World Aviation in 1938

27-29 March
Deutche Luft Hansa’s Dornier Do18F D-ANHR is catapulted from a seaplane carrier at Star Point in Devon and is flown by Captain H.W. von Engle to Caravellas in Brazil. This non-stop flight of 8,392 kilometres (5,125 miles) establishes a new world distance record for flying boats and takes 43 hours 5 minutes.

15 May
H.L. Ickes, United States Secretary of State for the Interior, confirms his refusal to supply helium gas to Germany.

Pabst von Ohain’s Heinkel HeS 3B turbojet is test flown beneath a Heinkel He118.

25 June
Deutche Luft Hansa introduces the Focke Wulf Fw200 on its Berlin to London route.

27-28 June
Russian airmen, Kokkinski and Briandinsky, fly from Moscow to Vladivostock in 24 hours, covering a total distance of 4,375 miles.

11 July
Germany’s Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG becomes Messerschmitt AG. All existing aircraft designs retain the Bf prefix, for example, Messerschmitt Bf109, but all new projects are prefixed Me.

14 July
Howard Hughes, the American aviator, and four companions arrive in New York after a round the world flight of 15,432 miles. They complete the journey in 3 days 19 hours 17 minutes.

Soviet Air Group in Spain begins its withdrawal and its equipment is handed over to the Republican forces.

10-11 August
Focke Wulf Fw200 D-ACON Brandenburg makes a non-stop flight from Berlin to New York.

10 September
A German decree prohibits all foreign aircraft flying over Germany from leaving designated air corridors.

14 September
The first flight of Zeppelin LZ130 ‘Graf Zeppelin’.

22 October
Italian Lieutenant Colonel M. Pezzi, flying a Caproni 161-bis at Montecelio, establishes a new world altitude record of 17,083 metres (56,046 feet). No piston engined aircraft has ever bettered this record.

28-30 November
Flug Captain Henke and Flug Captain Moreau fly Focke Wulf Fw200 D-ACON ‘Brandenburg’ from Berlin to Tokyo. With three refuelling stops the journey is completed in 46 hours 15 minutes.

8 December
The ‘Graf Zeppelin’, the first and only German aircraft carrier, is launched. However, the ship will never be completed and is scuttled in 1945.

31 December
The first flight of an airliner with a pressurised passenger cabin is made by the Boeing 307 Stratoliner. The aircraft is a forerunner of the military bomber aircraft that would become the B17 Flying Fortress.