 16 July 1971 (USA) — Jeanne M. Holm, director of WAF, became the first woman promoted to Brigadier General.

July 17

  • 17 July 1908 (USA) — The United States' first aviation legislation is passed. I was a municipal ordinance requiring an annual license and regulating aircraft within the city limits of Kissimmee, Florida.

  • 17 July 1917 (USA) — Ground is broken for the first building of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Langley Field laboratory.

  • 17 July 1922 (Hawaii) — Naval planes take aerial photos to aid in the terminating the location of reefs of Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.

  • 17 July 1969 (USA) — The Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket blasts off from the Florida Space Center in route to the first moon landing.

  • 17 July 1989 (USA) — First Flight of the Northrop Grumman B-2A “Spirit” Stealth bomber.

July 18

  • 18 July 1914 (USA) — The Aviation Section of the United States Army Signal Corps is formed in Washington, D.C., with 60 officers, 260 men, and 6 airplanes.

  • 18 July 1914 (Australia) — French pilot, Maurice Guillaux, makes the first official airmail flight in Australia. His cargo includes 1,785 letters, some Lipton's Tea and OT Lemon Squash.

  • 18 July 1915 (USA) — Katherine Stinson becomes the first woman to loop the loop in an airplane. The stunt pilot performs the full rotation of her airplane over Chicago.

  • 18 July 1919 (France) — Self-styled Baroness Raymonde de Laroche, the first Frenchwoman to get her flying license, is killed in a flying accident in Northern France.

  • 18 July 1921 (USA) — John H. Glenn, Jr., the first American to orbit the earth, is born in Cambridge, Ohio. After being selected by NASA with the first group of astronauts in 1959, he makes his historic orbital flight on February 20, 1962.

  • 18 July 1927 (USA) — Return to New York of Commander Byrd with his crew, and Clarence Chamberlain after their flights to France and Germany, respectively.

  • 18 July 1927 (Switzerland) — Richard Wagner, flying a Dornier “Merkur,” powered by a BMW engine, sets a new altitude record for seaplanes with 1,000-kg use load, reaching an altitude of 19,196 feet.

July 19

  • 19 July 1867 (England) — Englishmen J.W. Butler and E. Edwards make the first delta-wing airplane designs. They take out patents for delta-wing monoplanes and biplanes to be propelled by jets of steam, compressed air, or gas.

  • 19 July 1920 (England) — The Vickers R.80 airship, designed in an innovative streamlined shape by company designer Barnes Wallis, makes its first flight.

  • 19 July 1937 (South Pacific) — The official search for missing flyers Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan is abandoned.

  • 19 July 1944 (South Pacific) — United States Marines invade Guam in the Marianas.

  • 19 July 1957 (USA) -The first air-to-air nuclear rocket is fired by the USAF.

  • 19 July 1985 (USA) — Sharon Christa McAuliffe is chosen by NASA to be the first private citizen passenger in the history of space flight.

July 20

  • 20 July 1908 (USA) — Orville Wright warns Glenn Curtiss that the wing flaps used in the AEA's “June Bug” are an infringement of the Wrights' patent.

  • 20 July 1922 (USA) — Mrs. Benedict Crowell christens the Aeromarine 11-passenger flying cruiser “Buckeye” at Cleveland, Ohio.

  • 20 July 1927 (USA) — Colonel Lindbergh begins his tour of the country under the offices of the Guggenheim Fund, flying in “The Spirit of St. Louis.”

  • 20 July 1948 (USA) — Sixteen Lockheed “Shooting Stars” complete the first west-to-east transatlantic flight by jet aircraft.

  • 20 July 1969 (Moon) — Neil Armstrong lands the lunar module “Eagle” on the surface of the moon. His immortal first words are, “that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” USAF Colonel “Buzz” Aldrin joins Neil Armstrong on the surface of the moon while USAF Lt. Colonel Mike Collins remains in orbit.

July 21

  • 21 July 1909 (Germany) — The first international Zeppelin (airship) show is held in Frankfurt, Germany.

  • 21 July 1911 (France) — Denise Moore crashes and dies on a solo flight in a Farman airplane, the first woman killed in a plane.

  • 21 July 1919 (Netherlands) — Anthony Fokker founds the Dutch Aircraft Company at Schipol, near Amsterdam.

  • 21 July 1922 (USA) — The Aeromarine flying boat “Wolverine” establishes speed record between Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan covering 117 miles in 82 minutes with seven passengers.

  • 21 July 1922 (USA) — The Army Airship C-2, after making a successful night flight from Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and return, negotiates the following night a flight from Bolling Field, D.C., to New York City, and returns to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

  • 21 July 1922 (Hawaii) — Aerial photos taken by the United States Navy aid in the successful salvaging of the British vessel S.S. “Valdura,” aground off Kalihi, Hawaii.

  • 21 July 1961 (USA) — Major Virgil I.“Gus” Grissom, USAF, made the second sub-orbital “Mercury” flight.

July 22

  • 22 July 1914 (UK) — Britain's first airplane passenger service is launched. The short-lived service flies from Leeds to Bradford and Back, on half-hour intervals.

  • 22 July 1920 (USA) — Aviation enthusiast David R. Davis and airplane designer Donald W. Douglas team up to form the Davis-Douglas Company. Their goal is to build the first aircraft capable of flying non-stop across the United States.

  • 22 July 1933 (USA) — One-eyed pilot Wiley Post lands after completing the first solo flight around the world. Post pioneers the early development of a pressure suit and proves the value of navigating instruments, especially the automatic pilot.

  • 22 July 1944 (Romania) — Seventy-six Lockheed P-38 “Lightnings” and fifty-eight North American P-51 “Mustangs” begin the second Fifteenth Air Force shuttle missions, attacking airfields at Zilistea and Buzau (claiming the destruction of 56 enemy aircraft) and landing at Operation FRANTIC bases in the USSR; 458 B-17 “Flying Fortresses” and B-24 “Liberators” (with fighter escorts) bomb an oil refinery at Ploesti and other bombers hit alternate targets of the Verciorova marshalling yard, Orsova railroad bridge, and Kragujevac, Yugoslavia marshalling yard.

July 23

  • 23 July 1906 (France) — Having abandoned his helicopter project, Alberto Santos-Dumont unveils a new aircraft, the “No.14 bis” at Bagatelle, France. The odd-looking machine is dubbed “canard” (duck).

  • 23 July 1917 (USA) — Major Benjamin D. Foulois, one of the great figures of early American aviation, is appointed commanding officer of the Airplane Division of the United States Signal Corps.

  • 23 July 1937 (Switzerland) — The International Military Aircraft Competition at D¨a;bendorf near Z¨a;rich provides the picturesque venue for the first major demonstration of the Messerschmitt Bf.109.

July 24

  • 24 July 1898 (USA) — Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean and one of the world's most famous aviators, is born in Atchinson, Kansas.

  • 24 July 1917 (USA) — Congress approves the expenditure of $640 million on military aviation. It is the largest single appropriation approved by Congress.

  • 24 July 1943 (USA) — The Royal Air Force (RAF) use “Window,” metal foil dropped to confuse enemy radar, for the first time.

  • 24 July 1946 (UK) — The first live flight test of the Martin-Baker ejection-seat system took place when Bernard Lynch ejected from a Gloster “Meteor Mk.III” jet.

  • 24 July 1990 (USA) — The Strategic Air Command (SAC) ends Operation “Looking Glass” after twenty-nine years of airborne alert.

July 25

  • 25 July 1907 (France) — At Issy-les-Moulineaux, Blériot flies 492 feet in his monoplane “No.VI,” the “Libellule” (dragonfly). Built by Louis Peyret, the foreman at his works, it has two sets of wings in tandem. To control vertical movement, the pilot slides to end fro on a wheeled seat.

  • 25 July 1909 (USSR) — Van den Schkrouff makes the first flight in Russia in a Voisin biplane at Odessa.

  • 25 July 1909 (France/England) — Louis Blériot of France, who flies his Blériot “No.XI” monoplane from Les Baraques to Dover, England in 37 minutes, makes the first airplane crossing of the English Channel. The event increases public and government awareness of the possible military aspects of the airplane.

  • 25 July 1927 (USA) — Lieutenant C. C. Champion, USN, reaches an altitude of 38,474 feet, flying a Navy “Apache” powered by a Pratt & Whitney “Wasp” engine, setting a new world's record for airplanes.

  • 25 July 1953 (USA) — The Consolidated B-36's capability to launch and recover F-84 aircraft in flight is announced.

July 26

  • 26 July 1910 (England) — Capt. G. W. P. Dawes becomes the first British Army officer to be awarded an aviator's certificate in England, when he qualifies for certificate No.17 on a Humber Monoplane at Wolverhampton, England.

  • 26-29 July 1922 (USA) — Flying meat at Tarkio, Missouri.

  • 26 July 1937 (USA) — Flying a Beechcraft powered by a Pratt & Whitney “Wasp” engine, Jacqueline Cochran sets a Woman's National (United States) speed record for 100-kms of 200.712 mph.

  • 26 July 1929 (USA) — Johnny Burtin sets a new world altitude record of 26,531 feet for airplanes with a 1-ton load. Burtin's flight also proves that at high altitudes, fuel consumption drops considerably and wind resistance is reduced, making high-altitude flying more economical and profitable.

  • 26 July 1947 (USA) — President Truman signed National Security Act creating the USAF as a separate service.

  • 26 July 1937 (USA) — Famous pilot, Jacqueline Cochran, sets a new speed record for women by flying over 203 mph.

July 27

  • 27 July 1901 (USA) — Wilbur and Orville Wright make the first of a series of test glides at Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Their redesigned biplane glider No. 2 has a larger wing area and wing control worked by a pilot's hip-cradle device.

  • 27 July 1909 (USA) — Orville Wright makes the first official test flight of the United States Army's first airplane in Fort Meyer, Virginia. President William Howard Taft, his cabinet, and 10,000 spectators witness the flight.

  • 27 July 1912 (USA) — Lieutenant John Rodgers and Ensign Charles Maddox, in a Wright B1 Flyer, send the first wireless message from an airplane to a ship, the torpedo boat USS Stringham, stationed in Annapolis, Maryland.

  • 27 July 1922 (USA) — Dirigible A-4 of the Army Air Service arrives at Scott Field, Belleville, Illinois after flying 1100 miles from Langley Field, Virginia. Two stops were made en route.

  • 27 July 1923 (USA) — Edward Stinson lands his Junkers at Mitchell Field in New York after making the first non-stop flight from Chicago.

  • 27 July 1931 (USA) — The Air Line Pilots Association of the USA is formed.

  • 27 July 1934 (Germany) — Nelly Diener was the first flight attendant of Europe who attained world-famous status lost her life after just 79 flights in a crash near Wurmlingen, Germany. She was a flight attendant on a Swissair Curtiss “Condor” airliner.

  • 27 July 1949 (UK) — The de Havilland 106 “Comet” becomes the world's first jet airliner to be used in commercial travel.

July 28

  • 28 July 1927 (Germany) — H. Steindorff sets new speed records for 1,000-km with a useful load of 1,000-kg, and for 500-km and 1,000-km with 2000-kg useful load, flying 133.504-mph in a Rohrbach-Roland powered by three BMW engines.

  • 28 July 1933 (USA) — Dr. Albert Forsythe and Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson land at Atlantic City to complete the first return flight to the West Coast by African-American pilots.

  • 28 July 1934 (USA) — The “Explorer I”balloon flight from the “Stratobowl”, near Rapid City, South Dakota, ascends to 60,613 feet, where the balloon envelope ruptured, forcing the crew to parachute to safety.

  • 28 July 1950 (UK) — The first scheduled passenger service flown by a gas-turbine powered airliner (turboprop) is British European Airway's (BEA) Vickers V.630 “Viscount”.

July 29

  • 29 July 1909 (Sweden) — Georges Legagneux makes the first airplane flight in Sweden in his Voisin biplane in Stockholm.

  • 29 July 1927 (Germany) — H. Steindorff sets new speed records for 100-km with a useful load of 2,000-kg , flying 134.28-mph in a Rohrbach-Roland powered by three BMW engines.

  • 29 July 1945 (South Pacific) — A Japanese submarine sinks the United StatesS. Indianapolis resulting in a loss of 881 crewmen.

  • 29 July 1952 (USA) — A USAF North American RB-45 “Toronado” completes the first non-stop transpacific flight by jet aircraft.

  • 29 July 1958 (USA) — President Eisenhower signs the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating a new federal agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA's stated goal is to enable the United States to lead the exploration of space for peaceful purposes to benefit humanity.

  • 29 July 1959 (USA) — The first “jetway” in the United States is installed at the International Airport in San Francisco, California. Designed to protect passengers from the weather when they board or leave the jet plane, it is a powered telescopic or collapsible corridor that extends to the aircraft and connects the plane to the terminal. They are commonplace in all airports today.

July 30

  • 30 July 1909 (Japan) — The Rinji Gunyo Kikyu Kenkyu Kai (Provisional Committee for Military Balloon Research) is formed in Japan.

  • 30 July 1909 (USA) — Second test of the Army's Wright plane completed on a 10-mile cross-country flight.

  • 30 July 1921 (Swiss Alps) — Flying a Caudron G-3, Swiss pilot, Francois Durafour, achieves a daring first by landing his airplane on the slopes of Mont Blanc, at an altitude of 4000 meters, a record which stood for some 30-years.

  • 30-31 July 1922 (USA) — Thousands witness Colorado's first air meet at Curtis-Humphries Field, Denver.

  • 30 July 1924 (Japan) — Two Japanese airmen, Yukichi Goto and his flight engineer Minezo Yonezawo, return to Osaka after completing the first flight around Japan. The flight covers 2,727 miles and takes over 33 hours.

  • 30 July 1927 (UK) — The King's Cup Race, Nottingham, is won by Capt. W. L. Hope, in a D.H. Moth, powered by a Cirrus engine.

  • 30 July 1927 (USA) — Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America gives a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria in honor of Lieutenant Maitland and Hegenberger, Pacific flyers.

  • 30 July 1935 (USA) — Lieutenant Frank Akers of the United States Navy becomes the first person to make a “blind” landing at sea. His biplane has a hooded cockpit allowing him to see only his controls and instruments. He lands on the USS Langley.

July 31

  • 31 July 1879 (Canada) — Richard Cowen and Charles Page fly the “Canadian,” the first balloon to be built in Canada.

  • 31 July 1927 (Germany) — H. Steindorff flying a Rohrbach-Roland, powered by three BMW engines, sets a new speed record with a useful load of 500-kg, and a distance record with a pay load of 1000-kg , covering 1,438.680-miles at 127.632-mph ; also a speed record for 2,000-km with a 1,000-kg useful load , and a distance record with 2000-kg, flying 1,087.60 miles .

  • 31 July 1948 (USA) — The New York International Airport begins operations and becomes the largest airport in the United States.

  • 31 July 1952 (USA) — The First transatlantic helicopter flight when Capt. Vincent H. McGovern and 1st Lt. Harold W. Moore piloted two Sikorsky H-19's from Westover, Mass., to Prestwick, Scotland (3,410 mi). Trip was made in five stops, with a flying time of 42 hr., 25 min. (15-31 July 1952).

  • 31 July 1957 (USA/Canada/Faroe Islands/Greenland/Iceland) — “DEW” Line reported to be fully operational. The Distant Early Warning Line, also known as the DEW Line or Early Warning Line, was a system of radar stations in the far northern Arctic region of Canada, with additional stations along the North Coast and Aleutian Islands of Alaska, in addition to the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland. It was set up to detect incoming Soviet bombers during the Cold War, and provide early warning of a land based invasion.


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