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Years in aviation: 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
Centuries: 19th century · 20th century · 21st century
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Years: 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1916:

Events[]

  • Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft simulate night torpedo attacks for the first time against Japanese fleet units in Tateyama Bay during annual fleet maneuvers, although no torpedoes are dropped.[1]
  • The British Admiralty invites bids for aircraft catapults for the first time, asking for electric, hydraulic, and compressed air catapults. It does not pursue electric or hydraulic types, but two compressd-air types are produced.[2]
  • Officers of the Chilean Navy begin flight training in Chile. It is the beginning of a Chilean naval aviation arm - the first Latin American naval air arm - which is subordinated to the Chilean Army's Military Aviation Service of Chile.[3]
  • Spring – British officials order one million rounds of .303-caliber (7.7-mm) ezplosive and incendiary ammunition for use by aircraft against German airships. The ammunition will be issued to Royal Flying Corps home air defense squadrons during the summer.[4]

January[]

  • On a single evening, 10 of the 16 Royal Flying Corps aircraft which take off to defend England against German air attack crash, killing three pilots. By May, RFC night flying skills will have improved to the point that 10 aircraft that take off on a single evening all land safely.[5]
  • January 12 – German aces Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke, with eight kills, are the first pilots awarded the Pour le Mérite ("Blue Max").
  • January 13 – The Curtiss Aeroplane Company, Curtiss Motor Company, Curtiss Engineering Company, and Burgess and Curtis merge to form the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company.[6]
  • January 14 – In response to high losses German Fokker Eindecker fighters are inflicting on Allied reconnaissance aircraft flying over the Western Front, Royal Flying Corps Headquarters orders that reconnaissance planes have an escort of at least three fighters flying in close formation with them, and that a reconnaissance aircraft must abort its flight if even one of the three fighters becomes detached from the formation for any reason.[7]
  • January 29 – The second and last Zeppelin raid on Paris inflicts 54 casualties.
  • January 31-February 1 (overnight) – German airships resume bombing raids against the United Kingdom, as nine Imperial German Navy Zeppelins led personally by the chief of the German Naval Airship Division Peter Strasser attempt to attack Liverpool. None do, and they scatter their bombs widely around the English Midlands. Zeppelin L.19 (LZ 54) and her entire crew are lost in the raid; she is last seen on February 3 when the British trawler King Stephen finds her floating in the North Sea, speaks with her crew, and then leaves them to their fate.[8]

February[]

  • Command of all pilots, airplanes, and searchlights devoted to the defense of London from air attack is consolidated under a single commander – Major T. C. Higgins, the commanding officer of the Royal Flying Corps's No. 19 Reserve Squadron at Hounslow – for the first time.[9]
  • February 6 – Aircraft from the Imperial Russian Navy Black Sea Fleet's seaplane carriers Imperator Nikolai I and Imperator Aleksandr I sink the Ottoman collier Irmingard (4,211 grt). Irmingard is the largest ship sunk by air attack in World War I.[10]
  • February 21 – The Battle of Verdun begins. To support the morale of French troops defending against the German offensive, the future French ace Jean Navarre soon begins daily aerobatic flights over the front line in a Nieuport 11 Bébé ("Baby") fighter with its fuselage painted in French red, white, and blue.[11]
  • February 26 – Merely by appearing behind a German two-seat aircraft over the Verdun battlefield, Jean Navarre induces its crew to land in French-held territory and surrender without ever firing a shot. Later that morning he shoots down a German bomber for his fifth victory.[12]

March[]

April[]

May[]

June[]

  • June 17 – The first French ace, Jean Navarre, is shot down and wounded, ending his combat career with 12 confirmed kills.
  • June 18 – The first German ace, Max Immelmann, is shot down and killed by an FE.2b from the Royal Flying Corps's No. 25 Squadron, a symbolic end to the "Fokker Scourge". He had scored 15 kills.
  • June 24 – Victor Chapman of the Lafayette Escadrille becomes the first American airman to be killed in action, shot down near Verdun-sur-Meuse.
  • June 30 – Since January 1, 46 German airship sorties have crossed the coast of England between Yorkshire and Kent, and German airships have attacked London twice. British aircraft defending England have contributed (with antiaircraft guns) to the shooting down of only one German airship.[9] First flight of aircraft with all-metal stressed skin construction, the Zeppelin-Lindau Rs.II.[21]

July[]

August[]

  • The Imperial Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet raids Varna, Bulgaria, employing a seaplane carrier-battleship force.[24]
  • August 2 – A Bristol Scout C from the Royal Navy seaplane carrier Vindex unsuccessfully attacks the German Zeppelin L 17. It is the first interception of an airship by a carrier-based aircraft.[25]
  • August 6 – French ace Capitaine René Fonck gains his first confirmed victory. He will become the highest-scoring Allied and second-highest-scoring ace overall of World War I.
  • August 23 – The Brazilian Navy establishes a naval aviation arm with the creation of a naval aviation school.[26]
  • August 24–25 (overnight) – Led by the commander of the Imperial German Navy's airship force, Peter Strasser, aboard the Zeppelin L 32, 13 German naval airships attack England. Several are damaged by British antiaircraft fire and a British seaplane and most of their bombs miss their targets widely, but L 31 under Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Mathy bombs southeast London, inflicting £130,000 in damage, including damage to a power station at Deptford, and killing nine and injuring 40 civilians.[27]
  • August 27

September[]

  • The Wright Company and the Glenn L. Martin Company merge to form the Wright-Martin Corporation.[28]
  • September 2–3 (overnight) – 12 German Navy and four German Army airships raid southeast England in the largest airship raid of World War I; they drop 823 bombs totaling 38,979 pounds (17,681 kg), killing four people and injuring 12 and causing over £21,000 in damage. Royal Flying Corps Lieutenant William Leefe-Robinson, flying a B.E.2c, shoots down the German Army Schütte-Lanz airship SL 11, which falls spectacularly in flames near London, killing her entire crew of 16. Leefe-Robinson becomes the second pilot to shoot down an airship and the first to do it over the United Kingdom, and the German Army Airship Service withdraws from future bombing raids on England, leaving the bombing campaign to German naval airships. It is considered the turning point in the defense of the United Kingdom against German airship raids.[29]
  • September 5 – It is announced that Lieutenant William Leefe-Robinson has received the Victoria Cross for shooting down SL-11.[30]
  • September 15 – Two Austro-Hungarian Lohner flying boats, led by Fregattenleutnant Zelezny, sink the British submarine B-10 and the French submarine Foucault. B10 is the first submarine sunk by aircraft, and Foucault is the first submarine sunk at sea by aircraft.
  • September 16 – Two Imperial German Navy airships, the Zeppelins L 6 and L 9, are destroyed by fire in their hangar due to an inflation accident.[31]
  • September 17 – Flying an Albatros D.II, German Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen scores his first kill, shooting down a F.E.2b of the Royal Flying Corps's No. 11 Squadron over Villers-Plouich, France, and mortally wounding its two-man crew. He will go on to become the highest-scoring ace of World War I, with 80 victories.[32]
  • September 23–24 (overnight) – Twelve German Navy Zeppelins attack England. Most scatter their bombs widely, and bombs strike Nottingham and Grimsby. L 33 bombs central London with 42 high-explosive and 20 incendiary bombs, hitting several warehouses and setting fire to an oil depot, a lumber yard, and several groups of houses, with 10 people killed and 12 seriously injured. L 31 under Heinrich Mathy also bombs London, destroying a tramcar, damaging houses and shops, and killing 13 and injuring 33 people. Two of the newest Zeppelins are shot down, L 33 by ground fire and L 32 by Royal Air Force Lieutenant Frederick Sowrey; L 33's crew is captured and L 32's is killed. Their loss shocks the German naval airship commander Peter Strasser.[33]
  • September 25–26 (overnight) – Nine German Navy Zeppelins set out to attack England. Some turn back and the rest scatter their bombs widely over the countryside and sea. L 22, however, bombs an armament factory complex in Sheffield, killing 28 and injuring 19 people, and L 21 drops several bombs on Bolton.[34]

October[]

  • October 1–2 (overnight) – Eleven German Navy Zeppelins set out to attack England. Three turn back and the others fail to drop their bombs or scatter their bombs widely, killing one British soldier. Royal Flying Corps Second Lieutenant W. J. Tempest in a B.E.2c shoots down L 31 in flames outside London, killing its entire crew, including the famed airship commander Heinrich Mathy, who leaps to his death from the burning Zeppelin.[35]
  • October 5 – Concerned that civil aviation might not be taken seriously after World War I and anticipating the growth of civil air transport after the war, the British aviation pioneer George Holt Thomas registers Aircraft Transport & Travel Limited.[36] In 1919, the company will become the first to operate a London-Paris airline service.
  • October 12 – Canadian Royal Naval Air Service ace Raymond Collishaw claims his first victory.
  • October 19 – German Navy Zeppelins participate in a High Seas Fleet sortie into the North Sea, but German and British ships do not come into contact with one another, although the Zeppelin L 14 sights part of the Royal Navy's Harwich Force. Five Zeppelins suffer serious mechanical breakdowns during the operation.[37]
  • October 28 – German ace Hauptmann Oswald Boelcke is killed in a mid-air collision between his Albatros D.II and the fighter of the German ace Erwin Böhme. A highly influential pilot considered by the some the "father" of the German fighter force, and the author of the Dicta Boelcke, the first formal codification of the rules of aerial warfare, he is Germany's leading ace with 40 victories at the time of his death. World War I will end with him tied with Oberleutnant Lothar von Richthofen and Leutnant Franz Buchner as the 10th-highest-scoring German aces of the conflict.[38]

November[]

  • November 19 – Ruth Law sets a new distance record for cross-country flight by flying 590 miles (950 km) non-stop from Chicago to New York State. She flies on to New York City the next day.
  • November 23 – After a lengthy dogfight British ace Lanoe Hawker VC, flying an Airco DH.2, is shot down and killed by Manfred von Richthofen in an Albatros D.II. Lanoe's score stands at seven kills at the time of his death, and he is von Richthofen's 11th victory.
  • November 27–28 (overnight) – Eight German Navy Zeppelins set out to attack industrial targets in the British Midlands. Plagued by bad weather, mechanical problems, and British air defenses, they accomplish little, although L 34 bombs West Hartlepool, killing four and injuring 11 people. Royal Flying Corps Second Lieutenant Ian V. Pyott of No. 36 Squadron shoots down L 34 in flames over Castle Eden, killing her entire crew including her famed commander Max Dietrich. Soon thereafter, three Royal Naval Air Service BE.2cs, one of them flown by Flight Lieutenant Egbert Cadbury, shoot down L 21 off Lowestoft.[39][40]
  • November 28 – Central London is bombed by a German LVG C.II flown by R. Brandt.

December[]

  • December 26–27 (overnight) – In Operation Iron Cross, the Imperial German Navy dirigibles L 35 and L 38 attempt the first bombing of Petrograd, Russia. Neither bombs the target due to clouds and bad weather, and L 38 makes a forced landing at Seemuppen, Courland, in German-occupied Russia, where strong winds eventually destroy her[41] on December 29.
  • December 28 – While ground crewman are walking the German Navy Zeppelin L 24 to her shed at Tondern, Germany, she is slammed against her hangar by wind and catches fire. She and the Zeppelin L 17,which is in the hangar, are destroyed in the resulting fire.[42]
  • December 28–29 (overnight) – Six German Navy airships – five Zeppelins and the Schütte-Lanz SL12 – attempt a raid on England but are recalled due to bad weather. SL12 is unable to return to base and lands nearby, where she is battered to pieces by wind.[42]
  • December 31 – 17,341 officers and men are deployed in the United Kingdom for home air defense. Among them are 12,000 officers and men manning antiaircraft guns and 2,200 officers and men assigned to the 12 Royal Flying Corps squadrons assigned to home air defense, operating 110 aeroplanes.[43]

First flights[]

February[]

April[]

May[]

June[]

July[]

August[]

September[]

October[]

November[]

December[]

Entered service[]

February[]

April[]

August[]

November[]

December[]

References[]

  1. Peattie, Mark R., Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power 1909–1941, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2001, ISBN 1-55750-432-6, p. 35.
  2. Layman, R.D., Before the Aircraft Carrier: The Development of Aviation Vessels 1849–1922, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989, ISBN 0-87021-210-9, p. 78.
  3. Scheina, Robert L., Latin America: A Naval History 1810–1987, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1987, ISBN 0-87021-295-8, pp. 198–199.
  4. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, p. 139.
  5. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, p. 138.
  6. Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, p. 108.
  7. Franks, Norman, Aircraft vs. Aircraft: The Illustrated Story of Fighter Pilot Combat From 1914 to the Present Day, London: Grub Street, 1998, ISBN 1-902304-04-7, p. 20.
  8. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, p. 131–133.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, p. 130.
  10. Layman, R.D., Before the Aircraft Carrier: The Development of Aviation Vessels 1849–1922, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989, ISBN 0-87021-210-9, p. 101.
  11. Hollway, Don, "The Sentinel of Verdun," Aviation History, November 2012, p. 38.
  12. Hollway, Don, "The Sentinel of Verdun," Aviation History, November 2012, pp. 38–39.
  13. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, p. 129.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 A Chronological History of Coast Guard Aviation: The Early Years, 1915–1938.
  15. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, pp. 134–137.
  16. Peattie, Mark R., Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power 1909–1941, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2001, ISBN 1-55750-432-6, pp. 14, 29, 253, 255.
  17. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, p. 137.
  18. Franks, Norman, Aircraft Versus Aircraft: The Illustrated Story of Fighter Pilot Combat From 1914 to the Present Day, London: Grub Street, 1998, ISBN 1-902304-04-7, p. 29.
  19. Hollway, Don, "The Sentinel of Verdun," Aviation History, November 2012, p. 39.
  20. Chant, Chris, The World's Great Bombers, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2000, ISBN 0-7607-2012-6, p. 15.
  21. Haddow, G.W.; Peter M. Grosz (1988). The German Giants - The German R-Planes 1914–1918 (3rd ed.). London: Putnam. ISBN 0-85177-812-7. 
  22. Layman, R.D., Before the Aircraft Carrier: The Development of Aviation Vessels 1849–1922, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989, ISBN 0-87021-210-9, p. 113.
  23. Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, p. 63.
  24. Layman, R.D., Before the Aircraft Carrier: The Development of Aviation Vessels 1849–1922, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989, ISBN 0-87021-210-9, pp. 96, 101.
  25. Layman, R.D., Before the Aircraft Carrier: The Development of Aviation Vessels 1849–1922, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989, ISBN 0-87021-210-9, p. 50.
  26. Scheina, Robert L., Latin America: A Naval History 1810–1987, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1987, ISBN 0-87021-295-8, p. 195.
  27. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 163–164.
  28. Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, ISBN 0-517-56588-9, p. 460.
  29. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, pp. 140–146, 165.
  30. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, p. 146.
  31. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, p. 165.
  32. Kilduff, Peter, The Red Baron: Beyond the Legend, London: Cassell, 1994, ISN 0-304-35207-1, p. 223.
  33. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 166–171.
  34. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 172–173.
  35. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 174–177.
  36. Mondey, David, ed., The Complete Illustrated History of the World's Aircraft, Secaucus, New Jersey: Chartwell Books, Inc., 1978, ISBN 0-89009-771-2, p. 27.
  37. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, p. 178.
  38. Franks, Norman, Aircraft Versus Aircraft: The Illustrated Story of Fighter Pilot Combat From 1914 to the Present Day, London: Grub Street, 1998, ISBN 1-902304-04-7, p. 63.
  39. Thetford, Owen, British Naval Aircraft Since 1912, Sixth Edition, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1991, ISBN 1-55750-076-2, p. 39.
  40. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 178–181.
  41. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 218–221.
  42. 42.0 42.1 Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, p. 182.
  43. Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 183–184.
  44. Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 68.
  45. Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 185.
  46. Thetford, Owen, British Naval Aircraft Since 1912: Sixth Revised Edition, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1991, ISBN 1-55750-076-2, p. 481.
  47. 47.0 47.1 Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 42.

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