World Aviation in 1915
The first Russian aircraft designed for aerial combat, the
Sikorsky S16 two-seat armed biplane, enters service.
The Friedrichshafen FF29a seaplane is successfully launched
from the deck of a submarine by the German Navy during trials
to extend the aircraft's range.
The Italian Corpo Aeronautico Militare is formed.
German Navy Zeppelins, LZ24 (L3) and LZ27 (L4), make the
first airship raid on Great Britain and a third, LZ31 (L6),
returns early due to engine problems.
Bombs from L3 fall on Great Yarmouth, while L4 drops
incendiaries and bombs on Sheringham, Thornham, Brancaster,
Hunstanton, Heacham, Snettisham and King's Lynn. Several
civilians are killed and wounded.
The Russian Ilya Mourometz IMV series 4-engined bombers are
equipped with machine-guns for use against ground targets.
Turkish forces attack the Suez Canal area but are repelled by
Russian Ilya Mouromets reconnaissance bombers attack targets
along the Vistula river in Poland.
Zeppelin LZ34 (L3) is stranded and destroyed in a gale at
Allan Loughhead is given permission to start an air service
during the Panama-Pacific Exhibition at San Francisco, flying
600 passengers across the bay in 50 days.
The United States National Advisory Committee is established
by Congress to investigate the problems of flight and
solutions to them. The organisation is a forerunner to the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
$300,000 funding is passed by the United States Congress for
the development of army aviation in 1916.
Zeppelin LZ33 (L8) crashes near Ostend after being hit by
gunfire over Nieuport during a mission to attack Britain.
Paris comes under attack from German Zeppelins.
Lincoln Beachey dies when the wings break off his monoplane
while he attempts a power dive from 3,000 feet at the
Panama-Pacific Exhibition in San Francisco.
The Belgian Aviation Militaire is formed.
Mancia, a kite balloon ship, sails for the Dardanelles,
equipped with a kite balloon for use as an observation
Lieutenant Roland Garros shoots down a German Albatros
two-seater with the Hotchkiss machine-gun fitted to his
Morane-Saulnier Type L monoplane. Steel wedge deflectors
allow the bullets to pass through the propeller arc without
damaging the propeller.
The first meeting of the Australian Aero Club is held at the
Café Francais in Melbourne.
The prototype German Zeppelin-Staaken VGO1 heavy bomber flies
for the first time. This later becomes the Zeppelin-Staaken
A United States Navy (USN) AB2 flying-boat piloted by
Lieutenant P.N.L. Bellinger is catapult-launched from a
After making a forced landing behind enemy lines Lieutenant
Roland Garros is captured by the Germans and the details of
the machine-gun deflector arrangement are studied by his
German Navy Zeppelin L9, commanded by Kapitaltn Mathys, makes
an attack on three British submarines, damaging the conning
tower of one of them.
The first Canadian flying school, the Curtiss Aviation
School, opens at Long Branch.
Continuous airship raids on England are ordered by the German
The United States Navy (USN) orders it's first airship from
the Connecticut Aircraft Company.
The Spad A2 biplane fighter undergoes it's first flight tests
Seventeen French Voisin biplanes of Groupe de Bombardment I
conduct an attack on a strategic military target at
Ludwigshafen in Germany.
Oberleutnant Kastner and Leutnant Georg Langhoff
(observer) attack and shoot down a French Voisin in their
Halberstadt C-type at Dournai in France. This is the first
intentional attack by a German aeroplane on another armed
Four days after Italy declares war, an Austrian Lohner L1
flying-boat is captured by the Italians off the Italian
German Zeppelin LZ38 makes the first bombing raid on London,
dropping 3,000 pounds of bombs, killing seven civilians and
The German D-type reconnaissance biplane, produced by various
firms, is introduced.
Rene Paul Fonck joins Escadrille C47 and flies Caudron GIV
bombing and reconnaissance aircraft, eventually becoming the
highest scoring Allied pilot of the First World War.
The United States Navy (USN) order their first airship, the
A1 (DN1), from the Connnecticut Aircraft Company.
German Fokker E1 monoplane fighters, the first aeroplanes to
be fitted with synchronised machine-guns, enabling them to be
fired through the propeller arc, are introduced on the
The Office of Naval Aeronautics is formed to oversee United
States naval air operations.
A French Morane-Saulnier monoplane is destroyed by Leutnant
Kurt Wintgens, flying a Fokker M5K with synchronised
German Army airship Schutte-Lanz SL5 is wrecked after it is
forced to land during a gale.
Katherine Stinson becomes the first woman to loop-the-loop
while performing aerobatics at Chicago.
Georges Marie Ludovic Jules Guynemer scores his first victory
while flying a Morane-Saulnier Parasol 2-seat monoplane,
eventually he becomes the highest scoring French pilot in the
First World War.
Leutnant Max Immelman flies a Fokker M8 in preparation for
his first flight in an armed E1 fighter the next day.
Leutnant Max Immelman shoots down his first enemy aircraft in
his Fokker E1 monoplane, equipped with a single synchronised
LMG 08 machine gun.
German Naval Zeppelin LZ28 (L5) is hit by Russian ground fire
and forced to land.
During a raid on England, German Naval Zeppelin LZ43 (L12) is
damaged and is accidentally destroyed while being towed back
The first sustained bombing offensive is made against
Austria-Hungary by Italian Caproni Ca2 3-engined biplanes.
62 French bombers make a mass bombing raid against blast
furnaces in the Dillingen area of Germany.
German Zeppelin LZ40 (L10) is destroyed when struck by
lightning off Neuwerk Island.
German pilot Ernst Udet loses part of the upper wing of his
Aviatik B aeroplane during a bombing mission, but returns
The 'Fokker Sourge' begins as large numbers of Allied
aircraft are shot down by Fokker monoplane fighters fitted
with synchronised machine-guns.
The Bulgarian Army Aviation Corps is reformed, after being
disbanded following the Balkan War, 1912-1913.
German passenger airship LZ11 'Viktoria Luise' is wrecked
The Wright airplane company is bought by Harry Payne Whitney,
T. Frank Manville and William B. Thompson, with Orville
Wright remaining as consultant.
The first aeroplane to be catapult-launched from an moving
ship is a Curtiss AB2 flying-boat piloted by Lieutenant
Commander Henry Mustin, launched from the battleship USS
North Carolina at Pensacola Bay in Florida.
The German Zeppelin LZ52 (L18) accidentally burns at Tondem.
German Navy Schutte-Lanz airship SL6 (D1) explodes in the
air, killing all of its crew.
The first United States Navy (USN) flying school is
established at Pensacola in Florida.
German Navy Schutte-Lanz airship SL4 (C2) is wrecked in a
storm while still in its shed.
German Junkers J1 Blechesel 'Tin Donkey', the world's first
all-metal reconnaissance and close-support monoplane, flies
for the first time at Dessau in Germany.
Claudius Dornier attempts to flight test the giant German
Zeppelin-Lindau RsI hydroplane on Lake Constance in Germany,
but it fails to reach enough speed to take-off.
The first Russian Fighter Aviation Detachments are formed.
Also this year...
The following air services are established:
- South African Aviation
- Mexican Aviation Corps
- Norwegian Haerens Flyvapen
(Army Air Force) and Marinens Flyveaesen (Naval Air Service)
- Romanian Flying Corps is
reorganised as Corpul Aerian Roman