Aviation in 1916
The German Air Service's Kampfgeschwader I is equipped with
Gotha IV bombers.
Details of the Scarff-Dibovski machine-gun synchronisation
mechanism are sent from Russia to the United Kingdom. This
design forms the basis for the synchronisation system later
fitted successfully to the Sopwith 1˝ Strutter and other
allied fighter aircraft.
fighter aces Max Immelman and Oswald Boelcke become the first
two pilots to receive Germany's highest award for bravery,
the Pour le Mérite. By the summer of the same year, Immelmann
had been killed and Boelcke is Germany's leading ace.
Zeppelin LZ54 (L19) is shot down by British aircraft over the
German fighter ace Max Immelman takes to the air in a Fokker
EIV fitted with three synchronised machine guns.
German airline Deutsche Luft Reederei flies the first service
(for freight only) between Berlin and Weimar.
Austrian physicist Ernst Mach, remembered for his research
into aerodynamics and the speed of sound, dies aged 77.
Zeppelin LZ47 is attacked and destroyed during a raid.
The Japanese Naval Air Corps is established.
Zeppelin LZ48 is brought down by anti-aircraft gunfire over
Americaine, a squadron in the French Air Force composed of
American volunteers, is formed and the unit is later renamed
Lafayette Escadrille on 6 December.
The German Schutte-Lanz airship crashes near Gotland.
Zeppelin LZ32 is shot down and destroyed by British naval
The French Air Force places an order for 268 Spad VII
Lieutenant Kiffin Rockwell of the Escadrille Americaine,
becomes the first American pilot to shoot down an enemy
Oberleutnant Max Immelman ,'The Eagle of Lille', is killed in
combat with 2nd Lieutenant G.R. McCubbin of No.25 Squadron,
Royal Flying Corps (RFC).
H.Clyde Balsley of the Lafayette Escadrille, becomes the
first American pilot to be shot down, but although wounded,
he survives the engagement.
Victor Emmanuel Chapman of the Lafayette Escadrille, becomes
the first American pilot to be killed in action.
The Russian Aviation Experimental Bureau (RIB) is established
at the Moscow Higher Technical School.
Pacific Aero Products is founded by William E. Boeing.
The German airship Schutte-Lanz SL11 is shot down over
London, losing the entire crew.
French fighter pilot Rene Paul Fonck claims his first victory
by forcing down a German Rumpler biplane.
The Wright Martin Aircraft Corporation is formed in the USA
after a merger of the Wright and Glenn Martin companies.
The Brazilian Naval Aviation School is established.
The United States Naval Flying Corps is established.
The French Spad VII fighter is introduced on the Western
Front. Eventually operated by the air forces of eleven
nations, the Spad is a major factor in the winning of air
superiority for the allies.
Two aircraft transmit and receive radio signals over a
distance of over 2 miles at San Diego in California.
airship SL11 is destroyed to the north of London by a BE2c
flown by Lieutenant W. Leefe-Robinson. Leefe-Robinson wins a
Victoria Cross for the feat, while attacking airship crews
suffer serious demoralisation.
A Hewitt-Sperry radio-controlled flying bomb is tested in
America. Powered by a 29kW (10 horse-power) engine it carries
a payload of 140 kilos (308 pounds) of explosives up to 80
kilometres (50 miles).
Austrian Lohner flying-boat sinks the French submarine
Zeppelins LZ31 (L6) and LZ36 (L9) are destroyed by fire in
their shed at Fuhlsbuttel.
The German Albatros DI fighter enters service on the Western
Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen, flying an Albatros DII,
is credited with his first combat victory, a British Royal
Aircraft Factory FE2b of No.11 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps
A German LVG biplane becomes the first victim of a Sopwith
Berthold, one of Germany's highest-rated fighter pilots
during the First World War One, receives the Pour le Mérite.
He achieves 44 air victories before being injured in 1918,
when his Fokker DVII collides with an enemy aircraft and
crashes into a house.
Zeppelin LZ72 (L31) is shot down over Potter's Bar, killing
Heinrich Mathy, Germany's foremost airship captain.
A forced landing wrecks Zeppelin LZ39.
German ace, Hauptmann Oswald Boelcke is killed when his
Albatros fighter collides with another, flown by his comrade,
November - February 1918
The German cruiser 'Wolf' carries a Friedrichshafen 33e
floatplane named 'Wolfschen' (Wolf Cub) on operations in the
Indian and Pacific Ocean.
German Leutnants Falk and Schultheis, flying a Rumpler
biplane, drop bombs on Cairo railway station in support of
Victor Carlstrom completes the first flight from Chicago to
New York in a Curtiss R. biplane. Carrying airmail, the
flight lasts 8 hours 28 minutes and en route, Carlstrom sets
United States records for non-stop distance (452 miles) and
speed (134 mph) flying.
The Uruguayan Escuela Militar de Aeoronautica is founded.
Zeppelin LZ78 (L34) is shot down off Hartlepool in England.
Zeppelin LZ61 (L21) is shot down off Lowestoft in England by
defending fighter aircraft.
Bombs are dropped near Victoria Station by an LVG CII
aircraft, piloted by Deck Offizier R. Brandt.
The United States National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
recommends that the Post Office establish airmail routes.
The United States Army Balloon School is founded.
Zeppelins LZ53 (L17) and LZ69 (L24) are destroyed in a fire
at their shed at Tondem. In a separate incident Schutte-Lanz
SL12 (E5) is also wrecked.
In Russia, Zeppelin LZ84 (L38) makes a forced landing.