Aviation History Facts: March

March 1

  • In 1912… Capt. Albert Berry makes the first parachute descent from a powered airplane in America when he jumps from a Benoist aircraft that is being flown by the company pilot, Anthony Jannus. The aircraft is flying at a height of 1,500 ft. over Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri, and Berry uses a static line parachute. (F&F)
  • In 1925… Ryan Airlines begins the first regularly scheduled passenger airline service flown within the mainland United States. The service runs between Los Angeles and San Diego. (F&F)
  • In 1928… An airmail route between France and Chile is opened with a fast sea link between Dakar, Senegal and Natal, Brazil. (F&F)
  • In 1933… U.S. Air Commerce Regulations are amended to increase the flying time required for a pilot’s license from 10 hours to 50 hours. (OTM)
  • In 1962… Los Angeles Airways sets up the world’s first commercial service using turbine-powered, multi-engine helicopters, the Sikorsky S-621L, which could accommodate up to 28 passengers. (F&F)

March 2

  • In 1918… Lloyd Andrews Hamilton becomes the first American to receive a commission in the British Royal Flying Corps when he is assigned as lieutenant with No. 3 squadron in France. (F&F)
  • In 1932… The 20-months-old son of aviator Charles Lindbergh has been kidnapped from the family’s home in Hopewell, New Jersey. (AYY)
  • In 1949… Commanded by Capt. James G. Gallagher, the crew of 14 aboard the Strategic Air Command B-5A Lucky Lady II of the Forty-third Bombardment Group, USAF, completes the first nonstop round-the-world flight of 94 hours 1 minute. Flying a distance of 23,452 miles the B-50A is refueled four times by KB-29 tankers before landing back at Carswell AFB, Texas. (F&F)
  • In 1969… After a lengthy succession of taxi and runway tests, the first prototype Concorde 001 (F-WTSS) makes its first flight, with Andre Turcat at the controls. The flight lasts 29 minutes. (F&F)

March 3

  • In 1911… With Capt. Benjamin D. Foulois navigating a course and Phillip Parmelee at the controls, the Wright Type B on loan from Robert F. Collier sets an official U.S. cross-country record from Laredo to Eagle Pass, Texas. It flies the 106 miles in 2 hours 10 minutes. (F&F)
  • In 1919… Airplane builder William E. Boeing and Eddie Hubbard of Hubbard Air Service make the first international airmail flight from Seattle, Washington to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (AYY)
  • In 1950… Australian Quantas inaugurates a passenger service from Sydney to Tokyo. (AYY)
  • In 1960… The longest nonstop flight ever made by a Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft is completed when a Vickers Valiant B.Mk.1 (serial no.XD858) piloted by Sqdn. Ldr. J. H. Garstin flies around the British Isles for a total distance of 8,500 miles aided by two inflight refuelings. (F&F)
  • In 1974… In the world’s worst air disaster, a DC-10-10 of Turkish Airlines loses an aft cargo door after taking off from Paris en route to London, resulting in a complete loss of control. The aircraft crashes, killing 346 passengers and crew. This is the second time a cargo bay door has been lost from aircraft of this type. As a result, a latch modification becomes mandatory. (F&F)

March 4

  • In 1909… President William Howard Taft approves Congressional Gold Medals for the Wright brothers. (AYY)
  • In 1936… The last great passenger-carrying airship, a veritable behemoth in its day, takes to the air for the first time. The German dirigible LZ 129, the Hindenburg, is powered by four 1,320-hp Daimler-Benz DB 602 diesel engines. The Hindenburg makes its first Atlantic crossing in the record time of 64 hours 53 minutes on May 6. (F&F)
  • In 1948… The first American civilian to fly at supersonic speeds is Herbert Henry Hoover in Bell X-1 in Muroc, California. (OTM)

March 5

  • In 1912… Bob Fowler flies from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida. The west to east coast-to-coast journey has taken four months to complete. (AYY)
  • In 1923… The great aeronautical pioneer Igor Sikorsky sets up the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corp. in the United States with the financial help of several important leading figures, including Sergey Rachmaninoff. Sikorsky left Russia in 1917 when revolution threatened his work and his life. (F&F)
  • In 1962… A Convair B-58 (serial no. 59-2458) of the Forty-third Bombardment Wing breaks three records during a round trip between New York and Los Angeles in 4 hours 41 minutes 14.98 seconds. The fastest trans-continental crossing between Los Angeles and New York is accomplished in 2 hours 58.71 seconds at an average speed of 1,214.65 mph. The third record notches the fastest time between New York and Los Angeles. (F&F)

March 6

  • In 1935… U.S secretary of commerce signs a special air traffic regulation that prohibits air flights over parts of Washington, D.C. (OTM)
  • In 1965… The first nonstop transcontinental helicopter flight across the United States – flown off the deck of the carrier USS Hornet at San Diego, California to the deck of the carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt off Jacksonville, Florida – is completed successfully. A U. S. Navy Sikorsky SH-3A Sea King flies 2,116 miles. (F&F)
  • In 1986… Japan Air Lines embarks the world’s heaviest man, an 880-lb Austrian flying from Frankfurt, Germany, as a passenger; 16 seats are removed from the cabin to make room for him. (AYY)

March 7

  • In 1956… Dan Perkins, engineer at Britain’s Royal Aircraft Establishment, makes his first flight in an inflatable airplane in Bedfordshire, England. It takes 25 minutes to inflate it, using a large domestic vacuum cleaner. (AYY)
  • In 1961… The # 2 North America X-15 becomes the fist manned aircraft to exceed Mach 4 when pilot Capt. Robert M. White reaches a speed of 2,905 mph which, at the altitude of 77,450 ft., is Mach 4.43. (F&F)

March 8

  • In 1910… Elise Deroche, the colorful self-styled Baroness Raymonde de Laroche, becomes the first woman in the world to receive a pilot’s license in Paris. (AYY)
  • In 1910… Claude Moore-Brabazon receives the Royal Aero Club’s first aviator’s certificate in London. Charles Rolls receives the second. (AYY)
  • In 1917… German airship pioneer Count von Zeppelin dies. (AYY)
  • In 1949… Nonstop flight of 56 hours and 2 minutes has put captain William Odom in the record books. Leaving Honolulu, Hawaii, he covers a distance of 4,957.25 miles before landing at Teterboro, New Jersey to gain the world record in Class C-1-c for light aircraft. (AYY)
  • In 1974… Charles de Gaulle Airport at Roissy-en-France is officially opened. The new international airport is located 15.5 miles (25 km) from the center of Paris. (OTM)

March 9

  • In 1918… The first American air casualty in World War I is Capt. James E. Miller who loses his life in a French Spad while flying a practice patrol across the German lines. (F&F)
  • In 1919… U.S. Navy Lt. Comdr. E. O. McDonnell makes the first successful flight from a gun turret platform on a U.S. navy battleship. The USS Texas is anchored in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for the test. (F&F)
  • In 1928… The English aviatrix Lady Mary Bailey takes off from Croydon on what becomes the first round-trip flight between London and Cape Town, South Africa flown by a woman. She arrives back in England on May 12. (F&F)
  • In 1938… A new parachute descent record of 35,450ft. is achieved by the French parachutist James Williams when he jumps from the cockpit of an ANF Les Mureaux 113 high-wing monoplane after taking off from the airfield at Chartres. Dropping to a height above the ground of 650 ft. in 2 minutes 50 seconds before opening his parachute, Williams easily achieves a world free-fall record. (F&F)

March 10

  • In 1905… The French lawyer and aspiring aeronaut Ernest Archdeacon sends a letter to the Wright brothers in Dayton, Ohio challenging them to prove the validity of their claims. This marks the beginning of a bitter contest between the Wrights and European aeronauts. (F&F)
  • In 1910… The first flight at night is made by Frenchman Emile Aubrun in Argentina on a Bleriot airplane. Aubrun makes two flights in the dark, each about 20 km from Buenos Aires and back again. (OTM)
  • In 1925… One of the most outstanding flying boats of its day and a stunning demonstration of the skills of aircraft designer R. J. Michell, the Supermarine Southampton, makes its first flight with Henri Biard at the controls. It remains in service for 12 years, longer than any other flying boat before Sunderland. (F&F)
  • In 1948… NACA test pilot Herbert Henry Hoover becomes the first civilian to exceed the speed of sound when he flies the No. 2 Bell XS-1 to a speed of 703 mph (Mach 1.065). (F&F)
  • In 1956… The first aircraft to exceed 1,000 mph (1,609 km/h) is an English Fairey Delta 2. Piloted by Lt. Cdr. Peter Twiss, it reaches a speed of 1,132 mph (1,822 km/h). (OTM)

March 11

  • In 1910… Lieutenant J. W. Dunne’s D5 tailless biplane is tested at Eastchurch, Kent, England. It has a 60-hp Green engine and was built by Short Brothers. (AYY)
  • In 1957… The prototype Boeing 707 jet lands after a press demonstration flight from Seattle, Washington to Baltimore, Maryland during which it covers 2,350 miles in a record time of 3 hours 48 minutes. (AYY)
  • In 1998… The first two of four Boeing E-767 airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircrafts are officially handed over to the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force. (AYY)

March 12

  • In 1908… The first flight of the first airplane built by the U.S. Aerial Experiment Association takes place when Thomas Baldwin flies the Red Wing (Aerodrome No.1). The flight of the biplane ends in a crash landing. (F&F)
  • In 1915… A Burgess H biplane (No. 28) sets a world endurance record for a pilot and two passengers by remaining in the air for 7 hours 5 minutes. This particular airplane has been modified by Grover C. Loening at the army training school in San Diego. (F&F)
  • In 1932… New landing aids are installed in Newark, New Jersey, at the busiest airport in the world, to supplement the night landing facilities already in existence there. In 1930 alone there were some 28,000 landings and the airport handled 20,000 passengers. (AYY)

March 13

  • In 1910… The first airplane flight in Switzerland is made by German Capt. P. Englehardt who takes off in a Wright Flyer from a frozen lake in St. Moritz. (OTM)
  • In 1928… The first Canadian woman to obtain a pilot’s license, Miss Eileen M. Vollick, passes her flight test in Hamilton, Ontario on Curtiss aircraft. (OTM)
  • In 1945… U. S. interest in flight is so popular that courses in aviation are being taught at this point in 14,000 of America’s 25,686 high schools. (OTM)
  • In 1951… The Australian airline Qantas begins a survey flight from Rose Bay, Sydney to Valparaiso, Chile with a Catalina (VH – ASA). (F&F)

March 14

  • In 1908… Henri Farman makes the first flight in his modified Voisin-Farman I-bis, the biplane built by Voisin brothers. (F&F)
  • In 1927… The Aviation Corp. of America (AVCO), headed by Juan Trippe, forms Pan American Airways to qualify for a contract for airmail deliveries from the post office and establishes the route between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba as the first of several routes it would acquire. (F&F)
  • In 1936… Imperial Airways opens a weekly service to Hong Kong. (AYY)
  • In 1960… Within a year of completion of a major expansion program, Chicago’s O’Hare International airport has become the busiest terminal in the US, handling 10.2 million passengers in 1959, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) reports. In the same year it handled 431,600 take-offs and landings. (AYY)

March 15

  • In 1938… De Havilland D. H. 88 Comet racer G-ACSS begins a record-breaking flight from England to New Zealand and back for what some regard as the most notable success of the Comet’s achievement: a return flight time of 10 days 21 hours 22 minutes. (F&F)
  • In 1957… A U.S. Navy ZPG-2 nonrigid airship sets a new unrefueled endurance record when it lands, having remained aloft for 264 hours (11 days) 12 minutes, beating the record set by the Graf Zeppelin in 1929. (F&F)
  • In 1985… Pan Am puts the Airbus A300B airliner into service, on its route from Miami, Florida to Mexico City. (AYY)

March 16

  • In 1905… S. H. Maloney, a professional balloon-parachute jumper, makes a first successful glide to earth in a tandem-wing glider built by John J. Montgomery (1858-1911), a professor at Santa Clara College in California. (OTM)
  • In 1907… Built for Leon Delagrange and pilot Charles Voisin, the Voisin-Delagrandge biplane makes its first flight from Bagatelle, France, achieving a height of 13ft. and a distance of 260ft. (F&F)
  • In 1911… The first certificate of airworthiness awarded to an airplane in Britain is signed by Mervyn O’Gorman, superintendent of the Balloon Factory at Farnborough, covering the Farman III Type Militaire purchased by the British Army during the second half of 1910. (F&F)
  • In 1960… KLM opens its first intercontinental jet service, by Douglas DC-8 from Amsterdam to New York. (AYY)
  • In 1983… A Boeing 767 lands after a nonstop flight of 5,499 miles from Lisbon, Portugal to set a distance record for a twin-jet airliner in commercial service. (AYY)

March 17

  • In 1911… U.S. Navy Lt. John Rodgers reports to the Wright Co. at Dayton, Ohio for flying instructions. On March 9, the Wrights had offered to train one Navy pilot if that service bought a Wright flying machine at a cost $5,000. The conditional offer was later replaced by one that provided unconditional free training for one would-be Navy pilot. (F&F)
  • In 1921… The first U. S. Marine airman to serve in the Pacific arrives on Guam with responsibility for supporting U. S. land and sea forces in the region. There, 10 pilots and 90 enlisted men operate seaplanes on reconnaissance duty as Flight L, Fourth Squadron, for 10 years. (F&F)
  • In 1935… German authorities make the color-coding at vital aircraft parts obligatory; red for fire circuit-breakers, green for temperature regulators, yellow for throttles and brown for hydraulic circuits. (AYY)
  • In 1936… Smoking in an airplane’s toilet is as serious an offense as smoking at school. An Imperial Airways passenger, caught red-handed while lighting up against airline regulations in a Handley Page HP.42 en route from Paris to London, is fined £10 in Craydon court, England. (AYY)

March 18

  • In 1906… Trajan Vuia, a Rumanian, first tests a monoplane in France. Although it only hops and does not fly, Louis Bleriot (1872-1936) decides that its monoplane design is superior to his biplane. (OTM)
  • In 1938… Only seven months after its first flight, the prototype Heinkel He 115 V1 begins a series of flights breaking eight seaplane speed records by carrying loads between 1,100 lb. and 4,400 lb. over distances of 1,000 km (621 miles) and 2,000 km (1,242 miles) at an average speed of 204 mph. The He 115 is the Luftwaffe’s most successful seaplane. (F&F)
  • In 1952… Two USAF F-84 Thunderjets land in Neubiberg, Germany after the longest sustained jet flight; they flew 2,800 miles from the USA in 4 hours 48 minutes, without refueling. (AYY)

March 19

  • In 1909… The International Aero and Motor-Boat Exhibition opens in London. Among the exhibits is a Wright airplane for sale at $7,000. (AYY)
  • In 1912… The first of the U. S. Signal Corps Scout series capable of meeting a specification issued February 8, 1912, the S. C. No.8 is delivered to Augusta, Georgia by Curtiss pilot Charles F. Walsh. It finally passes all tests at College Park, Maryland in May with Lincoln Beachey at the controls (F&F)
  • In 1918… U. S. airplanes in France make the first operational flights. (OTM)
  • In 1969… The first scheduled jet air service inside the Arctic Circle begins as Nordair inaugurates a weekly return service between Montreal, Canada and Resolution Bay, Cornwallis Island, Canada. (OTM)

March 20

  • In 1920… Two South African pilots complete the first flight from Britain to South Africa after a flying time of four days, 13 hours, 30 minutes. (AYY)
  • In 1922… The CV-1 Langley, America’s first aircraft carrier, is commissioned into the U. S. Navy at Norfolk, Virginia under the command of Comdr. Kenneth Whiting. (F&F)
  • In 1932… The airship Graf Zeppelin begins a series of flights between Germany and Brazil. Several round-trips are planned per year, embarkation being at Friedrichshafen bound for Recife and later to Rio de Janeiro. (F&F)
  • In 1937… An attempted round-the-world flight by leading US woman aviator Amelia Earhart ends dramatically when the starboard tire of her Lockheed Electra airliner bursts during take-off from Honolulu, Hawaii. Because of damage, the expedition is temporary abandoned. The first leg from Oakland, California to Honolulu on March 17 was made in 16 hours, an east/west record. (AYY)

March 21

  • In 1877… Maurice Farman (1877-1964), aviation pioneer and manufacturer, is born in Paris, France. In 1908, he made the first circular flight of more than one mile (1,6 km) with his brother, Henri. (OTM)
  • In 1908… Henri Farman covers 6,275 feet in 3 minutes 47 seconds in his Voisin-Farman No.1 bis at Issy-les-Moulineaux. (AYY)
  • In 1933… James L. Kinney makes the first cross-country test of blind flying and landing from College Park, Maryland to Newark, New Jersey. (AYY)
  • In 1933… Fairey’s TSR.1 torpedo spotter-reconnaissance airplane makes its first flight at Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England. (AYY)

March 22

  • In 1915… The term naval aviator is adapted for U. S. Navy officer pilots to replace the identification navy air pilot in official terminology. This term is still in use today. (F&F)
  • In 1989… The first and only Antonov An-225 built establishes 106 new Federal Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) world records in several classes, most important of which is a speed of 813.09 km/h (505.2 mph) carrying a payload in the 70 -155 metric ton (154,320 – 341,710 lb.) class around a closed circuit of 2,000 km (1,243 miles). (F&F)

March 23

  • In 1903… The Wright brothers file a patent request for a powered flying machine based on the second (modified) version of their 1902 glider successfully tested at Kill Devil Hill. (F&F)
  • In 1908… French industrialist Lazare Weiller signs a contract with the Wrights establishing a Wright airplane company in France, on condition that the brothers make two demonstration flights covering 50 km (31.1 miles) within a hour’s flying time. They will receive FF500, 000 and half the founders’ share (AYY)
  • In 1921… Lieutenant Arthur Hamilton sets a new world record when he jumps by parachute from 24,400 feet. (AYY)
  • In 1932… Flying a Bleriot 110, French aviators Lucien Bossoutrot and Maurice Rossi take off for a record closed-circuit distance of 6,587.442 miles at Oran, Algeria. (F&F)
  • In 1948… Test pilot Gp. Capt. John Cunningham sets a new Federal Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) ratified world altitude record of 18,118 m (59446 ft.) during tests with the third production D. H. 100 Vampire (serial no. TG278). (F&F)

March 24

  • In 1904… The Wrights apply for a German patent for their airplane. Two days ago they applied for a French one. (AYY)
  • In 1909… The Wright brothers found a school in the USA to train pilots for exhibition flights. The first pupil is a childhood friend, Walter Brookins, 21, from Dayton. Because Dayton’s weather is not good enough, Orville Wright sets up the school at Montgomery, Alabama, where winds are generally light. (AYY)
  • In 1932… Jim Mollison leaves Lympne, Kent, England at the start of a record-breaking attempt to fly to South Africa in a D. H. 80A Puss Moth (G-ABKG) specially modified as a long-range single seater. His time was 4 days 17 hours 19 minutes. (F&F)
  • In 1939… American woman air record-breaker Jacqueline Cochran achieves a woman’s altitude record of 30,052 ft. 5 in. over Palm Spring, California in a Beechcraft Model 17. (F&F)
  • In 1971… As a result of votes in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Boeing cancels its supersonic transport. The elaborate, full-size mock-up is eventually sold to a promotion specialist who puts it in a Florida amusement park. (F&F)

March 25

  • In 1917… One of the greatest fighter pilots of WWI, Canada-born Lt. Col. William Avery Bishop, scores his first combat victory over an Albatros single-seat fighter while flying a Nieuport. (F&F)
  • In 1926… Willie Messerschmitt, a graduate of Munich Technical High School and already an experienced designer of light aircraft and sailplanes, forms the Messerschmitt Flugzeugbau G.m.b.H. (F&F)
  • In 1960… The first NASA flight in the X-15 hypersonic research program gets under way when test pilot Joseph A. Walker makes the first of his flights in this aircraft. (F&F)
  • In 1993… The first woman Concorde pilot makes her first flight as First Officer of the daily supersonic London-New York route. British-born, Barbara Harmer, is one of only 17 co-pilots in the British Airways Concorde fleet. (AYY)

March 26

  • In 1922… One of the first small commercial transport aircraft built upon experience from passenger flying and the requirements of airline operators, makes its first flight from Edgware, near London. The 10-seat passenger D. H. 34, with a top speed of 128 mph and a cruising speed of 105 mph has a range of 365 miles. (F&F)
  • In 1934… Piloted by John Lankester Parker and with three passengers on board, the first landplane derivative of the Short Kent flying boat takes off to the air for the first time. Named Scylla (G-ACJJ), the big biplane is followed by Scyrinx (G-ACJK) for the busy Imperial Airways routes into continental Europe. (F&F)
  • In 1938… Arthur Clouston and Victor Ricketts land their D. H. 88 Comet Australian Anniversary at Gravesend in Kent, England to complete a 26,500-mile flight from England to New Zealand and back in a record 10 days 21 hours. (AYY)

March 27

  • In 1907… Romanian Trajan Vuia begins tests of his airplane, newly fitted with steering surfaces. He makes a short flight of 33 feet in Paris, France. (AYY)
  • In 1927… Young American airmail pilot Charles A. Lindbergh registers his entry in the Raymond Orteig challenge for the first man to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo. The challenge and a $25,000 prize, has been issued in 1920, but no one has so far been successful in making the flight. (F&F)
  • In 1946… An air agreement is signed by France and the US giving Air France the right to serve the cities of Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. (AYY)
  • In 1968… Yuri Gagarin, in April 1961 first man in space, is killed in the crash of a MiG-15UTI trainer near the Soviet capital Moscow. (AYY)
  • In 1984… British Airways inaugurates a Concorde service from London to Miami twice weekly. The service operates through Washington-Dulles, necessitating a 50-minute stopover. The overall trip lasts 6 hours 35 minutes, a saving approximately 2.5 hours over the direct flight by subsonic airliners. The round-trip fare is quoted a £2,509. (F&F)

March 28

  • In 1843… William Samuel Henson (1805-1888) receives the patent and publishes in London his design for an Aerial Steam Carriage. This is the first reasoned, formulated, and detailed design for a propeller-driven aircraft. (OTM)
  • In 1908… Leon Delagrange makes the first passenger flight, taking Farman aboard his Voisin biplane at Issy-les-Moulieaux. (AYY)
  • In 1910… The first flight of Henri Fabre’s Hydroavion, the first powered seaplane in the world, takes place at La Mède harbor, Martigues, France. The hydroplane flies for about 1,600 ft. at the maximum height of 7 ft (F&F)
  • In 1936… National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) commences operational use of the newly constructed 8-ft.-high speed tunnel (8-Foot HST) at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, Langley, Virginia. Built as a companion to the full scale tunnel capable of simulated speeds of up to 118 mph, the new facility can test models and components to 577 mph (Mach 0.75). (F&F)

March 29

  • In 1858… Two men – Brown and Dean – make the first balloon flight in Australia in a hydrogen balloon named the Australasian. (F&F)
  • In 1920… Located about 10 miles due south of the City of London, England, Waddon Airport at Croydon is used for the first time as London’s airport. Until this date, Hownslow has been considered the capital’s main airport. (F&F)
  • In 1951… Flight Safety Inc. begins operations at the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport, New York with just one secretary and rented late night hours on a Link trainer simulator. (AYY)

March 30

  • In 1928… A resident of Zehden, Germany, Samuel Schwartz, asks German airline Deutsche Luft Hansa (DLH) for rent for the airspace above his house, citing law that says his rights extend to the “space above and the ground beneath” his property. (AYY)
  • In 1928… The Federal Aeronautique Internationale (FAI)-ratified world speed record is pushed through 300 mph for the first time. Flying a specially adapted Macchi M-52bis seaplane, Italian Maj. Mario de Bernardi achieves a speed of 512.69 km/h (318.64 mph). This is an increase of 20.81 mph over his previous record. (F&F)
  • In 1929… Imperial Airways inaugurates a weekly passenger service from England to India, part of which would have to be taken by rail. For £130 single fare, the trip ends in Karachi seven days after leaving England. (F&F)
  • In 1939… Piloted by Flugkapitän Hans Dieterle, the Heinkel He 100 V8/R (serial no. D-IDGH) seizes the absolute world air speed record from Hermann Wurster, who has flown his Bf 109 to 379 mph. The pilot achieves four legs of a course at Oranienburg to record an average speed of 463.92 mph, adding 70 mph to the previous record. (F&F)

March 31

  • In 1912… The world’s first hydroplane competitions, held in Monaco, over the past week, has been a runaway success for Farman biplanes. Belgian Jules Fisher is the overall winner. He is one of only two non-French pilots of the eight starters and flies a Henry Farman machine. (AYY)
  • In 1975… A specially modified Royal Canadian Air Force de Havilland CC-115 (DMC-5 Buffalo) makes its first flight carrying an inflatable air-cushion landing system beneath the fuselage. (F&F)
  • In 1979… The British government announces development and production costs for the Concorde supersonic airliner since November 29, 1962, when agreement was reached with France to design and built the aircraft. Through December 31, 1978, the French government spent a total of £920 million whereas the British spent £898 million. The total cost of £1.818 billion would increase by a further £163 million, before government funding ceased. (F&F)

Works Cited

Editor-in-Chief: Bill Gunston, Aviation: Year by Year, Amber Books Limited, London, UK, 2001. (AYY)
Leonard C. Bruno, On the Move: A Chronology of Advances in Transportation, Gale Research Inc., Detroit, MI, 1993. (OTM)
Arthur George Renstrom, Wilbur & Orville Wright: A Chronology, United States, Library of Congress, 1971 (COFC)

From Centennial of Flight