Aviation History Facts: June

June 1

  • In 1925… A car dealer covers himself in stamps worth $718 in a bid to be sent airmail from San Francisco to New York; the U.S. Post Office refuses to accept him. (AYY)
  • In 1940… U.S. Army Air Corps announces plans for the construction of the world’s most powerful wind tunnel at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio. (OTM)
  • In 1949… A survey conducted by a firm of New York aviation consultants shows that for the first time in history air travel volume is greater than first class rail travel. Revenue passengers-miles for domestic airlines totals 603 million compared to 582 million for Pullman trains. (OTM)

June 2

  • In 1794… J. M. J. Coutelle and N. J. Conte of the French army’s "Aerostiers" at Mauberge, France make the first military use of a balloon, when they observe enemy positions from their captive balloon. (OTM)
  • In 1910… Charles Rolls makes a non-stop double crossing of the Channel from Dover, England, in one hour, 35 minutes. (AYY)
  • In 1957… The first solo balloon flight into the stratosphere (the upper portion of the atmosphere above seven miles) is made by U.S. Capt. Joseph W. Kittinger, Jr. In his plastic balloon Manhig 1, he stays in the air for six hours, 36 minutes and reaches an altitude of 96,000 feet. (OTM)
  • In 1986… The greatest distance achieved by a hang-glider is made by American Randy Haney who flies an unpowered hang-glider 199.75 miles (321.47 km) from his takeoff point. (OTM)

June 3

  • In 1785… Jean-Pierre Blanchard experiments with a parachute, releasing a silk parachute 20 feet in diameter, loaded with weight over England. Later he drops dogs attached to parachutes from his balloon. (OTM)
  • In 1936… The British Air Ministry awards a contract to Hawker for 600 Hurricane Mk. 1 fighters, the first of a new breed of high-speed, eight-gun interceptors for the RAF. This is the biggest peacetime order placed in Britain to date. (F&F)
  • In 1973… The first crash of a supersonic transport aircraft occurs as a Tupolev Tu-144 goes down during a demonstration flight at the Paris Air Show. (OTM)

June 4

  • In 1783… In Annonay, France, the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne, give the first public demonstration of their hot-air balloon by sending up a large model made of linen lined with paper. (OTM)
  • In 1784… Madame Elisabeth Thible of Lyons, France, is the first woman to make an untethered balloon flight. (AYY)
  • In 1927… The first non-stop flight from New York to Eisleben, Germany is made by Americans Clarence D. Chamberlain and Charles A. Levine in a Bellanca monoplane. They fly 3,905 miles in 42 hours, 15 minutes. (OTM)

June 5

  • In 1909… John Berry and Paul McCullough win the U.S.’s first National Balloon Race, covering 377.9 miles – from Indianapolis, Indiana to Fort Payne, Alabama – in 25 hours 35 minutes. (AYY)
  • In 1909… The first monoplane flight of over one hour is made by Englishman Hubert Latham on the Antoinette IV for one hour, seven minutes, 37 seconds. (OTM)
  • In 1963… President Kennedy announces that his administration would seek funds for the sponsored development of a supersonic transport aircraft. (F&F)
  • In 1969… The Tupolev Tu-144 supersonic airliner becomes the first aircraft of its class to fly through the sound barrier when it exceeds Mach 1 at a height of 36,000 ft. (F&F)
  • In 1989… The massive Antonov An-225 Mriya flies in to Paris-Le Bourget for the 1989 Paris Air Show, carrying the Soviet Shuttle Buran on its back. When it takes of from Kiev to fly to Paris, the combination has a takeoff weight of 1,234,600 lb., the greatest weight ever lifted into the air. (F&F)

June 6

  • In 1903… After several stationary stability trials, Ferdinand Ferber makes the first full trial of his glider No.6. It fails to take off in Nice, France. (AYY)
  • In 1910… Robert Martinet wins the first cross-country air race, between Angers and Saumur, France (27 miles), in a Farman; he takes 31 minutes and 35 seconds. (AYY)
  • In 1944… A huge airborne armada, nine planes wide and 200 miles long, carries American and British troops across the British Channel for the D-Day invasion of Europe. (OTM)
  • In 1964… Silver City Airways (British) announces that it has recorded the one-millionth car it has flown between the UK cross-Channel car ferry by air in 1948. (OTM)

June 7

  • In 1912… Captain Charles Chandler of the U.S. Army Signal Corps test fires a Lewis gun fitted to a Wright Model B biplane flown by Lieutenant Thomas Milling in Maryland. It is the first time a machine gun has been fired from an airplane in the U.S. (AYY)
  • In 1920… The U.S. Army orders 20 GAX (Ground Attack Experimental) triplanes from Boeing as the Model 10, an order later reduced to 10 before the first was delivered in May 1921. (F&F)
  • In 1927… The Supermarine S.5 racer, constructed to take part in the 1927 Schneider cup race, makes its first flight in Suffolk, England, piloted by Flight Lieutenant O. E. Worsley. (AYY)

June 8

  • In 1905… Gabriel Voisin succeeds in lifting off from the river Seine in his box-kite glider when towed by a motorboat. (AYY)
  • In 1920… Lieutenant John Wilson makes a world record parachute jump from 19,861 feet in San Antonio, Texas. (AYY)
  • In 1921… The first flight of a U.S. Army Air Service pressurized cabin airplane is made with a D-9-A aircraft. This allows flying beyond the "comfortable" breathing altitude of about 8,000 feet. (OTM)

June 9

  • In 1861… Two members of the First Rhode Island Regiment, James Allen and Dr. William H. Helme, make the first U.S. Army trial captive balloon ascent. (F&F)
  • In 1908… The Aeronautical Society of the United States is established in New York. (AYY)
  • In 1916… With an envelope capacity of 170,000 cu. ft. and an endurance of 11 hours, the first of 45 Coastal (C)-type, nonrigid British airships ordered for the Royal Naval Air Service makes its first flight from the airship station at Pembroke. (F&F)
  • In 1974… The first flight of Northrop YF-17 experimental lightweight fighter is made. It is built to test what might be called the aerodynamics of agility, with all of the factors of weight, materials, and design geared to making it as agile as possible. (OTM)

June 10

  • In 1913… Marcel Brindejone des Moulinais wins the Pommeroy cup in Warsaw for the longest flight between sunrise and sunset, flying 900 miles from Paris. (AYY)
  • In 1953… The final experimental test flight for the turbojet powered #3 Douglas D-558-I Skystreak is flown by A. Scott Crossfield. (F&F)

June 11

  • In 1926… The first flight of the Ford A-AT trimotor, an all-metal monoplane which competes with the three-engine Fokker and becomes a pioneer American airliner. It is known affectionately as the "Tin Goose." (OTM)
  • In 1928… The first rocket-powered manned airplane flight is made by Frederich Stamer from the Wasserkuppe peak in the Rhön Mountains of Germany. His tail-first glider flies about one mile. (OTM)
  • In 1931… The Handley Page HP-42 four-engine biplane enters service with the British airline Imperial Airways and sets new standards of passenger service and comfort. It carries 40 passengers. (OTM)
  • In 1971… British pilot Shelia Scott makes the first flight by a light plane from equator to equator via the North Pole. Flying in a Pipper Aztec D, she covers 34,000 miles (54,718 km). (OTM)

June 12

  • In 1909… Louis Blériot flies his Blériot XII monoplane at Issy-les-Moulineaux with two passengers, Alberto Santos-Dumont and André Fournier. This is the first time a pilot has flown with two passengers. (AYY)
  • In 1919… France’s Baroness Raymonde de Laroche breaks the women’s altitude record by flying to a height of 16,896 feet. (AYY)
  • In 1979… The first man-powered aircraft to cross the English Channel is the Gossamer Albatross, designed and built under the leadership of Paul MacCready. Flown by bicyclist Bryan Allen, it crosses from Folkestone, England to the French coast in two hours, 49 minutes. (OTM)

June 13

  • In 1916… The Zeppelin-Lindau Dornier Rs II hydroplane, piloted by Schröter and Schulte, succeeds in taking off from Lake Constance, Germany, and makes a four-minute flight. (AYY)
  • In 1942… The U.S. Navy makes its first operational test with Loran (long-range navigation) equipment with a receiver mounted in a K-2 airship on a flight from the Lakehurst, N.J. Naval Air Station. (F&F)
  • In 1962… Capt. Richard H. Coan, USAF, sets a new closed-circuit distance record for helicopters when he flies a Kaman H-43B Huskie a distance of 656.258 mi. This beats the previous record of 625.464 mi. set by a Soviet Mil Mi-1. (F&F)

June 14

  • In 1919… The first direct non-stop crossing of the Atlantic by airplane is made by a British two-man team. Capt. John Alcock and Lt. Arthur Whitten-Brown fly a Vickers Vimy bomber from St. Johns, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland. They fly some 1,950 miles in 16 hours, 27 minutes. (OTM)
  • In 1923… The New Zealand Permanent Air Force is established. (AYY)
  • In 1929… In efforts to encourage passenger traffic for their expanding international air routes, British Imperial Airways makes the first 30-minute "tea" flight over London, costing £2 2s, reduced in 1931 to £1 10s. (F&F)

June 15

  • In 1910… The world’s youngest flyer, 15-year-old Frenchman Marcel Hanriot, gets his pilot’s brevet, no. 15. (F&F)
  • In 1928… An Imperial Airways AW Argosy piloted by Gordon Olley races the London and North Eastern Railway’s Flying Scotsman train the 390 miles from London to Edinburgh; the Argosy takes 84 minutes to refuel twice en route and beats the train by only 15 minutes. (AYY)
  • In 1928… Mail is successfully transferred from an airplane in flight to a train as Lt. Karl S. Axtater flies directly over an Illinois Central train and transfers a mail bag to a railway clerk. (OTM)
  • In 1943… The first operational jet-bomber, the German-built Arado Ar-234 Blitz, makes its first flight. (OTM)

June 16

  • In 1909… A two-day celebration in Dayton, Ohio marks the homecoming of the Wrights. (AYY)
  • In 1922… A hybrid aircraft – part airplane (three fixed wings) and part helicopter (twin rotor blades) designed by American inventor Emile Berliner – makes a short vertical flight. (OTM)
  • In 1932… The Lockheed Aircraft Corp. finally closes down eight months after the receivers were called in to its parent company, Detroit Aircraft Corp. On June 21, investment broker Robert Ellsworth Gross leads a consortium that buys the assets and opens a new company under the same name. (F&F)

June 17

  • In 1928… Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger as she accompanies pilot Wilmer Stiltz and mechanic Louis Gordon on their flight from Newfoundland to Wales in a Fokker C-2. Less than four years later, she flies the Atlantic alone. (OTM)
  • In 1942… U.S. Army Air Forces conduct a test at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, successfully picking up gliders from the ground by an airplane flying at more than 100 mph. (OTM)
  • In 1959… The first of the Dassault Mirage IV, the first European supersonic jet bomber, is made in France. This high-performance combat aircraft flies at Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound). (OTM)

June 18

  • In 1861… Thaddeus S. C. Lowe transmits the first telegraphic message ever sent from a balloon during a test at the Columbia Armory, Washington, D.C. (F&F)
  • In 1877… Samuel Archer King makes a two-hour airmail flight of 26 miles between Nashville and Gallatin, Tennessee, in the balloon Buffalo. (AYY)
  • In 1922… The first soaring flight of one hour in slope lift (using hill currents) is made by Arthur Martens in a Vampyr sailplane designed by Wolfgang Klemmperer at the Wasserkuppe, Rhön, Germany. (OTM)
  • In 1939… The first direct transatlantic seaplane service is begun by Pan American Airways. It flies from New York to Southampton, England, by way of Botwood, Newfoundland, and Foynes, Ireland. (OTM)

June 19

  • In 1894… Frederick W. Lanchester, British aeronautical and automobile pioneer, announces his theory of circulatory air-flow to the Birmingham Natural History and Philosophical Society in England. This theory is later to become of pivotal importance in aerodynamics. (OTM)
  • In 1901… American experimenter Samuel P. Langley tests a quarter-scale model of his Aerodrome, a gasoline-driven flying machine. It makes four disappointingly short flights. (AYY)
  • In 1930… The all-metal Polish fighter, the PZL P-1, is the star of the International competition for fighter airplanes in Bucharest, Romania, winning 8 of the 15 prizes. This is a triumph for the brilliant designer Zygmund Pulawski, whose aircraft consistently out-performed those of his rivals. (AYY)

June 20

  • In 1540… Joao Torto, in Viseu, Portugal, builds two pairs of cloth-covered wings, an upper and lower, which are connected by iron hoops. While preparing to jump from the town’s cathedral to the nearby St. Matthew’s fields, he is killed when the elaborated helmet slips over his eyes and he falls onto a roof. (OTM)
  • In 1897… Percy Pilcher is towed about 750 feet in the Hawk, the fourth of his hang gliders. (AYY)
  • In 1951… The first flight of aircraft with variable-sweep wings is made as the research aircraft Bell X-5, flies for 30 minutes at Edwards, California. (OTM)

June 21

  • In 1907… Romanian Trajan Vuia makes a flight in Paris of almost 66 feet, at a height of 16 feet, in his second machine which has a 24-hp Antoinette engine running on carbonic acid and has its wheels fitted with shock absorbers. (AYY)
  • In 1908… The first flight of the Aerial Experiment Association’s (AEA) promising June Bug biplane, their third machine, takes place in New York State. It has a 40-hp air-cooled Curtiss engine. (AYY)
  • In 1913… The first woman to make a parachute jump from an airplane is Georgia "Tiny" Broadwick. The 18-year-old American descends 1,000 feet over Los Angeles, California. (OTM)

June 22

  • In 1909… Wykoff, Church and Partridge, a car sales firm, becomes the USA’s first airplane sales agency. (AYY)
  • In 1910… The German firm "Delag" inaugurates the first regular passenger-carrying airship service. Between 1910-1914, its five Zeppelin airships carry nearly 35,000 passengers without a fatality over inland German routes. (OTM)
  • In 1933… The Tupolev ANT-25 monoplane, designed to win the world long-distance record for the USSR, makes its first flight. (AYY)

June 23

  • In 1905… Wilbur and Orville Wright make their first flight of 1905 in Huffman Prairie, Ohio, in their new Flyer III, the first practical airplane in history. (OTM)
  • In 1913… The first large airplane designed exclusively as a bomber makes its first flight in Russia. Known as the "Russki Vityaz," (Russian Knight) it was designed by Igor Sikorsky and built by the RBVZ [Russko-Baltijskij Vagonnyj Zavod (Russo-Baltic Cart Works)]. (F&F)
  • In 1924… The prototype Focke-Wulf A 16 monoplane makes its first flight. Capable of carrying four passengers, it is the first product of Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH. (AYY)

June 24

  • In 1784… Edward Warren, a boy of 13, makes the first, tethered, balloon ascent in the U.S. in Baltimore, Maryland; he volunteers when the craft proves too weak to lift its builder, Peter Carnes. (AYY)
  • In 1918… The first air mail in Canada is flown from Montreal to Toronto. (OTM)
  • In 1930… Dr. Albert Taylor and Leo Young of the Aircraft Research Laboratory, near Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., succeed in tracing the position of airplanes in flight using wireless detection equipment. (AYY)

June 25

  • In 1914… Tom Blakely flies the West Wind in Calgary, Canada. The Curtiss-type biplane was designed by Frank Ellis. (AYY)
  • In 1919… The world’s most modern airliner, the Junkers F-13, makes its first flight at Dessau, Germany. It is made entirely of metal, with a strong, corrugated outer skin and cantilever wing structure, without struts or bracing wires. (AYY)
  • In 1928… The Boeing Model 83 biplane, the last from this company in which wood was used for the wing frame and the last biplane built by Boeing, makes its first flight. (F&F)

June 26

  • In 1869… Largest hydrogen balloon ever to make a free (untethered) ascent, makes a short flight from the Champs de Mars in Paris, France. It has a capacity of 424,000 cubic feet (c. 130,000 cubic meters). (OTM)
  • In 1909… The first commercial sale of an airplane in the United States is made as Glenn H. Curtiss sells one of his planes to the Aeronautic Society of New York for $7,500. This action spurs the Wright brothers to begin a patent suit to prevent him from selling airplanes without a license. (OTM)
  • In 1911… As spectators watch in amazement, Lincoln Beachey flies his Curtiss pusher biplane over Horseshoe Falls, the most spectacular of the Niagara Falls. (F&F)
  • In 1936… The first flight of the first practical helicopter with two side-by-side rotors is made in Germany. Designed by Henrich Focke, the Focke-Achgelis FW-61 makes many flights, the longest being one hour and 20 minutes. (OTM)
  • In 1946… The U.S. Army Air Force and Navy adopt the "knot" and "nautical mile" as standard aeronautical units for speed and distance. A nautical mile is about 6.080 ft. (1,853 m), and knot is the equivalent of one nautical mile per hour. (OTM)

June 27

  • In 1909… Three New York Papers (the Sun, Times and Herald) carry the world’s first advertisements of a practical airplane for sale to the general public. (AYY)
  • In 1923… The first refueling in mid-air (with hose) of one airplane by another is made by a De Havilland D.H.4-b from another one over San Diego, California. The planes are flown by Capt. L. H. Smith and Lt. J. P. Richter. (OTM)

June 28

  • In 1911… The first airplane charter flight is made by English aviator Thomas Sopwith who is hired by Wannamaker’s New York store to deliver repaired glasses to Philadelphia merchant W. A. Burpee. (OTM)
  • In 1927… The first non-stop flight between the United States and Hawaii is made by U.S. Lts. Albert F. Hegenberger and Lester J. Maitland. They fly 2,407 miles (3,874 km) from Oakland to Honolulu in 25 hours, 30 minutes. (OTM)

June 29

  • In 1909… In opening demonstration flights before the U.S. Army at Fort Myer, Virginia, Orville Wright makes the first flight with the new Wright A built to replace the one destroyed in September 1908. (F&F)
  • In 1914… Glenn Curtiss takes up nine passengers in New York in his seaplane America, built for Rodman Wanamaker, to make an attempt on the £10,000 prize offered by the Daily Mail for the first transatlantic crossing in a heavier-than-air machine. (AYY)
  • In 1948… The Air Parcel Post Bill becomes U.S. law, establishing domestic air parcel post and raising first class postage rates for air mail from five cents to six cents. (OTM)
  • In 1977… Italian Professor Enrico Forlanini’s steam-powered helicopter is tested at Alexandria, Egypt. (AYY)

June 30

  • In 1901… At enormous personal risk, Herr Berson and Professor Süring of the Berliner Verein für Luftschiffahrt establish the first ratified altitude record for balloons. Their 8,510-cu. ft. balloon Preussen (Prussia) ascends to 35,435 feet. (AYY)
  • In 1910… The first airplane bombing tests are made as Glenn H. Curtiss drops dummy bombs from his own Curtiss biplane on the shape of a battleship marked by flagged buoys on Lake Keuka, New York. (OTM)
  • In 1911… The Curtiss A-1 seaplane is tested for the first time by Glenn Curtiss. (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 the Centennial of Flight web site.