Chronography of the aviation industry

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Appendix 1 -Air accidents and disasters

Appendix 3 � Airports

Appendix 4 � Air speed, height, distance records


19 December 2018, Gatwick Airport was closed this evening following sightings of a drone over the runway. The airport remained closed for 36 hours running the travel plans of some 350,000 people.

20 April 2006, Stanley Hiller Jr, who helped develop the helicopter, died (born 13 November1924)

27 April 2005, The Airbus A380 jet made its maiden flight from Toulouse, France. It replaced the 747 Jumbo jet as the world�s ;largest passenger plane.



24 October 2003. Concorde made its last commercial flight, from New York to London. Commercial flights had begun on 21 January 1976. Economic conditions meant that many of the plane�s regular flyers had not been booking over the past two years.

7 November2001, After a 15-month break, supersonic flights by Concorde resumed.

25 July 2000. An Air France Concorde exploded and crashed into a hotel near Paris shortly after taking off from Charles De Gaulle airport, bound for New York, killing all 109 people on board, and 5 on the ground. A piece of metal on the runway caused a tyre on Concorde to burst, and rubber fragments punctured a fuel tank in the wing of the aircraft. Fuel streamed into the left engines, robbing them of power. However it was too late for the pilot to abort the takeoff and he attempted to take the aircraft to another nearby airport. A 200 foot long tongue of flame poured from the wing, and after 2 minutes the aircraft crashed into a hotel at Gonesse near Orly Airport, at which the pilot was attempting to land. 4 more died on the ground. It was nearly a year before tests were completed allowing Concorde to fly again, and in 2003 Concorde ceased flying due to lack of demand for its fast but expensive flights, in a time of economic slowdown.

20 April 1979, The last Concorde to be built made its maiden flight. Only 16 of the aircraft were ever built; they were too noisy. Even the lawyer hired to secure landing rights publically admitted �Concorde is noisy as hell�.

13 January 1979, Concorde began a regular service between Washington DC and Dallas airports.

9 December 1977, Concorde began a short-lived thrice weekly service between London Heathrow and Singapore via Bahrain. The service was initially suspended on 13 December 1977, after just three flights, because of complaints from Malaysia about sonic booms over the Strait of Malacca. On 24 January 1979 the route resumed, with take-offs out to sea from Singapore avoiding Malaysia. However the route was losing �2 million a year due to inadequate demand as was permanently withdrawn on 1 November1980.

22 November1977, British Airways began regular commercial services by Concorde between London and New York

17 October 1977, The US Supreme Court ruled that Concorde could use New York�s Kennedy Airport.

21 May 1977, Concorde made a memorial flight from New York to Paris to mark the 50th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh�s transatlantic flight. Whereas Lindbergh took 33 hours 29 minutes, Concorde completed the flight in 3 hours 44 minutes.

24 May 1976. Concorde made its first commercial transatlantic flight from London to Washington DC.

21 January 1976. The British Airways and French Concorde aircraft made their first commercial flights, from London to Bahrain and from Paris to Rio de Janeiro. See 9 January 1969 and 24 October 2003.

26 September 1973,A French Concorde flew non-stop from Washington to Paris in 3 hours 32 minutes. Now Concorde is out of service the same flight takes over eight hours.

13 September 1970. Concorde landed at Heathrow for the first time, to complaints about the noise.

10 October 1969, Concorde 001 broke the sound barrier for the first time during a test flight over Paris.

9 April 1969, Concord�s first trial flight from Bristol to Fairford. See 21 January 1976. The French Concorde made its first flight on 2 March 1969. The Concorde project had begun in 1962 between the British and French governments to develop a supersonic aircraft. Sceptics doubted that it was possible to build a passenger aircraft with over 100 seats that travelled as fast as a military fighter. However Concorde halved flight times across the Atlantic.

2 March 1969. The French built Concorde made its maiden flight from Toulouse Airport. See 9 January 1969.It was piloted by Andre Turcat, chief test pilot of Sud Aviation; he got the plane to 300 mph.

9 January 1969, Concorde made its first trial flight from Bristol.

11 December 1967. The prototype of the world�s first supersonic airliner, Concorde, was revealed in Toulouse, France. It first flew from Bristol on 9 January 1969.

29 November1962, France and Britain agreed to develop the �Concorde� airliner.

22 February 1960, Britain and France announced plans to build a supersonic airliner.


2 July 2002. Steve Fossett became the first person to circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon on his own without stopping.

17 October 1998, US Airways placed a record-sized order for 276 Airbus A319s.

8 June 1998, British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott announced plans for the privatisation of Britain�s Air Traffic Control.

16 January 1998, For safety reasons, Russia closed own over 200 small airlines that had started up since 1992. 315 airlines were pared down to just 53.

2 April 1993, 1st test flight of Fokker 70.

11 January 1993. Richard Branson won a legal victory after British Airways apologised for a �dirty tricks� campaign against Virgin Atlantic Airways.

27 January 1989, Sir Thomas Octave Sopwith, designer of the World War One biplane called the Sopwith Camel, died.

28 March 1988, Roll-out of the new Airbus A320.

23 November1987, Of the 128 new airlines created in the USA after deregulation, only 37 were still in business.

23 December 1986, The aircraft Voyager landed in California, to become the first aircraft to fly round the world without refuelling.

30 June 1985, The US hostages from a TWA jet hijacked by two Shi�ite gunmen on 24 June 1985 and diverted to Beirut, were released, following Syrian intervention.

13 September 1984, US pilot Joe Kittinger became the first person to fly a hot air balloon across the Atlantic. He took off from Caribou, Maine, USA, and landed in Montenotte, Italy, 86 hours later, having flown 3,543 miles.

22 June 1984. The first Virgin Atlantic flight left Gatwick for New York. The single fare was �99.

16 February 1982, Roll out of the first A310 aircraft.

15 August 1980, Gerry Breen arrived at Land�s End, four days after having set off from John O Groats by hang glider.

1 August 1980. The Air Show at Oshkosh, Wisconsin opened. It ran till 8 August 1980 and attracted a record 250,000 spectators and 6,000 aircraft.

31 December 1979, In 1979 British airlines flew 47 billion passenger kilometres; this compares with 6 million passenger kilometres flown in 1936.

24 October 1978, US President Jimmy Carter signed the Airlines Deregulation Act. This allowed commercial airlines to ditch their unprofitable short haul routes and to compete on the main inter-city routes and tourist flights.

15 September 1978, Wilhelm Messerschmitt, German aviation engineer and designer, died aged 80.

17 August 1978. The first crossing of the Atlantic by balloon. The huge black and silver balloon, Double Eagle II, landed in a wheat field at Miserey, near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Maine. It was flown by three Americans, Ben Abruzzo, Max Anderson and Larry Newman.

25 September 1977. Freddie Lakers� Skytrain service began between Gatwick and New York. One way fares London to New York cost �59, against the normal price of �190; no frills, with food extra.

23 August 1977, The Gossamer Condor became the first human-powered aircraft to achieve sustained controlled flight.

26 August 1974, Charles Lindbergh, US aviator, the first to fly across the Atlantic solo non-stop in 1927, died.

1972, British Airways was formed by a merger of BEA and BOAC.

15 November1972. The RAF museum at Hendon opened.

26 October 1972, Igor Sikorsky, Russian-born US aeronautical engineer who developed the first successful helicopter in 1939, died in Easton, Connecticut.

25 November1971, A hijacker known only as Dan B Cooper parachuted from a plane over Washington state, USA, with US$200,000. He had earlier demanded the plane land at Seattle, to swap passengers for a parachute� He bailed out with the money when the plane was airborne again. The hijacker was never traced, and apart from a small amount of the money being found years later in the woods, what happened to him or the money remains a mystery.

31 March 1969, An airline pilots strike grounded all BOAC flights.

31 December 1968, Russia�s TU144 flew, becoming the world�s first supersonic aircraft.

8 February 1966. Freddie Laker formed a cut-price transatlantic airline.

10 June 1965, A British European Airways De Havilland jet airliner flying from Paris to London made the first landing by automatic control.

21 May 1965. Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, British aircraft designer who was knighted in 1944, died in Stanmore, Middlesex.

1963, Eurocontrol was established to co-ordinate plane movememnts over Benelux, France, Germany and the UK.

19 July 1961, TWA began showing films in the first class lounge of its long-haul flights.

20 May 1961, The Orient Express left Paris on its final journey to Istanbul. The service started in 1883, and was suspended for World War Two. It used to be the peak of luxury travel but air travel had now superseded it.

1960, Skywriting,where planes use contrails to make messages in the sky, was banned in the UK over aviation safety fears.It remains legal in many other countries.

19 November1960. The first VTOL (vertical take off, landing) aircraft made by British Hawker Siddeley, flew for the first time.

17 November1959. Two Scottish airports, Prestwick and Renfrew, became the first to offer duty-free goods in Britain.

1 November1959, Jet air services began between London, UK, and Sydney, Australia, run by BOAC.

10 December 1958, The first domestic jet airliner service within the US began, operated by National Airlines between New York and Miami.

26 October 1958, Two new air services began this day. The New York to London route was operated by BOAC, and the New York to Paris route was operated by Pan Am.

4 October 1958. BOAC, now British Airways, began the first transatlantic jet air service, with two de Havilland Comet IV jets. Flight time was a record 6 hours 11 minutes.

1 April 1958, Economy class was introduced on transatlantic air routes.

19 December 1957. Regular air services between London and Moscow began.

11 March 1957, Richard Byrd, American aviator and polar explorer, died.

1 February 1957, The first turbo-prop airliner, the Bristol Britannia, entered scheduled service in Britain.



1 September 1991, Boeing ended production of the 707 after 37 years.

18 August 1989, The Qantas Boeing 747-400 Spirit of Australia flew non-stop from London to Sydney in 19 hours 10 minutes.

17 August 1986, Boeing celebrated the roll-out of its 5,000th airliner.

9 December 1983, The 1,000th Boeing 737 was produced.

8 September 1997, The Boeing 777-300 was unveiled. It was 77 metres long, the longest aircraft to date.

21 January 1970, The Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet entered commercial service, see 9 February 1969. It could carry up to 490 passengers.

9 February 1969, The Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet made its maiden flight. See 21 January 1970.

28 September 1956. Death of US air pioneer William Boeing.

13 October 1955, Pan American Airlines ordered 20 Boeing 707s and 25 Douglas DC-8 jet airliners. This was the start of a major shift by world airlines into large jet aircraft for long-haul passenger flights.

15 July 1954. The Boeing 707 (or 367-80) made its maiden flight from Seattle. It could seat 219.

28 July 1935, The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber made its first flight at Seattle.

8 February 1933, First Boeing 247 made its maiden flight.


27 May 1955, The French Caravelle aeroplane made its maiden flight.

26 February 1955, US pilot George Smith made the first ejection from a plane at supersonic speed. He required surgery for damage to his liver and intestines, leaving him unable to drink alcohol.

20 November1954, Clyde Cessna, US aircraft manufacturer, died.

6 September 1954, Rolls Royce announced that it had developed a new vertical take off plane; nicknamed the flying bedstead because of its shape.

1 April 1954, The US Air Force Academy was created.

27 August 1953, The De Havilland Comet II made its first test flight.Later on several crashed, leading to the discovery of the new problem of metal fatigue.

3 April 1953, Easter air travel from Britain was up 20% on last Easter.

5 December 1952, A Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) airliner flew non-stop over the North Pole from Los Angeles to Copenhagen.

29 July 1952, First non-stop flight by a jet airliner over the Pacific from Alaska to Japan.

2 May 1952. The first scheduled jet flight , a Comet airliner, took off from London for Johannesburg. The 18 � hour BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) flight stopped at Rome, Beirut, Khartoum, Entebbe and Livingstone. The flight by propeller aircraft had previously taken 28 hours.

2 February 1952, The De Havilland Comet went into service as the world�s first passenger jet.

22 January 1952, The De Havilland Comet became the first jet aircraft to receive a Certificate of Airworthiness.

8 November1950. The first ever combat between jet fighters took place when, in the Korean War, a US F86 shot down a Soviet MIG 15.

22 September 1950, The first non-stop jet flight was made between the UK and the USA. World War Two pilot Colonel David Schilling made the crossing in a F-84 Thunderjet fighter, taking 10 hours 1 minute.

7 July 1950, The first Farnborough Air Show took place.

17 May 1950, Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA) was renamed Trans World Airlines.

31 March 1950, Garuda Indonesia was established as a joint venture with KLM, the Netherlands national airline, and began with a fleet of 27 airplanes. In 1954, Garuda would become a fully Indonesian business.

8 March 1950. The last Lancaster bomber left RAF service.

4 September 1949, Britain�s largest ever aircraft, the 130-ton 8-engined, made its first flight.

27 July 1949, The world�s first jet-propelled airliner built in the UK, the Bristol Brabazon De Havilland DH 106 Comet, flew at Hatfield.

13 May 1949, Britain flew its first jet bomber, the Canberra, from Warton airfield, Canberra.

16 June 1948, The first airline hijack took place.A gang of Chinese bandits took over a Cathay Pacific flying boat, Miss Macao, on a scheduled flight to Hong Kong. The crew fought back and the aircraft crashed, killing everyone except the hijack gang leader. Foul play was at first not suspected, until salvagers recovered the bullet-ridden plane. Police then placed an informer next to Wong yu Man�s hospital bed with a tape recorder and recorded conversations between them.

30 January 1948. The US aviator Orville Wright, younger of the two Wright brothers, died.

1947, The air journey from London to Australia took 4 days, down from ten in 1938. Overnight stops were at Cairo, Karachi, Kolkata and Singapore, with two day stops at Tripoli and Darwin.

24 June 1947, US pilot Kenneth Arnold, flying over Mount Ranier, Washington State, filed the first report of flying saucers; he reported seeing nine flying disc-shaped objects.

21 April 1947, The world�s first duty-free airport shop opened, at Shannon Airport, Ireland.

24 July 1946, Aircraft fitter Benny Lynch tested the first British ejector seat. Bailing out 8,000 feet above Chalgrove, Oxfordshire, he landed safely in the back yard of pub, and was recovered later from the bar.

1 July 1946. British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) began transatlantic flights between London and New York, in 19 � hours

13 May 1946, The Federal Airport Act was signed into law by US President Harry S Truman, providing for 500 million dollars in Federal grants for civilian airport projects across the USA over a seven-year period.

1 January 1946, Test flights began at an airfield west of London, called Heathrow, to be developed as a major civilian airport.

12 July 1944, The RAF became the first air force to use jet aircraft in operational service.

30 July 1943, In Sweden, the Saab 21 became the first aircraft to fly with the modern explosives-powered ejector seat.

18 July 1942, Germany tested its first military jet aircraft, the Messerschmitt Me262A.

13 January 1942, The first escape by emergency ejection seat from an aircraft. The German pilot ejected at 7,875 feet due to heavy icing, over Rechlin, Germany, and landed safely.

15 May 1941. In the UK, the first aircraft with a jet engine, invented by Frank Whittle, flew from Cranwell.

2 April 1941, Germany tested the world�s first aircraft ejector seat, powered by compressed air.

15 September 1940, The Battle of Britain ended with victory to the Allies.1,733 German planes were destroyed as against 915 lost by the RAF. It began on 8 August 1940. Both sides were short, not of planes but of trained pilots. With bailed-out British pilots returning to the airfields and bailed-out German pilots going into POW camps, the RAF slowly gained the upper hand. The Nazis had given up hope of achieving air superiority and invading Britain. The RAF had also destroyed much of the shipping that was to carry German troops to England. The Luftwaffe, under Goering, also erred in switching their attacks from RAF airfields and radar stations to British cities on 7 September 1940 in revenge for an RAF raid on Berlin (25 August 1940).Had the attacks on RAF airfields continued, the Luftwaffe might just have defeated the RAF.

25 August 1940. First British air raid on Berlin.

23 August 1940. The Blitz on London began.

8 August 1940. Battle of Britain began.

31 July 1940. Hitler gave orders for a massive air offence against Britain

2 July 1940. The first daylight bombing raid on London.

13 November1939. The first German bombs fell on Britain, on the Shetlands. There were no casualties.

19 September 1939. Britain's RAF began leaflet raids on Germany.

27 August 1939, The world�s first jet-propelled aeroplane, the Heinkel 178, engines designed by Dr Von Ohain, made its first flight at Marienehe, northern Germany.

24 August 1939, Germany tested the first turbojet aircraft, at Rostock. A longer flight took place on 27 August 1939.

4 August 1939, A British transatlantic air mail service was inaugurated by BOAC between Southampton and Montreal / New York.Two flying boats maintained a weekly service. War halted the service in September 1939.

27 June 1939, The first transatlantic air service began.Pan American Airways flying boat Yankee Clipper flew between Botwood, Newfoundland, and Southampton, UK, seating 19 passengers on the 18 � hour flight. The fare was �140 return, for luxurious accommodation including separate passenger cabins, ladies dressing rooms, a recreation lounge, sleeping berths and a bridal suite.

1938, The air journey from London to Australia now took ten days (12 in 1935).

31 December 1938, The first pressurised airlined to enter commercial service, the Boeing 307 Stratoliner, made its maiden flight (see 7 May 1937). Pressurisation meant the aircraft could avoid bad weather by flying above it.

14 September 1938, The largest rigid airship ever built, the 803 foot German Graf Zeppelin II, made her maiden flight.She was dismantled in April 1940.

2 July 1937, Aviatrix Amelia Earhart disappeared on a flight from New Guinea to Howland Island.

9 May 1937, Walter Mittelholzer, Swiss aviation pioneer, died in a crash.

7 May 1937, The first practical pressurised aircraft cabin was used, by Lockheed. See 31 December 1938.

12 April 1937, A test-bed run of the world�s first aircraft jet engine took place, at Cranwell, UK.

1936, Air Despatch became the first UK airline to introduce air hostesses. They not only had to cook meals and mix cocktails, but also type letters for businessmen during the flight.

6 June 1936. The German airship Hindenburg crossed the Atlantic in 46 hours.

15 May 1936. Amy Johnson arrived in England after a record-breaking 12 day, 15 hour flight from London to Cape Town and back.

5 March 1936. The Spitfire fighter plane made its first flight from Eastleigh Aerodrome, near Southampton. It was flown by Captain J Summers. The RAF wanted a counter to the German Messerschmitt 109.

4 March 1936, The airship LZ 129 Hindenburg had its first flight.

11 November1935, US balloonists Anderson and Stevens reached 74,000 feet.

13 April 1935. London to Australia air service began. The route was operated by Imperial Airways and QANTAS. The service took 12 days, 31 stops, and involved 4 different aircraft. There was also a train journey from Paris to Brindisi included.

5 April 1934, Joan Meakin became the first female glider pilot to fly over the English Channel.

3 February 1934, The first regular transatlantic mail service was begun by Deutsche Lufthansa between Berlin and Buenos Aires via Stuttgart, Seville, Bathurst and Natal.

9 December 1933. London to Singapore air service began.

7 June 1933, A Dornier Do J �Wal� flying boat, the Monsun, crossed the South Atlantic (with a stopover on the steamboat Westfalen) and landed in the sea off Natal, Brazil.

3 April 1933. Two British planes became the first to fly over Mount Everest.

6 February 1933, Gayford and Nicholetts began a non-stop flight from England to Africa.

21 July 1932, A Dornier Do J �Wal� (whale) took off from Sylt on athree week trip around the world, during which its pilot Wolfgang von Gronau flew 60,000 km.

27 April 1932. The Imperial Airways London to Cape Town air service was inaugurated.

5 October 1931, Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon Jr. completed the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean, making a controlled crash landing near Wenatchee, Washington 41 hours after taking off from Misawa, Japan.

8 August 1931, The US airship Akron was launched by Mrs Hoover.

27 May 1931, Professor Auguste Picard became the first man to reach the stratosphere.He ascended 9 � miles in a balloon from Augsburg, Germany.

25 October 1930, Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA) began a coast to coast service across the USA.

22 August 1930. The remains of the Swedish aeronaut, Andree, were discovered on White Island.

1 August 1930. The airship R101 arrived in Montreal after a flight of 79 hours from Cardington, Bedfordshire.

28 July 1930, The airship R101 began its maiden flight across the Atlantic.

24 May 1930, Amy Johnson arrived in Australia, completing her historic solo flight from Croydon, England. She took off on 5 May 1930.

18 May 1930, The airship LZ127 Graf Zeppelin crossed the Atlantic.

15 May 1930, Registered nurse Ellen Church became the world�s first air hostess, on a United Airlines flight from Oakland California to Cheyenne, Wyoming. She had written hersself to the airline suggesting that young ladies like herself be employed as cabin attendants. Ellen was taken on and charged with training 7 others, who had to be under 5 ft 4 inches high, weigh under 8 stone 2 lb, and be registered nurses aged under 25. They were paid US$ 125 a month for 100 hours flying in an unheated unpressurised aircraft; they also carried passengers baggage, cleaned the interior of the plane, and assisted the pilot and mechanic to push the plane in and out of the hangar. In flight they served standard meals of fried chicken, fruit cocktail and bread rolls, and tea or coffee. The total flight, with four intermediate stops, was scheduled as 18 hours but generally took nearer 24 hours. The pilots, and especially their wives, did not welcome the new employees at first. However the passengers appreciated the service and they stayed on.

1929, US commercial airlines flew 30 million miles and carried 180,000 passengers, a rise from 6 million miles and 37,000 passengers during 1927.

29 November1929. US Admiral Richard Byrd, with pilot Bernt Balchen, became the first to fly over the South Pole.

14 October 1929, The R101 airship went on its first trials above London from its Cardington hangar in Bedfordshire.The airship was 732 feet long and held 5 million cubic feet of hydrogen; power was from 5 diesel engines.

25 September 1929, Jimmy Doolittle, champion US aviator, performed the first �blind flight�, taking off, flying a set course and landing again all under a fabric hood so he couldn�t see outside the plane.

12 September 1929, KLM airlines now instituted a regular, fortnightly, service between Amsterdam and Jakarta. The 9,500 mile route included 18 stops, including Istanbul, Baghdad, Karachi, Calcutta (Kolkata) and Bangkok.

7 July 1929, Transcontinental Air Transport Company began the first coast to coast air service in the USA. The company soon became Trans World Airlines (TWA).

4 September 1929, The German airship Graf Zeppelin completed its 20-day round the world trip from Friedrichshafen on the shore of lake Constance via Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Lakehurst.

14 June 1929, Journalist Arthur Schrieber became the first stowaway on na transatlantic flight.

30 March 1929, The first commercial air service between London and Karachi began.

17 February 1929, The first in-flight movie was shown, on an internal flight in the USA.

15 October 1928. The German airship Graf Zeppelin, captained by Hugo Eckener, completed its first transatlantic flight.It flew from Friedrichshafen, Germany, to Lakehurst in New York.

11 October 1928, The LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin departed Friedrichshafen with 20 passengers and 40 crew, bound for the United States.

18 September 1928, The airship LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin entered service.

18 June 1928. Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer who was the first to reach the South Pole in 1911, was lost in the North Sea after a flying accident..

15 June 1928. A race between a train and a plane from London to Edinburgh was won by the train, the �Flying Scotsman�.

8 June 1928, Charles Kingsford-Smith and Captain Ulm completed the first flight across the Pacific, landing at Brisbane, Australia.They had taken off from Oakland, California, and flew via Hawaii and Fiji in their plane, the Southern Cross.

15 May 1928. Australia began the flying doctor service. It began at Cloncurry, Queensland; the first doctor was Dr Vincent Welsh.

30 April 1928, Charles Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis one last time, to Washington, D.C., so that it could be placed on permanent exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution

10 January 1928. Aviators Hood and Moncrieff were lost whilst attempting the first flight across the Tasman Sea, from Australia to New Zealand.

14 October 1927, Dieudonne Costas and Joseph Le Brix became the first persons to fly an airplane across the South Atlantic Ocean, and the first to make an east-to-west transatlantic crossing, departing Saint-Louis, Senegal and arriving in Port Natal, Brazil 21 hours and 15 minutes later, at 11:40 pm local time.

8 July 1927, Charles Lindbergh inaugurated the Transcontinental Air Transport airline with the first passenger flight from New York to Los Angeles. The trip took 48 hours.

1 May 1927, The first airline cooked meals were served, from a galley aboard the Imperial Airways Silver Ewing London to Paris flights. The galley could serve up to 18 passengers.

8 January 1927. The first scheduled flight from London to Delhi arrived in India.

26 September 1926, Two Lufthansa Junker planes completed a round trip from Berlin to Beijing and back, having departed on 24 July 1926.

11 June 1926, Maiden flight of the Ford 4AT trimotor plane.

20 May 1926, US Congress passed the Air Commerce Act, marking the start of greater Government regulation of the aviation industry. The Act provided for licencing of aircraft and pilots.

12 May 1926. Roald Amundsen flew in the airship Norge over the North Pole. They had left Spitsbergen on 11/5 and landed on 14 May 1926 at Teller, Alaska.

9 May 1926, Richard Byrd, American explorer, made the first flight over the North Pole, with pilot Floyd Bennett.

1 May 1926, Lufthansa began one of the world�s first passenger night routes, from Berlin to Konigsberg, using radio beacons.

13 April 1925, Henry Ford set up the USA�s first aerial freight service, running between Detroit and Chicago.

6 April 1925. The first in-flight movie was shown; The Lost World.

13 November1924, Stanley Hiller Jr, who helped develop the helicopter, was born (died 20 April 2006)

28 September 1924, Lieutenants Smith and Nelson, in US Army Douglas airplanes, completed the first circumnavigation of the globe.They flew a total of 26,103 miles, with 57 stops.

22 August 1923, Maiden flight of the Witteman-LewisXNBL-1. This long-range bomber was then the world�s largest plane.

15 July 1923, Regular passenger flights between Moscow and Gorki (Nizhniy-Novgorod), 420 km, began.

3 May 1923, The first nonstop flight across the USA was completed, after 27 hours in the air, when John McCready and Oakley Kelly landed in California.

13 February 1923, Charles �Chuck� Yeager, American pilot, first to fly at supersonic speed, was born.

28 November1922. First skywriting achieved.

20 October 1922, Lieutenant Harold Harris became the first person to avoid death by usng a parachute in a real emergency.

5 September 1922, American aviator James Doolittle made the first coast to coast flight across the USA, taking 21 hours 19 minutes.

6 August 1922, Freddie Laker, British airline operator, was born.

2 April 1922, Jack Sanderson became the world�s first airline steward, on the London-Paris route.

1 December 1921, The US Navy airship Goodyear became the first such craft to fly using helium gas. This was much safer than hydrogen; however the gas was then only found within the US, and for military reasons its use was denied to other countries. Use of hydrogen in 1937 caused the Hindenburg airship disaster in 1937, and finally doomed airships as a means of transport.

3 August 1921, The first aerial crop spraying took place at Troy Ohio, to clear a catalpa grove infested with leaf caterpillars. Powdered arsenate of lead was sprayed over the trees. 99% of the insects were killed.

14 April 1921. Air services between London and Amsterdam resumed.

19 March 1921. Daily air service between Paris and London resumed.

18 February 1921. The first helicopter flew, designed in France by Etienne Oemichen.

3 January 1921, The airships R 36 and R 37 were built; they were capable of carrying 50 passengers.

1920, Early passenger flights could be severely hampered by low cloud and headwinds. If the cloud base was at 200 feet they had to fly at 150 feet, sometimes following railway lines along valleys for navigation. Cross Channel flights might be at an altitude as low as 40 feet. Headinds could slow the plane up so much it was overtaken by buses on the ground.

20 December 1920, Maiden flight of the Bleriot-Spad 33 airliner.

3 July 1920. The first RAF air display took place at Hendon.

1 July 1920, Germany surrendered her largest airship, the L-71 to Britain.

20 May 1920. Charles Lindbergh took off on the first transatlantic solo flight.

5 February 1920, The Royal Air Force College at Cranwell opened to the first batch of apprentices.

4 February 1920, Aviators Pierre van Ryneveld and C J Quinton took off from Brooklands airfield on the first flight from London to Cape Town, South Africa.

18 December 1919, Death of British aviation expert Sir John Alcock in a flying accident, six months after his pioneering transatlantic flight with Sir Arthur Brown.

12 November1919. Captain Ross Smith, his brother, and two others began the first flight from Britain to Australia. They arrived in Port Darwin, Australia, on 10 December 1919, winning a �10,000 prize from the Australian government for doing this.

11 October 1919. The first airline meals were served, on a Handley-Page flight from London to Paris. They were pre-packed lunch boxes priced at 3 shillings (15p).

1 September 1919, The first intercontinental air service began, from Toulouse to Barcelona and Tangier.Services were extended to Casablanca in April 1920.

8/1919, In Britain it became legal for aircraft to take up to 4 passengers, and up to 500 people a day went on �joyride trips� (see 1912), lasting 15 minutes over and around Blackpool. The experience of flying was thrilling but evidently safe, and many began to see the benefits of air transport as a mode of travel.

25 August 1919. Air service between London (Hounslow) and Paris (Le Bourget) inaugurated. This was the first international scheduled air service from Britain. The single fare was �21 for the 2 � hour journey, compared to the cost of rail and boat at �3 8s 5d. By 1 January 1920 three British companies were operating regular daily air services across The Channel, to Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam, for passengers, freight, and mail.

7 August 1919, Captain Ernest Hoy made the first successful flight over the Canadian Rockies.

14 July 1919, Britain legalised passenger flights to and from the Continent. The very next day an executive from Pilkington Glass, who had missed the boat train, arranged to pay �50 for a one-off flight from Hendon, London, to Le Bourget, Paris.

13 July 1919, The British airship R34 arrived back in Pulham, Norfolk, having made the first transatlantic aerial round trip; she set out from East Fortune, Scotland, on 2 July 1919.

6 July 1919. The British airship R34 became the first to cross the Atlantic, flying from Edinburgh to New York in 108 hours. She had set out from East Fortune, near Edinburgh, on 2 July 1919. She set off from Long Island on 9 July 1919 on the return journey, arriving in Pulham, Norfolk, on 13 July 1919.

27 May 1919. Lieutenant Commander Read and a crew of five, flying a Curtiss NC 4 seaplane, arrived in Lisbon via The Azores to complete the first flight across the Atlantic.They had left Trepassy, Newfoundland, on 16 May 1919.

26 May 1919, North Sea Aerial Navigation Co inaugurated passenger flights between Hartlepool and Hull. In June further routes began, between Hull, Leeds and Hounslow (for London), and Scarborough, Leeds, Harrogate. Businesspeople liked the new fast link between London and the North.

25 May 1919, Pilots Hanker and Grieve were rescued, 1370 km west of Ireland, having failed to fly the Atlantic.

10 May 1919, The first airline in Britain started. It flew the 50 miles between Alexander Park, Manchester, and Blackpool in a 2-seater single engine Avro biplane. Services lasted until 30 September 1919, and cost �2 2s single or �4 4s return..

15 April 1919, Passenger air services on a route between Berlin, Hanover and Rotthausen began, also Berlin to Warnemunde.

16 March 1919, Wireless telephone now enabled one plane pilot to talk to another in mid-flight.

14 March 1919, Passenger air services between Berlin and Hamburg began. On 15 March 1919 a service from Berlin via Brunswick and Hanover to Gelsenkirchen began. In June 1919 these services had to be curtailed due to lack of fuel.

6 February 1919, The first regular passenger air service. Planes flew from Berlin to Weimar, carrying mainly mail and newspapers, but some passengers also.

1 January 1919, The early aviation industries in the USA and Europe began to develop in very different directions, after World War One. In the US there was a powerful railway lobby, but no equivalent air industry lobby. However US cities were much further apart than European ones. Therefore the US railways kept the passenger transport market, and US airlines concentrated on the postal delivery sector. Sometimes, US railways had fire beacons placed along their length by night to guide the aircraft. US airlines only got into the passenger market in the mid to late 1920s. By contrast, in Europe the railways had been severely damaged by the War, and European airlines ran comparatively short hop routes between cities, as well as carrying mail.


Development of air mail

14 March 1936, An air service from London to Hong Kong was inaugurated.

8 December 1934, The London to Australia airmail service was inaugurated.

20 January 1932. The first airmail service between London and Cape Town.

4 April 1931, The first airmail left Croydon aerodrome for Australia.

14 April 1929. The first air mail from India arrived at Croydon.

1 July 1924, Inauguration of the first regular transcontinental air mail service in the USA.

15 September 1920. New air mail services began in Europe, from Copenhagen to Amsterdam, London, and Hamburg.

3 March 1919, The first intetrnational airmail service began, from Seattle to Vancouver, by Boeing.

15 May 1918, The US inaugurated the world�s first regular air mail service between New York and Washington. The US Navy operated the service, for the US Post Office.

10 November1911, The first regular civil airmail service began between Hounslow (London) and Paris. Mail was surcharged at 2s 6d an ounce, of which the airline received 2s. The high price deterred customers, and an average of only 46 letters a day were carried.

9 September 1911, The first experimental airmail service in Britain began, operating between Hendon Aerodrome and Windsor, 19 miles . The service was discontinued on 26 September 1911.

1 July 1859. The first mail was transported by balloon. John Wise and three others piloted their machine the 812 miles between St Louis, Missouri, and Henderson, New York State, in 19 hours and 40 minutes.


21 April 1918, Manfred von Richtofen, the �Red Baron�, German World War One air ace, was shot down and died in his famous red tri-plane behind British lines.

1 April 1918. The Royal Air Force was formed, by amalgamating the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.Lord Rothermere at the Air Ministry in The Strand, London, was in charge.

1917, The earliest experiments, by Germany, with the use of �barrage balloons�. These were hydrogen-filled balloons whose function was to hoist cables up to 3,000 metres high in the sky to disable enemy planes flying low. Several such balloons provided a �barrage� of cables to protect cities; hieghts above 3,000 metres wree impractical due to the weight of the cable. Bomber planes could target less accurately if fliyng high, and the cables could force planes into areas where they could be targeted by anti-aircraft fire.

13 December 1917, The first German airline was founded. Known initially as Deutsche Luft Reederie, it was the forerunner of Lufthansa.


The first air raids, 1911-1917 See World War One for more events of 1st World war

20 October 1917. 4 Zeppelins were shot down over France after raids on the UK.

1 October 1917. Air raids on London.

20 August 1917, Over 100 killed in an air raid on Thanet and Sheppey.

7 July 1917. Air raids on London and Margate killed 97 and injured 193.

25 May 1917. Air raid on Folkestone.

8 March 1917. Graf von Zeppelin, German airship pioneer, died in Charlottenburg, near Berlin.

1 October 1916. A Zeppelin was brought down at Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.

3 September 1916. The first Zeppelin was shot down, by Captain Leefe Robinson, at Cuffley, Hertfordshire, using the newly-invented Pomeroy incendiary bullets.

1 April 1916, A German Zeppelin airship dropped its bombs on Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.

19 March 1916. German seaplane raids on Deal, Dover, Margate, and Ramsgate.

31 January 1916. Zeppelin raids on Shrewsbury killed 59 persons.

29 January 1916. Zeppelins bombed Paris for the first time.

7 June 1915, The British air force downed a German Zeppelin. Sub-Lieutenant Warneford took his aircraft over the airship and dropped six 20-pound bombs, one of which hit its target. For this Warneford was awarded the Victoria Cross.

27 May 1915. Zeppelin raid on Southend, Essex.

26 May 1915. The first Zeppelin raids on London. A ton of bombs was dropped from one airship, killing 7 and injuring 15.

17 May 1915. Zeppelin raid on Ramsgate, Kent.

10 May 1915. Zeppelin raid on Southend, Essex.

30 April 1915. Zeppelin air raids on Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

14 April 1915. Zeppelin air raid on Lowestoft and Maldon, Essex.

20 March 1915. German air raid on Deal, Kent.

21 February 1915. German air raid on Essex.

11 February 1915. British seaplanes and airplanes bombarded Bruges and Ostend.

15 January 1915. German Zeppelin airships dropped bombs on villages in Norfolk, killing five people. Great Yarmouth was bombed.

29 December 1914, The first Zeppelin appeared over the British coast.

9 December 1914, The first warship built as an aircraft carrier was commissioned. HMS Ark Royal, originally designed as a merchant ship, but acquired by The Admiralty whilst under construction at Blyth, was launched in September 1914.

4 October 1914, The first bomb was dropped on London.

23 September 1914. British aviators bombed the Zeppelin shed at Dusseldorf.

1 November1911. The world�s first air raid. The Italian, Lt Guilio Gavotti, took off from Tripoli and dropped a 2 kg bomb on the Turks at Ain Zara, Tripolitania; he then dropped three more such bombs on Turkish troops at Tagiura. A second air raid on Ain Zara three days later brought a strong protest from the Turks that the Italians were contravening the Geneva Convention, and considerable world-wide discussion ensued on the ethics of air bombardment.


28 May 1916, The Sopwith triplane, the first triplane fighter to enter military service, was introduced by the British.

12 December 1915. In Germany, Hugo Junkers built the first all-metal aeroplane.The Junkers J1 first flew at Dessau.

18 July 1915, Katherine Stinson became the first woman to loop the loop

6 July 1915, Sir Lawrence Hargrave, aviation pioneer, died.

11 December 1914, The Royal Flying Corps adopted the roundel now used by the RAF.

24 September 1914, First use of radio in an aircraft in warfare, during the First Battle of the Aisne.

19 August 1914, First use of aerial reconnaissance by Britain in warfare. Captain Philip Joubert de la Ferte and Lt Gilbert Mapplebeck flew over Nivelle and Genappe, to ascertain the positions of Belgian troops and German cavalry.

23 June 1914, Britain�s Royal Air Force was formed.

24 January 1914, Car racing driver Barney Oldfield and airline pilot Lincoln Beachey held their first Championship of the Universe race, racing a car against a plane.

1 January 1914, The USA�s first regular passenger air service began. Passengers were carried, on at a time, twenty miles across Tampa Bay between St Petersburg and Tampa, Florida, for US$ 5, saving a 36 mile road trip around the Bay. The service was discontinued after 4 months.

1 September 1913, Louis Bleriot performed his first loop the loop.

27 August 1913, Russian Air Service Lieutenant Pyotr Nikolaevich was arrested in Kiev for looping the loop, the first aviator to accomplish this.

20 August 1913. Adolphe Pegond baled out of a plane at 700 feet, becoming the first person to parachute from a plane.

13 May 1913, The Russians first flew the biggest aircraft to date. Designed by Sikorsky, with a 92-foot wingspan, the Bolshoi offered luxurious civilian transport, with armchairs, sofas and ample vodka. It was also the first plane to be fitted with a toilet.

1912, The world�s first aeronautical library was established by French engineer AG Eiffel, designer of the 1889 Eiffel Tower in Paris. The library at Auteuil was dedicated to the study of aerodynamics and air currents.

1912, Early commercial aircraft encouraged a practice known as �joyriding�. People would make their way out of town to a nearby airfield, to be taken up and flown a few times around the area. The joyriders had to sign a disclaimer against any liability resulting from injuries if the plane crashed. However several of those who experienced �joyriding; wanted to then fly a plane themselves, some becoming wartime pilots after 1914. See 8/1919.

19 September 1912, The first scheduled international airline service began, when Count Zeppelin�s airships started a regular service between Hamburg, Germany, and Copenhagen, Denmark, and on to Malmo, Sweden.

30 May 1912, Wilbur Wright, older of the two Wright Brothers who invented the airplane, died aged 45of typhoid fever at Dayton, Ohio. Wilbur had become ill on 4 May 1912 while on a business trip to Boston. On 17 December 1903 Wilbur became the second man to pilot an airplane, after his brother Orville made the first flight.

8 May 1912, Pilot Lieutenant Samson, flying a Short S38, made the first ever take off from a moving ship.The HMS Hibernia, off Weymouth, was moving at 10 knots.

13 April 1912, In Britain the Royal Flying Corps, forerunner of the Royal Air Force, was formed.

1 March 1912, The first parachute jump from a moving plane was made, over Missouri, USA, by Albert Berry. He jumped at 1500 feet over Jefferson Barracks, St Louis.

10 January 1912, The first flying boat, designed by Glenn Curtis, made its maiden voyage at Hammondsport, New York.

31 October 1911, J.J. Montgomery, 55, American aeronautical engineer, died in a plane crash

23 October 1911. First aerial reconnaissance in warfare. The Italian Captain Piazza, during the Italian Turkish war of 1910-11, took off from Tripoli and flew over Turkish troops camped at Aziza.

3 August 1911. Aeroplanes were put to military use, when Italian planes reconnoitred the Turkish lines near Tripoli.

25 May 1911, Britain passed the Aerial Navigation Act, giving powers to ban hostile flights.

12 May 1911. Display of military aviation at Hendon.

4 July 1911, The first air cargo was delivered; a box of Osram lamps.

4 May 1911, Britain�s first airship was wrecked at Aldershot.

18 February 1911. The first official airmail flight. Henri Pecquet flew a load of 6,000 letters and cards 5 miles from Allahabad, India, to Naini Junction, where they were transferred to the railway.

26 January 1911, Glenn H Curtis flew the first successful seaplane.

18 January 1911. US pilot Eugene Ely, in a Curtiss aircraft, made the first landing on the deck of a ship; the cruiser Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay.

14 November1910. Pilot Eugene Ely, in a Curtiss biplane, made the first take-off from a ship, the US light cruiser Birmingham, at anchor in Chesapeake Bay.

15 October 1910, Mr Wellman made the first attempt to cross the Atlantic by balloon, taking off from the US this day. He was picked up 3 days later by an ocean liner and the balloon abandoned. He had covered 438 miles.

9 June 1910, The first trials of aircraft reconnaissance. During a record-breaking2 � hour, 145 km, flight from Camp de Chalons, Mourmelon, to Vincennes, Captain Marconnet, squeezed between the pilot and the engine, took aerial photographs of the territory below.

4 June 1910, Christopher Cockerell, who invented the amphibious hovercraft, was born in Cambridge.

18 May 1910. The first Air Traffic Conference opened in Paris.

28 March 1910. The first seaplane took off, from near Marseilles. Called the Hydravion, it was designed by Frenchman Henri Fabre. It flew 1,650 feet.

18 March 1910, Harry Houdini made the first successful flight in Australia.

10 March 1910. The world�s first night aeroplane flight was made, in Argentina by Aubrun.

1909, First use of the term �fuselage� (French, spindle) for the main body of an aoircraft to which the wings and tail are attached.

31 December 1909, Henry Ferguson made the first aeroplane flight from Irish soil, at Hillsborough near Belfast.

18 December 1909, Albert Kimmerling became the first pilot in South Africa.

16 October 1909, The first commercial airline began. Count Zeppelin�s Deutsche Luftschiffahrt Aktiengesellschaft, or Delag, flew airships between the major German cities.

30 September 1906, The first international hot air balloon race began from Paris.

1 August 1909. The US military accepted its first heavier-than-air flying machine, built by the Wright Brothers, on 2 August 1909.

25 July 1909. Louis Bleriot became the first man to fly across the English Channel.He flew from Les Barques near Calais to Northfall Meadow near Dover Castle, covering 26 miles in 43 minutes.Aged 37, born on 1 July 1872 in Cambrai, France, Bleriot won �1,000 for his flight, in a plane designed by himself, a prize awarded by the Daily Mail for the first person to perform this feat. Bleriot died in August 1936.The British now realised that the Channel was less of a defensive barrier than it used to be.

20 June 1909. The German Army adopted the Zeppelin as its first air arm.

5 June 1909, A manned balloon race was held from the recently-constructed Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. The winner of the race, judged by the furthest distance travelled, was a balloon that landed 382 miles away in Alabama, over 24 hours after take-off.

28 April 1909, The Aerial League of Australia held its first meeting.

5 April 1909, The Aerial League of the British Empire was founded, to promote British superiority in the air.

19 March 1909, Britain�s first international aircraft exhibition opened.

24 December 1908, In Paris, President Armand Fallieres opened the first international aviation show.

18 November1908, AE Gaudron, Captain EM Maitland and CC Turner made a balloon flight from England to Russia, covering 1,117 miles in 31.5 hours.

21 October 1908. Over London the suffragettes made the first ever leaflet raid, hiring an airship and throwing out leaflets demanding �Votes for Women!�.

14 August 1908, An airship blew up over London, killing one person.

21 March 1908, Frenchman Henri Farman piloted the world�s first passenger flight, over Paris.

8 January 1908, Count Von Zeppelin announced plans to build an airship capable of carrying 100 people.

13 November1907, In France, Mr Paul Cornu built a prototype helicopter, or �direct lifter� as he called it. It rose 4 feet into the air and stayed there for 60 seconds.

10 September 1907, Britain�s first military airship flew successfully at Farnborough.

1 July 1907, The US established the world�s first air force.The aeronautical division of the US Army�s Signal Office was set up under the command of Captain Chandler. The force consisted of one officer, one NCO, and one enlisted man. It had one aircraft, which had to be capable of flying for one hour at 36 mph. The biplane was delivered to Fort Meyer, Virginia, for test flights in August 1908. It crashed in September 1908 and a new Wright Flyer was ordered. This was delivered on 2 August 1909. By 1914 the US air force had just 6 planes.

1 June 1907, Sir Frank Whittle, inventor of jet propulsion, was born in Coventry.

30 March 1907, The first commercially produced aircraft was delivered to its purchaser, marking the start of the world�s aviation industry. Paris sculptor Leon Delagrange ordered the biplane from Voisin Freres, Billancourt, France.

11 November1906, The first balloon crossing of the Alps. A balloon piloted by Murillo and Cresti lifted off from Milan and passed over Mont Blanc, highest peak of the Alps.

7 July 1906, Britain�s first hot air balloon race.

3 March 1906, The first trials of an aeroplane with tyres took place at Montesson, Seine et Marne, France.

27 February 1906, Samuel Langley, aviation pioneer, died (born 22 August 1834).

30 November1905, The Aero Club of America was formed in New York City.

11 February 1905, 11 Frenchmen landed in Crystal Palace from a hot air balloon after crossing the Channel.


Inception of heavier-than-air flight

20 September 1904. The US Army rejected heavier than air flying machines.

25 May 1905, Europe�s first flight by a heavier-than-air machine.

17 December 1903. The Wright Brothers made the first successful controlled heavier-than-air flight. The flight, over the sand dunes at Kill Devil Hill, near Kittyhawk, North Carolina, lasted for 12 seconds at a height of 8 to 12 feet and an air speed of 30 to 35 mph. The flight was 120 foot long. Three subsequent flights were made, the longest being 59 seconds and 852 foot long, before their craft was damaged by a sudden gust of wind.

7 October 1903, In the US, Professor Samuel Langley attempted to fly a heavier-than-air machine, but failed.

23 March 1903, US patent no. 821393 was filed for the first aeroplane. The patent was filed by Orville Wright (1871-1948), and his brother Wilbur Wright (1867-1912). They tried to sell the aeroplane but without a demonstration flight people were sceptical of the notion that heavier-than-air machines could fly.


12 November1903, The Lebaudy brothers made a fully controlled dirigible flight, navigating 37 miles from Moisson to Paris.

1 July 1903, The aviator Amy Johnson was born in Hull.

22 September 1902. The earliest British airship, 75 foot long, built by Stanley Spencer, made its maiden flight of 30 miles from Crystal Palace, London.

23 October 1901, Alberto Santos Dumont, Brazilian aviator (see 19 October 1906) collected a prize for the first officially-observed powered flight in Europe. He flew his airship from St Cloud to the Eiffel Tower and back, taking 30 minutes.

20 October 1901, The Aero Club of the United Kingdom was founded in London.

19 October 1901, Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont circumnavigated the Eiffel Tower in his airship, winning an aviation prize, see 23 October 1901.

30 June 1901, Herr Berson and Professor Suring set a new balloon altitude record of 35,435 feet.

15 February 1901, The Aero Club of Belgium was founded.

2 July 1900. The first Zeppelin airship made its maiden flight from a floating hangar on Lake Constance, Germany. It had been invented by Count Zeppelin, aged 62, who had retired from the army 10 years ago. Zeppelin had made balloon ascents as a military observer during the American Civil War. Powered by a 16 hp engine, the airship had a top speed of 20 mph; it attained a height of 1,000 feet.

25 April 1900, The British Army in South Africa used balloon observers to direct fire on Boer positions.

7 October 1898, Aero club de France was established, to represent the country�s fliers.

26 June 1898, Wilhelm Messerschmitt, German aviation engineer and designer, was born in Frankfurt.

24 July 1897, Amelia Earhart, aviator, was born in Atchison, Kansas.

9 February 1897, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, Australian aviator, was born.

20 April 1896, Wop May, aviator, was born.

6 November1892, The aviator Sir John Alcock was born in Manchester. In 1919 he made the first transatlantic flight, with Sir Arthur Whitten-Brown.

6 April 1890, Birth of Anthony Fokker, Dutch aircraft manufacturer (died 1939).

25 May 1889, Igor Sikorsky, American engineer who pioneered the helicopter, was born in Kiev.

25 October 1888, Richard Byrd, US naval officer and polar explorer, was born in Winchester, Virginia. In 1926 he became the first person to fly over the North Pole.

12 August 1888, An airship designed by the German, Karl Woelfort, was tested with a Daimler petrol engine. The invention of a light yet powerful engine, along with the invention in 1886 of a method of mass producing the lightweight metal aluminium (using electrolysis) meant that practical steerable airships, or dirigibles, were now possible.

18 January 1888. Birth of aviation pioneer Sir Thomas Sopwith.

26 September 1887, Barnes Wallis, inventor of the bouncing bomb used in World War Two, and inventor and designer of aircraft, was born.

23 July 1886, Birth of Sir Arthur Brown, future co-pilot in the first ever trans-Atlantic flight.

21 January 1885, Umberto Nobile, airship designer, was born.

9 August 1884, Charles Renard and Arthur Krebs made a controlled circular flight in an airship around Chalais-Meudon. The trip lasted 25 minutes, as average 13 mph. However the heavy batteries required, at 704 lbs, meant the airship was not a practical venture.

27 July 1882, Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, British aircraft designer and manufacturer, born in Woburn, Buckinghamshire.

11 May 1881, Theodore von Karman, Hungarian physicist, was born in Budapest. He developed the science of aerodynamics and applied it to aircraft wings.

5 December 1879, Clyde Cessna, American aircraft manufacturer, was born in Hawthorne, Iowa.

31 July 1879, Richard Cowen and Charles Page made the first balloon flight in Canada.

23 July 1878, The British Army flew its first balloon at Woolwich, London. It cost �71 to build, out of an allocated �150; the first British Government military aviation budget.

29 June 1877, Italian professor Enrico Forlanini tested a steam-powered helicopter at Alexandria.

18 June 1877, Samuel Archer King made a 2-hour airmail flight of 26 miles between Nashville and Gallatin in his balloon.

13 December 1872, Haenlein fitted the first internal combustion engine to an airship. However the craft only made a tethered display and further development was shelved for lack of funds.

1 July 1872, Louis Bleriot, French aviation pioneer, was born.

19 August 1871. Orville Wright, American aviation pioneer, was born in Dayton, Ohio, the younger of two brothers.

18 August 1871, French pioneer Alphonse Penaud achieved a 13 second flight in his glider.

28 January 1871. Starving and surrounded by Prussian troops, Paris surrendered to Germany. During the 5-month siege, balloons were used to maintain contact with the rest of France. The Prussians tried to shoot the balloons down, so the French switched to night flights.

23 September 1870, The French defenders, surrounded and under siege in Paris, succeeded in sending a balloon out with 227 pounds of mail. It passed over and beyond Prussian lines, giving news to the French provisional Government at Tours. The balloon was piloted by James Durouf.

12 January 1866, The Aeronautical Society of Great Britain was formed. The only means of flying was then by balloon.

18 October 1863. A French photographer called Nadar took the first aerial photographs from his balloon, The Giant. However the trip ended with Nadar breaking his leg, near Hanover.

1 October 1861, The US Army formed a Balloon Corps. It had 50 men, 7 balloons, and was commended by Chief Aeronaut Thaddeus Lowe.

18 June 1861, Thaddeus Lowe sent the world�s first aerial telegram. Using apparatus hoisted up in a tethered balloon, he sent his dispatch to President Lincoln.

1 February 1858, Englishman William Dean made the first balloon ascent in Australia, flying for seven miles over Melbourne.

15 December 1857, Death of Sir George Cayley, the �Father of British Aeronautics�

2 May 1857, The French inventor Felix du Temple patented designs for an aircraft with a retractable undercarriage.

1853, The first manned heavier-than-air flight took place. Sir George Cayley, aged 80, who had written on the topic of heavier-tha-aor flight in 1809 in his paper �On Aerial Navigation�, glided 500 yards across a valley.

25 September 1852, The Mechanic�s Magazine published the plans of a heavier-than-air glider capable of carrying a person.

24 September 1852, The first airship made its maiden flight from the Hippodrome, Paris, travelling 17 miles to Trappes at 8 mph. It was piloted by Henri Giffard. However the craft could only travel in calm weather.

22 August 1848, The world�s first aerial bombing raid was carried out by the Austrians against the defenders of Venice. Unmanned hot air balloons with 30 pound bombs were sent across; they caused little damage but much bemusement.

8 July 1838, Count Zeppelin, German builder of airships, was born in Constance.

7 November1836, The hot air balloon Nassau, lifted by 85,000 cubic feet of coal gas, took off from London�s Vauxhall Gardens with three passengers. They flew over Liege and Coblenz, and landed 18 hours later in the Nassau region. Coal gas was a cheaper lifting gas than hydrogen.

22 August 1834, Samuel Langley, aviation pioneer, was born (died 27 February 1906).

7 July 1819, The widow of Blanchard, who had continued his aviation career after he died of a heart attack, herself died in a ballooning accident. Her craft was ignited by a stray firework during a display at the Tivoli Gardens, Paris.

2 March 1819, Henry Coxwell, English balloonist, was born (died 5 January 1900).

22 July 1817, First flight over the Irish Sea. William Sadler flew a balloon from Dublin to Holyhead.

22 June 1817. Windham Sadler crossed the St George�s Channel by balloon.

26 June 1810, Joseph Michel Montgolfier, hot aitr balloon pioneer, died aged 69 in Balaruc les bains, France.

7 March 1809, Jean Pierre Blanchard, French balloonist, who was the first person to cross the English Channel by air, died at La Haye during practice jumps from a balloon.

3 May 1808. The first duel to be fought from two hot air balloons was held over Paris; one combatant was shot dead.

24 August 1804, French physicists Jean Biot and Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac ascended 4,000 metres in a hydrogen balloon to study the effects of altitude on fluctuations in the Earth�s magnetic field.

11 October 1802, French aviation pioneer Andre Jacques Garnierin patented the parachute. On September 1802 he had made a 2,440 metre parachute descent into Grosvenor Square, London, England.

22 October 1797. Andre-Jacques Garnerin, 28, made a parachute descent, from 2,230 feet, from a hot air balloon. He jumped over the Parc Monceau, Paris. This was not the first parachute jump, but Garnerin had improved the device so as to enable descents from a greater height then ever before.

26 June 1794, The French defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Fleurus. Balloon reconnaissance of the enemy was used by the French, from a tethered balloon, for the first time.

2 April 1794, The French military formed a company of Aerostiers for military observation from tethered hot air balloons.

15 May 1793, Spanish inventor Diego Marin Aguilera flew a glider at an altitude of 360 metres.

9 January 1793, Jean Pierre Blanchard made the first ascent in a balloon in America, near Woodbury, New Jersey.

29 June 1785, Mrs Sage made a balloon ascent with George Biggin, becoming the first Englishwoman to fly.

16 June 1785, The first ballooning fatality. De Rozier and Jules Romain attempted a balloon flight from France to Britain. Unfortunately they had added a Montgolfier hot air apparatus to their hydrogen balloon and their craft exploded even before it reached the Channel, as the hydrogen vented.

3 May 1785, Mademoiselle Simonet accompanied Blanchard, becoming the first woman to fly over England.

19 January 1785, The first balloon ascent in Ireland was made, from Ranelagh Gardens, Dublin.

7 January 1785. Jean-Pierre Blanchard, and his sponsor, the American Dr John Jefferies, made the first hot air balloon crossing of the English Channel from Dover to Calais.

4 October 1784, James Sadler flew for about 30 minutes in a hot air balloon oved Oxford.

15 September 1784, The first hydrogen balloon ascent from London was made.

25 August 1784, The first balloon ascent in Britain was made. James Tytler made a brief ascent in Edinburgh.

1 December 1783, Jacques Charles flew a 28-foot diameter hydrogen balloon made of silk, coated with rubber to make it airtight. It flew 27 miles from its start in Paris.

21 November1783. Man�s first free flight was made by Jean De Rosier and the Marquis D�Arlandes in the hot air balloon, the Montgolfier They travelled five miles in 25 minutes, reaching a height of 500 feet before landing safely near the Luxembourg Wood. On 4 June 1783 they had constructed an unmanned prototype, based on the ideas of the 14th century Augustinian monk, Albert of Saxony, and the 17th century priest, Francesco de Luna. On 17 October 1783 Pilatre de Rozier rose 84 feet in a hot air balloon before it reached the end of its tether. On 1 December 1783 the Montgolfier�s rivals Charles, and Robert ascended in a hydrogen balloon. On 27 August 1783 Jacques Alexandre Cesar Charles, a member of the French Academy of Science, had launched a prototype hydrogen balloon.

15 October 1783, Francois Pilatre de Rozier made the world�s manned first flight, in a tethered balloon.

17 September 1783, In France, King Louis XVI watched as two French papermakers, Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier, sent a large hot air balloon into the sky with a sheep, a rooster and a duck on board. The balloon reached 1500 feet and landed a mile away; the rooster was killed ut the sheep and duck survived unharmed.

27 August 1783, Jacques Cesar Charles, a rival hot air balloon maker to Montgolfier who preferred hydrogen to hot air, launched his balloon. It drifted 15 miles from Paris to Gonesse where it was hacked to pieces by frightened peasants; it expired with much hissing.

5 June 1783, The Montgolfier Brothers flew the first hot air balloon. Unmanned, it ascended to 2,000 metres and remained there for ten minutes.

26 August 1740. Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, pioneer balloonist, was born in Annonay, France. He and his brother got the idea for hot air balloons by filling paper bags with smoke from a fire and watching them rise to the ceiling.

1720, Swiss scientist Daniel Bernoulli doscivered that flowing air xraetes low pressude � a key principle of aviation today.

8 August 1709, Father de Gusmao demonstrated a model hot air balloon indoors in the palace of King John V of Portugal. It rose 12 foot and threatened the expensive curtains with its firebox. Servants shot the contraption down.Most balloon demonstrations after that took place outdoors.

3 January 1496, Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tested a flying machine.


Appendix 1 � Air accidents and disasters

21 March 2022, A China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737 fell steeply out of the sky near Guangzhou killing all 132 on board. The reason for the steep descent and crash into a mountain was initially unknown.

8 January 2020, An airliner with 176 people on board crashed with no survivors shortly after taking off from Tehran on a flight to Ukraine. The plane blew up in mid-air, sparking speculation that it had been hit by a missile. The incident, early in the morning whilst still dark, coincided with a limited Iranian missile strike against US bases in Iraq, in a low-key revenge attack for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani on 3 January 2020.

5 May 2019, 41 people died when a plane made an emergency landing at Moscow Airport, and the back of the plane scraped the runway, causing the fuel tanks to catch fire.

10 March 2019, A Boeing 737 Max airliner crashed shortly after take-off in Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board. This was the second such plane to crash within a few months after a similar plane plunged into the sea 12 minutes after taking off from Indonesia. The rest of these planes were grounded worldwide.

18 May 2016, An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo crashed in the Mediterranean north west of the Nile Delta.

31 October 2015, A Russian plane disintegrated in mid-air shortly after taking off from Sharm el Sheikh airport, Egypt, on a flight back to St Petersburg. All 224 people on board were killed.

24 March 2015, A Germanwings plane, flying from Spain to Germany, crashed into the Alps, killing all 320 on board. It appeared that the co-pilot, having spiked the pilot�s coffee with a diuretic to ensure he left the cockpit for the toilet, then locked him out of the cabin and deliberately crashed the plane into the mountains at speed.

28 December 2014, An Air Asia flight crashed into the Java Sea off Borneo, killing all 162 people on board. It had climbed too steeply and then stalled.

24 July 2014, An Air Algerie flight en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers crashed in the Sahara Desert; it was initially uncertain whether sandstorms or terrorist activity was the cause.

8 March 2014, A Malaysia Airlines flight from Malaysia to China vanished over the South China Sea. Initial suspicions that it had crashed gave way to reports that its tracking systems had been deliberately switched off and it had flown on for hours afterwards, possibly as far as Kazakhstan, or had gone down in the southern Indian Ocean. The fate of the plane remained unknown by end August 2014; by which time UK� 28.5 million had been spent on searching the seabed for it. In September 2014 a new search initiative began, across an area of ocean of 1.1 million square kilometres west of Australia, at a further cost of UK� 29.4 million.

1 June 2009, Air France flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 288 on board.

15 January 2009, The �Miracle on the Hudson� occurred when US Airline flight 1549 hit birds just after takeoff from New York. Both the plane�s engines were knocked out and with insufficient height to glide to any airstrip the pilot Captain Sullenberger put the aeroplane down flawlessly on the River Hudson. All 155 passengers and crew survived.

30 September 2006, Plane crash in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil, killed all 155 passengers.

14 August 2005, A Cypriot airliner crashed into a hill near Athens, killing all 121 on board.

12 February 2002, An Iranian airliner crashed, killing 117.

2 October 2001, Swissair declared itself bankrupt.

25 July 2000, Concorde disaster at Paris, see Concorde box above.

22 December 1999, A Korean Air Boeing 747 cargo plane crashed shortly after taking off from London Stansted Airport.

31 October 1999, EgyptAir flight 990 from New York to Cairo crashed into the Atlantic Ocean 97 km south of Nantucket Island, killing all 217 on board.

2 September 1998, Swissair flight 111, flying from New York to Geneva, crashed into the Atlantic, killing all 229 on board.

16 February 1998, A China Airlines plane crashed into a residential area near Chiang Kai Shek Airport, killing all 196 on board and 6 on the ground.

23 November1996, Ethiopian Airlines flight 9061 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya, was hijacked by 3 Ethiopian men and ordered to fly to Australia. It ran out of fuel and crashed into the Indian ocean off the Comoros islands. 123 of the 175 on board died.

18 July 1996, A TWA jet exploded at New York, killing all 230 people on board.

6 February 1996, A Dominican Alas Nacionales Boeing 757-225 crashed after take-off into the Atlantic Ocean off the Dominican republic, killing 189 passengers.

27 January 1993, A DC-3 crashed in Kinshasa, killing 12.

1 December 1992, Two C-141B Starlifters collided in Montana and crashed, 13 died.

4 October 1992. An Israeli El Al cargo plane crashed into a block of flats in Amsterdam shortly after take-off, killing 75 people.

24 February 1989, A cargo door fell off a Boeing 747 over the Pacific, killing 51.

8 February 1989, An Independent Air Boeing 707 crashed into Santa Maria Mountain in the Azores, killing 144 passengers.

9 January 1989. A British Midland Boeing 737 fell short of the runway at East Midlands Airport and ended up on the M.1 motorway, near Kegworth. 47 died in the 12 week old aircraft, 15 seconds away from landing at the airport. Reports suggested the pilot shut down the wrong, good, starboard, engine after being warned of an engine failure. Witnesses saw the port engine on fire.

22 August 1985, 34 died at Manchester Airport when a Boeing 737 burst into flames on the runway.

12 August 1985, In Japana Japan Airlines Boeing 747 on a domestic flight crashed into a mountain, killing 520 people.

23 June 1985, An Air India jet broke up in mid air off Ireland, killing all 239 on board.

23 July 1984, An Air Canada Boeing 767 ran out of fuel halfway between Montreal and Edmonton. A mistake had been made in fuelling after a switch from gallons to litres. The pilot, a gliding enthusiast, succeeded in safely gliding the plane to a disused military base at Gimli; the plane was dubbed the Gimli Glider.

13 January 1982, An Air Florida jet crashed into the frozen Potomac River near the White House, killing 78.

28 November1979, A sight-seeing flight took off from Auckland, New Zealand, to fly over Amtarctica. Howver there was low cloud and fog. Because of proximity to the SouthMagnetic Pole cpompasses were unreliable, so the flight navigation relied on grid co-ordinated programmed into the plane�s compuyer, but these had been incorrectly entered. They thought they were over the coast of mainland Antarctica but were actually looking down at the coast of Ross Island. The flight crew obtained permission to fly lower, below the cloud, and at 12.49pm slammed into Mont Erebus at 480 kph. There would have been no warning a sthe cloud and ice-covered mountain were visually indistinguishable, and the altimeter gave no alarm until the last second.

25 May 1979, A DC-10 airliner crashed at Chicago Airport, killing 273.

1 January 1978, An Air India Boeing 77 crashed into the sea off India, killing all 213 people on board.

27 March 1977. Two jumbo jets collided on the ground at the single airstrip of Tenerife Airport, in the fog, killing 582 people. The collision between the KLM and the Pan Am, craft was the worst air disaster ever to date.

1 December 1974, TWA Flight 514, a Boeing 727, crashed 40 km northwest of Dulles International Airport during bad weather, killing all 92 people on board.

20 November1974, The first fatal crash of a jumbo jet. A Lufthansa Boeing 747 crashed on take-off at Nairobi Airport. 59 were killed but 98 escaped.

3 March 1974, A Turkish Airlines DC10 crashed into a wood near Paris, killing all 344 people on board.

4 June 1973. A Soviet version of Concorde crashed at the Paris Air Show. All six crew, and 27 spectators, were killed. Sabotage was suspected.

5 March 1973, 68 people died when two Spanish airliners collided over France, during a French air traffic controllers strike.

29 December 1972, Survivors of a Uruguayan plane crash in the Andes admitted to eating the bodies of their fello0w passengers to stay alive.

18 June 1972, A BEA Trident airliner crashed at Staines, west London, killing 118.

21 February 1970, Swiss airliner crashed near Baden, killing 47 passengers. Palestinian terrorists claimed responsibility.

4 June 1967, British Midland flight G-ALHG crashed in Hopes Carr, Stockport, Manchester, killing 72 passengers and crew.

20 April 1967, A Swiss Global Air Britannia airliner was hit by lightning and crashed at Nicosia Airport, Cyprus, killing 126.

4 February 1966, A Japanese airliner crashed into Tokyo Bay, killing 133 people.

24 January 1966, An Air India Boeing 707 crashed into Mont Blanc, killing all 117 passengers on board.

31 March 1965, An Iberia airliner crashed into the Mediterranean Sea as it was approaching Tangier, Morocco on a flight from Malaga. 50 of the 53 people on board were killed, but three passengers were rescued.

3 June 1962, An Air France Boeing 707, flying from Orly, Paris to Atlanta, Georgia, crashed on take-off, killing 130.

15 February 1961, Sabena flight 548 crashed in Belgium, killing 73.

17 March 1957. 22 were killed and several houses demolished when a British European Airways turbo-prop airliner crashed at Manchester�s Ringway Airport. Failure of one wing flap to deploy on landing was blamed; if only one wing flap deployed, the aircraft would flip over on landing, as was seen by witnesses.

30 June 1956, Two planes collided over the Grand Canyon, killing all 128 aboard both planes.

11 January 1954, A British Comet jet airliner crashed into the Mediterranean near Elba.The newly discovered phenomenon of metal fatigue was to blame.

2 May 1953, A BOAC Comet airliner crashed near Calcutta. Experts asked why the wings came off in mid air.

28 July 1945, A B-25 bomber crashed into the 78th floor of the Empire State Building, killing the 3 crew and 11 passengers.

6 May 1937. In Lakehurst, New Jersey, the German Zeppelin airship Hindenburg exploded in a ball of flame as it came in to land. 13 of 36 passengers and 22 of the 61 crew died, out of the 97 aboard.Survivors jumped out of the airship as it plunged 20 metres to ground from its mooring tower. The official cause of the explosion was St Elmos Fire, but the flammable silver paint used to coat the airship also contributed. Fire devoured the canvas skin of the aircraft in just over 30 seconds as the 16 bags of hydrogen gas inside ignited. The Hindenburg had first flown in March 1936. Travelling twice as fast as an ocean liner, airships were considered the height of luxury.

12 February 1935, The airship Macon crashed in America.

10 October 1933, The first proven case of sabotage of a commercial airline flight. A United Airlines Boeing 247 exploded between Cleveland and Chicago, killing 7.

4 April 1933, The American helium-filled airship Abron crashed into the sea off New Jersey during a violent storm.

5 October 1930. The 777-foot long British airship R101 crashed at the edge of a wood near Beauvais, France during a storm, killing 48 people, out of 54 passengers and crew. The airship hit a hill and exploded.It was captained by Flight Lieutenant Irwin, on a flight from Cardington, Bedfordshire, to India. UK Air Minister Lord Thompson was on board, and may have contributed to the disaster with his large amount of luggage, equivalent to the weight of about 24 people. Britain abandoned all airship construction.

7 April 1922, The first collision between airliners. A Farman Goliath operated by French airline Grands Express flew into the path of a Daimler Airways DH 18 over Foix, northern France.

24 August 1921. An R38 airship crashed into the Humber at Hull, killing 44 of the 49 crew and passengers.

14 December 1920, The first aeroplane disaster. A Handley page Continental Air Services flight from Cricklewood Aerodrome, London, to Paris crashed into the back of a newly built house at 6, Basinghill, The Ridgeway, and fell in flames in the garden. 4 of the 6 passengers managed to jump clear and escaped major injury; the other 2 passengers and 2 crew were killed.

17 September 1908. The first plane crash fatality occurred when a passenger of Orville Wright died.The fatality was Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge, of the US signal corps, and the accident happened near Fort Meyer, Virginia, when a propeller broke in mid-flight and the plane plunged 150 foot to the ground.

13 July 1901, Brazilian aviator Santos Dumont circled the Eiffel Tower, Paris, in his dirigible, but later crashed at Boulogne.


Appendix 3 � Airports

31 October 2020, Berlin-Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt finally opened, 9 years late and 3 billion Euros over budget. The planned opening date had been 31 October 2011. It finally became operational in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, when very few people were flying anywhere. Tegel Airport., north of Berlin, was closed immediately, and Schonefeld Airport, close by, became a 5th Terminal for the new facility.

27 March 2008, The new British Airways Terminal Five at London Heathrow opened.The baggage system collapsed and many flights were delayed, cancelled, or left without baggage.

28 April 2005, Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster, opened,on the site of RAF Finningley which had closed in 1996.

19 November 2001, Stephen Byers, UK Secretary of State for Transport, gave the go ahead for Terminal Five at Heathrow.

2 July 2001, Speke Airport, Liverpool, was renamed after John Lennon of The Beatles

8 October 1998, Oslo�s new Gardermoen Airport opened, replacing the smaller Fornebu Airport.

28 February 1995, Denver International Airport opened. 23 miles from Denver city centre, it covered 53 square miles, cost US$ 4.9 billion, and replaced the 65-year-old Stapleton Airport.

1 October 1992, Pittsburgh�s new International Airport opened.

1991, The new Terminal at Stansted Airport, Essex, designed by Norman Foster, opened.

1987, Galway Airport, Ireland, opened.

26 October 1987. The City Airport in the London Docklands opened for short landing and take-off aircraft.

1986, Ireland West Airport Knock was opened, after a long campaign by Monsignor James Horan to facilitate visits by pilgrims to the nearby Knock shrine.

12 April 1986, Heathrow Airport, London, opened its fourth terminal.

5 June 1985, The UK Government approved Stanstead as London�s third airport site.

1983, George Best Belfast City Airport began commercial operations, as Belfast Airport; it was renamed in honour of footballer George Best in 5/2006. It had originally opened in 1938 as Belfast Harbour Airport, becoming RAF Belfast during World War Two.

14 November1983, The world�s largest airport opened near Riyadh. The King Khalid International Airport covered 86 square miles of desert and cost �2.1 billion.

9 June 1978, Prince Charles opened new terminal facilities at Gatwick Airport.

21 May 1978, Despite four years of protests, Tokyo�s new second airport at Narita opened.

12 April 1975, French President Valery Giscard d�Estaing opened the new airport at Lyons-Satolas.

1974, Humberside Airport opened, then known as Kirmington Airport (formerly RAF Kirmington opened 1941, abandoned 1945).

18 July 1974, The Maplin Project, which would have created a seaport and airport combined the size of Rotterdam off the Essex coast, was scrapped.

8 March 1974, Charles de Gaulle airport at Paris was opened.

13 January 1974, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport opened for scheduled airline service.

22 September 1973, The new Dallas-Fort Worth airport, then the biggest in the world, 17,500 acres, was formally opened.

26 April 1971, The British government announced its intention to build a third London airport at Foulness.

1968, The Roskill Commission was set up to decide the possible site for London�s third airport. It reported back in January 1971 favouring Cublington, Buckinghamshire; Professor Buchanan dissented in favour of Foulness, on environmental grouds,

12 May 1967, The British Government chose Stansted as the site for London�s third airport. Protestors won another enquiry, scheduled for February 1968. Maplin then seemed to be favoured as the site of London�s third airport, but see 18 July 1974.

1966, GlasgowAirport opened, replacing Renfrew Airport. It was renamed Glasgow International Airport in 12989.

1 April 1966, The newly-created British Airports Authority took responsibility for London�s� Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow Airports.

1965, East Midlands Airport, Leicestershire, opened,

24 March 1964, Stanstead, Essex, was provisionally chosen as the site of London�s third airport. It had originally been constructed by the US Army in 1942 as a bomber base.

1963, Dundee Airport opened.

10/1961, Cork International Airport, Ireland, opened.

30 September 1959, London�s Croydon Airport closed. The last flight was to Rotterdam.

23 April 1959, Britain�s first heliport opened, on the River Thames in London.

9 June 1958. Gatwick Airport was opened by Queen Elizabeth II. (see 6 June 1936). The new facilities cost �7 million.

1957, Occasional commercial flights now departed from Stanstead, which was mainly a military airport for US bombers.

1957, The present Bristol Airport opened; originally called Bristol Lulsgate, name changed in 3/1997.

2 April 1957, Brasilia Airport opened.

16 December 1955, The new Terminal Two buildings at London Airport, later renamed Heathrow were opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

1954, Lydd Airport, Kent, opened.

20 July 1954. The expansion of Gatwick Airport was approved by a public committee.

April 1954, The new Beirut Airport at Khaldeh officially opened, although it had been partially operational since 1949.

1952, Cardiff Airport began commercial flights, to Dublin. It had originally been built as a base to train Spitfire pilots during World War Two. The runway was extended in 1986, facilitating more flights.

24 September 1952, The new control tower at Luton airport, 15.9 metres high, was opened.

1948, Kirkwall Airport, Orkneys, opened.

31 July 1948, Idlewild Airport, New York, opened (4,900 acres).

1947, Inverness Airport opened.

31 May 1946, Heathrow was officially opened as London Airport.

13 November1944. Croydon aerodrome, London, resumed civilian flights. The first flight was to Belfast via Liverpool.

5/1944, Construction work began on London�s Heathrow Airport.

1942, Shannon Airport, Ireland, was established. The forst scheduled commercial flight took off from here in 10/1945. Until the mid-1960s many transatlantic flights from the USA to Europe stopped to refuel at Shannon.

8 July 1939. Birmingham Airport was officially opened by the Duke of Kent. In 1929 Birmingham City Council decided the city should have an airport, and in 1933 a site at Elmdon, 8 miles from the city centre, was chosen. After the opening in 1939 services to Croydon, Glasgow, Liverpool, Ryde, Manchester, and Southampton began. However just 2 months after opening the airport was requisitioned by the Air Ministry as World War Two began. In July 1946 civilian flights resumed from Birmingham and 1949 saw its first overseas flight, to Paris. In the 1950s flights began to Zurich, Dusseldorf, Palma, and Amsterdam. By the early 1970s the terminal was suffering from congestion as over one million passengers used the airport each year. The main runway was extended, and there was further expansion when the National Exhibition Centre opened in 1974. Concorde landed there in 1981 and the Queen opened a new passenger terminal in 1984. In 1999, 7 million passengers used the airport.

1940, Dublin Airport (originally Collinstown Airport) saw its inaugural flight; the terminal buildings were completed in 1941.

15 October 1939, New York Municipal Airport, 558 acres (later renamed LaGuardia Airport) was formally dedicated in New York. Nearly 100,000 people turned out to watch almost 60 military aircraft perform a flypast.

16 July 1938, Luton Airport, Bedfordshire, was opened.

6/1938, Manchester Airport (originally known as Ringway Airport) opened.

1937, Belfast City Airport opened.

1936, Coventry Airport opened.

1936, Bromma Airport, Stockholm�s first land airport, opened. The lack of flat ground in Scandinavia had meant most early air servces were seaplanes. Bromma Airport was blasted out of the rock, and so needed paved runways.

13 June 1936, Shoreham Airport opened.

6 June 1936. Gatwick Airport opened. It was reopened as an international airport on 9 June 1958.

5 January 1935, New York�s Municipal Airport 2 opened. It was the predecessor of La Guardia Airport.

1933, Wick Airport opened.

1 July 1933, Speke aerodrome, Liverpool, opened.

1932, Southampton Airport opened.

1931, Leeds-Bradford Airport opened.

1930, Bristol�s first airport opened at Whitchurch, south of the city. See 1957.

1930, Shoreham Airport, Sussex, opened.

22 April 1929, Britain�s first municipal airport opened, at Chat Moss, Manchester.

2 May 1928. Croydon Airport officially opened.

30 January 1928, Croydon Aerodrome began operations, see 29 March 1920 and 2 May 1928.

15 February 1924, The world�s first �control tower� was inaugurated at le Bourget Airport, Paris. A tower with a commanding view of the airport now enabled aircraft movements to be directed by an officer with binoculars.

29 March 1920, Croydon was designated as London�s official airport, and Hounslow abandoned, see 30 January 1928.

1917, Belfast International Airport opened as Aldergrove Royal Flyting Corps training site. Civilian flights started in 1933 to Glasgow. Flights ti London began in 1934 from nearby Nutts Corner Airfield.

26 March 1910, Plans for Aeropolis, an aerodrome at le Bourget, Paris, were announced.

19 December 1908, Port Aviation, the world�s first aerodrome, wad completed, 12 miles from Paris.


Appendix 4 - Air speed, height, distance records

4)a) Altitude records

4) b) Speed records

4)c) Straight-distance records

4)d) Time duration records (single-leg)


7 July 1981, The first crossing of the English Channel by a solar-powered aircraft, Solar Challenger.

12 June 1979, The American Bryan Allen made the first man-powered flight across the English Channel. He pedalled his Gossamer Albatross from Folkestone to Cap Gris Nez in 2 hours 50 minutes.

26 August 1952, A Canberra bomber returned to Aldergrove Airport, Northern Ireland, having completed the first transatlantic return trip in a single day, taking 7 hours 59 minutes.

21 February 1951. A British bomber aircraft crossed the Atlantic in a record 4 hours 40 minutes.

24 October 1937, New Zealand aviator Jean Batten broke the record for flying from Australia to Britain, taking 5 days 18 hours and 18 minutes.

6 November1935. The RAF�s first monoplane fighter, the Hawker Hurricane, made its maiden flight. It was the fastest fighter aircraft in the world, with a top speed of 325 mph at 20,000 feet.

20 October 1934. An air race began at Mildenhall, Suffolk, at 6.30am. A prize of �10,000 and a �500 gold cup went to the fastest flight to Australia. It was won by the Briton, Mr T Campbell-Black and Mr C W Scott, who flew a De Havilland Comet to Australia in 2 days, 22 hours, and 58 minutes.

22 July 1933. Wiley Post, 34, completed the first solo round the world flight. He also sliced 21 hours off the previous record for a round the world flight of 8 days 15 hours 51 minutes he achieved with his navigator Harold Gatty.

27 April 1932. Mr C W Scott flew from Lympne, Kent, to Darwin, northern Australia, in 8 days, 20 hours, 47 minutes.

28 March 1932. Mr J A Mollison flew from England to Cape Town in 4 days, 17 hours, 19 minutes, beating the previous record by 15 hours, 18 minutes.

30 December 1931. Mr Fielder, a British pilot, flew from London to Algiers in a day.

9 November1931. A C Butler set a new speed record for flying from England to Port Darwin, in 9 days, 2 hours, 29 minutes.

5 November1931. Miss Peggy Salaman and Mr Gordon Stone set a new record in aviation, flying from England to the Cape, South Africa, in 5 days, 6 hours, 40 minutes.

3 September 1930, The first non-stop flight from Paris to New York was made by Dieudonne Costes and Maurice Bellonte.

10 July 1929, Charles Kingsford Smith and his crew arrived in Eng;land having flown from Australia in the record time of 12 days, 21 hours and 18 minutes.

22 February 1928. Mr Bert Hinkler arrived in Port Darwin, having set a record time for the flight from England, 15 � days.

15 June 1927, The flight from Amsterdam to Jakarta now took 15 days (see 10/1924) each way.

21 May 1927. Charles A Lindbergh completed the first solo Atlantic flight. He took off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island, flew his monoplane Spirit of St Louis for 33 � hours, and landed at Le Bourget airfield, Paris. Landing in Paris, he won the US$ 25,000 prize for the first solo flight across the Atlantic.

1 October 1926, Alan Cobham made a round the world flight in 58 days.

10/1924, The first scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Jakarta took off; it took 55 days to cover the 9,500 miles. Actual flying time was 127 hours; average speed 75 mph. See 15 June 1927.

10 December 1919, British aviators Ross and Keith Smith completed a 135-hour flight from England to Australia.

23 September 1910, First crossing of the Alps by aeroplane.

4)a) Altitude

7 May 1958, HC Johnson, USA, set a new aviation altitude record of 91,244 feet.

28 August 1957, M Randrup and W Shirley (UK) set a new aviation altitude record of 70,308 feet.

4 May 1953, W Gibb, UK, set a new aviation altitude record of 63,668 feet.

23 March 1948, J Cunningham, UK, set a new aviation altitude record of 59,445 feet.

8 May 1937, M Pezzi, Italy, set a new aviation altitude record of 51,361 feet.

14 August 1936, G Detre, France, set a new aviation altitude record of 48,698 feet.

28 September 1933, Gustav Lemoine of France set a new altitude record for an airplane, reaching 44,819 feet in a Potez 33.

4 June 1930, A Soucek, USA, set a new aviation altitude record of 43,166 feet.

5 September 1923, Sadi Lecointe, France, set a new aviation altitude record of 35,242 feet.

27 February 1920, RW Schroeder, USA, set a new aviation altitude record of 33,114 feet.

Height of Mount Everest, 29,031 feet

28 December 1913, G Legagneux, France, set a new aviation altitude record of 20,079 feet.

11 December 1912, R Garros, France, set a new aviation record of 18,406 feet.

Height of Mont Blanc (highest point in Europe), 15,771 feet

9 August 1911, Captain Felix, France, set a new aviation record of 10,466 feet.

8 July 1911, M Loridan, France, set a new aviation altitude record of 10.,423 feet.

8 December 1910, G Legagneux, France, set a new aviation altitude record of 10,171 feet.

31 October 1910, R Johnston, USA, set a new aviation altitude record of 9,711 feet.

11 August 1910. Mr Drexel set a new aviation altitude record, reaching 6,750 feet in a Bleriot monoplane.

9 July 1910, Walter Brookins set anew aviation altitude record of 6,175 feet. By flying over a mile high, he won a prize of US$ 5,000.

7 July 1910, H Latham, France set a new aviation altitude record of 4,540 feet.

Height of Ben Nevis (highest pont in UK), 4,413 feet

7 January 1910. H Latham, France, set a new aviation altitude record of 3,281 feet.

1 December 1909, H Latham, France, set a new aviation altitude record of 1,486 feet.

18 October 1909, Comte de Lambert, France, set a new aviation altitude record of 984 feet.

29 August 1909, H Latham, France, set a new aviation altitude record of 509 feet.

18 December 1908, Wilbur Wright became the first man to attain the height of 360 feet in a plane.

16 September 1804, French physicist Gay Lussac attained a height of 7,016 metres (23,018 feet) in a hydrogen balloon. This altitude record remained unbroken for 50 years.

4)b) Speed

3 October 1967, US Air Force pilot Major Peter Knight flew a rocket-powered research aircraft at 4,534 mph (7,254 kph).

4 August 1960, NASA test pilot Joseph A. Walker became the fastest man in history as he flew an X-15 at a speed of 2,196 miles per hour, breaking a record set in 1956 by Milburn Apt, who had been killed while flying an X-2. However this was not done under the rules governing international speed record attempts.

15 December 1959, JW Rogers, USA, set a new aviation speed record of 1,525.95 mph.

16 May 1958, W Irwin, USA, set a new aviation speed record of 1,404.09 mph.

10 March 1956, JP Twiss, UK, set a new aviation speed record of 1,132.14 mph.

29 October 1953, FK Everest, USA, set a new aviation speed record of 755.15 mph.

3 October 1953, JB Verdin, USA, set a new aviation speed record of 752.94 mph.

25 September 1953, MJ Lithgow, UK, set a new aviation speed record of 735.70 mph.

16 July 1953, A new world air speed record, of 716 mph or 1,152 kph was set by an F16 Sabre fighter plane.

19 November1952, JS Nash, USA, set a new aviation speed record of 698.50 mph.

15 September 1948, R Johnson, USA, set a new aviation speed record of 670.98 mph.

6 September 1948, John Derry, piloting a De Havilland DH 108, in a dive, became the first pilot to fly at supersonic speed in Britain.

14 October 1947. The first supersonic flight was made, by Charles Yeager of California.Major Charles Yeager was taken to 30,000 feet from Edwards Air Base, Muroc, California, in a Bell X-1, underneath a B-29 Superfortress plane, and released. He flew at 670mph, (Mach 1.05), held for several seconds, then landed at Edwards Air Base again.

20 August 1947, TF Caldwell, USA, set a new aviation speed record of 640.74 mph.

7 September 1946, EM Donaldson, UK, set a new aviation speed record of 615.78 mph.

1 September 1946. The jet aircraft Meteor EE549 reached the record speed of 616 mph.

7 November1945, The jet aircraft Meteor EE454 reached the record speed of 606 mph.

26 April 1939, F Wendell, Germany, set a new aviation speed record of 469.22 mph.

30 March 1939, H Dieterle, Germany, set a new aviation speed record of 463.92 mph.

10 April 1933. A world air speed record of 424 mph was set by Francesco Agello.

16 January 1930. The airship R100 reached 81 � mph in a trial flight.

12 September 1929, AH Orlebar, UK, set a new aviation speed record of 357.75 mph.

10 September 1929. A British seaplane reached a record speed of 355.8 mph.

4 November1927, M de Bernardi, Italy, set a new aviation speed record of 297.83 mph.

13 November1926, In Italy, Mario de Bernardi set a new seaplane speed record of 246 mph.

29 March 1923, RL Maughan, USA, set a new aviation speed record of 236.59 mph.

15 February 1923, Sadi Lecointe, France, set a new aviation speed record of 233.03 mph.

1 January 1923, A French pilot set a new air speed record of 217 mph.

26 September 1921, Sadi Lecointe, France, set a new aviation speed record of 205.24 mph.

4 November1920, R de Romanet, France, set a new aviation speed record of 192.02 mph.

20 October 1920, Sadi Lecointre, France, set a new aviation speed record of 187.99 mph.

9 October 1920, R de Romanet, France, set a new aviation speed record of 181.87 mph.

13 July 1912, J Vedrines, France, set a new aviation speed record of 106.12 mph.

12 June 1911, A Leblanc, France, set a new aviation speed record of 77.68 mph.

23 April 1910, H Latham, France, set a new aviation speed record of 48.21 mph.

24 August 1909, Bleriot set a new aviation speed record of 46.18 mph.

23 August 1909, G Curtiss, USA, set a new aviation speed record of 43.38 mph.

12 November1906, A Santos-Dumas of France set an aviation speed record of 25.65 mph.

4)c) Straight-distance records

2 March 1949. A crew of US Air Force personnel completed the first non-stop round the world flight, refuelling four times mid-air, taking 94 hours. See 21 May 1927, first transatlantic flight. The flight captain was James Gallagher, flying the US Air Force B50 �Lucky Lady�.

29 July 1931, R N Boardman, USA, set a new aviation distance record of 5,011 miles.

14 July 1925, Captain Girier of France set a new aviation flight length record of 2,930 miles.

15 June 1919. John Alcock and Arthur Brown completed the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic. It took them 16 hours, 12 minutes, to fly from Lester�s Field, St John�s Newfoundland, to Derrygimla Bog, near Clifden, Ireland. They were both knighted for this achievement.

7 March 1912. Henri Semiet made the first non-stop flight from London to Paris, taking three hours.

18 December 1910. Mr Tom Sopwith won a �4,000 aviation prize by flying from Eastchurch, Sheppey, to Beaumont, Belgium. He covered the 177 miles in 3 � hours.

28 April 1910. M Paulham flew from London to Manchester, winning the Daily Mail prize of �10,000 for the first person to accomplish this.

30 December 1909, The first aeroplane flight of over 100 miles was made.

13 September 1906, Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont made the first flight in Europe. His canvas and bamboo biplane stayed airborne for a 7 metre flight, on the outskirts of Paris.

6 May 1896, In the US, Samuel Pierpoint Langley succeeded in flying a glider 3,300 feet (one kilometre).

9 October 1890, Clement Ader, Frenchman, flew his monoplane, the Ecole, 165 feet. However it was not a truly sustained or controllable flight.

4)d) Time duration records (single leg)

25 March 2018, The first non-stop commercial flight from Australia to London took place, taking 17 hours (see 1935, 1938, 1947).

4 March 1976, First non-stop flight of a Japan Airlines jumbo jet from Tokyo to New York. The jet covered the 10,000km in 11 hours 30 minutes.

26 April 1929. The first non-stop flight from England to India of 4,130 miles in 50 hours 37 minutes was made by two RAF officers. They were Squadron leader A G Jones-Williams and Flight Lieutenant N H Jenkins.

2 July 1913, French aviator Marcel Brindejonc des Moulinais set a new distance record for an airplane, flying 3,100 miles from Paris to Saint Petersburg.

2 June 1910. Mr C S Rolls flew from Dover to Calais and back without landing in France, taking 90 minutes for the whole return journey.

31 December 1908, Wilbur Wright set a new aeroplane flight duration time of 2 hours 20 minutes.

16 October 1908, The first powered aeroplane flight in Britain, at Farnborough, piloted by the American Samuel Franklin Cody. He flew 1,390 feet in 27 seconds.

5 October 1905. Orville Wright became the first man to fly an aircraft for 38 minutes. He flew in a 24.5 mile circular course at Dayton, Ohio.


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