Timeline of aviation - 19th century
July 18, Etienne Gaspar Robertson and Lhoest climb from Hamburg (Germany) up to 7,280 m in a balloon.
**October 3-4, Frenchman
André-Jaques Garnerincovered a distance of 395 km from Paris to Clausen with his Montgolfière.
Francesco Zambeccaripublishes a five-volume work on ballooning and aeronatics.
George Cayleybuilds a model glider with moveable control surfaces.
**August/September, experiments by physicists
Joseph Louis Gay-Lussacand Jean Baptiste Biotdisproved the theory that the earth's pull decreases with height.
September 7, Zambeccari and two companions, Grasetti and Andreoli, ascend in Bolognaattempting to cross the Adriatic, but have to be rescued after one day at sea.
**J. Kaiserer suggested making a Montgolfière manoeuvrable with the help of tame eagles.
Jakob Degen, a watchmaker from Vienna, experimented with an apparatus with valve-flap, flapping wings
**Degen tried to combine a Montgolfière with the flapping wings.
**Degen propels a hydrogen-filled balloon by flapping large ornithopter-style wings.
** September, Sir George Cayley published his seminal paper "
On Aerial Navigation", setting out for the first time the scientific principles of heavier-than-air flight.
May 31, Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger, the "tailor of Ulm" (Germany) crashes in his apparatus, a copy of Degen's, into the Danube. It was presumably a workable hang glider.
July 19, lamp gas used to fill a Montgolfière (Green).
**Englishman Thomas Harris jumps to his death from a balloon in order to save his fiancée's life when relieving all ballast cannot stop the precipitous plunge after an accidental drop in pressure. [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,753936-1,00.html]
Jan Wnękperforms several public flights from the Odporyszow village church tower. (Austria/Hungary border).
**November 7-8, flight of a coal gas balloon by Charles Green covering 722 km from London to
Weilburg, with passengers Holland and Mason.
Robert Cockingjumps from a balloon piloted by Charles Green at a height of 2,000 m (6,600 ft) to demonstrate a parachute of his own design, and is killed in the attempt.
**The American John Wise introduces the ripping panel which is still used today. The panel solved the problem of the Montgolfiere dragging along the ground at landing and needing to be stopped with the help of anchors.
**Charles Green and the astronomer Spencer Rush climb up to 7,900 m in a free balloon.
**Louis Anslem Lauriat makes the first manned flight in
Canada, at Saint John, New Brunswick, in his balloon "Star of the East". [cite book |last= Milberry |first= Larry |authorlink= |title= Aviation in Canada |origdate= 1979 |url= |accessdate= |publisher= McGraw-Hill Ryerson |location= |isbn=0-07-082778-8 |pages= 11|chapter= The Early Days:1840-1914|quote= ]
**November, English engineer
William Samuel Hensonmakes the first complete draft of a power driven aeroplane with steam engine drive. The patent follows the works of Cayley. The English House of Commons rejects the motion for the formation of an "Aerial Transport Company" with great laughter
William Samuel Hensonand John Stringfellow filed articles of incorporation for the world's first air transport company, the Aerial Transit Company
William Samuel Hensonand John Stringfellowbuild a steam powered model aircraft, with a wingspan of 10 ft (3.5 m) which successfully flies a distance of 40 m before crashing into a wall. This was the world's first heavier-than-air powered flight.
July 12and July 25, balloons (Montgolfières) are used for bombardment for the first time, with Austrians bombing Venice.
George Cayleylaunches a 10-year old boy in a small glider being towed by a team of people running down a hill. This is the first known flight by a person in a heavier-than-air machine.
October 7, Frenchman Francisque Arbanflies over the Alps in a free balloon (Marseille-Subini near by Turin).
September 24, English engineer Henri Giffardflies 27 km (17 miles) in a steam-powered dirigible, reaching a speed of about 10 km/h.
**Formation of the first society for promoting aerial navigation (Société Aérostatique et Météorologique de France).
**Late June or early July:
Sir George Cayley's coachmansuccessfully flies a glider, designed by his employer, some proportion of the distance across Brompton Dalein Yorkshire, becoming the world's first adult aeroplane pilot. Unimpressed with this honour, the coachman promptly resigns his employment.
Joseph Plineis the first person to use the word "aeroplane" in a paper proposing a gas filled dirigible glider with propellers.
**December, French Captain
Jean Marie Le Brisflies 600 ft in his Artificial Albatross glider.
**Félix Du Temple flies
clockworkand steam-powered model aircraft, the first sustained powered flights by heavier-than-air machines.
**French brothers du Temple de la Croix apply after successful attempts with models for a patent for a power-driven aeroplane.
**French airman Nadar takes the first aerial photographs.
July 1and 2, John Wise and three companions complete a Montgolfière flight over a distance of 1,292 km (St. Louis - Henderson, USA).
telegraphmessage is sent from the air, by Thaddeus Lowein the balloon "Enterprise".
Union Army Balloon Corpsis formed under Lowe's command, for observation and artillery direction. Balloons would see major use in the U.S. Civil Warover the next four years.
USS George Washington Parke Curtisbecomes the first warship dedicated to air operations, transporting and towing reconnaissance balloons along the Potomac River.
September 5, after a dramatic take-off, aeronaut Coxwell and English physicist Glaisher reach 9,000 m.
**Dirigible airship flown by Solomon Andrews over
Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Two flights over New York in 1865.
**Outbreak of the
War of the Triple Alliancebetween Paraguay and Brazil. Brazilian forces made much use of balloon reconnaissance over the next six years.
Jules Vernedescribes in his novel "The Journey to the Moon" the launch of a rocket from Florida, from where many years later U. S. space flights actually start.
**The Frenchman d'Esterno writes in his book "About the flight of birds", "Gliding seems to be characteristic for heavy birds; there are no odds which are stacked against that humans can not do the same at fair wind."
**French artist and farmer
Louis Pierre Mouillardmakes a successful attempt to fly. After years of studies about bird flight he publishes his book "L'Empire de l'Air" in 1881. He thinks that imitation of gliding and soaring flight of birds is possible, but not the imitation of the flapping of wings.
** Foundation of the
Royal Aeronautical Society, the world’s oldest society devoted to all aspects of aeronautics and astronautics.
Jan Wnęk, Poland. Public controlled flights (1866 - 1869) from the Odporyszów church tower. Church records only.
**Henry Giffard installs a huge captive balloon for 20 passengers at the World Exposition in Paris.
**M.Boulton applies for an English patent for the use of a wing flap.
**First exhibition of aviation in London's Crystal Palace.
**Balloons are used by the French to transport letters and passengers out of besieged Paris during the
Franco-Prussian War. Between September and the following January, 66 flights carried 110 passengers and up to three million letters out of Paris.
**The Englishmen Wenham and Browning do air flow experiments in a wind tunnel.
February 2, French navy-engineer Dupuy de Lome achieves 9 to 11 km/h with his muscle powered airship.
December 13, Paul Haenlein tests the first airship with a gas engine in Brno, achieving 19 km/h. The tests were stopped because of a shortage of money.
** German engineer
Paul Haenleinflies a dirigible with an internal combustion engineon a tether in Vienna, the first use of such an engine to power an aircraft.
July 5, Belgian Vincent de Groof is killed in an accident as he tries to do a flight using flapping wings.
September 20, Du Temple builds a steam-powered monoplane which achieves a short hop after gaining speed by rolling down a ramp. It carries a human passenger whose identity is no longer known.
**Englishman Thomas Moy tests a tethered power driven aeroplane with steam engine drive and a wing span of 4 m.
April 15, the scientific flight of the montgolfiere "Zenith" up to 8,000 m ends in the death of two aeronauts and the deafness of Gaston Tissandier.
**Frenchmen Penaud and Gauchot apply for a patent for a power-driven aeroplane with a device for drawing in the
undercarriage, and wings with upward dihedral and a stick control.
**First flight of a steam-driven model helicopter (
Charles F. Ritchelpublicly demonstrates of his hand-powered, one-man rigid airship, and eventually sells five of them.
British Armygains its first balloon, the "Pioneer".
**Frenchman Victor Tatin builds a power-driven model aeroplane with airscrews and a compressed air motor, successfully flying off the ground.
**Alexander Fjodorowitsch Mozhaiski patents a steam-powered aircraft
Karl Wölfertand Ernst Baumgartenattempt to fly a powered dirigible in free flight, but crash.
**Balloons are used in British military manoeuvres for the first time at
**Wölfert unsuccessfully tests a balloon powered by a hand-cranked propeller
**The Berlin-based "German Society for Promoting Aviation" publishes a magazine, the "Zeitschrift für Luftschiffahrt" (Magazine of Aviation).
**The first electric-powered flight is made by
Gaston Tissandierwho fits a Siemens AGelectric motor to a dirigible. Airships with electric engines (Tissandier brothers, Renard and Krebs).
AJ Kinginvents the fast moving internal combustion engine, which is suitable for aviation because of its good power to weight ratio.
John J. Montgomerymakes a controlled heavier-than-air flight. His first two gliders did not include flight controls but his third featured aileron prototypes.
August 9, the first fully controllable free-flight is made in a French Army dirigible with landing on the starting point.
**Mozhaiski finishes his monoplane (span 14 m, or 46 ft). It makes a short hop after running down a launch ramp.
**British Army balloons are taken on the expedition to
Bechuanalandin South Africa.
**Englishman Horatio F.Philipps has a patent issued for caved profiles of wings.
**The Prussian Airship Arm ("Preussische Luftschiffer Abteilung") becomes a permanent unit of the army.
**British Army balloons are taken to
Sudanby the expeditionary force headed there.
September 12and 13, Frenchmen Hervé and Alluard achieve a Montgolfiere flight over 24 hours.
**Wölfert flies a petrol powered dirigible at
Seelburg. The engine was built by Gottlieb Daimler.
Percival Spencermakes a successful parachute jump from a balloon at Drumcondra, Ireland
Percy Pilcherbuilds a human-carrying glider, the Hawk, and begins development of a light internal combustion engine.
Otto Lilienthalpublishes in his book "Der Vogelflug als Grundlage der Fliegekunst" (Bird Flight as the Basis for the Art of Aviation) measurements on wings, so called polar diagrams, which are the concept of description of artificial wings even today. The book gives a reference for the advantages of the arched wing.
October 8- Edward Rickenbacker, American fighter ace in World War I is born in Columbus, Ohio
October 9, Clement Aderflew 50 m in powered, uncontrolled flight in his aeroplane "Eole".
Samuel Pierpont Langleyflies the Aerodrome No. 0, 1 & 2 powered unmanned model aircraft.
Otto Lilienthalflies about 25 m in his Derwitzer Glider. He begins a series of glider flights, attempting to develop a practical ornithopter. Although he did not achieve this goal, he became the first person to make repeatable, controlled flights in a series of heavier-than-air devices. First controlled glider flights in excess of 250 m. Performs the first well-documented and photographed flights. Breaks his spine after hundreds, nay thousands of flight. Leaves influential notebooks.
Clément Aderflew 200 m uncontrolled in the Avion II (also referred to as the Zephyr or Éole II) at a field in Satory.
Clément Aderis contracted by the French War Ministry to build an aircraft to be used as a bomber.
Otto Lilienthalflies over 90 yards in his Südende-Glider.
**Austria's army gains a permanent air corps, the "Kaiserlich und Königliche Militäräronautische Ansalt" ("Imperial and Royal Military Aeronautical Group")
Horatio Phillipsbuilt a steam-powered aircraft at Harrow which was tethered to the centre of a circular track. It successfully left the ground, even when carrying 32 kg (72 lb) of ballast. (Some sources list 1893)
Otto Lilienthalflies about 250 m in his Maihöhe-Rhinow-Glider.
Lawrence Hargravedemonstrates a human-carrying glider in Australiaat an aeronautical congress in Sydney. It is based on the box kite, an invention of Hargrave's. It becomes an example for several scientific kites and aeroplane constructions.
**First experiments of the Englishman Philipps with a 50-wing-plane.
July 31, Hiram Maximlaunches an enormous biplanetest rig (wingspan 32 m, 105 ft) propelled by two steam engines. It makes a short captive hop after running down a length of railway track. After that he stopped his experiments, which had already cost him around thirty thousands pounds.
Samuel Pierpont Langleyflies the unmanned Aerodrome No. 4 over the Potomac rivera distance of 130 ft.
Lawrence Hargravedemonstrates stable flight with a tethered box kite.
December 4, German meteorologist Arthur Bersonclimbs up with a balloon to 9,155 m.
Czeslaw Tanskisuccessfully flies powered models in Polandand begins work on full-size gliders.
Octave Chanutepublishes "Progress in Flying Machines", describing the research completed so far into flight. Chanute's book. a summary of many articles published in the "American Engineer and Railroad Journal", is a comprehensive account on the stage of development worldwide on the way to the aeroplane.
Otto Lilienthalgoes with his Normal soaring apparatusin the first serial production of a glider. With different aeroplane constructions he covers distances up to 250 m.
**Percy Pilcher makes his first successful flight in a glider named Bat.
May 6, Samuel Pierpont Langleyflies the unmanned Aerodrome No. 5 from a houseboat on the Potomac rivera distance of 3,300 ft.
**June, Octave Chanute organises a flyer camp at
Lake Michigan. Tested was a Lilienthal-glider (reconstruction) and a biplane built by Chanute, which was the basis for the further development of flight technique
August 9 Otto Lilienthalcrashes during a routine flight in the hills of Stölln and dies next day because of a spinal injury.
Samuel Pierpont Langleyflies the unmanned Aerodrome No. 6 a distance of 4,200 ft.
David Schwarz's rigid airship makes its first flight at Tempelhof field, but crashes.
**Germans August Parseval and Bartsch Sigsfeld invent the kite balloon for observations in strong winds.
June 11, Salomon Andrée, N. Strindberg and K. Fraenkel attempt an Arcticexpedition to the North Poleby free balloon from Spitsbergen. He and two companions crash within three days but manage to survive for several months in the pack ice. Their remains are discovered in 1930 on White Island. It was possible to develop the located film material.
June 12, Friedrich Hermann Wölfert and his mechanic are killed in an accident when their airship powered by petrol caught fire at a demonstration at the Tempelhof field.
October 14, Clément Adermakes a 300 m flight in his steam-powered uncontrolled Avion IIIalso referred to as Aquilon or the Éole III. The Army is not impressed and withdraws funding.
**The first flight in a rigid airship is made by
Ernst Jägels, flying an all-aluminium craft designed by David Schwarzand built by Carl Berg. It is damaged beyond repair while landing.
Carl Rickard Nybergstarts working on his Flugan
**The Langley Aerodrome is commissioned by the
United States Army Signal Corps
Gustave Whiteheadclaimed to have flown his steam powered aircraft a distance of 500 m in Pennsylvania with a passenger.
Wright brothersbegin experimenting with wing-warping as a means of controlling an aircraft.
Samuel Codybegins experiments with kites big enough to lift a person
Percy Pilcherflies various gliders and is close to completing a powered machine when he is tragically killed when his glider crashes at Stanford Hall, Englandafter a tail strut fails. The flight was intended as a display of powered flight, but when the engine was not ready in time, Pilcher used a team of horses to pull the glider into the air.
Wilhelm Kressdeveloped the stick control for aircraft.
April 14- Clement Aders Avion IIIis shown at the Paris International Exhibition.Gunston, 2001. p. 24.]
July 2- Count Ferdinand von Zeppelinflies the first rigid airship, the LZ1 Zeppelinfrom Lake Constance, Friedrichshafen. It carries five passengers on a 20-minute flight.
* [http://www.historicfarnborough.co.uk/ Historic Farnborough - site of Samuel Cody's first powered flight in 1908 and the home to aviation development at the RAE]
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