april, 2020

This is a repeating event

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Aviation History

Event Details

April 1

  • 1 April 1904 (France) — Using a glider imperfectly modeled by Ernest Archdeacon on an outdated Wright design, artillery Capt. Ferdinand Ferber launched himself into a short hop from a massive dune in Berc-Sur-Mer, Normandy, France.

  • 1 April 1918 (UK) — The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force is born. It is formed out the Army’s Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

  • 1 April 1920 (South Africa) — First Aero Conference of South Africa.

  • 1 April 1920 (Spain) — Air Mail service opened on Frejus-Toulouse-Rabat route, for Spanish mails between Barcelona, Alicante and Malaga.

  • 1 April 1921 (Argentina/Chile) — French pilot Adrienne Bollard takes off from Mendoza, Argentina in a Cauldron biplane to become the first woman to fly over the Andes. She completes the historic Andean crossing to the Chilean capital, Santiago in 10 hours.

  • 1 April 1944 — The USAAF 20th Air Force was activated.

  • 1 April 1945 — The United States invades Okinawa.

  • 1 April 1953 — (UK/France) — BEA (British European Airways) and Air France introduce tourist-class fares on their European routes.

  • 1 April 1976 (Germany) — Lufthansa’s first two Airbus A300Bs enter service. They will fly between Frankfurt and Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart and London.

April 2

  • 2 April 1794 (France) — The world’s first air force, the Aerostatic Corps of the Artillery Service is formed in France following a demonstration ascent from the gardens of the Chalais-Meudon on the outskirts of Paris in the hydrogen balloon L’Entreprenant, the first used for military tests.

  • 2 April 1937 (Sweden) — Swedish airplane manufacturer Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (SAAB) is established in Trollhättan, Sweden.

  • 2 April 1951 (USA) — Establishment of the USAF Air Research and Development Command announced.

  • 2 April 1997 (USA) — A Boeing 777, powered by twin Rolls-Royce Trent 892 turbofans, returns to Seattle to set a new Eastbound speed around the world record of 553 mph. En route, the twinjet sets a Great Circle distance without landing record of 12,455.34 miles when flying from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

April 3

  • 3 April 1933 (Nepal) — Two British-built aircraft, the prototype Westland Wapiti V modified into the Wallace (G-ACBR), become the first to fly over the top of Mt. Everest, at 29,802 ft. the highest point of land on earth, and to photograph the summit from above.

  • 3 April 1944 (Hungary) — 375 Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortresses” and Consolidated B-24 “Liberators” made the first heavy attack on Budapest.

  • 3 April 1954 (Australia) — Quantas introduces tourist-class services on its Kangaroo route from Sydney to London.

April 4

  • 4 April 1907 (France) — Santos-Dumont, disappointed by his failure on March 27 and shocked by Charles Voisin’s flight of 197 feet shortly afterwards, tries again with his No. 14bis. He makes a short flight of 164 feet in Saint-Cyr, France.

  • 4 April 1919 (Chile) — Lieutenant Cortinez, of the Chilean Army, crosses the Andes Mountains at an altitude of 19,800 feet in a British Bristol monoplane.

  • 4 April 1920 (Peru) — Juan Leguia, son of Peruvian President, breaks local record for non-stop flight, covering 300 miles between Lima and Trujillo, Peru in a Curtiss “Oriel.”

  • 4 April 1944 (USA) — USAAF Twentieth Air Force was activated.

  • 4 April 1946 (USA) — Sears, Roebuck & Company begins a new, regular weekly overnight shipment of women’s clothing from New York to the West Coast by airplane.

  • 4 April 1947 (Canada) — The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is officially founded in Montréal, Canada. It is an inter-governmental organization, established to regulate air transportation on a worldwide basis, its authority restricted only by the number of signatory nations.

  • 4 April 1966 (Mexico) — British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) opens its first scheduled service to Mexico, flying to Mexico City via Bermuda and Kingston, Jamaica.

April 5

  • 5 April 1937 (Czechoslovakia) — The first jet aircraft designed and built in Czechoslovakia, the Aero L-29 “Delfin,” makes its first flight. Over 3,000 of these two-seater jet trainers are produced for the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact air forces.

  • 5 April 1937 (USA) — The Douglas Aircraft Company takes over Northrop.

  • 5 April 1949 — The first two models of the Fairchild C-119 “Flying Boxcar” transport were completed.

April 6

  • 6 April 1890 (Java) — Anthony Herman Gerald Fokker, Dutch pioneer airman and aircraft manufacturer, is born in Kediri, Java. His Fokker D.VIII was one of the finest all-around fighters of the WWI. He became a naturalized United States citizen and his Fokker T-2 made the first non-stop flight across the United States In 1926, the North Pole was over flown in a Fokker tri-motor airplane.

  • 6 April 1909 (France) — The first machine wholly designed by Anglo-French air pioneer Henry Farman takes to the air at Bouy, France. Called either the “Henry Farman III” or, because it represents a new departure, the “HF1” the biplane is the first aircraft to incorporate practical ailerons attached to the trailing edges of the wings.

  • 6 April 1919 (France/Italy) — M. Goget makes a nonstop flight from Lyon, France to Rome, Italy, a distance of 684 miles in 7 hours.

  • 6 April 1924 (USA) — The first successful flight around the world starts as four Douglas World Cruisers leave from Seattle, Washington. Of the four, only two complete the circumnavigation as they each fly 27,553 miles (44,340 km) in 175 days, and return to Seattle on September 28. The actual flying time is 371 hours, 11 minutes, and the successful pilots are Lt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. Erik Nelson.

  • 6 April 1949 (USA) — A Sikorsky S-51 completes a record helicopter flight of 3,750 miles from Elizabeth, New Jersey to Port Angeles, Washington.

  • 6 April 1959 (USA) — Among the first group of U. S. Astronauts are U. S. Air Force Capt.s Grissom, Cooper and Slayton.

  • 6 April 1967 (USA) — Trans World Airlines (TWA) becomes the first American airline to have a fleet composed entirely of jet aircraft.

April 7

  • 7 April 1906 (England — Charles Rolls, in his new balloon, races Frank Hedges Butler and friends aboard the Aero Club III. Rolls outdistances his opponents, who come down at Wimbledon, while he lands at Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England.

  • 7 April 1908 (USA) — The members of the Aerial Experiment Association enter a competition sponsored by the Scientific American, which has offered $25,000 for a flight of over 0.62 miles. The Wrights refuse to enter because the rules state the airplane must take off without help.

  • 7 April 1921 (USA) — Third Annual Aviators’ Ball held at the Waldorf-Astoria, New York.

  • 7 April 1922 (USA) — The 1st Corps Observation Group, under the command of Col. William Mitchell, makes its first patrol, led by Maj. Ralph Royce, and thus becomes the first American squadron to go into action in Europe.

  • 7 April 1945 (South Pacific) — The first fighter escort mission made by Boeing B-29 “Superfortresses” against Japan.

April 8

  • 8 April 1931 (USA) — Amelia Earhart climbs to a record altitude of 18,415 feet in a Pitcairn Autogiro at Willow Grove, near Philadelphia.

  • 8 April 1940 (USA) — The United States Navy places a contract with Grumman for two prototypes of the XTBF-1, later named “Avenger,” a chunky mid-wing monoplane that would become the United States Navy’s standard carrier torpedo bomber of World War II.

  • 8 April 1943 (Western Europe) — Republic P-47 “Thunderbolts” were first flown in combat over Western Europe.

April 9

  • 9 April 1929 (France/England) — The French airline Air Union starts to operate a nightly service from Paris to London.

  • 9 April 1942 (Philippines) — United States forces on Bataan surrender unconditionally to the Japanese.

  • 9 April 1959 (USA) — The world’s largest plastic balloon, 240 feet in diameter was launched.

  • 9 April 1960 (USSR) — The giant Tupolev Tu-114 “Rossiya” sets a new world speed record for propeller-driven airplanes of 545.07 mph. It was carrying a 55,116-pound payload at the time and flew around an official 3,107-mile closed circuit in the USSR.

  • 9 April 1969 (UK) — The first UK-assembled supersonic transport, Concorde 002, makes a successful first flight in England.

  • 9 April 1976 (France/Venezuela) — Air France opens its second supersonic service, from Paris to Caracas, Venezuela; the Concorde takes six hours, including a stop at the Azores.

April 10

  • 10 April 1837 (Canada) — The earliest known aeronautical experiment in Canada is conducted by Canadian schoolteacher John Rae. He successfully launches a paper balloon able to carry weight. Its lift is provided by the heating of its blackened surface by the sun.

  • 10 April to 10 May 1919 (USA) — Remarkable records were made by the Victory Loan Flying Circus. The circus, composed of three flights, each flight consisting of 15 pilots and many types of airplanes, tours the United States. Performances were given in 88 cities and 45 states. A total of 1,275 flights were made, 368 civilians were taken as passengers and 19,124 miles were flown.

  • 10 April 1926 (USA) — Lindberg becomes chief pilot for Robertson Aircraft Corp, flying a Saint Louis to Chicago mail route.

  • 10 April 1942 (Philippines) — The Bataan Death March begins.

  • 10 April 1969 (Norway) — The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the first European air service to take delivery of the Lockheed P-3B “Orion.”

  • 10 April 1994 (Bosnia) — USAF General Dynamics F-16 “Fighting Falcons” carry out NATO’s first air attacks in the Bosnian conflict.

April 11

  • 11 April 1908 (France) — Delagrange flies 12,878 feet in six minutes, 30 seconds in his Voisin-Delagrange N° 2 in Paris.

  • 11 April 1911 — The United States Army sets up its first permanent flying school at College Park, Maryland.

  • 11 April 1921 (USA) — Bill is introduced into the House of Representatives by Julius Kahn, to regulate air navigation within the United States and dependencies, and between the United States and any foreign country.

  • 11 April 1921 (USA) — Bill 2815 is introduced in the House of Representatives by Frederick C. Hicks, creating a Bureau of Civil Aviation in Department of Commerce.

  • 11 April 1934 (Italy) — Comdr. Renato Donati of the Italian Regia Aeronautica sets a new world altitude record by flying a much modified Caproni Ca.113 biplane to a height of 47,352 ft. The same aircraft is also used by the Contessa Carina Negrone in 1935 to set a new altitude record for women of 39,402 ft.

April 12

  • 12 April 1911 (USA) — Lt. T. Gordon Ellyson becomes the Navy’s first pilot.

  • 12 April 1911 (England/France) — Pierre Prier makes the first non-stop passenger flight, traveling from London to Paris.

  • 12 April 1918 (USA) — The Loughead brothers fly their seaplane, the F-1, from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

  • 12 April 1921 (USA) — President Harding, in his address to Congress, recommends the establishment of a Bureau of Aviation Department in the Department of Commerce for the Federal regulation and encouragement of air navigation.

  • 12 April 1945 (USA) — Pres. Roosevelt dies, succeeded by Harry S. Truman.

  • 12 April 1961 (USSR) — At 9:07 am, Moscow time, the Soviet rocket “Vostok 1” takes off from Tyuratam in central Asia, launching Flight-Major Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin into space and the history books. After a single orbit, the first human in space lands safely Back at the space center at Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

  • 12 April 1966 (USA) — The first SAC Boeing B-52 “Stratofortress” bombers strike targets in North Vietnam.

  • 12 April 1972 (Philippines) — Members of the USAF’s 31st Aerospace Rescue Squadron pick up Charles Lindbergh and a scientific team from the jungle on Mindanao Island, Philippines, after their helicopter crashed while on an anthropological survey.

April 13

  • 13 April 1919 (England) — The Vickers “Vimy Commercial,” a civilian version of the bomber with an enclosed fuselage capable of holding a maximum of ten passengers, makes its maiden flight in Kent, England.

  • 13 April 1921 (Monaco) — Poiret in Caudron wins seaplane races at Monaco, Italy.

  • 13 April 1925 (USA) — The first regular United States air-freight service is initiated by Henry Ford, linking Detroit, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois.

  • 13 April 1960 (USA) — Major Robert M. White becomes the first United States Air Force pilot to fly the North American Aviation X-15 rocket research aircraft.

  • 13 April 1966 (USA) — Boeing announces in Seattle an order worth $525 million from Pan Am for 25 Model 747 jumbo jets.

  • 13 April 1989 (USA) — The first flight-tests of the Pratt & Whitney/Alison propfan engine are carried out in the United States.

April 14

  • 14 April 1900 (France) — The spectacular Paris International Exhibition opens. Clement Ader’s “Avion III” is one of the exhibits.

  • 14 April 1906 (USA) — In Dayton, Ohio, the Wrights send letters to the German, Italian, Japanese and Russian ministers of war offering to sell their airplane.

  • 14 April 1918 (France) — The American Expeditionary Force (AEF) shoots down its first two enemy aircraft.

  • 14 April 1920 (USA) — During railroad tie-up, an Aeromarine Flying Boat piloted by C. J. Zimmerman, carried 500 copies of the Wall Street Edition of the New York Evening Post, flies to Red Bank, New Jersey delivering papers 30 minutes after leaving New York.

  • 14 April 1926 (France) — France and Germany sign an air treaty in Paris; since 1923, the Germans had seized 15 airplanes of the French-based airline CFRNA (now CIDNA) which were forced to land on German soil.

April 15

  • 15 April 1909 (Italy) — A crowd at the Centocelle Field, Rome, Italy, sees Wilbur Wright make a 10-minute flight in which he reaches an altitude of 98 feet.

  • 15 April 1921 (USA) — Commercial blimp, Goodyear, is used in aerial survey, Los Angeles.

  • 15 April 1925 USA)_ — The United States Navy begins a program of daily flights to an altitude of 10,000 ft. from the Anacostia Naval Air Station in Washington, DC. The main purpose of these flights is to obtain weather data and to test upper-air sounding equipment that collects information that could be used to forecast weather.

  • 15 April 1947 (UK/Canada) — BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) opens its first regular service to Canada; it is a weekly flight by a Lockheed “Constellation” from London to Montréal.

  • 15 April 1986 (Libya) — USAF General Dynamics F-111F “Aardvarks” from the 48th TFW strike Libyan targets in retaliation for Libyan terrorist activities, Operation El Dorado Canyon.

April 16

  • 16 April 1912 (England/France) — Harriet Quimby, the first American woman pilot, lands after a solo flight across the English Channel from Dover to Calais, France.

  • 16 April 1919 (USA) — Major T.C. Macauley piloting a D.H.-4 biplane, arrives Souther Field, Americas, Georgia, from San Diego, California, a distance of 2400 miles, in 19 hours flying time, completing a round-trip flight in 44 hours and 15 minutes.

  • 16 April 1941 (USA) — Igor I. Sikorsky impressively demonstrates the capabilities of his VS-300 helicopter by hovering virtually motionless over Stratford (Connecticut) Airport for one hour, five minutes. Powered by a large, 90-hp engine, it sets a new helicopter record.

  • 16 April 1949 (Germany) — The Berlin Airlift delivers a record 12,940 tons the 24 hour period.

  • 16 April 1973 (USA) — The Florida State Senate votes unanimously to restore the name Cape Canaveral to the NASA establishment which was renamed Cape Kennedy shortly after the President’s assassination.

April 17

  • 17 April 1913 (England/Germany) — Briton Gustav Hamel lands after a non-stop flight of 4 hours and 18 minutes from Dover, England, to Cologne, Germany in a Blériot XI.

  • 17 April 1921 (USA) — Aviation meet at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

  • 17 April 1926 (USA) — Western Air Express starts its service between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

  • 17 April 1969 (USA) — USAF Maj. Jerauld Gentry pilots the Martin X-24 “Lifting Body” research aircraft on its first free flight.

  • 17 April 1970 (England/France) — A Sikorsky CH-53D “Sea Stallion” helicopter flies between London and Paris to demonstrate that modern helicopters can provide reliable inter-city services.

April 18

  • 18 April 1916 (France) — The first all-American air squadron in Europe is formed at the French spa town of Luxevil-les-Bains. Nieuport Squadron N° 124, unofficially know as the “Escadrille Américaine” [American Squadron], is composed of volunteers who will be under the command of a French Capt., Georges Thénault.

  • 18 April 1917 USA) — William E. Boeing’s Pacific Aero Products Company is renamed the Boeing Airplane Company.

  • 18 April to 2 May 1920 (Monaco) — Seaplane races at Monaco, France. Grand Prix de Monaco is awarded to Sadi Lecointe.

  • 18 April 1921 (South America) — Dean Ivan Lamb flies across Central American Andes, Sula to Tocantin, Honduras, 18,000 feet altitude in a Bristol.

  • 18 April 1921 (South America) — Airplanes carry out extensive mercy patrol work during violent earthquakes in Argentina and Chile, being the only means of communication in devastated areas.

  • 18 April 1942 — USAAF Lieut. Col. James Doolittle led 16 North American Aviation B-25 “Mitchell” bombers on the Tokyo raid.

  • 18 April 1952 (USA) — The biggest jet bomber ever built, the Convair YB-60, makes a successful first flight at Carswell Air Force Base at Fort Worth, Texas.

  • 18 April 1958 (USA) — US Navy Lieutenant-Commander George Watkins flies from Edwards Air Base in California to a world record absolute altitude within the atmosphere of 76,932 feet in a Grumman F11F-1 “Tiger.”

  • 18 April 1986 (France) — Marcel Bloch, 94, dies. Under his professional name of Marcel Dassault he was the most famous of France’s airplane designers.

April 19

  • 19 April 1907 (France) — Louis Blériot flies and crashes his powered monoplane N° V at Bagatelle, France.

  • 19 April 1919 (USA) — An American distance record was set on a non-stop flight from Chicago to New York.

  • 19 April 1924 (France) — The Argentinean Marquis de I. Pescara’s helicopter establishes in France a flying record of 2,550 feet (c. 777 meters) in 4 minutes, 11 seconds. This helicopter provides for auto-rotation (free blade rotation) in case of engine failure. This invention is a life-saving device, as it allows for a measure of control and lift.

  • 19 April 1945 (Cuba) — IATA was formed in Havana, Cuba. It is the successor to the International Air Traffic Association, founded in The Hague in 1919, the year of the world’s first international scheduled services. At its founding, IATA had 57 members from 31 nations, mostly in Europe and North America. Today it has about 230 members from more than 140 nations in every part of the world.

April 20

  • 20 April 1861 (USA) — Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, American inventor and balloonist, makes a balloon trip from Cincinnati, Ohio to the South Carolina coast in 9 hours.

  • 20 April 1935 (Australia) — The first passengers leave for Australia on a new Imperial Airways/QANTAS service; the first Australian departures were made from Brisbane on April 17.

  • 20 April 1943 (South Pacific) — USAAF 7th AF Consolidated B-24 “Liberators” made the first attack on Tarawa.

  • 20 April 1959 (USSR) — Aeroflot puts the 84 to 110-seater Ilyushin IL-18, its first turboprop, into service from Moscow to Alma Ata, Kazakhstan, and Adler, now Sochi, on the Black Sea.

April 21

  • 21 April 1911 (USA) — Lieutenants T.D. Milling and H.H. Arnold ordered to Dayton, Ohio for flying instructions.

  • 21 April 1914 (England) — The first news movie shot from the air is filmed by cameraman B.C. Hucks, Warwick Bioscope Chronicle Film, England. He flies down to within 400 ft. of the royal yacht with King George aboard, crossing the English Channel from Dover, England to Calais, France.

  • 21 April to 28 April 1920 (USA) — San Francisco Aeronautical Exposition under auspices of Manufactures’ Aircraft Association.

  • 21 April 1928 (Norway) — Australian explorer Hubert Wilkins and his American pilot Carl Ben Eielson arrive in Spitzbergen, Norway after making the first ever crossing of the Arctic by airplane. They left Point Barrow, Alaska, on April 15th in their Lockheed “Vega.”

  • 21 April 1961 (USA) — USAF Major Robert White pilots the X-15A research airplane from Edwards Air Force Base in California on its first flight at full throttle, reaching a speed of 3,074 mph at an altitude of 79,000 feet, before climbing to 105,100 feet.

April 22

  • 22 April 1908 (USA) — Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. accompanied by two officers made balloon ascent lasting 4 hours 30 minutes.

  • 22 April 1912 (England/Ireland) — Englishman Denys Corbett Wilson flies across St. George’s Channel between England and Ireland.

  • 22 April 1920 (USA) — Pacific Aeronautical Association at meeting, San Francisco, urges Congress to establish transcontinental air mail lines, air laws, regulate aviation in general, encourage cities to establish municipal landing fields and to aid development of commercial planes.

  • 22 April 1920 (Hawaii) — Two Naval H.S.2-L’s commanded by Lieut. Cmdr. R. D. Kirkpatrick and Lieut. W. R. Cobb, fly from Honolulu to Hilo and Back, a distance of 210 miles each way.

  • 22 April 1921 (USA) — Secretary of the Navy and other officials witness launching of first Aeromarine Navy civilian flying boats on Potomac River at Washington.

  • 22 April 1921 (USA) — Lieut. T. C. Turner with two USMC DH-4-B planes arrives Back in Washington, D.C. after 4842 mile round trip to Santo Domingo.

  • 22 April 1971 (England/France) — Britain and France give the go-ahead for four more Concordes, bringing the total to ten.

  • 22 April 1985 (USA) — Pan Am sells its Pacific division to United Air Lines for $750 million; the deal includes all Pan Am’s Pacific routes as well as its complete fleet of long-range Boeing 747SP’s, half its Lockheed “TriStars” and one McDonnell Douglas DC-10.

April 23

  • 23 April 1921 (USA) — First Air Squadron, USMC, completes photo mosaic map of Dominican Republic coastline.

  • 23 April 1939 (USA) — The United States Civil Aeronautics Authority raises the eligibility age for obtaining a private pilot license to 18 years from the previous 16 years of age.

  • 23 April 1959 (USA) — The North American Aviation GAM-77 “Hound Dog” strategic missile was launched for the first time from a Boeing B-52 “Stratofortress.”

  • 23 April 1988 (USA) — The United States government’s ban on smoking on flights of two hours or less goes into effect. “No Smoking” signs remain lit on 80% of domestic airline flights. Flight attendants are to be armed with gum and candy for those in anguish.

  • 23 April 1994 (USA) — Airbus delivers the first of 25 Airbus A300-600F dedicated freighters to the specialized package carrier, FedEx. This all-cargo version can carry up to a maximum payload of 120,855 lb over a range of 1,900 nautical miles.

April 24

  • 24 April 1909 (Italy) — Wilbur Wright makes five flights in Centocelle, Italy with King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy present. During one flight, a Universal News Agency cameraman accompanies him and takes the first motion pictures from an airplane in flight.

  • 24 April 1911 (England) — Lts. M. Longmore and C. R. Samson are the first British Royal Navy officers to qualify as pilots, after just two month’s training.

  • 24 April 1917 (France) — Lt. Col. William “Billy” Mitchell becomes the first United States Army officer to fly over German lines.

  • 24 April 1946 (USSR) — First flights of the first Soviet designed and built jet aircraft, MiG-9 and Yak-15, are made. A member of the company test team for the Yak-15, Olga Yamschikova, is probably the first woman to fly a turbojet-powered aircraft when she flies in 1947.

  • 24 April 1946 (USA) — Winged Cargo Inc. opens an unusual freight service in which goods are carried in a Waco CG-4A glider towed by a Douglas DC-3.

  • 24 April 1962 (USA) — The USAF used an orbiting satellite for the first time to transmit TV photographs.

April 25

  • 25 April 1920 (USA) — Pilot Clifford Webster flies Curtiss H.S.2-L flying boat with 2 passengers from Florida to New York, 1345 miles, in 18 hours 27 minutes.

  • 25 April 1922 (USA) — Known as the Stout ST-1, the first all-metal airplane designed for the United States Navy makes its first flight piloted by Eddie Stinson.

  • 25 April 1940 (USA) — McGee Airways pioneers the transportation of fresh meat and milk to the Alaskan interior.

  • 25 April 1945 (England) — The USAAF 8th AF made its last attack on an industrial target during World War II.

  • 25 April 1972 (Germany) — The world straight-line distance record for a single-seat sailplane is set by German Hans Werner Grosse, who sails 907 miles (1,460 km) in a Sleicher AS-W12 sailplane.

April 26

  • 26 April 1919 (USA) — Final speed tests on Curtiss “Wasp” at Garden City show 160.1 to 162-mph with full military load.

  • 26 April 1919 (USA) — A World Duration Record was set by a United States Naval F-5-L flying boat which remained in the air for 20 hours and 19 minutes with a crew of four. The flight covered 1,250 nautical miles.

  • 26 April 1920 (USA) — Over a measured course at Naval Air Station, Rockaway, Curtiss “Wasp” piloted by Roland Rohls, flies at a speed of 140 mph, breaking the former speed record by 14 mph. Flight made under official cognizance of United States Navy officials.

  • 26 April 1949 (USA) — Dick Reider and Bill Barris set a world endurance record for a flight-refueled aircraft in the United States They flew continuously in their Aeronca Chief light aircraft for 1,008 hours, one minute (over six weeks). They received food and fuel handed up from a speeding vehicle four times a day.

  • 26 April 1962 (USA) — In utmost secrecy at the remote airfield in Groom Dry Lake, Nevada, the first Lockheed A-12 “Oxcart” makes its first flight. It is the first of a family of top-secret spy planes.

  • 26 April 1966 (Vietnam) — USAF Maj. P. J. Gilmore and Lt. W. T. Smith 555/8 TFW in their McDonnell Douglas F-4C “Phantom II” using an AIM-9 “Sidewinder” became the first to destroy a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21.

  • 26 April 1972 (USA) The first Lockheed L-1011 “TriStar” enters scheduled service, with Eastern Air Lines, on its route from Miami to New York.

  • 26 April 1987 (Sweden) — The first full-scale prototype of SAAB’s hi-tech JAS 39 “Gripen” fighter is unveiled in Sweden.

  • 26 April 1995 (Russia) — A Mikoyan MiG-29 “Fulcrum” sets a new FAI class C-1h world altitude record of 90,092 ft.

April 27

  • 27 April 1839 (USA) — John Wise, an American, introduces the balloon ripping-panel, a glued section that the pilot can pull open for quick emptying of the balloon after landing. This prevents the balloon from being dragged along the ground.

  • 27 April 1905 (England) — Under the supervision of Samuel F. Cody, Sappy Moreton of the British Army’s Balloon Section reaches 2,600 feet beneath a man-carrying kite in Aldershot, England.

  • 27 April 1911 (USA) — The second Army Wright aeroplane was accepted by the Signal Corps.

  • 27 April 1913 (Panama) — In a floatplane, Bob Fowler makes the first flight with a passenger in Central America (and the first flight in Panama) when he flies with film cameraman Raymond Duhem from the Atlantic to the Pacific, flying 40 miles across the Panama isthmus in 57 minutes. En route, Duhem makes the first aerial film of Central America.

  • 27 April 1920 (USA) — First warrant in United States for reckless aerial driving is issued in Los Angeles against Omer Locklear, Aero Club of Southern California, complainant.

  • 27 April 1921 (USA) — Resolution submitted to Chamber of Congress of U. S. at Atlantic City convention by National Aircraft Underwriters Association, urging aerial code.

  • 27 April 1929 (England/India) — Squadron Leader A.G. Jones-Williams and Flight Lieutenant N.H. Jenkins complete the first non-stop flight from England to India. They fly the 4,130 miles in 50 hours, 37 minutes in a Fairey Long-Range Monoplane.

April 28

  • 28 April 1919 (USA) — American Leslie Irvin makes the first jump from an airplane using a free-type (to be opened at will by a rip-chord) Back pack parachute and lands at McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio. The parachute is designed by Floyd Smith.

  • 28 April 1924 (England/France) — Imperial Airways inaugurates its London/Paris service.

  • 28 April 1927 (USA) — The first airmail service north of the Arctic Circle begins between Fairbanks and Wiseman, Alaska.

  • 28 April 1937 (USA/Hong Kong) — The first commercial flight across the Pacific is made as a Pan-American Boeing 314 “Clipper” seaplane arrives in Hong Kong.

  • 28 April 1942 (China) — Twenty-two Japanese planes were reported down by the “Flying Tigers” pilots.

  • 28 April 1948 (France/USA) — The first non-stop Paris/New York flight is made by an Air France sleeper Lockheed “Constellation” the journey from Orly airport, near Paris, takes 16 hours, 1 minute.

April 29

  • 29 April 1905 (USA) — In Santa Clara, California, Daniel Maloney is launched from a tethered balloon to make a free flight in a tandem-wing glider, which “Professor” Montgomery, a schoolteacher and keen amateur aviator, has designed.

  • 29 April 1918 (France) — Lieut. Edward V. RickenBacker donned his first enemy aircraft.

  • 29 April 1931 (USA) — The Boeing B-9 bomber flies for the first time and marks the next step in airframe development in the evolution of the Boeing 247, the first modern-type airliner.

  • 29 April 1942 (Burma) — The Japanese take central Burma.

  • 29 April 1964 (England/Nigeria) — British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) introduces the Vickers VC10 jet airliner into regular passenger service, on its route to Lagos, Nigeria.

  • 29 April 1968 (USA) — United Air Lines becomes the first carrier to put the Boeing 737-200, a larger capacity version of the standard 737, into service.

  • 29 April 1988 (USA) — The first flight of the Boeing 747-400 is made. This advanced model has a crew of two and can carry between 412 and 509 passengers over 8,000 miles. Sales in 1990 of 170 of these wide-body transports broke all records.

April 30

  • 30 April 1904 (USA) — The St. Louis exposition opens. Octave Chanute exhibits a replica of his biplane glider of 1896, which he launches by using an electric winch.

  • 30 April 1917 (USA) — Pacific Aero Products Company changes its name to Boeing Airplane Company, with William E. Boeing as its president.

  • 30 April 1919 (England) — The Air Navigation Directions, laying down rules for aircraft registration and pilot licensing, are published in London.

  • 30 April 1920 (USA) — Orenco “Tourister” at Hazelhurst Field, Minneola, piloted by Clarence Coombs, with three passengers, reaches altitude of 6000 feet in 8 minutes, 750 feet a minute.

  • 30 April to 25 November 1921 (USA) — Foster Russell Aviation Company, Spokane, Washington, makes 20,000-mile flight, visiting 75 towns and caring and 2,000 passengers. Expedition made to advertise 30 Spokane manufacturers in the “Inland Empire.” No accident; no forced landings.

  • 30 April 1928 (England/South Africa) — British pilot Lady Mary Bailey lands to complete a flight from England to Cape Town, South Africa. She took off on March 9th.

  • 30 April 1932 (USA) — An international code of air traffic communication is formally established, following the decision to do so at a 1927 conference in Washington, DC. The new code is based on a series of three-letter code starting with the letter “Q”.

  • 30 April 1948 (USA) — General Hoyt S. Vandenberg was designated the United States Air Force Chief of Staff.

  • 30 April 1969 (Norway) — The first woman airline pilot in the West, Turi Widerose of Norway, makes her first scheduled flight as a first officer for SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System). She was certified as co-pilot on the Convair 440 “Metropolitan” and became the first female pilot in a larger airline in the Western World. She also flew SAS’ first jet aircraft, the Sud Aviation “Caravelle”, and the Douglas DC-9 before she ended her flying career.



Month Long Event (april)