January 7 — Lt. M. S. Crissy drops live bombs over San Francisco
Bay from a Wright airplane piloted by Philip O. Parmalee. It is the
first time live bombs have been dropped from an aircraft.
January 18 — Eugene Ely takes off from Presidio Military Base
in San Francisco and lands on a temporary wooden deck on the U.S.S.
Pennsylvania. This feat is made possible by the use of a tail hook,
invented by Ely's friend and fellow pilot, Hugh Robinson. Ely has lunch with the captain and flies back to San
Francisco. This is the first round trip to and from a ship by airplane.
January 26 — Glenn Curtiss flies the first practical
seaplane from San Diego Bay in California. It is
basically a standard Curtiss Model D fitted with a single float beneath the wings.
January 28 —
Lt. T. Gordon Ellyson solos in a Curtiss aircraft,
becoming the US Navy's first aviator.
February 24 — Glenn Curtiss attaches wheels to the float of
seaplane and creates the Curtiss Triad, the first amphibious aircraft.
Léon Lemartin, a pilot-engineer for Blériot, flies a Blériot XIII
Aerobus with 7 passengers, then 8, and finally 13 (although on the
last flight, some of the passengers are young boys). This series of
demonstrates the possibility of multi-passenger air transports.
February 18 — French pilot Henri Pequet flies the world's first
official air mail in Allahabad, India.
March 3 —
Lt. Benjamin Foulois and Phil Parmalee fly a
Wright Model B from Laredo to Eagle Pass, Texas,
scouting for Mexican rebels who are raiding Texas farms.
This is the first military reconnaissance mission in
an aircraft. Foulois has installed a wireless
telegraph set in the aircraft and taps out messages along
the route, marking the first use of radio on a military
March 21 —
Feng Ru arrives in China at the invitation of Chinese
revolutionary Sun Yixian (Sun
Yat Sen). He brings two Curtiss-derived airplanes that he
built in San Francisco to aid in the rebellion against the
Manchu Qing monarchy. Although there is no record of his
flights in China, Feng Ru was made a captain in the rebel
army and it is likely that he flew the first war-time
missions in an aircraft.
April 1 —
The British form the Air Battalion Royal Engineers,
the first British military aviation division.
April 12 — Pierre Prier, flying a Blériot monoplane, makes the
first non-stop flight between London and Paris.
May 8 — The
United States Navy establishes the US Naval Aviation
Division, the beginning of naval aviation in the US.
July 1 — Glenn
Curtiss delivers the US Navy's first airplane, a Curtiss Triad
amphibian, designated as Navy type A-1.
July 6 —
The United States Navy establishes its first naval
air base at Annapolis, Maryland.
July 21 —
Denise Moore, France, falls 150 feet from her
capsized aircraft and becomes the first woman pilot to be
killed in an airplane accident.
August — Pilot Hugh Robinson lands his Curtiss seaplane on Lake
Michigan to rescue another pilot who crashed into the lake. It is the
first air-sea rescue.
August 1 — Harriet Quimby, a New York drama critic,
becomes the first licensed woman pilot in America.
— Harry Atwood flies his Wright Model B from St. Louis
to New York – 1265 miles (2036 kilometers) in nine days.
September 17 to December 10
Cal Rodgers crosses America from
Sheepshead Bay, NY to Long Beach, CA in a
Wright Model EX dubbed the Vin
Fiz, after his sponsor. The trip covers 4,000 miles (6,437 kilometers)
and takes 84 days. Despite 5 major
crashes and a host of smaller mishaps, it is the first time anyone crossed
a continent in an airplane.
September 19 — Gustav Hamel flies the first English air mail
between Hendon and Windsor in a Bleriot monoplane.
September 23 — Earl Ovington delivers the first official air
mail for the U.S. Post Office in a Blériot monoplane.
October 10 — Lt . Riley Scott of the U.S. Army invents and
tests the first bomb sight attached to a Wright Model B at College
Park, Maryland. Although the bomb sight is successful, the
Army declines it. Later, the French will adapt Riley's
invention to their aircraft.
October 22 — Captain Carlo Piazza,
Italy, makes a reconnaissance flight in a Blériot
monoplane, taking off from Tripoli and observing the Turkish army near
Benghazi. This is the first record of an
airplane being used for a military mission.
October 24 — Orville Wright returns to Kitty Hawk test a new glider. On one flight, he remains
in the air for 9 minutes and 45 seconds, setting the first world's record
for soaring flight. It
stands for ten years.
October 26 — The 1909 Wright Military Flyer,
Signal Corps No. 1 or Miss Columbia, is enshrined at the Smithsonian
October 31 — John Montgomery, the first American gliding pilot,
dies in a gliding accident in California.
November — Plagued by accidents, the
Wright Company dissolves
its exhibition team.
November 1 —
Lt. Giolio Gavotti and his
out the first wartime aerial bombardment, bombing Turkish
forces in Libya.
December 4 —
Geoffrey de Havilland,
working at the Royal Aircraft Factory in England,
pilots the RAF B.E. 1 on its first flight. This
tractor biplane with an enclosed fuselage is generally
considered to be the first of the "second generation" airplanes. It is also the first
aircraft to be granted an "airworthiness certificate."
The B.E. series will become the prototypes for World War I