Major General C.T. Menoher is appointed the United States
Director of Air Service
The German Air Ministry restores civil flying.
A military airmail service is started in Switzerland by the
Militär-Flugwesen, flying Haefeli DH3s between Zurich and
Berne. Passenger services follow later.
A peace conference assembles in Paris.
German airline Deutsche Luft-Reederei begins the first
sustained daily passenger airline service, flying modified
ex-military AEG and DFW biplanes between Berlin and Weimar in
The first airline passengers to be carried from Paris to
London are flown by a Farman F60 Goliath from Toussus-le-Noble
Italian Caproni aeroplanes are used to inaugurate a regular
international air service between Padova and Vienna.
German airline Deutsche Luft-Reederei extends its air network
William Boeing and Edward Hubbard use the Boeing Model CL4S
to carry out the first United States international air mail
service, between Seattle in America and Victoria in Canada.
The Australian Government announces a prize of £10,000 for
the first flight from Great Britain to Australia by
Australians, which must be completed within 720 consecutive
hours by the end of the year.
Brigadier General William
'Billy' Mitchell becomes the United States Director of
The first regular international passenger service is opened
between Paris and Brussels by Lignes Aériennes Farman. The
weekly service uses Farman F60 Goliath biplanes and the
flying time is 2 hours 50 minutes. The fare is 365 francs.
Airplane designer Igor Sikorsky, who fled to France after the
Russian Revolution, sails for the United States. The French
Government did not take up the offer of his services.
The Japanese Army Aviation Department is formed.
Customs examination of airline passengers begins at Brussels.
Lieutenant Roget arrives in Rome after a 9 hour 40 minute
flight from Paris.
Compagnie des Messageries Aériennes (CMA) inaugurates a mail
and cargo service between Paris and Lille. The service is
daily using ex-military Breguet 14's. Brussels and London are
added to the growing network in August.
The first recorded free fall parachute jump takes place at
McCook field in Dayton, Ohio. Leslie Leroy Irvin jumps from
an aeroplane before deploying his parachute.
Two Italian ex-military SCA M-class semi-rigid airships are
used to inaugurate a passenger and mail service between Rome
The United States War Department orders the use of the
national star insignia on all United States military
French born hotelier Raymond Orteig offers a prize of $25,000
for the first non-stop flight, in either direction, between
Paris and New York.
Three United States Navy (USN) flying boats set out from
Rockaway in New York, in an attempt to make the first air
crossing of the Atlantic, under the leadership of Commander
John H. Towers.
Two aircraft fail in their
attempt and alight near the Azores. The third, commanded by
Lieutenant Commander A.C. Read, completes the first
transatlantic crossing by air, landing at Plymouth in Devon
on the 31 May. The Journey is completed in stages, with stops
in Massachusetts, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, the Azores,
Portugal and Spain, in a total flying time of 57 hours 16
The United States Post office inaugurates the first section
of a transcontinental airmail service between Chicago and
The German airline Lloyd Luftverkehr Sablatnig is founded as
a domestic operator.
A permanent forest fire patrol, equipped with Curtiss Jenny
aircraft is established at Rockwell Field, near San Diego.
The French Nieuport-Delage 29 Biplane fighter attains an
altitude of more than 9,100 metres (29,850 feet) and is
ordered into production. Eventually 25 squadrons fly the
type, while a large number of aircraft serve in Belgium,
Italy and Japan.
Baroness Raymonde de Laroche breaks the women's altitude
record by flying to a height of 16,896 feet.
Seven German Navy Zeppelins are scuttled by their crews at
Nordholz to prevent them being handed over to the Allies as
part of the Versailles Peace Treaty.
The world's first purpose-built all metal commercial aircraft
flies as the German Junkers F13. 322 are eventually built.
The Versailles Peace Treaty is signed. Under the treaty,
Germany is forbidden from having an air force or producing
Compagnie des Transports Aéronautiques du Sud-Ouest is formed
as a charter operator flying to points around the Bay of
An Italian Fiat BR light bomber makes the first non-stop
flight between Rome and Paris.
Self-styled Baroness Raymonde de Laroche, the first French
women to get her flying license, is killed in a flying
accident in northern France.
Anthony Fokker founds the Dutch aircraft company of the same
name at Schiphol near Amsterdam.
Captain Earnest Hoy, flying a Curtiss JN4 Jenny, makes the
first aeroplane flight across the Canadian Rocky Mountains,
from Vancouver to Calgary, in 12 hours 34 minutes.
Delag airship Bodensee makes the first of its regular flights
from Friedrichshafen to Berlin.
The International Air Traffic Association (IATA) is
established at the Hague.
French aircraft manufacturers Forges et Ateliers de
Construction Latécoère begin a regular airline service to
Casablanca. The airline becomes known as Lignes Aériennes
Compagnie des Messageries Aériennes (CMA) begins its Paris to
London passenger service with Breguet 14s.
The Polskie Wojska Lotnicze (Polish Air Force) is formed.
The Australian Aircraft and Engineering Company is
established to manufacture and sell Avro aircraft under
KLM, or Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij voor Nederland an
Kolojien (Royal Dutch Airlines) is formed.
The first Army Air Service Transcontinental Reliability and
Endurance Test is held in the USA. Seven airmen die in what
amounted to an air race between New York, San Francisco and
back. The test is won on 18 October by Lieutenant Belvin W.
The League of Nations sets up the Paris Convention to
regulate international flying and system of aircraft
registration based on a 5-letter call sign is established.
The Omando de Aviación Naval Argentina is formed.
The United States airline West Indies Airways begins services
between Key West, Florida and Havana. It later merges with
Aeromarine Airways to form Aeromarine West Indies Airways.
An airline service between Berlin and Königsberg (Now
Kaliningrad) is started by Albatros Werke.
12 November - 10 December
Australian brothers Captain Ross and Lieutenant Keith Smith
set off from Hounslow, near London, in a Vickers Vimy bomber
in an attempt to be the first men to fly from England to
Australia. They successfully land in Darwin on 10 December,
having flown a distance of 18,170 kilometres (11,290 miles).
16 November - 12 December
Captain H.N. Wrigley and Lieutenant A.W. Murphy become the
first men to fly across Australia when they fly a Royal
Aircraft Factory BE2e from Melbourne to join Ross and Keith
Smith. They land at Darwin on 12 December after a flying time
of 46 hours.
Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe, the great French promoter and
sponsor of early aviation efforts, dies aged 73 in Ecquivilly.
Delag's airship service between Friedrichshafen and Berlin is
suspended on the orders of the Allied Control Commission
after more than 100 flights, carrying 2,400 passengers.
A Colombian airline, Aerovias Nacoinales de Colombia SA (Avianca)
is formed. By 1982 it will have achieved the longest
continuous record of scheduled services.
Also this year...
The following air services are formed in this year:
- Canadian Naval Air Service
- Uruguayan Aéronautica
- Royal Siamese Aeronautical
Service is formed from the Royal Siamese Flying Corps
- Chinese Army Air Arm
becomes the Chinese Aviation Service
- Swiss Militär-Flugwesen
- Chilean Naval Aviation
- An air unit of the
- Peruvian Army Aviation
- Romanian Divisia l-a
Argentinean Marquis de
Pescara begins constructing helicopters with cyclic pitch
Fliegertruppe (German-Austrian Flying Troop) is disbanded by
the Allied Control Commission.