January 3 The Aéro-Club de France
offers a prize of 500 francs for the invention of an
instrument that will indicate the horizontal position of an
aircraft in flight. This will evolve to become the
attitude indicator, the central instrument in a modern
aircraft control panel.
January 13 Henri
Farman, France, wins the Grand Prix dAviation in
his modified Voisin biplane, flying the first complete circuit in
January 15 — Lt. Thomas Selfridge,
secretary of the Aerial Experiment Association, requests information
on Wright gliders, including their control system, and the the Wrights
January 27 The Wrights
respond to the United States Department of War's request with a proposal
to provide an aircraft and train military pilots.
Louis Bleriot introduces the Bleriot VIII.
Though unsuccessful at first, Bleriot makes modifications
until the aircraft is capable to fly cross-country. More
important, the airplane features a stick-and-rudder control
system developed by Robert Esnault-Pelterie. The
pilot moves a vertical stick with his arm to roll and pitch
the airplane, and presses on pedals with his feet to yaw.
This will become standard controls for future aircraft.
February 10 The Wrights
sign an agreement
with the US Board of Ordinance to deliver a two-seat aircraft for $25,000. The
Wrights also apply for a patent on a device to maintain the stability of an
aircraft in the air, the first autopilot.
March 12 The Aerial Experiment Association tests
its first plane, the Red Wing on a frozen lake in Hammondsport, New York. It makes a
319-foot (97-meter) hop and crash-lands.
Charles Flint negotiates an agreement with Lazare
Weiller and other French investors to
manufacture Wright airplanes if the Wrights will come to France and
demonstrate their Wright Model A.
April 9 Wilbur Wright returns to Kitty
Hawk to practice flying before he demonstrates the improved aircraft they now call the
Wright Model A. He is joined by Charley Furnas, a part-time
employee of the Wrights.
April 25 Orville Wright joins Wilbur
in Kitty Hawk.
May Henri Farnam, France, challenges the
Wrights to a fly-off for cash stakes $5,000 for best speed and distance.
When newspapermen confront Wilbur with the challenge, he characteristically has no
May 6 Orville and Wilbur resume flying
Charley Furnas rides first with Orville, then
Wilbur, making the first true passenger flights.
May 20 The Wrights divide their
forces Orville to Fort Meyer, Virginia to demonstrate a
Wright Model A for the US Army, Wilbur to France to demonstrate
on for the French syndicate.
May 19-21 The Aerial Experiment Association
tests its second plane, the White Wing with Lt. Thomas Selfridge at the controls.
He eventually makes a
1017-foot (310-meter) flight and lands safely. It is the first time a member
of the US Armed Services has piloted an aircraft.
June 8 Wilbur Wright
arrives in Le Mans, France and joins up with Hart O. Berg,
Charles Flint's agent in Europe. Léon
Bollée, who owns an automobile factory there, has graciously lent Wilbur
space to assemble their airplane. When Wilbur unpacks the boxes, he finds
that the Wright Model A that was shipped to France in 1907 was
extensively damaged by French Customs officials. He
begins to repair it with hired workmen in a corner of Bollée's factory.
June 21 The Aerial Experiment Association
tests the June Bug for the first time, a plane designed by Glenn
Curtiss. They are pleased with its capabilities and notify Scientific American
of their intention to try for the
July 4 The Aerial Experiment Association
wins the Scientific American prize with the June Bug piloted
Curtiss. That same day, Wilbur Wright is badly burned in France when a radiator
Therese Peltier, a French sculptress, flies for a short
distance with Leon Delagrange in Turin, Italy,
becoming the first woman to fly. Later, she becomes a
student pilot of Delagrange but gives up aviation when he is
July 20 Hearing of Curtisss
success, Orville writes the Aerial Experiment
Association. reminding them that they are welcome to
experiment, but if they want to manufacture planes or fly them for profit,
they must lease the Wrights'
August 8 With the French press taking pot shots at the Wrights,
Wilbur decides "it would be a good thing to do a little something," even though
the Wright Model A is not quite ready. A crowd gathers at the Le Mans racetrack, including
Blériot, Archdeacon, and other French aviators. Wilbur
makes a flight of almost 2 minutes and the French are won over. Says Delagrange,
"Well, we are beaten." Blériot says, "Monsieur Wright has us all in his
hands." Only Archdeacon is a little sour.
— Orville Wright arrives at Fort Myer with a
Wright Model A and CharlieTaylor and Charley
Furnas to help him put it together.
Magazine publishes "How We Invented the Airplane," by Orville
Wright. It is the first popular account of the Wright story from their
first aeronautical experiments to their achievement of a practical flying
September 3 Orville Wright begins flying
demonstrations at Fort Myer, Virginia.
September 5 — In his
newspaper The Daily Mail, English publisher Lord
Northcliffe offers a prize of
£1000 ($5000) for the first
aviator to fly the English Channel.
September 17 Orville flies with Lt.
Thomas Selfridge in Fort Meyer. A propeller breaks, the plane crashes, and
Selfridge is killed. Orville suffers a broken leg and hip.
Katharine Wright takes a leave of absence from her
teaching job to tend to Orville. She is joined in
Washington by Charles Flint.
September 21 Wilbur Wright sets a new
world record for time aloft, 1 hour and 31 minutes. He does the best flying of his life in
the months that follow, knowing he has to give the press something to talk about besides
Orvilles terrible crash. He sets new records almost daily.
Fall Wilbur Wright
takes French photographer L. P. Bonvillain aloft to
snap the first aerial photographs.
October 7 Wilbur Wright
carries the second woman passenger aloft, Mrs. Edith Berg,
Hart O. Berg's wife.
American expatriate Samuel Cody flies
British Army Aeroplane No. 1, which he helped to design
and build. His is the first powered flight in England.
October 28 Wilbur Wright
begins training the first student pilot, Count Charles de
October 30 Henri
Farman, France, makes the first cross-country flight, traveling
27 kilometers (17 miles) from Camp de Chalons to Reims.
The Seguin brothers, France, unveil their Gnome
rotary engine in Paris.
Orville Wright and Katharine
arrive back in Dayton, Ohio after Orville has spent nearly
six weeks recovering in Washington DC.
La Compagnie Générale de Navigation Aérienne, the
French syndicate that organized under Lazare
Weiller to produce Wright airplanes,
officially opens for business.
his book War in the Air, author H.G. Wells
predicted the horrors of a war waged with airplanes.
Wilbur Wright wins the Coupe de Michelin after setting a new
world record for duration and distance, flying 124
kilometers (77 miles) in 2 hours and 20 minutes.