The Olympia Aero Exhibition in London, England marks
the beginning of the end of pioneer aviation. Gone are the
open, kite-like air frames; all the latest aircraft have
enclosed fuselages with cockpits and control panels.
Aircraft motors brag of almost 200 horsepower, design
emphasizes streamlining and speed, stick-and-rudder control
systems are becoming standard. More ominously, the show
introduces a new type of aircraft, the "war airplane."
— The New York courts return their decision on the Wright vs.
Curtiss patent suit. They find in favor of the Wright brothers.
Glenn Curtiss files an appeal to the Federal courts.
March 15 —
The United States Army forms the 1st Aero Squadron
under Capt. Charles Chandler to scout for rebel
Mexican troops and bandits along the border. The squadron is
based at Texas City, Texas
— Alfred, Lord Northcliffe, publisher of the
London Daily Mail offers a
prize 10,000 pounds for the first pilot to cross the Atlantic in an
airplane. The prize is withdrawn at the start of World War I but renewed
— Maurice Provost, flying a Deperdussin, wins the first
Schneider Trophy contest, a speed trial for seaplanes in Monaco. More
than any other contest, the Schneider Trophy spurs the development of
— Igor Sikorsky pilots the huge
on its first flight, carrying 8 passengers. With 4 engines, a wingspan of
92 feet, an open-air observation deck, and a total weight of 4080
kilograms (8995 pounds), it is the largest airplane in
the world. Although many European engineers had predicted its failure, the Russky Vityaz
proves the feasibility of large aircraft.
June — French engineer Louis Bechereau
of Societé de Production Armand Deperdussin (SPAD) unveils their
newest monoplane racer with a monocoque fuselage. This revolutionary method of construction
uses the skin of the aircraft to carry structural loads. This, in turn,
reduces the number of structural parts, making the aircraft lighter, more
streamlined, and simpler to build.
August 10 —
Lawrence Sperry and Lt. Patrick Berringer
test an experimental device that uses 4 gyroscopes turning
at 7000 rpm to stabilize a Curtiss Model F in flight.
It is the beginning of the modern autopilot.
— Peter Nesterov, a young Russian officer out for a
joy ride, flies the first loop-de-loop on record in a Nieuport IV. He is promptly placed
under house arrest for endangering government property.
— A.V. Roe develops the Avro 504,
a two-seat military scout and trainer that was used up until the 1930s.
More Avro 504s are manufactured during World War I
than any other aircraft.
— Adolphe Pegoud flies the first public
loop-de-loop in a Bleriot monoplane near Buc, France. This and other
stunts (such as flying inverted) make him the first
aerobatic pilot. These aerobatics would soon become the basis for evasive
maneuvers used by combat pilots in World War I.
— Roland Garros flies 453 miles (729
kilometers) across the Mediterranean in a Morane-Saulnier
monoplane, from Saint-Raphael to Bizerte in Tunisia.
T.O.M. Sopwith develops the
Tabloid Scout, a highly maneuverable biplane able to climb to 15,000
feet in 10 minutes. This will develop into the Sopwith Camel, one of
the most effective fighters of World War I.
— Spanish pilot Lt. Rios and engineer Capt.
Manuel Barreiro are seriously wounded be rifle fire from
Moroccan soldiers on the ground in Tangiers, dispelling the notion that
airplanes present a target that is impossible to hit from the
— American mercenary pilots Dean Ivan Lamb, flying
for Panco Villa, and Philip Rader, flying for
President Huerta, exchange pistol shots over Naca, Mexico in
the the world's first aerial
combat. Neither is hit.
December 10 —
Igor Sikorsky flies the huge 4-engine
Ilya Muromets, the first true airliner. It is
equipped with a heated cabin, electric lighting,
wicker chairs, a bedroom, a lounge and even the first
airborne toilet. Sikorsky later flies it with 16 passengers
and it might have gone into commercial service had not World
War I broken out. Instead, it is converted to become the
first heavy bomber.
Georges Lagagneux climbs to a record-breaking
altitude of 6120 meters (20,079 feet) in a Nieuport II-N
and becomes the first pilot to use oxygen in flight.