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

March 1

  • 1 March 1912 (USA) — Capt. Albert Berry makes the first parachute descent from a powered airplane in America when he jumps from a Benoist aircraft that is being flown by the company pilot, Anthony Jannus. The aircraft is flying at a height of 1,500 ft. over Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri, and Berry uses a static line parachute.

  • 1 March 1923 (USA) — Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company delivers to Army Air Service TC-1, largest American non-rigid dirigible.

  • 1 March 1923 (USA) — Brig. Gen. William Mitchell, Assistant Chief of Air Service, completes a 5,000 mile inspection trip by airplane.

  • 1 March 1925 (USA) — Ryan Airlines begins the first regularly scheduled passenger airline service flown within the mainland United States. The service runs between Los Angeles and San Diego.

  • 1 March 1928 (France/Chile) — An airmail route between France and Chile is opened with a fast sea link between Dakar, Senegal and Natal, Brazil.

  • 1 March 1933 (USA) — United States Air Commerce Regulations are amended to increase the flying time required for a pilot's license from 10 hours to 50 hours.

  • 1 March 1946 (USA) — General Carl Spaatz designated Commander USAAF.

  • 1 March 1962 (USA) — Los Angeles Airways sets up the world's first commercial service using turbine-powered, multi-engine helicopters, the Sikorsky S-62L, which could accommodate up to 28 passengers.

March 2

  • 2 March 1918 (France) — Lloyd Andrews Hamilton becomes the first American to receive a commission in the British Royal Flying Corps when he is assigned as lieutenant with No. 3 squadron in France.

  • 2 March 1932 (USA) — The 20-months-old son of aviator Charles Lindbergh has been kidnapped from the family's home in Hopewell, New Jersey.

  • 2 March 1933 (USA) — Kohler Aviation Corporation extends airmail service from Muskegon, Michigan, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

  • 2 March 1933 (USA) — Northwest Airways, Inc., extends airmail service from Bismarck, North Dakota, to Billings, Montana.

  • 2 March 1945 (USA) — United States airborne troops recapture Corregidor in the Philippines.

  • 2 March 1949 (USA) — Commanded by Capt. James G. Gallagher, the crew of 14 aboard the Strategic Air Command B-50A “Lucky Lady II” of the Forty-third Bombardment Group, USAF, completes the first nonstop round-the-world flight of 94 hours 1 minute. Flying a distance of 23,452 miles the Boeing B-50A is refueled four times by Boeing KB-29 tankers before landing Back at Carswell AFB, Texas.

  • 2 March 1969 (France) — After a lengthy succession of taxi and runway tests, the first prototype “Concorde 001” (F-WTSS) makes its first flight, with Andre Turcat at the controls. The flight lasts 29 minutes.

March 3

  • 3 March 1911 (USA) — The first aviation appropriation of $125,000 is authorized for the United States Army.

  • 3 March 1911 (USA) — With Capt. Benjamin D. Foulois navigating a course and Phillip Parmelee at the controls, the Wright “Type B” on loan from Robert F. Collier sets an official United States cross-country record from Laredo to Eagle Pass, Texas. It flies the 106 miles in 2 hours 10 minutes.

  • 3 March 1919 (USA) — Airplane builder William E. Boeing and Eddie Hubbard of Hubbard Air Service make the first international airmail flight from Seattle, Washington to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

  • 3 March 1923 (USA/Puerto Rico/USA) — Six Army airplanes in command of Capt. Thomas G. Lamphier, USAS, leaves San Antonio, Texas, for a flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and return.

  • 3-9 March 1936 (USA) — Thomas Rose flies from Capetown, South Africa, to Croydon, England, in 6 days 7 hours 5 minutes, making new record. (Miles “Falcon” with DeHavilland “Gypsy” engine)

  • 3 March 1945 (Philippines) — United States and Filipino troops take Manila.

  • 3 March 1950 (Australia/Japan) — Australian Quantas inaugurates a passenger service from Sydney to Tokyo.

  • 3 March 1960 (England) — The longest nonstop flight ever made by a Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft is completed when a Vickers “Valiant” B.Mk.1 (XD858) piloted by Squadron Leader J. H. Garstin flies around the British Isles for a total distance of 8,500 miles aided by two in-flight refuelings.

  • 3 March 1974 (England) — In the world's worst air disaster, a Douglas DC-10-10 of Turkish Airlines loses an aft cargo door after taking off from Paris en route to London, resulting in a complete loss of control. The aircraft crashes, killing 346 passengers and crew. This is the second time a cargo bay door has been lost from aircraft of this type. As a result, a latch modification becomes mandatory.

March 4

  • 4 March 1909 (USA) — President William Howard Taft approves Congressional Gold Medals for the Wright brothers.

  • 4 March 1936 (Germany) — The last great passenger-carrying airship, a veritable behemoth in its day, takes to the air for the first time. The German dirigible LZ 129, the “Hindenburg,” is powered by four 1,320-hp Daimler-Benz DB 602 diesel engines. The “Hindenburg” makes its first Atlantic crossing in the record time of 64 hours 53 minutes on May 6.

  • 4 March 1948 (USA) — The first American civilian to fly at supersonic speeds is Herbert Henry Hoover in Bell X-1 in Muroc, California.

  • 4 March 1966 (USA) — USAF McDonnell Douglas F-4C “Phantom II” fighters are attacked by Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 “Frescos” in the first air-to-air combat in North Vietnam.

March 5

  • 5 March 1912 (USA) — Bob Fowler flies from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida. The west to east coast-to-coast journey has taken four months to complete.

  • 5 March 1923 (USA) — The great aeronautical pioneer Igor Sikorsky sets up the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation in the United States with the financial help of several important leading figures, including Sergey Rachmaninoff. Sikorsky left Russia in 1917 when revolution threatened his work and his life.

  • 5 March 1962 (USA) — A Convair B-58 “Hustler” (59-2458) of the Forty-third Bombardment Wing breaks three records during a round trip between New York and Los Angeles in 4 hours 41 minutes 14.98 seconds. The fastest trans-continental crossing between Los Angeles and New York is accomplished in 2 hours 58.71 seconds at an average speed of 1,214.65 mph. The third record notches the fastest time between New York and Los Angeles.

  • 5 March 1966 (USA) — First free flight of the Lockheed D-21 drone.

March 6

  • 6 March 1935 (USA) — U.S Secretary of Commerce signs a special Air Traffic Regulation that prohibits air flights over parts of Washington, D.C.

  • 6 March 1944 (Germany) — 600 heavy bombers dropped 1,600 tons of bombs first major attack on Berlin.

  • 6 March 1965 (USA) — The first nonstop transcontinental helicopter flight across the United States is flown off the deck of the carrier USS Hornet at San Diego, California to the deck of the carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt off Jacksonville, Florida is completed successfully. A United States Navy Sikorsky SH-3A “Sea King” flies 2,116 miles.

  • 6 March 1986 (Germany) — Japan Air Lines embarks the world's heaviest man, an 880-lb Austrian flying from Frankfurt, Germany, as a passenger; 16 seats are removed from the cabin to make room for him.

March 7

  • 7 March 1956 (England) — Dan Perkins, engineer at Britain's Royal Aircraft Establishment, makes his first flight in an inflatable airplane in Bedfordshire, England. It takes 25 minutes to inflate it, using a large domestic vacuum cleaner.

  • 7 March 1961 (USA) — The #2 North America X-15 becomes the fist manned aircraft to exceed Mach 4 when pilot Capt. Robert M. White reaches a speed of Mach 4.43 (2,905 mph) at the altitude of 77,450 feet.

  • 7 March 1961 (USA) — McDonnell GAM-72 “Quail” diversionary missile declared operational.

March 8

  • 8 March 1910 (France) — Elise Deroche, the colorful self-styled Baroness Raymonde de Laroche, becomes the first woman in the world to receive a pilot's license in Paris.

  • 8 March 1910 (England) — Claude Moore-Brabazon receives the Royal Aero Club's first aviator's certificate in London. Charles Rolls receives the second.

  • 8 March 1917 (Germany) — German airship pioneer Count von Zeppelin dies.

  • 8 March 1923 (USA) — Lieut. Frank W. Seifert, USAS, Rockwell Field, San Diego, California, with Russell M. Otis, meteorologist, in a DH-4B airplane, reach an altitude of 19,000 feet while taking lunar radiation observations.

  • 8 March 1923 (USA) — Lawrence B. Sperry in Sperry “Messenger” aircraft makes contact with Army DH machine, at Mitchell Field, New York.

  • 8 March 1929 (USA) — The Harmon Trophy for 1928 is presented to Lieut. Carl B. Eielson for his flight with Wilkins in 1928 over the North Pole.

  • 8 March 1949 (Hawaii/New Jersey) — A Nonstop flight of 56 hours and 2 minutes places Capt. William Odom in the record books. Leaving Honolulu, Hawaii, he covers a distance of 4,957.25 miles before landing at Teterboro, New Jersey to gain the world record in Class C-1-c for light aircraft.

  • 8 March 1955 (USA) — The first unit of Republic F-84F “Thunderstreaks” capable of being launched and recovered by Consolidated Vultee B-36s is formed.

  • 8 March 1974 (France) — Charles de Gaulle Airport at Roissy-en-France is officially opened. The new international airport is located 15.5 miles (25 km) from the center of Paris.

March 9

  • 9 March 1918 (France) — The first American air casualty in World War I is Capt. James E. Miller who loses his life in a French SPAD while flying a practice patrol across the German lines.

  • 9 March 1919 (USA) — United States Navy Lt. Comdr. E. O. McDonnell makes the first successful flight from a gun turret platform on a United States Navy battleship. The USS Texas is anchored in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for the test.

  • 9 March 1928 (England/South Africa) — The English aviatrix Lady Mary Bailey takes off from Croydon on what becomes the first round-trip flight between London and Cape Town, South Africa flown by a woman. She arrives Back in England on May 12.

  • 9 March 1929 (USA/Mexico) — Opening of Air Mail line from Brownsville to Mexico City, under operation of Mexican Aviation Company, controlled by Pan American Airways, Inc.

  • 9-16 March 1929 (USA) — Aircraft Show, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, under the auspices of the Aero Club of Pittsburgh.

  • 9-13 March 1933 (England/South Africa) — Victor Smith flies from Lympne, England to Cape Province, South Africa, in about 4 days, on attempted flight to Capetown. (Comper “Swift” with Pobjoy engine.)

  • 9 March 1938 (France) — A new parachute descent record of 35,450 ft. is achieved by the French parachutist James Williams when he jumps from the cockpit of an ANF Les Mureaux 113 high-wing monoplane after taking off from the airfield at Chartres. Dropping to a height above the ground of 650 ft. in 2 minutes 50 seconds before opening his parachute, Williams easily achieves a world free-fall record.

  • 9 March 1945 (Japan) — 300 Boeing B-29 “Superfortresses” made incendiary night raid on Tokyo destroying about one fourth of the city.

March 10

  • 10 March 1905 (USA) — The French lawyer and aspiring aeronaut Ernest Archdeacon sends a letter to the Wright brothers in Dayton, Ohio challenging them to prove the validity of their claims. This marks the beginning of a bitter contest between the Wrights and European aeronauts.

  • 10 March 1910 (Argentina) — The first flight at night is made by Frenchman Emile Aubrun in Argentina on a Blériot airplane. Aubrun makes two flights in the dark, each about 20 km from Buenos Aires and Back again.

  • 10 March 1923 (USA) — New type of Pony Blimp, the A-5, with major H. A. Strauss, USAS, as pilot, makes non-stop flight from Dayton, Ohio to Belleville, Illinois, 350 miles in 9 hours.

  • 10 March 1925 (England) — One of the most outstanding flying boats of its day and a stunning demonstration of the skills of aircraft designer R. J. Michell, the Supermarine “Southampton,” makes its first flight with Henri Biard at the controls. It remains in service for 12 years, longer than any other flying boat before the “Sunderland.”

  • 10 March 1929 (USA) — David S. Ingalls of Cleveland is appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Aeronautics to succeed Edward P. Warner.

  • 10 March 1948 (USA) — NACA test pilot Herbert Henry Hoover becomes the first civilian to exceed the speed of sound when he flies the No. 2 Bell XS-1 to a speed of 703 mph (Mach 1.065).

  • 10 March 1956 (England) — The first aircraft to exceed 1,000 mph (1,609 km/h) is an English Fairey Delta 2. Piloted by Lt. Cdr. Peter Twiss, it reaches a speed of 1,132 mph (1,822 km/h).

  • 10 March 1966 (USA) — In his Douglas A-1E “Skyraider,” Maj. Bernard Fisher rescued a fellow pilot shot down over South Vietnam for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

March 11

  • 11 March 1910 (England) — Lieutenant J. W. Dunne's D5 tailless biplane is tested at Eastchurch, Kent, England. It has a 60-hp Green engine and was built by Short Brothers.

  • 11 March 1933 (USA) — The USS Macon christened at Akron, Ohio, by Mrs. W. A. Moffett.

  • 11 March 1942 (Australia) — Gen. Douglas MacArthur leaves Corregidor and is flown to Australia.

  • 11 March 1945 (Germany) — 4,738 tons of bombs dropped by 1,079 bombers on Essen, Germany.

  • 11 March 1957 (USA) — The prototype Boeing 707 jet lands after a press demonstration flight from Seattle, Washington to Baltimore, Maryland during which it covers 2,350 miles in a record time of 3 hours 48 minutes.

  • 11 March 1998 (USA) — The first two of four Boeing E-767 Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft are officially handed over to the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force.

March 12

  • 12 March 1908 (USA) — The first flight of the first airplane built by the United States Aerial Experiment Association takes place when Thomas Baldwin flies the “Red Wing” (Aerodrome No.1). The flight of the biplane ends in a crash landing.

  • 12 March 1915 (USA) — A Burgess H biplane (No. 28) sets a world endurance record for a pilot and two passengers by remaining in the air for 7 hours 5 minutes. This particular airplane has been modified by Grover C. Loening at the Army Training School in San Diego.

  • 12 March 1929 (USA) — Adm. William A. Moffett reappointed as chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics of the Navy Dept.

  • 12 March 1932 (USA) — New landing aids are installed in Newark, New Jersey, at the busiest airport in the world, to supplement the night landing facilities already in existence there. In 1930 alone there were some 28,000 landings and the airport handled 20,000 passengers.

  • 12 March 1946 (USA) — The Army Air Forces School is redesignated Air University.

March 13

  • 13 March 1910 (Switzerland) — The first airplane flight in Switzerland is made by German Capt. P. Englehardt who takes off in a Wright “Flyer” from a frozen lake in St. Moritz.

  • 13 March 1917 (USA) — The Army Air Intelligence Subdivision Office is approved.

  • 13 March 1928 (Canada) — The first Canadian woman to obtain a pilot's license, Miss Eileen M. Vollick, passes her flight test in Hamilton, Ontario on a Curtiss aircraft.

  • 13 March 1945 (USA) — U. S. interest in flight is so popular that courses in aviation are being taught at this point in 14,000 of America's 25,686 high schools.

  • 13 March 1951 (Australia/Chile) — The Australian airline Qantas begins a survey flight from Rose Bay, Sydney to Valparaiso, Chile with a “Catalina” (VH-ASA).

March 14

  • 14 March 1908 (France) — Henri Farman makes the first flight in his modified Voisin-Farman I-bis, the biplane built by Voisin brothers.

  • 14 March 1918 (France) — The first aerial patrol by the 1st Pursuit Group is flown in France.

  • 14 March 1927 (USA) — The Aviation Corp. of America (AVCO), headed by Juan Trippe, forms Pan American Airways to qualify for a contract for airmail deliveries from the post office and establishes the route between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba as the first of several routes it would acquire.

  • 14 March 1936 (Hong Kong) — Imperial Airways opens a weekly service to Hong Kong.

  • 14 March 1960 (USA) — Within a year of completion of a major expansion program, Chicago's O'Hare International airport has become the busiest terminal in the US, handling 10.2 million passengers in 1959, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) reports. In the same year it handled 431,600 take-offs and landings.

March 15

  • 15 March 1916 (Mexico) — The First Aero Squadron, commanded by Capt. B. D. Foulois, began operations into Mexico.

  • 15 March 1938 (England/New Zealand) — De Havilland DH.88 “Comet” racer (G-ACSS) begins a record-breaking flight from England to New Zealand and Back for what some regard as the most notable success of the Comet's achievement. A return flight time of 10 days 21 hours 22 minutes.

  • 15 March 1957 (USA) — A United States Navy ZPG-2 non-rigid airship sets a new unrefueled endurance record when it lands, having remained aloft for 264 hours (11 days) 12 minutes, beating the record set by the “Graf Zeppelin” in 1929.

  • 15 March 1985 (USA/Mexico) — Pan Am puts the Airbus A300B airliner into service, on its route from Miami, Florida to Mexico City.

March 16

  • 16 March 1905 (USA) — S. H. Maloney, a professional balloon-parachute jumper, makes a first successful glide to earth in a tandem-wing glider built by John J. Montgomery (1858-1911), a professor at Santa Clara College in California.

  • 16 March 1907 (France) — Built for Leon Delagrange and pilot Charles Voisin, the Voisin-Delagrandge biplane makes its first flight from Bagatelle, France, achieving a height of 13 ft. and a distance of 260 ft.

  • 16 March 1911 (England) — The first Certificate of Airworthiness awarded to an airplane in Britain is signed by Mervyn O'Gorman, superintendent of the Balloon Factory at Farnborough, covering the Farman III Type Militaire purchased by the British Army during the second half of 1910.

  • 16 March 1916 (Mexico) — First military aerial reconnaissance flight made over Mexican territory.

  • 16-17 March 1929 (USA) — Mrs. Louise McPhetridge Thaden establishes new interns record for women of 22 hours 3 minutes 12 seconds. (Travel Air with Hispano-Suiza engine.)

  • 16 March 1960 (Netherlands/USA) — KLM opens its first intercontinental jet service, by Douglas DC-8 from Amsterdam to New York.

  • 16 March 1983 (Portugal) — A Boeing 767 lands after a nonstop flight of 5,499 miles from Lisbon, Portugal to set a distance record for a twin-jet airliner in commercial service.

March 17

  • 17 March 1911 (USA) — The first Curtiss airplane is bought by the Army Signal Corps.

  • 17 March 1911 (USA) — United States Navy Lt. John Rodgers reports to the Wright Co. at Dayton, Ohio for flying instructions. On March 9, the Wrights had offered to train one Navy pilot if that service bought a Wright flying machine at a cost $5,000. The conditional offer was later replaced by one that provided unconditional free training for one would-be Navy pilot.

  • 17 March 1921 (USA) — The first United States Marine airman to serve in the Pacific arrives on Guam with responsibility for supporting United States land and sea forces in the region. There, 10 pilots and 90 enlisted men operate seaplanes on reconnaissance duty as Flight L, Fourth Squadron, for 10 years.

  • 17 March 1935 (Germany) — German authorities make the color-coding at vital aircraft parts obligatory; red for fire circuit-breakers, green for temperature regulators, yellow for throttles and brown for hydraulic circuits.

  • 17 March 1936 (England) — Smoking in an airplane's toilet is as serious an offense as smoking at school. An Imperial Airways passenger, caught red-handed while lighting up against airline regulations in a Handley Page HP.42 en route from Paris to London, is fined £10 in a Craydon court, England.

March 18

  • 18 March 1906 (France) — Trajan Vuia, a Rumanian, first tests a monoplane in France. Although it only hops and does not fly, Louis Blériot (1872-1936) decides that its monoplane design is superior to his biplane.

  • 18 March 1938 (Germany) — Only seven months after its first flight, the prototype Heinkel He.115-V1 begins a series of flights breaking eight seaplane speed records by carrying loads between 1,100 lb. and 4,400 lb. over distances of 1,000 km (621 miles) and 2,000 km (1,242 miles) at an average speed of 204 mph. The He.115 is the Luftwaffe's most successful seaplane.

  • 18 March 1942 (South Pacific) — Gen. Douglas MacArthur was appointed commander of the Southwest Pacific Theater.

  • 18 March 1952 (USA) — Two USAF Republic F-84 “Thunderjets” land in Neubiberg, Germany after the longest sustained jet flight; they flew 2,800 miles from the USA in 4 hours 48 minutes, without refueling.

  • 18 March 1954 (USA) — The first production Boeing B-52A “Stratofortress” rolls out of the Boeing plant.

March 19

  • 19 March 1909 (USA) — The International Aero and Motor-Boat Exhibition opens in London. Among the exhibits is a Wright airplane for sale at $7,000.

  • 19 March 1912 (USA) — The first of the United States Signal Corps “Scout” series capable of meeting a specification issued February 8, 1912, the S.C. No. 8 is delivered to Augusta, Georgia by Curtiss pilot Charles F. Walsh. It finally passes all tests at College Park, Maryland in May with Lincoln Beachey at the controls.

  • 19 March 1918 (France) — The first operations across lines in France are flown by the 94th Squadron 1st Pursuit Group.

  • 19 March 1929 (USA) — Capt. Einar Lundborg, Swedish aviator who rescued General Nobile in May, 1928, arrives in New York for a lecture tour of the United States.

  • 19 March 1969 (Canada) — The first scheduled jet air service inside the Arctic Circle begins as Nordair inaugurates a weekly return service between Montreal, Canada and Resolution Bay, Cornwallis Island, Canada.

March 20

  • 20 March 1920 (England/South Africa) — Two South African pilots complete the first flight from Britain to South Africa after a flying time of four days, 13 hours, 30 minutes.

  • 20 March 1922 (USA) — The USS Langley (CV-1), America's first aircraft carrier, is commissioned into the U. S. Navy at Norfolk, Virginia under the command of Comdr. Kenneth Whiting.

  • 20 March 1932 (Germany/Brazil) — The airship “Graf Zeppelin” begins a series of flights between Germany and Brazil. Several round-trips are planned per year, embarkation being at Friedrichshafen bound for Recife and later to Rio de Janeiro.

  • 20 March 1937 (Hawaii) — An attempted round-the-world flight by leading United States woman aviator Amelia Earhart ends dramatically when the starboard tire of her Lockheed “Electra” airliner bursts during take-off from Honolulu, Hawaii. Because of the damage, the expedition is temporary abandoned. The first leg from Oakland, California to Honolulu on March 17 was made in 16 hours, an east-west record.

  • 20 March 1959 (USA) — The site in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, is approved as the location for NORAD.

March 21

  • 21 March 1877 (France) — Maurice Farman (1877-1964), aviation pioneer and manufacturer, is born in Paris, France. In 1908, he made the first circular flight of more than one mile (1,6 km) with his brother, Henri.

  • 21 March 1908 (France) — Henri Farman covers 6,275 feet in 3 minutes 47 seconds in his Voisin-Farman No.1 bis at Issy-les-Moulineaux.

  • 21 March 1916 (France) — The French government authorizes the formation of the Escadrille Americaine (later Lafayette Escadrille) made up of American volunteer pilots.

  • 21 March 1933 (USA) — James L. Kinney makes the first cross-country test of blind flying and landing from College Park, Maryland to Newark, New Jersey.

  • 21 March 1933 (England) — Fairey's TSR.1 torpedo spotter-reconnaissance airplane makes its first flight at Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England.

March 22

  • 22 March 1915 (USA) — The term “Naval Aviator” is adapted for United States Navy officer pilots to replace the identification “Navy Air Pilot“ in official terminology. This term is still in use today.

  • 22 March 1966 (USA) — 20 high schools are selected to start the new Junior ROTC program.

  • 22 March 1989 (USSR) — The first and only Antonov An-225 built establishes 106 new Federal Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) world records in several classes, most important of which is a speed of 813.09 km/h (505.2 mph) carrying a payload in the 70-155 metric ton (154,320-341,710 lb.) class around a closed circuit of 2,000 km (1,243 miles).

March 23

  • 23 March 1903 (USA) — The Wright brothers file a patent request for a powered flying machine based on the second (modified) version of their 1902 glider successfully tested at Kill Devil Hill.

  • 23 March 1908 (France) — French industrialist Lazare Weiller signs a contract with the Wrights establishing a Wright airplane company in France, on condition that the brothers make two demonstration flights covering 50 km (31.1 miles) within a hour's flying time. They will receive FF500,000 and half the founders' share.

  • 23 March 1921 (USA) — Lieutenant Arthur G. Hamilton sets a new world record when he jumps by parachute from 23,700 feet.

  • 23-30 March 1929 (USA) — Aircraft Show, Buffalo, New York.

  • 23 March 1932 (Algeria) — Flying a Blériot 110, French aviators Lucien Bossoutrot and Maurice Rossi take off for a record closed-circuit distance of 6,587.442 miles at Oran, Algeria.

  • 23 March 1948 (England) — Test pilot Group Capt. John Cunningham sets a new Federal Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) ratified world altitude record of 18,118 m (59,446 ft.) during tests with the third production DH.100 “Vampire” (TG278).

March 24

  • 24 March 1904 (Germany) — The Wrights apply for a German patent for their airplane. Two days ago they applied for a French one.

  • 24 March 1909 (USA) — The Wright brothers found a school in the USA to train pilots for exhibition flights. The first pupil is a childhood friend, Walter Brookins, 21, from Dayton. Because Dayton's weather is not good enough, Orville Wright sets up the school at Montgomery, Alabama, where winds are generally light.

  • 24-26 March 1929 (Spain/Brazil) — Spanish Flyers, Capt. Jiminez and Capt. Iglesias, land at Bahia, Brazil, after flight of 4,200-miles from Seville, Spain, in 43 hours 48 minutes

  • (Breguet with Hispano-Suiza engine.)

  • 24 March 1932 (England) — Jim Mollison leaves Lympne, Kent, England at the start of a record-breaking attempt to fly to South Africa in a DH.80A “Puss Moth&dquo; (G-BKG) specially modified as a long-range single seater. His time was 4 days 17 hours 19 minutes.

  • 24 March 1939 (USA) — American woman air record-breaker Jacqueline Cochran achieves a woman's altitude record of 30,052 ft. 5 in. over Palm Spring, California in a Beechcraft Model 17.

  • 24 March 1942 (USA) — Admiral Chester Nimitz is appointed as Commander in Chief of the United States Pacific Theater.

  • 24 March 1945 (terminate) — 1,000 8th Air Force bombers supported Allied airborne and land assault over the Rhine River.

  • 24 March 1971 (USA) — As a result of votes in the United States Senate and House of Representatives, Boeing cancels its supersonic transport. The elaborate, full-size mock-up is eventually sold to a promotion specialist who puts it in a Florida amusement park.

March 25

  • 25 March 1917 (France) — One of the greatest fighter pilots of WWI, Canada-born Lt. Col. William Avery Bishop, scores his first combat victory over an Albatros single-seat fighter while flying a Nieuport.

  • 25 March 1926 (Germany) — Willie Messerschmitt, a graduate of Munich Technical High School and already an experienced designer of light aircraft and sailplanes, forms the Messerschmitt Flugzeugbau G.m.b.H.

  • 25 March 1960 (USA) — The first NASA flight in the X-15 hypersonic research program gets under way when test pilot Joseph A. Walker makes the first of his flights in this aircraft.

  • 25 March 1965 (USA) — Air National Guard received approval to display standard USAF markings on aircraft.

  • 25 March 1993 (UK/USA) — The first woman “Concorde” pilot makes her first flight as First Officer of the daily supersonic London-New York route. British-born, Barbara Harmer, is one of only 17 co-pilots in the British Airways Concorde fleet.

March 26

  • 26 March 1922 (England) — One of the first small commercial transport aircraft built upon experience from passenger flying and the requirements of airline operators, makes its first flight from Edgware, near London. The 10-seat passenger DH.34, with a top speed of 128 mph and a cruising speed of 105 mph has a range of 365 miles.

  • 26 March 1923 (USA) — Lieut. R. Maughan, USAS, flies one kilometer at 236.587 mph in Curtiss-Army R-6 Racer at McCook Field, Dayton Ohio.

  • 27-28 March 1929 (USA) — Martin Jensen sets world solo duration record of 35 hours 33 minutes 20 seconds, flying over Roosevelt Field, Long Island, New York (Bellanca with Wright engine.)

  • 26 March 1934 (England) — Piloted by John Lankester Parker and with three passengers on board, the first landplane derivative of the Short “Kent” flying boat takes off to the air for the first time. Named “Scylla” (G-ACJJ), the big biplane is followed by “Scyrinx” (G-ACJK) for the busy Imperial Airways routes into continental Europe.

  • 26 March 1938 (England/New Zealand/England) — Arthur Clouston and Victor Ricketts land their DH.88 “Comet” Australian Anniversary at Gravesend in Kent, England to complete a 26,500-mile flight from England to New Zealand and Back in a record 10 days 21 hours.

  • 26 March 1949 (USA) — The first 10-engine aircraft, the Consolidated Vultee B-36, made its first successful test flight.

March 27

  • 27 March 1907 (France) — Romanian Trajan Vuia begins tests of his airplane, newly fitted with steering surfaces. He makes a short flight of 33 feet in Paris, France.

  • 27 March 1927 (USA) — Young American airmail pilot Charles A. Lindbergh registers his entry in the Raymond Orteig challenge for the first man to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo. The challenge and a $25,000 prize, has been issued in 1920, but no one has so far been successful in making the flight.

  • 27 March 1945 (Japan) — 105 Boeing B-29 “Superfortresses” mined Shimonoseki Strait in a move to halt Japanese shipping.

  • 27 March 1946 (USA/France) — An air agreement is signed by France and the United States giving Air France the right to serve the cities of Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

  • 27 March 1968 (Russia) — Yuri Gagarin, in April 1961 first man in space, is killed in the crash of a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15UTI “Midget” trainer near the Soviet capital Moscow.

  • 27 March 1984 (UK/USA) — British Airways inaugurates a “Concorde” service from London to Miami twice weekly. The service operates through Washington-Dulles, necessitating a 50-minute stopover. The overall trip lasts 6 hours 35 minutes, a saving approximately 2.5 hours over the direct flight by subsonic airliners. The round-trip fare is quoted as £2,509.

March 28

  • 28 March 1843 (England) — William Samuel Henson (1805-1888) receives the patent and publishes in London his design for an Aerial Steam Carriage. This is the first reasoned, formulated, and detailed design for a propeller-driven aircraft.

  • 28 March 1908 (France) — Leon Delagrange makes the first passenger flight, taking Farman aboard his Voisin biplane at Issy-les-Moulieaux.

  • 28 March 1910 (France) — The first flight of Henri Fabre's Hydroavion, the first powered seaplane in the world, takes place at La Mède harbor, Martigues, France. The hydroplane flies for about 1,600 ft. at the maximum height of 7 ft.

  • 28 March 1936 (USA) — National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) commences operational use of the newly constructed 8 foot high speed tunnel (8-Foot HST) at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, Langley, Virginia. Built as a companion to the full scale tunnel capable of simulated speeds of up to 118 mph, the new facility can test models and components to 577 mph (Mach 0.75).

  • 28 March 1944 (Italy) — 15th Air Force flew its first "1000-ton raid" striking targets in Italy.

March 29

  • 29 March 1858 (Australia) — Two men, Brown and Dean, make the first balloon flight in Australia in a hydrogen balloon named the “Australasian.”

  • 29 March 1920 (England) — Located about 10 miles due south of the City of London, England, Waddon Airport at Croydon is used for the first time as London's airport. Until this date, Hownslow has been considered the capital's main airport.

  • 29 March 1923 (USA) — Lieut. Alexander Pearson, USAS, makes a record 500 km flight, 167.8 mph in a Verville-Sperry, with Wright 350-hp engine, at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio.

  • 29 March 1923 (USA) — Lieut. L. J. Maitland, USAS, at McCook Field, makes a record speed flight in an Army-Curtiss Racer, 239.95 mph.

  • 29 March 1923 (USA) — Lieut. H. R. Harris, USAS, in a DH-4B at Dayton, Ohio, establishes a world record for 1,000 km of 127.4 mph. Harris also sets record of 114.35 mph for 1,500 km.

  • 29 March 1951 (USA) — Flight Safety Inc. begins operations at the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport, New York with just one secretary and rented late night hours on a Link trainer simulator.

March 30

  • 30 March 1928 (Germany) — A resident of Zehden, Germany, Samuel Schwartz, asks German airline Deutsche Luft Hansa (DLH) for rent for the airspace above his house, citing law that says his rights extend to the “space above and the ground beneath” his property.

  • 30 March 1928 (Italy) — The Federal Aeronautique Internationale (FAI)-ratified world speed record is pushed through 300 mph for the first time. Flying a specially adapted Macchi M-52bis seaplane, Italian Maj. Mario de Bernardi achieves a speed of 512.69 km/h (318.64 mph). This is an increase of 20.81 mph over his previous record.

  • 30 March 1929 (England) — Imperial Airways inaugurates a weekly passenger service from England to India, part of which would have to be taken by rail. For £130 single fare, the trip ends in Karachi seven days after leaving England.

  • 30 March 1939 (Germany) — Piloted by Flugkapitän Hans Dieterle, the Heinkel He 100 V8/R (s/n D-IDGH) seizes the absolute world air speed record from Hermann Wurster, who has flown his Messerschmitt Bf.109 to 379 mph. The pilot achieves four legs of a course at Oranienburg to record an average speed of 463.92 mph, adding 70 mph to the previous record.

  • 30 March 1945 (USA) — Twenty-six Boeing B-29 “Superfortresses” flew final mission from Indian bases.

March 31

  • 31 March 1912 (Monaco) — The world's first hydroplane competitions, held in Monaco, over the past week, has been a runaway success for Farman biplanes. Belgian Jules Fisher is the overall winner. He is one of only two non-French pilots of the eight starters and flies a Henry Farman machine.

  • 31 March to 10 April 1936 (USA) — Airship “Hindenburg” makes round-trip between Friedrichshafen, Germany and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

  • 31 March 1966 (USA) — The USAF's Strategic Air Command phased out its last Boeing B-47 “Stratojet” tactical aircraft.

  • 31 March 1975 (Canada) — A specially modified Royal Canadian Air Force de Havilland CC-115 (DMC-5 “Buffalo”) makes its first flight carrying an inflatable air-cushion landing system beneath the fuselage.

  • 31 March 1979 (UK) — The British government announces development and production costs for the “Concorde” supersonic airliner since November 29, 1962, when agreement was reached with France to design and built the aircraft. Through December 31, 1978, the French government spent a total of £920 million whereas the British spent £898 million. The total cost of £1.818 billion would increase by a further £163 million, before government funding ceased.

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