London's Hangar 6 will be closed 21 September while we update this exhibition.

World Aviation in 1923

9 January
The first flight of the Cierva C4 Autogiro prompts the beginning of wide interest in this type of aircraft.

23 January
United States Army Air Service (USAAS) makes parachutes compulsory.

February
The first Japanese fighter aircraft, the Mitsubishi IMF1, lands and takes off from a Japanese aircraft carrier IJN Hosho. The pilot is a Briton, Captain Jordan.

5 March
Igor Sikorsky, having previously escaped from Russia, forms the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation in the USA.

23 March
The Italian Regia Aeronautica is formed.

2-3 May
Lieutenant O.G. Kelly and Lieutenant J.A. Macready of the United States Army Air Service (USAAS) make the first non-stop flight across the United States. Flying a Fokker T2, the journey time is 26 hours 50 minutes. They leave Roosevelt Field, Long Island and land at Rockwell Field in California.

14 June
The New Zealand Permanent Air Force is formed.

27 June
The first air-to-air flight refuelling is demonstrated by Captain L.H. Smith and Lieutenant J.P. Richter of the United States Army Air Service (USAAS) flying two de Havilland DH4Bs over San Diego in California.

21 August
In the USA, ground electric beacons are used to illuminate flight direction for the first time.

22 August
The largest aircraft to date makes its first flight, but the Barling XNBL-1 triplane is found to be under-powered.

27-28 August
Captain L.H. Smith and Lieutenant J.P. Richter of the United States Army Air Service (USAAS) remain airborne for 37 hours 16 minutes. Their de Havilland DH4B is refuelled 15 times by a DH4B tanker.

4 September
United States Navy (USN) rigid helium filled airship ZR1 ‘Shenandoah’ makes its first flight at Lakehurst in New Jersey.

28 September
The United States wins first and second place in Schneider Trophy Contest with Curtiss CR3 biplanes.

4 November
A United States Navy (USN) Curtiss R2C1 establishes a new world speed record 429kph (267mph).

Also this year…
The Salvadorean Army Aviation Service and the Nicaraguan Army Air Arm are established in South America and the first variable-pitch propeller is demonstrated in the USA by its inventor Turnbull.