Aviation History Facts: November

November 1

  • In 1944… The International Civil Aviation Conference opens in Chicago. (OTM)

November 2

  • In 1931… The USS Akron, a purpose-built aircraft-carrying airship, is commissioned. (AYY)

November 3

  • In 1897… The 1st all-metal rigid airship is tested in Germany. It uses wafer-thin aluminum, a major innovation, but crashes soon after taking off. (OTM)
  • In 1926… Captain Charles Lindbergh jumps from his disabled airplane during a night airmail flight, making this his 4th time he has had to use his parachute to save his life. (OTM)
  • In 1949… Charles Moore makes the 1st manned flight in a polyethylene balloon over Minneapolis, Minnesota. (OTM)

November 4

  • In 1910… The 1st dirigible to fly from England to France is the British non-rigid airship City of Cardiff, built by E.T. Willows. (OTM)

November 5

  • In 1908… Wilbur Wright receives the Grand Gold Medal of the Aéro Club of France for advances in aviation. (AYY)
  • In 1910… The Willows airship N° 3 City of Cardiff arrives after the 1st dirigible flight across the English Channel, flying from London in 10 hours and 30 minutes. (AYY)
  • In 1911… Calbraith Rodgers becomes the 1st person to cross the United States in an airplane. (AYY)

November 6

  • In 1915… The 1st catapult launching of an airplane from a moving ship is made from the USS North Carolina in Pensacola, Florida. (OTM)
  • In 1945… The 1st jet plane to land on an aircraft carrier is a Ryan FR-1 piloted by U.S. Navy Ensign Jake West. (OTM)

November 7

  • In 1910… The 1st use of an airplane to carry commercial freight is the Wright Company’s airplane that flies from Dayton to Columbus, Ohio carrying 10 bolts of silk to the Morehouse-Martens Company. (OTM)
  • In 1945… The 1st speed record of over 600 mph is established by British pilot Hugh Wilson in a Gloster Meteor jet fighter at 606 mph. (OTM)

November 8

  • In 1881… Robert Estnault-Pelterie, early aviation pioneer is born. He invented ailerons (movable wing parts) and coined the word astronautics. (OTM)

November 9

  • In 1904… Wilbur Wright flies for five minutes, four seconds over Huffman Prairie, Ohio, covering 2 ¾ miles. (OTM)
  • In 1932… Wolfgang von Gronau and crew in a Dornier Wal complete the 1st flight around the world by a seaplane. Their flight takes 111 days (OTM)

November 10

  • In 1907… Louis Bleriot introduces what will become the modern configuration of the airplane. His No.VII has an enclosed or covered fuselage (body), a single set of wings (monoplane), a tail unit, and a propeller in front of the engine. (OTM)
  • In 1907… Henri Farman makes the 1st flight in Europe of over one minute in his Voisin-Farman I biplane in France. (OTM)

November 11

  • In 1935… Orville Anderson and Albert Stevens in Explorer II establish altitude record for balloons of 72,395 feet in the United States. (OTM)

November 12

  • In 1903… The 1st fully practical airship, the Lebaudy, makes a successful flight in Paris, France. The 190-foot-long airship flies 38 ½ miles and achieves a speed of 25-mph. (OTM)
  • In 1906… Alberto Santos-Dumont flies some 720 feet and wins the Aéro-Club de France prize for exceeding 100 meters. (OTM)
  • In 1912… The 1st successful catapult launch of a seaplane is made at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard. Catapulted by a compressed air system from an anchored barge, the floatplane is a Curtiss A-1. (OTM)
  • In 1921… The 1st air-to-air refueling is made when American Wesley May steps from the wing of one aircraft to that of another carrying a five-gallon can of gasoline strapped to his back. (OTM)

November 13

  • In 1907… The 1st piloted helicopter rises vertically in free flight in France. Built by Paul Cornu, it’s powered by a 24-hp Antoinette engine driving two motors. (OTM)

November 14

  • In 1910… The birth of the aircraft carrier occurs when Eugene Ely takes off from the cruiser USS Birmingham in Virginia, on a Curtiss biplane. The warship has an 83-foot platform built over the foredeck for the take-off. (OTM)

November 15

  • In 1965… The 1st flight around the world over flying both Poles is made by U.S. airline Flying Tigerline Captain J.L. Martin. (OTM)

November 16

  • In 1915… Victor Carlstrom becomes the 1st pilot to fly from Toronto to New York. Carlstrom flies in a Curtiss R-2 biplane and was in the air for 6 hours and 40 minutes. (AYY)

November 17

  • In 1906… The Daily Mail of London offers a £10,000 prize for the 1st flight from London to Manchester. (AYY)
  • In 1962… President John F. Kennedy dedicates the Dulles International Airport in Herndon, Virginia. (AYY)

November 18

  • In 1930… The Boeing XP-9 monoplane fighter makes its 1st flight in Dayton, Ohio. (AYY)

November 19

  • In 1938… Construction begins on a new airport serving the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Built in nearby Virginia, this airport will become Ronald Reagan National Airport. (OTM)

November 20

  • In 1919… The 1st municipal airport in the United States opens in Tucson, Arizona and is still in use today. (OTM)
  • In 1953… The 1st man to exceed Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound) is American test pilot Scott Crossfield in a Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket. (OTM)

November 21

  • In 1783… The 1st free or untethered human flight takes place when Jean Francois Pilatre de Rozier flies as high as 500 feet and travels 5 miles over Paris in a Montgolfier hot-air balloon. (OTM)

November 22

  • In 1909… Wright Company is incorporated with a capital stock of $1,000,000. Formed to manufacture airplanes, the company’s president is Wilbur Wright and his brother Orville is the vice president. (OTM)

November 23

  • In 1942… Dubbed “Flying Flapjack,” the most radical conventionally-engined aircraft ever built makes its 1st flight when Chance Vought test pilot, Boone T. Guyton, takes the V-173 into the air. (F&F)
  • In 1947… The Convair XC-99 (serial no. 43-52436) makes its first flight, piloted by Russell R. Rogers. (F&F)
  • In 1989… An Airbus A310-300 opens Air France’s new direct Lyon/New York service. (AYY)

November 24

  • In 1955… The prototype Fokker F.27 Friendship medium-range twin-turboprop transport flies for the 1st time. (AYY)

November 25

  • In 1956… U.S. Air Force Sergeant Richard Patton makes the 1st successful parachute jump in Antarctica. He jumps from 1,500 feet as a test to determine the cause of parachute malfunction in sub-zero weather conditions. (OTM)

November 26

  • In 1939… British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) is established through the amalgamation of Imperial Airways and British Airways. (OTM)

November 27

  • In 1912… The aeronautical division of the US Army Signal Corps receives the 1st “flying boat”, a Curtiss Model F, capable of takeoff from water. (AYY)

November 28

  • In 1929… American Commander Richard Byrd and crew make the 1st flight over the South Pole, in a Ford 4-AT Trimotor monoplane, November 28-29. (OTM)

November 29

  • In 1945… A U.S. Army Sikorsky R-5 helicopter off the coast of Long Island, New York, makes the 1st air-sea rescue. (OTM)

November 30

  • In 1784… Jean-Pierre Blanchard makes the 1st scientific observations from above the earth in a hydrogen balloon over London. (OTM)
  • In 1905… The Aero Club of America is established in New York City. (AYY)
  • In 1907… Glenn Curtiss founds the Curtiss Aeroplane Company. It is the 1st US airplane manufacturing company. (AYY)
  • In 1908… La Compagnie Generale de Navigation Aérienne, the French Wright company, is organized. (OTM)

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.