World Aviation in 1914
The first flight of the Russian four-engined Sikorsky Ilya
The St. Petersburg Tampa Airboat Line of St Petersburg in
Florida begins the first scheduled service by an airline. The
20 mile route from St Petersburg to Tampa across Tampa Bay is
flown by Anthony Jannus in a Benoist flying boat and the
mayor of St Petersburg, A.C. Pheil, buys the first airline
ticket at auction for $400. The regular fare is $5.
The first aerial torpedo is released from a Farman biplane by
General A. Guidoni of the Italian Army.
A Russian Ilya Mourometz aircraft carries sixteen passengers
and a dog to a height of 2,000 metres (6,560 feet) and sets a
world load-to-altitude record.
The Royal Siamese Flying Corps is formed.
The Fokker M5k is developed and becomes the prototype for the
famous Fokker EIII Eindecker fighter monoplane.
The battleship USS Mississippi and the cruiser USS Birmingham
become the first aircraft carriers to be used in warfare.
They operate off Vera Cruz with five United States Navy (USN)
seaplanes making reconnaissance flights over Mexican lines.
The seaplanes are lowered over the side and take-off and land
on the water.
Lieutenant P.N.L. Bellinger makes the first American
operational sortie by aeroplane, searching for sea mines
during the Santa Cruz incident. A total of five Curtiss AB
flying boats are involved in the operation, flying from the
battleship USS Mississippi and the cruiser USS Birmingham in
an operation lasting 43 days.
The first regular Airmail service is inaugurated in German
South West Africa with a Roland biplane, making its first
flight between Swakopmund and Windhoek. The service comes to
an end when British forces invade the country at the outbreak
of the First World War.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian
throne, is assassinated in Sarajevo.
German R. Böhm remains airborne for 24 hours 12 minutes,
flying an Albatros BI to establish the last international
flight endurance record before the First World War.
Another German, H. Oelerich, flying a DFW BI, reaches an
altitude of 8,150 metres (26,740 feet) and establishes the
last international altitude record before the First World
Dr Robert H. Goddard receives a United States patent for a
two-stage rocket with solid fuel propellant.
The first meal is served on an aeroplane, aboard Sikorski
Ilya Mourometz I, during a flight from Petrograd to Kiev.
The American Georgia 'Tiny' Broadwick makes the first
parachute jump with a manually operated parachute, at San
Diego. The rip-cord might have been invented earlier but this
was the first time it had been operated, as previous versions
were only safety back-up systems to be used if the static
The Aviation Section of the United States Army Signal Corps
Norwegian Tryggve Gran makes the first flight across the
North Sea, flying a Blériot monoplane.
The Swiss air arm is formed as the Fliegertruppe.
Germany declares war on Russia.
An unnamed observer of a French aircraft, piloted by Sadi
Lecointe, is wounded by German rifle fire and becomes the
first French casualty of the First World War.
Oberleutnant Reinhold Jahnow of the German Air Service
becomes the first German airman to lose his life on active
service when he is killed at Malmédy in Belgium.
Sergeant Bridou becomes the first French aviator to be
killed on active service when he dies in an accident while
returning to base from a reconnaissance mission.
Frenchmen Lieutenant Cesari and Corporal Prudhommeau attack
the Zeppelin sheds at Metz-Frescaty.
The first recorded air battle has been censored so its
location is unknown. A Reuters dispatch recorded "In another
place a French aeroplane yesterday encountered a German
aeroplane. The French pilot chased the German, firing with a
Browning. The German aviator did not reply, but fled".
Zeppelins LZ22 and LZ23 are shot down.
The French airship Dupuy-de-Lôme is shot down by French
ground troops in an early example of a 'friendly fire'
Staff Captain P.N. Nesterov of the Imperial Russian Army,
brings down Leutnant Baron von Rosenthal in an Austrian
aeroplane by ramming it. Nesterov is piloting a Morane Type
M. Both are killed in the resulting crash.
Paris is bombed for the first time when Lieutenant Ferdinand
von Hiddessen, piloting a Taube monoplane, drops five bombs
on the Quai de Valmy, killing a woman and injuring two
The first French bomber Groupe is formed and is equipped with
The French Aéronautique Militaire has expanded to 34
escadrilles, by far the largest air arm in the world.
Sergeant Joseph Frantz and Corporal Quénault of the French
Air Force shoot down a German Aviatik two-seater over
Jonchery in Reims. Their Voisin biplane is fitted with a
Sikorsky Ilya Mouromets of the Imperial Russian Air Corps
makes the first multi-engined bomber trials.
Russia declares war on Turkey.
1ère Groupe de Bombardement, Aviation Militaire in France
is the first bomber squadron to be formed.
The German Navy forms its first seaplane unit.
German Leutnant Oswald Boelke receives a Fokker A1
The Russian Army EVK (Flotilla of Flying Ships) is formed and
equipped with the first Ilya Mourometz long range bombers.
The unit will eventually grow to 40-50 aircraft.
Two United States Army lieutenants demonstrate two-way radio
between ground and air using a Burgess-Wright aeroplane.
Also this year...
The Chinese Army Air Arm is formed and equiped with French
An Aviatik biplane, used to transport diamonds from
Karibib to Windhoek in South-West Africa becomes the first
regular commercial air-freight service.
The second Schneider Trophy contest is held at Monaco and
won by Briton C. Howard Pixton flying a modified Sopwith
Tabloid at an average speed of 139kph (86mph).