World Aviation in 1928

7 January
The first flight of the Polikarpov U2.

27 January
The first rigid airship to aircraft carrier mooring is achieved when United States Navy (USN) dirigible (steerable airship) ‘Los Angeles’ moors to USS Sagatoga while the latter vessel is at sea.

30 March
Major Mario di Bernardi of the Italian Air Force establishes a new world speed record. Flying a Macchi M52bis, he achieves 512kph (318mph).

12-13 April
The first east-west transatlantic flight is made from Baldonnel in Dublin to Greenly Island, just off the coast of Labrador by Captain James Fitzmaurice of the Irish Free State Air Service, Captain Hermann Köhl and Baron von Hünefeld in a Junkers W33 Bremen.

15-21 April
Captain G.H. Wilkins and Lieutenant Carl B. Eielson make the first west-east crossing of the Arctic, flying a Lockheed Vega.

15 May
The first Australian flying doctor service commences, with Dr K.H. Vincent Welsh using a de Havilland DH50

23 May
The Italian airship ‘Italia’ attempts a flight to North Pole, but crashes on the return flight.

11 June
The Ente sailpane is fitted with two Sanders solid fuel rocket motors and becomes the first rocket powered aircraft to fly. The flight of 1.2 kilometres (0.75 miles) is undertaken by Friedrich Stamer at Wasserkuppe Mountain in Germany.

3-5 July
A Savoia-Marchetti S64 monoplane, flown by Italians Captain Arturo Ferrarin and Maggiore Carlo Del Prete, breaks distance records with a flight of over 7,000 kilometres.

18 September
German airship LZ127 Graf Zeppelin is launched.

18 September
Don Juan de la Cierva flies from Croydon to Le Bourget in his C8L MkII autogiro, making the first cross-Channel flight in a rotary wing aircraft.

11 October
German airship LZ127 Graf Zeppelin crosses the North Atlantic from Friedrichshafen in Germany to Lakehurst in New Jersey an a journey that took 71 hours.

19 December
Harold Pitcairn flies the first American autogyro in Philadelphia.

20 December
Captain G.H. Wilkins and Lieutenant Carl B. Eielson complete the polar double by making the first flight over the Antarctic in a Lockheed Vega. They had already crossed the Arctic, flying over the North Pole, between 17-21 April.

Also this year…
Max Valier publicly demonstrates rocket propulsion in Germany.