World Aviation in 1912

10 January
Glenn Curtiss flies the first proper flying-boat, a converted Curtiss A2.

Jules Vedrine makes the first 100mph flight in his Monocoque Deperdussin.

16 February
Frank Coffyn films New York from the air using a cinema camera while controlling his aircraft with his feet and knees.

17 February
French military aircraft make their first flights in Algeria.

The German Aviation Experimental Establishment (DVL) is established at Berlin-Adlershof.

The first seaplane competition is held at Monaco.

Structural failures lead the French government to ground Blériot monoplanes. Louis Blériot investigates and the ban is lifted after two weeks.

The Liore & Olivier aircraft company is founded by French engineers Fernand Liore and Henri Olivier.

1 March
The first parachute jump from an aeroplane, a Benoist biplane, is made over Jefferson Barracks in St Louis, USA, by Captain Albert Berry.

5 March
Bob Fowler completes a west to east coast-to-coast crossing of the USA, from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, after 4 months.

12 March
The French Service de l’Aéronautique de la Marine is formed.

15 March
The newly established Turkish Army Aviation Section receives its first two French-built aircraft.

29 March
The French Aéronautique Militaire is reorganised into three Groupes, based in Lyon, Reims and Versailles.

3 April
American Calbriath P. Rodgers dies when he crashes into the Pacific during a Long Beach air show.

6 April
Belgian M.V. de Jonckheere demonstrates that aeroplanes can follow ships at night as he flies his monoplane in experiments at League Island in California.

16 April
American Harriet Quimby, the first American woman to gain a pilot’s certificate, becomes the first woman to cross the English Channel in an aeroplane. She flies from Deal in England to Cap Gris-Nez in France in a Blériot monoplane.

7 May
An American Wright biplane, flown by Lieutenant Thomas De Witt Milling at College Park in Maryland, becomes the first aeroplane to be armed with a machine gun.

9 May
In Sydney, William Hart is fined £20 for causing a herd of cattle to stampede by flying over them.

22 May
A United States Marine Corps (USMC) officer is ordered to commence flying training.

24 May
Anthony Fokker crashes his Goedecker-built B1912 monoplane at Berlin, just 10 days after demonstrating it to the German Army.

30 May
Pioneer aviator Wilbur Wright dies from typhoid fever.

1 June
Lieutenant Hans E. Dons makes the first flight by an aeroplane in Norway, flying a German Start across Oslo Fjord.

2 June
A machine-gun is fired from an aeroplane for the first time. Captain Charles de Forest Chandler of the United States Signal Corps fires a Lewis gun from a Wright Model B biplane piloted by Lieutenant Thomas de Witt Milling at Maryland, USA.

7 June
Pioneer Anglo-French aviator, Hubert Latham, is killed by a buffalo while on safari in Central Africa.

10 June
The first German airmail is flown by airships ‘Schwaben’ and ‘Gelber Hund’ from Darmstadt to Frankfurt/Main.

17 June
Julie Clark becomes the first American woman to be killed flying when she hits a tree at Springfield in Illinois.

26 June
The Japanese government forms a Kaigun Kokujutsu Kenkyu Kai (Naval Committee for Aeronautical Research).

27 June
The Italian Aviation Service is formed from the Battaglione Aviatori (Aviation Battalion).

28 June
Delag passenger-carrying airship Zeppelin LZ10 ‘Schwaben’ is destroyed by fire while in its shed.

2 July
The Danish Army Flying School is established.

5 July
Americans Captain Charles Chandler and Lieutenants Thomas Milling and Henry Arnold are presented with certificates qualifying them as the first United States ‘Military Aviators’.

27 July
The first wireless message is transmitted from an airship to a ship, the torpedo boat USS Stringham. Lieutenant John Rodgers and Ensign Charles Maddox send it from a Wright B1 Flyer.

31 July
Lieutenant T.G. Ellyson pilots the first aeroplane to be catapult-launched from a wall platform at Annapolis, USA.

5 August
United States Army officers gain double pay for volunteering for flying training, after the Hardwick Bill is passed in Washington, USA.

10 August
During United States Army manoeuvres, the Signal Corps fly aeroplanes for the first time.

10 August
The Argentinean Servico Aeronautico del Ejercito (Military Aviation Service) is formed.

15 August
In an effort to encourage the development of fighter aircraft, the Michelin brothers give a prize of 50,000 francs to Frenchmen Gaubet and Scott for dropping bombs on a target.

The Australian Army Aviation Corps is formed.

The Royal Hellenic Army establishes an Air Squadron.

9 September
Jules Vedrines wins the Gordon Bennett cup by flying a world record speed of 173kph (108mph) in his Monocoque Deperdussin monoplane at Chicago.

11 September
Lieutenant Moizo, an Italian, is the first pilot to be captured in warfare when his Nieuport makes a forced landing at Azizia during the Libyan campaign. Moizo, at the time of his capture, was the longest serving pilot in the theatre with 11 months and 82 sorties to his name.

12 September
The first French naval aeroplane, a Maurice Farman fitted with pontoons, is purchased.

19 September
Delag’s Zeppelin LZ13 ‘Hansa’ commences the world’s first international commercial passenger service, flying from Hamburg to Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmo in Sweden.

1 October
The German Military Aviation Service is formed.

22 October
The first use of an aircraft in war. Captain Carlo Piazza of the Italian Army, flying a Blériot XI, flew from Tripoli to observe Turkish positions near Azizia.

23 October
Teniente de Navio Melchor Z. Escola, Argentina’s first naval aviator, is awarded a pilot’s certificate by the Argentine Aero Club.

26 October
American Lieutenant John H. Towers conducts trials into the use of aeroplanes for anti-submarine duties.

12 November
A Curtiss A-1 Triad hydroplane, piloted by Lieutenant T. Gordon Ellyson, is the first aeroplane to be catapult-launched from an anchored ship. The aircraft takes-off using a compressed air catapult on a barge anchored in the Anacostia river, USA.

27 November
The United States Army Signal Corps receives it’s first flying boat, a Curtiss F two-seat biplane.

28 November
The Italian Flotta Aerea d’Italia (Air Fleet of Italy) is formed as an autonomous aviation service.

5 December
In an effort to encourage the development of seaplanes, Frenchman Jacques Schneider announces that he will sponsor an international competition.

12 December
The first ejector seat, developed by Baron d’Odkolek, is tested at Issy-les-Moulineaux in France, when a dummy wearing the parachute is ejected by a small cannon from a flying aeroplane.

Also this year…
The following air services are established:

  • Danish Navy Flying School
  • Turkish Army Aviation Section
  • A Portuguese air arm, the Campo do Seixcal
  • Bulgarian Army Aviation Corps
  • Japanese Naval Air Service

Edmond Audemars of Switzerland makes the first flight from Paris to Berlin, in a Blériot monoplane.

The world’s first all-metal aeroplane, the Tubavion monoplane, is flown by Frenchmen Ponche and Primard.

The United States Army purchases six Burgess Model H biplane trainers, the first aeroplanes with tractor-mounted engines.