Aviation in 1912
Glenn Curtiss flies the first proper flying-boat, a converted
Jules Vedrine makes the first 100mph flight in his Monocoque
Frank Coffyn films New York from the air using a cinema
camera while controlling his aircraft with his feet and
French military aircraft make their first flights in Algeria.
The German Aviation Experimental Establishment (DVL) is
established at Berlin-Adlershof.
The first seaplane competition is held at Monaco.
Structural failures lead the French government to ground
Blériot monoplanes. Louis Blériot investigates and the ban is
lifted after two weeks.
The Liore & Olivier aircraft company is founded by French
engineers Fernand Liore and Henri Olivier.
The first parachute jump from an aeroplane, a Benoist
biplane, is made over Jefferson Barracks in St Louis, USA, by
Captain Albert Berry.
Bob Fowler completes a west to east coast-to-coast crossing
of the USA, from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, after 4 months.
The French Service de l'Aéronautique de la Marine is formed.
The newly established Turkish Army Aviation Section receives
its first two French-built aircraft.
The French Aéronautique Militaire is reorganised into three
Groupes, based in Lyon, Reims and Versailles.
American Calbriath P. Rodgers dies when he crashes into the
Pacific during a Long Beach air show.
Belgian M.V. de Jonckheere demonstrates that aeroplanes can
follow ships at night as he flies his monoplane in
experiments at League Island in California.
American Harriet Quimby, the first American woman to gain a
pilot's certificate, becomes the first woman to cross the
English Channel in an aeroplane. She flies from Deal in
England to Cap Gris-Nez in France in a Blériot monoplane.
An American Wright biplane, flown by Lieutenant Thomas De
Witt Milling at College Park in Maryland, becomes the first
aeroplane to be armed with a machine gun.
In Sydney, William Hart is fined £20 for causing a herd of
cattle to stampede by flying over them.
A United States Marine Corps (USMC) officer is ordered to
commence flying training.
Anthony Fokker crashes his Goedecker-built B1912 monoplane at
Berlin, just 10 days after demonstrating it to the German
Pioneer aviator Wilbur Wright dies from typhoid fever.
Lieutenant Hans E. Dons makes the first flight by an
aeroplane in Norway, flying a German Start across Oslo Fjord.
A machine-gun is fired from an aeroplane for the first time.
Captain Charles de Forest Chandler of the United States
Signal Corps fires a Lewis gun from a Wright Model B biplane
piloted by Lieutenant Thomas de Witt Milling at Maryland,
Pioneer Anglo-French aviator, Hubert Latham, is killed by a
buffalo while on safari in Central Africa.
The first German airmail is flown by airships 'Schwaben' and
'Gelber Hund' from Darmstadt to Frankfurt/Main.
Julie Clark becomes the first American woman to be killed
flying when she hits a tree at Springfield in Illinois.
The Japanese government forms a Kaigun Kokujutsu Kenkyu Kai
(Naval Committee for Aeronautical Research).
The Italian Aviation Service is formed from the Battaglione
Aviatori (Aviation Battalion).
Delag passenger-carrying airship Zeppelin LZ10 'Schwaben' is
destroyed by fire while in its shed.
The Danish Army Flying School is established.
Americans Captain Charles Chandler and Lieutenants Thomas
Milling and Henry Arnold are presented with certificates
qualifying them as the first United States 'Military
The first wireless message is transmitted from an airship to
a ship, the torpedo boat USS Stringham. Lieutenant John
Rodgers and Ensign Charles Maddox send it from a Wright B1
Lieutenant T.G. Ellyson pilots the first aeroplane to be
catapult-launched from a wall platform at Annapolis, USA.
United States Army officers gain double pay for volunteering
for flying training, after the Hardwick Bill is passed in
During United States Army manoeuvres, the Signal Corps fly
aeroplanes for the first time.
The Argentinean Servico Aeronautico del Ejercito (Military
Aviation Service) is formed.
In an effort to encourage the development of fighter
aircraft, the Michelin brothers give a prize of 50,000 francs
to Frenchmen Gaubet and Scott for dropping bombs on a target.
The Australian Army Aviation Corps is formed.
The Royal Hellenic Army establishes an Air Squadron.
Jules Vedrines wins the Gordon Bennett cup by flying a world
record speed of 173kph (108mph) in his Monocoque Deperdussin
monoplane at Chicago.
Lieutenant Moizo, an Italian, is the first pilot to be
captured in warfare when his Nieuport makes a forced landing
at Azizia during the Libyan campaign. Moizo, at the time of
his capture, was the longest serving pilot in the theatre
with 11 months and 82 sorties to his name.
The first French naval aeroplane, a Maurice Farman fitted
with pontoons, is purchased.
Delag's Zeppelin LZ13 'Hansa' commences the world's first
international commercial passenger service, flying from
Hamburg to Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmo in Sweden.
The German Military Aviation Service is formed.
The first use of an aircraft in war. Captain Carlo Piazza of
the Italian Army, flying a Blériot XI, flew from Tripoli to
observe Turkish positions near Azizia.
Teniente de Navio Melchor Z. Escola, Argentina's first naval
aviator, is awarded a pilot's certificate by the Argentine
American Lieutenant John H. Towers conducts trials into the
use of aeroplanes for anti-submarine duties.
A Curtiss A-1 Triad hydroplane, piloted by Lieutenant T.
Gordon Ellyson, is the first aeroplane to be
catapult-launched from an anchored ship. The aircraft
takes-off using a compressed air catapult on a barge anchored
in the Anacostia river, USA.
The United States Army Signal Corps receives it's first
flying boat, a Curtiss F two-seat biplane.
The Italian Flotta Aerea d'Italia (Air Fleet of Italy) is
formed as an autonomous aviation service.
In an effort to encourage the development of seaplanes,
Frenchman Jacques Schneider announces that he will sponsor an
The first ejector seat, developed by Baron d'Odkolek, is
tested at Issy-les-Moulineaux in France, when a dummy wearing
the parachute is ejected by a small cannon from a flying
Also this year...
The following air
services are established:
- Danish Navy Flying School
- Turkish Army Aviation
- A Portuguese air arm, the
Campo do Seixcal
- Bulgarian Army Aviation
- Japanese Naval Air Service
Edmond Audemars of
Switzerland makes the first flight from Paris to Berlin, in a
The world's first all-metal
aeroplane, the Tubavion monoplane, is flown by Frenchmen
Ponche and Primard.
The United States Army
purchases six Burgess Model H biplane trainers, the first
aeroplanes with tractor-mounted engines.