Aviation History Facts: September

September 1st

  • The 1st U.S. tactical air unit, the First Aero Squadron, is organized because of the August outbreak of war in Europe. Based in San Diego, California, the unit has 16 officers, 77 enlisted men, and 8 airplanes. (OTM) (1914)
  • President Warren Harding authorizes the creation of the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics, with Rear Admiral Moffet as its chief. (OTM) (1921)
  • The Royal Australian Air Force is formed. (OTM) (1923)
  • The 1st scheduled international helicopter service begins between Belgium and France. The service is operated by Belgian airline Sabena. (OTM) (1953)
  • The 1st aerial refueling of a jet aircraft by a jet tanker is made with a B-47 Stratojet by a KB-47B tanker. (OTM) (1953)

September 2nd

  • Samuel King introduces the 1st dragline in America. It is a long rope attached to the basket, which helps to stabilize altitude by dragging on the ground when the balloon is flying very low. (OTM) (1858)
  • The 1st parachute descent by a Canadian woman is made when Nellie Lamount jumps from a hot-air balloon during a fair in Quebec. (OTM (1891)
  • Blanche Scott, the 1st woman pilot in the United States, makes a solo flight at Lake Keuka, Hammondsport. (AYY) (1910)

September 3rd

  • Orville Wright makes his 1st flight at Fort Meyer, Virginia, circling the field one-and-one-half times. During the next two weeks, he conducts a series of 14 long, high, and impressive flights, many of which set new records and are witnessed by government officials. (OTM) (1908)
  • Regular airmail service in Canada begins with flights between Ontario and Quebec. (OTM) (1924)
  • British Squadron Leader J.S. Fifield in England makes the 1st successful demonstration of the use of an ejection seat from a moving aircraft while still on the ground. He ejects from a modified Gloster Meteor 7 that is traveling 120-mph. (OTM) (1955)

September 4th

  • Edward Hogan in Quebec makes the 1st parachute descents in Canada from a hot-air balloon. (OTM) (1888)
  • Louise Thaden becomes the 1st woman to win the prestigious coast-to-coast Bendix trophy race. (AYY) (1936)

September 5th

  • The 1st flight of a full-size triplane, the French Goupy, is made. Built by Ambroise Goupy, it has three sets of wings; each stacked above the others and is powered by 50-hp Renault engine. (OTM) (1908)

September 6th

  • Wilbur leaves Dayton for Kitty Hawk, arriving in Elizabeth City on September 11 by boat and arrives at Kitty Hawk on September 13.

September 7th

  • The Wright brothers 1st use their weight-and-derrick-assisted take-off device in order to make themselves independent of the wind and weather. When the heavy weight is released, the rope pulls the aircraft, which sits on a flatbed truck, over the launching track, thus assisting its take-off. (OTM) (1904)
  • The U.S. Army’s 1st “aerodrome”, an airfield or airport, is established in College Park, Maryland. (OTM) (1909)

September 8th

  • The 1st Canadians to fly are A.E. Kierzkowski and A.X. Rambau, who fly in Eugene Godard’s balloon. (OTM) (1856)

September 9th

  • Charles Durant, America’s 1st great balloonist, makes his 1st U.S. ascent at Castle Garden, New York. He stays in the air for two hours, landing at South Amboy, New Jersey. His skill and enthusiasm inspire a passion for ballooning in America. (OTM) (1830)
  • The 1st mail carried by air in the United Kingdom is delivered. The mail contains messages for King George V and other members of the British royal family. (AYY) (1911)

September 10th

  • Boeing finishes production of their 1,000th 747 airplane, 26 years after the 747 program was launched. (AYY) (1993)

September 11th

  • Edison Mouton flies into Marina Field, San Francisco, to complete the 1st US transcontinental airmail flight. Having left from New York, it took Mouton and his crew over 75 hours to complete the feat. (AYY) (1920)
  • The Fokker F-32 four-engined luxury airliner makes its 1st US flight at Teterboro Airport. (AYY) (1929)

September 12th

  • The 1st pilotless radio-controlled aerial bomb is tested in the United States. It is actually a small biplane that can fly radio-guided for 50 miles with 308 pounds of bombs aboard. (OTM) (1916)

September 13th

  • In an effort to speed up the time it takes for mail to reach the United States via Europe, a single-engined Liore et Oliver LeO 198 airplane is catapulted off the Ile de France ocean liner, reducing the time it takes mail to reach the United States by one whole day. (AYY) (1928)
  • Millionaire film producer and amateur air racer Howard Hughes shatters the world land plane speed record in his home built Hughes Racer airplane. (AYY) (1935)

September 14th

  • The 1st successful flight into the eye of a hurricane is made by a three-man American crew flying a Douglas A-20 Havoc. They demonstrate that valuable scientific information can be obtained in this manner, which is still done today. (OTM) (1944)

September 15th

  • Italian diplomat, Vincenzo Lunardi, makes the 1st ascent in a hydrogen balloon in Britain. (AYY) (1784)
  • Wilbur Wright in the airplane Flyer II makes his 1st controlled half-circle while in flight. (AYY) (1904)