Aviation in 1937
Italy announces a four-year expansion programme for its air
New Zealand Permanent Air Force adopts a new name , the Royal
New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).
Mitsubishi Type 97 (Ki125) J-BAAI 'Kamikaze' is flown by
Masaaki Iinuma, with Kenji Tsukagoshi as his navigator, from
Tashikawa to Croydon to capture the Japan to England record.
The flight takes 51 hours 17minutes 23 seconds and covers a
distance of 15,356 kilometres (9,542 miles).
The first letter to encircle the world by commercial air mail
is despatched from New York via San Francisco to Hong Kong,
Penang, Amsterdam and Brazil and arrives back in New York on
aircraft of the Legion Condor, operating with Spanish
Nationalist Forces, bomb Guernica, seat of the Basque
government. This act becomes a symbol of the inhumanity of
hydrogen-filled airship, the 'Hindenburg', is destroyed by
fire whilst docking at
New Jersey. 33 of the 97 people on board are killed.
A new altitude record is set at Montecelio in Italy when
Lieutenant Colonel M. Pezzi flies a Caproni 161 to 15,655
metres (51,362 feet).
German battleship 'Deutchland' is attacked by Spanish
Republican air units near Ivaza in the Balearic Islands. 28
people are killed and 71 injured.
Amelia Earhart and Captain Fred Noonan are lost over the
Pacific during an attempted round the world flight.
clashes with Chinese troops at Lukouchiao near Peiping, Japan
initiates a full scale invasion of China.
Soviet ANT-25 (RD-2) Colonel M.M. Gromov, Commandant A.B.
Yumashev and Ing S.A. Danilin establish a new distance record
for the Soviet Union. The flight covers a total distance of
10,148 kilometres (6,306 miles) from Moscow to San Jacinto in
California via the North Pole.
Hanna Reitch, flying a Focke Wulf Fw61, establishes a
distance record for helicopters of 108 kilometres (67 miles).
Pan American World Airways (Pan-Am) flying-boat 'Samoa
Clipper' inaugurates the first air mail and freight service
between the USA and New Zealand.