Significant European Aviation Events *
1896 - 1914
Henry Farman
Wrights in France
The Channel
Chavez flies Alps
Round Britain Race
Roland Garros
Europe to Egypt
The Men
The Machines
Bibliography & Links
* As ever on this site, the focus is toward sport and competition flying rather than a general history of aeronautics or the development of the aeroplane - Webmaster


9 August - gliding pioneer Otto Lilienthal suffers a fatal crash at Berlin. However, photographs of some of his 2,000 unpowered flights inspire Octave Chanute, the Wright brothers, Ferdinand Ferber and others to continue his gliding expermients, as a necessary first step to creating a powered machine

28 August - the first ever petrol-engined flight in the world is made by Doktor Karl Wolfert's airship, the Deutschland, at Berlin, powered by an 8 h.p. Daimler. Unfortunately a few months later Dr Wolfert is killed when the machine catches fire and crashes


11 July - Salomon-Auguste Andrée, a Swedish engineer, sets out to fly to the North Pole by balloon. Apart from a carrier pigeon message received a few days after take off, nothing further is heard of him for 33 years. His expedition's remains were dramatically found in 1930 on White Island, east of Spitzbergen

12&14 October - Clément Ader tests his Avion III at Satory, near Versailles, but the steam-powered bat-winged contraption fails to rise from the ground. His previous Éole machine had managed a short hop of 50 m. (165 ft.) in 1890

3 November - first flight of a rigid airship, designed by Austrian engineer David Schwartz, at Berlin. The envelope is made of sheet aluminium supported internally by an aluminium frame

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Santos-Dumont No.1

20 September - first flight of Alberto Santos-Dumont's No.1 airship at Paris - the first of many airships designed by the Brazillian ex-patriot resident in Paris

20 October - Foundation of the Aéro-Club de France by Ernest Archdeacon, Henri Deutsch de la Meurth and the Comte de la Vaulx

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Count von Zeppelin



30 September - an English follower of Lilienthal, Percy Pilcher, suffers a fatal crash at Market Harborough when the tail of his Hawk glider breaks off in mid-air


14 April - opening of the Paris International Exhibition. The event includs ballooning competitions and Clément Ader's Avion III is one of the exhibits

3 July - first flight of the Luftschiff Zeppelin 1 at Lake Constance in southern Germany - the first of many giant airships designed by Count Zeppelin

23 September - Jacques Balsan sets a new world altitude record for balloons of 28,000 ft. (8530 m.)

9 October - the Comte de la Vaulx and the Comte de Castillon de Saint-Victor set a new world distance record for balloons with a 1,195 mile (1923 km) flight from Paris to Kiev in the Ukraine

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Deutsch Prize

31 July - Doktors A. Berson and R. J. Suring, set a new world altitude record for balloons of 35,400 ft. (10785 m.) using oxygen equipment, in order to investigate the upper atmosphere. The record stands unbroken for the next 30 years

19 October - Alberto Santos-Dumont wins the Deutsch prize of 100,000 francs for his flight around the Eiffel Tower in his No.6 airship, starting and finishing at Saint-Cloud 5.5 km (3.5 miles) away, in 30 mins, 40 secs.

29 October - Foundation of the Aero Club of Great Britain and Ireland (from 1910 the Royal Aero Club). The decision to form the Club was taken by the Hon. Charles Rolls, Frank Butler and his daughter Vera during a balloon flight together. It was agreed that it be open "equally to ladies and gentlemen, subject to election."


Captain Ferdinand Ferber of the French Army tests a Wright-type glider after correspondence with Octave Chanute, the Wrights' mentor

4 February - explorers Captain Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton make the first Antarctic balloon ascent at the Bay of Whales in a balloon named Eva, in order to take aerial photographs

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Contemporary cartoon

Santos-Dumont makes trips around Paris to visit friends, attend the opera etc in his No.9 'runabout' airship

May - Ernest Archdeacon forms the Aviation Committee of the Aéro-Club de France to encourage research into heavier-than-air flight

8 May - Henri Julliot's airship Lebaudy makes a cross-country flight of 23 miles (37 km) piloted by Georges Juchmes

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Antoinette V8

Léon Levasseur creates his 24 hp V8 Antoinette engine, which subsequently powers nearly all the early European aeroplanes

Ernest Archdeacon offers a number of aviation prizes including the Coupe Ernest Archdeacon for the first flight over 25 m (82 ft); a cash prize of 1,500 francs for the first flight over 100 m (328 ft) (both won by Santos-Dumont in 1906); and the Grand Prix d'Aviation Deutsch-Archdeacon of 50,000 francs, jointly sponsored by Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe, for the first circular flight over a kilometre (1,094 yards) (won in 1908 by Henry Farman)

January - this month's edition of L'Aérophile, the French Aero Club's journal, carries a first-hand account by Orville Wright of the brothers' powered flights on 17 December 1903

April - Ernest Archdeacon conducts glider experiments on a machine based on the Wrights' designs and piloted by Gabriel Voisin and Captain Ferber, without success


27 April - under Samuel Cody's supervision, Sapper Moreton of the British Army's Balloon Section reaches an altitude of 2,600 ft. (790 m.) below a man-carrying kite

25 May - Captain Ferber tests with his No. 6-bis glider fitted with a 12 hp Peugeot engine

June/July - glider experiments are conducted on two machines, built by Gabriel Voisin for Ernest Archdeacon and Louis Blériot, towing them behind a motor boat on the River Seine, without success

14 October - Foundation of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, by the Compte de La Vaulx, to oversee international sport flying and world record attempts 

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Trajan Vuia

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Santos-Dumont No.14bis


Harry Harper of the London Daily Mail becomes the first full-time air correspondent to work for a newspaper, anywhere in the world

18 March - Romanian Trajan Vuia makes a hop of 42 ft. (12.8 m.) at a height of 18 inches (46 cm) with his 25 hp carbonic acid-engined tractor monoplane at Montesson, France. The design influences Blériot to adopt the monoplane layout

19 August 19 - Trajan Vuia makes a hop of 79 ft. (24 m.) at a height of just over 8 ft. (2.5 m.) at Issy-les-Moulineaux, Paris, before his tractor monoplane, which has no means of control, crashes

12 September - Jakob Ellehammer makes a low tethered hop of 138 ft. (42 m.) in his biplane around a circular track on Lindholm Island, Denmark

13 September - Alberto Santos-Dumont makes a hop of 24 ft. (7 m.) at a height of 2 ft. (60 cm) in his No. 14-bis

30 September - the 1st Gordon Bennett Cup for balloons is won for America by Lt. Frank Lahm (pilot) and Major Henry Hersey (co-pilot) with a flight of 402 miles (647 km), in 22 hours and 15 minutes, from Paris to Whitby in East Yorkshire, England. Alberto Santos-Dumont (taking a break from heavier-than-air flight for a few days) withdraws his motorised balloon after injuring his arm in the propeller. Charles Rolls (pilot) and Colonel Capper (co-pilot) representing Britain land near Hull to claim third place

23 October - first sustained flight in Europe is made by Alberto Santos-Dumont at Bagatelle, Paris on his No. 14-bis, covering a distance of 60 m. (182 ft.) in a straight line

12 November - first sustained and controlled flight in Europe is made by Alberto Santos-Dumont at Bagatelle on the No. 14-bis covering 220 m. (670 ft) at a height of about 5 m. (15 ft), in 21 seconds


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Bleriot Canard

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Bréguet helicopter

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Griffith Brewer


16 March - Charles Voisin makes a flight of 60 m. (200 ft.) on the first Voisin biplane

21 March - Louis Blériot tests his first powered aeroplane, the tail-first Canard monoplane, at Paris but it proves incapable of more than short hops

6 April - in Britain the Daily Mail's model aircraft prize of £75 is won by Alliott Verdon Roe

25 July - Louis Blériot flies 492 ft. (150 m.) in his No. VI monoplane, the Libellule, designed by Louis Peyret, the foreman at Blériot's works. The machine follows Professor Pierpont Langley's layout with two sets of wings in tandem

29 September - first man-carrying helicopter, designed by Louis Bréguet, makes a tentative tethered flight

30 September - Henry Farman's  first flight is made in his Voisin-Farman I biplane, covering 260 ft. (80 m.) in  at Issy-les-Moulineaux, Paris

5 October - Louis Blériot begins tests of his Blériot VII monoplane, fitted with a 50 hp Antoinette, at Issy-les-Moulineaux, Paris

21 October - the 2nd Gordon Bennett Cup for balloons is won for Germany by Oskar Erbsloh (pilot) and Henry Clayton (co-pilot) with a flight of 871 miles (1404 km), in 40 hours exactly, from St.Louis, Missouri, to Bradley Beach, New Jersey. Griffith Brewer and Lt. Claude Brabazon, representing Britain, come last having landed early due to an indisposition of the co-pilot

26 October - Henry Farman wins the Archdeacon Cup for achieving the following records today in a Voisin biplane: distance, 770 m. (2,527 ft.); speed, 53 km/h (33 mph); and endurance, 52 secs

10 November - Henry Farman makes the first European flight lasting over a minute (first achieved by the Wright brothers in early 1904) when he flies 3,379 ft. (1032 m.) in 1min. 14 secs. in his Voisin-Farman 1

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Wilbur in France

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First fligfht in Britain

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1908 Antoinette

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First cross-country


First flight made in Italy

13 January - Henry Farman wins the Deutsch-Archdeacon Prize of 50,000 francs for flying the first kilometre circuit in Europe, in his Voisin-Farman 1 at a frosty Issy-les-Moulineaux, Paris. The prize was first offered in March 1904 by Henri Deutsch de la Meurth and Ernest Archdeacon who each put up 25,000 francs

30 May - first passenger flight in Europe when Henry Farman takes up Ernest Archdeacon at Paris

June - Alliott Verdon Roe begins testing his full-scale biplane at Brooklands, London and makes short hops 

28 June - first flight in Germany made by Jakob Ellehammer

8 August - first public demonstration flight by Wilbur Wright at Hunaudières, France

11 October - the 3rd Gordon Bennett Cup for balloons is won for Switzerland by Colonel Theodore Schaeck (pilot) and Lt. Emile Messner (co-pilot) with an epic 4-day flight of 739 miles (1190 km), in 73 hours 1 min, from Berlin to Bergset, Norway (the last few miles being towed behind a steamer)

October - first flight of the Antoinette IVmonoplane, designed by Leon Lavavasseur, one of the first aircraft in incorporate practical ailerons

16 October - first sustained flight in Britain is made by Samuel Cody at Farnborough on British Army Aeroplane No.1, which he designed and built, covering a distance of 1,390 ft. (424 m.) 

30 October - Henry Farman makes the world's first cross-country flight from Bouy to Rheims (27 km/17 miles) in his modified Voisin biplane

31 October - Henry Farman sets a new world altitude record of 80 ft. (24 m.)

18 December - Wilbur Wright sets a new world altitude record of 360 ft. (110 m.)

31 December - the first International Michelin Cup for distance (worth 20,000 francs) is won by Wilbur Wright with a flight of 77 miles/123 km. In the process he sets new world records for both distance and duration (2 hr. 19 min). The rules of the Cup require next year's winner to travel at least twice as far, between sunrise and sunset

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The Channel

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Doncaster Aviation Contest

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Farman at Blackpool

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Hans Grade


First flights made in Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Romania, Russia and Turkey

Gnôme rotary engine put into production

1 March - the 1st British Empire Michelin Cup No.1 for distance is won by John Moore-Brabazon with 19 miles (31 km) in 31 minutes at Eastchurch on a Short biplane

12 June - first multiple passenger flight is made by Louis Blériot in his No. XII monoplane at Issy-les-Moulineaux when he takes up Santos-Dumont and André Fournier

8 July - Thérèse Peltier becomes the first woman to fly in an aeroplane. She accompanies Léon Delagrange as passenger at Turin

13 July - Louis Blériot wins the French Aero Club's Prix du Voyage of 4,500 francs with a flight of 41 km (25.6 miles)

25 July - Louis Blériot makes the first crossing of the English Channel by aeroplane (22 miles/35 km), flying his Blériot XI, to win the Daily Mail's £1,000 prize (first offered in 1906)

22/29 August - the first international aviation meeting is held at Rheims in France. Participants in the Rheims Aviation Week include Louis Blériot, Henry Farman, Glenn Curtiss, Hubert Latham, Louis Paulhan and Louis Bréguet. The 1st Gordon Bennett Cup race is won by Glenn Curtiss for America on 28 August, with an average speed of 49 mph (80 kph) in his Rheims Racer

27/29 August - the Luftschiff Zeppelin 6 flies from Lake Constance in southern Germany to Berlin (375 miles/600 km) carrying Count Zeppelin, the Crown Prince of Germany and the King of Würtemberg among others

7 September - Eugène Lefebvre is the first pilot to be killed in a flying accident, when making low turns in his new Wright Type A at Juvisy, Paris

8/? September - the Brescia International Aviation Meeting is the first air meet to be held in Italy. The event attracts such well-known aviators as Louis Blériot, Glenn Curtiss, Alessandro Anzani and Lt. Calderara. Although marred by an extremely bumpy landing field, Henri Rougier raises the world altitude record to 196 m. (645 ft.)

September - the Boulogne Aviation Meeting sees the death of pioneer Capt. Ferdinand Ferber, who had been involved in aviation since before the Wrights' first flights

29 September/4 October - the Berlin International Aviation Meeting is held at Johanisthal. Henri Rougier takes the distance and height prizes, while Hubert Latham wins the speed competition

3 October - the 4th Gordon Bennett Cup competition for balloons is won for the USA by Edgar Mix (pilot) and André Roussel (co-pilot) with a flight of 696 miles (1121 km), in 35 hours 7 mins, from Zurich, Switzerland to Gustovo, Poland. Frank McClean, representing Britain, comes a disappointing 15th out of the field of 17

7 October - the Aéro-Club de France grants its first pilots' licenses (retrospectively). Number 1 goes to Louis Blériot and number 15 to Wilbur Wright

7/21 October - the Paris International Aviation Meeting is held at 'Port Aviation', Juvisy. On 11 October a rail failure leads to a riot by 20,000 disgruntled passengers. The station is stormed and 2 are killed.

15/23 October - the self-titled 'First Aviation Meeting in England' held at Doncaster attracts notable pilots such as Samuel Cody, Leon Delagrange and Roger Sommer. The crowds are disappointed though as flying is severely limited by the poor weather

18/23 October - the "official" first aviation meeting in England is held at Blackpool under the auspices of the Aero Club of Great Britain. The Blackpool Flying Week attracts pilots such as Alliot Verdon Roe, Louis Paulhan, Henri Rougier and Henry Farman. The meeting is particularly remembered for Hubert Latham's flight in a high wind (almost 40 mph/65 km/h) in his Antoinette VII. Farman carries off the distance prize with a flight of 47 miles (75.5 km) in 1 hr. 40 mins

30 October - John Moore-Brabazon wins the Daily Mail's £1,000 prize for the first circular mile by a Briton on an all-British machine, flying a Short biplane

30 October - Hans Grade wins the 40,000 Reichsmark Lanz-Preis der Lufte for the first figure-of-eight by a German in an all-German machine, flying a monoplane of his own design

November - Austrian engineer Doktor Igo Etrich's first monoplane makes its first successful flights at Weiner-Neustadt, Austria. The design evolves into the Taube in 1910, which is first produced by Rumpler and then (after Etrich abandons his patent rights) by numerous other German, Austrian and Italian firms

3 November - the first air-speed indicator is patented by British pilot Alec Ogilvie 

3 November - the 2nd International Michelin Cup for distance is won by Hubert Latham with a flight of 234 km (142.5 miles) in 4 hrs, 19 mins, setting new world records for distance and duration 


Helioplolis Aviation Meeting 1910

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London - Manchester

The Hon. Charles Rolls (1877 - 1910)
Charles Rolls

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Georges Chavez

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The Willows III


1 January - from today pilot's licences are systematically issued in France to new aviators by the Aéro-Club de Fran

4 January - Leon Delagrange is killed at Bordeaux flying a Blériot XI

6/13 February - the Cairo Aviation Meeting is held at Heliopolis, attended by Hubert Latham, Henri Rougier, Hans Grade, Mortimer Singer and the Baronne de Laroche among others. Flying is limited due to high winds. Singer suffers a broken thigh in a 'fall' (stall?) from 80 ft.

11 February - French pilot Mamet makes the first aeroplane flight in Spain, in a Blériot XI

1 March - Henry Farman makes the first ever night flight at Châlons, flying with Chinese paper lanterns attached to the tips of the wings to help him find the way

8 March - the Baronne de Laroche becomes the first woman to gain a pilot's licence (no.36 of France)

13 March - Paul Engelhard makes the first aeroplane flight in Switzerland.

28 March - first ever take off from water by Henri Fabre in his Canard hydro-aeroplane at Lake Berre near Martigues on the Mediterranean

10/25 April - the Nice Aviation Meeting is held at the southern French resort town. The speed prize is won by Efimoff at 35 mph (56 km/h)

23 April - Hubert Latham sets a new world speed record on his Antoinette of 78 km/h (48 mph)

27/28 April - Louis Paulhan and Claude Grahame-White compete in the Daily Mail's London to Manchester Race (185 miles/300 km). The £10,000 prize is won by Paulhan despite Grahame-White making the first night flight in Britain in an attempt to overtake him

8/15 May - the Lyons Aviation Week attracts competitors such as Hubert Latham, Georges Chavez and Louis Paulhan 

3 June - the Hon. Charles Rolls makes a double crossing of the English Channel, flying his Short-Wright from Dover to Calais and back without landing in France

June - the Budapest International Aviation Meeting in Austro-Hungary sees good flights from Hubert Latham, the Baronne de Laroche, Louis Paulhan, Louis Blériot and Henri Rougier

11/16 July - the Bournemouth International Aviation Meeting attracts pilots such as Claude Grahame-White, Alec Ogilvie, Edmond Audemars, James Radley, Capt. Bertram Dickson and Bobby Loraine to the South English resort. Charles Rolls is killed on the 2nd day (12 July) while taking part in the spot landing competition when his self-modified Wright Flyer suffers structural failure. Audemars makes a flight of almost 18 miles (29 km) in 27 mins, 17 secs - a great flight for his little Demoiselle named 'The Infuriated Grasshopper' - while Grahame-White climbs to 1,000 ft. (304 m.) in 6 mins, 37 secs

3/10 July - the 2nd Rheims Aviation Week fails to live up to the important 1909 event, although Hubert Latham makes a memorable flight round Rheims Cathedral. Pilots flying the Blériot XI takes most of the prizes 

7/15 August - Alfred Leblanc wins the Circuit de l'Est (Eastern Circuit) on a Blériot XI over a course Paris - Troyes - Nancy - Mézières-Charleville - Douai - Amiens. Competitors include Louis Bréguet in a Bréguet, Edouard de Nieport in a Nieuport, Hubert Latham in an Antoinette, and Edmond Audemars in a Demoiselle. The event culminates in an aviation meeting held at Amiens from 15-17 August

15 August - Louis Paulhan wins the Daily Mail prize for the most miles flown between 15 August 1909 and 15 August 1910. In the previous 12 months Paulhan has covered 802 miles (1291 km)

17 August - John Moisant and his mechanic make the first passenger crossing of the English Channel in a two-seater Blériot XI-2

11 September - first crossing of the Irish Sea made by Bobby Lorraine from Hollyhead, Wales to Dublin, Ireland on a Farman III biplane

23 September - first flight over the Alps is made by Peruvian Georges (Jorge) Chavez, from Brig in Switzerland to Domodossola in Italy via the Simplon Pass. Tragically Chavez is killed when his Blériot XI suffers structural failure coming in to land. His final destination was to have been the ill-fated Milan Aviation Meeting

24 September/3 October - the Milan International Aviation Meeting witnesses the first mid-air collision between two aircraft (2 October). The machines involved are the Farman III  of Capt. Bertram Dickson and the Antoinette flown by a French pilot named Thomas. Fortunately both pilots survive the accident, although Dickson is badly injured and never flies again

16 October - Baudry makes the first airship crossing of the English Channel in the Clément-Bayard II from La Motte to London

17 October - the 4th Gordon Bennett Cup competition for balloons is retained for the USA by Alan Hawley (pilot) and Augustus Post (co-pilot) with a flight of 1,172 miles (1887 km), in 44 hours 25 mins, from St Louis, Missouri to Lake Tschotogama, Quebec. Hugo von Abercron and August Blankertz (Germany) take 10 days to walk out of the Canadian forests following their remote landing

29 October - Claude Grahame-White wins the 2nd Gordon Bennett Cup race, held at Belmont Park, New York, for Britain with an average speed of 63 mph (102 kph) on a Blériot XI

4 November - Ernest Willows makes the second airship crossing of the English Channel in his Willows III 'City of Cardiff' dirigible

30 December - the 3rd International Michelin Cup for distance covered in a day is won by Maurice Tabuteau on a Maurice-Farman biplane with 363 miles (584 km) in 7 hs, 48 mins

31 December - the 2nd British Empire Michelin Cup No.1 for distance is won by Samuel Cody with 185 miles (298 km) in 4 hrs. 47 mins. minutes at Farnborough on his Cathedral biplane

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Rénaux and Senouque

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Circuit of Europe

Hellmuth Hirth
Hellmuth Hirth

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Cody Cathedral

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Circuit of Britain


7 March - the Michelin 'Grand Prix' for a flight from Paris to the Puy de Dome (a flat-topped peak in the Auvergne range, 4,785 ft./1458 m. high and 227 miles/365 km from Paris) carrying a passenger is won by Eugène Rénaux (pilot) and Albert Senouque flying a Farman. The rules of the contest state that the flight must be made in less than 6 hours, although stops are allowed en route. The aim of the prize, first offered in 1908, is to encourage aerial touring and is worth 100,000 francs (£4,000 at 1911 rates) to the winners

12 April - first non-stop flight from London to Paris made by Pierre Prier on a Blériot XI

21/26 May - Jules Védrines wins the Paris-Madrid Race flying a Morane-Borel monoplane. He is the only finisher 

26/31 May - Lt. Jean Conneau of the French Navy, flying under the pseudonym 'André Beaumont', wins the Paris to Rome Race. Roland Garros finishes 2nd, with André Frey and René Vidart 3rd and 4th

12 June/10 July - the Circuit of Germany race (Deutsche Rundflug) is held over a 1854 km (1,151 miles) course Berlin - Hamburg - Kiel - Hanover - Cologne - Dortmund - Berlin 

18 June/7 July - Lt. Jean Conneau wins the Circuit of Europe race over a course Paris - Liège (Belgium) - Utrecht (Netherlands) - Brussels (Belgium) - Calais (France) - London and Dover (England) - Paris [also known as the Circuit of Capitals - Circuit des capitales]. Roland Garros finishes 2nd, with René Vidart and Jules Védrines 3rd and 4th

29/30 June - Hellmuth Hirth (1886-1938) wins the Munich - Berlin Race (535 km) in 5 hrs. 41 mins

1 July - the 3rd Gordon Bennett Cup race is won by Charles T. Weymann for America, flying a Nieuport II, at Eastchurch, England at an average speed of 78 mph (125 km/h)

22 July/5 August - Lt. Jean Conneau wins the Circuit of Britain race (Brooklands - Hendon - Edinburgh - Glasgow - Bristol - Exeter - Larkhill - Brighton - Brooklands) to claim the Daily Mail's £10,000 prize. Jules Védrines finishes 2nd, with James Valentine and Samuel Cody 3rd and 4th

8 September - the 4th International Michelin Cup for distance covered in a day is won (for the last time) by Emmanuel Hélen on a Nieuport monoplane with 778 miles (1253 km) in 14 hrs. 8 mins. 

11 September - the 1st British Empire Michelin Cup No.2 for speed over a 125 mile (201 km) cross-country course is won by Samuel Cody in 3 hrs. 7 mins. on his Cathedral biplane 

19 September - first official airmail flight in Britain, made by Gustav Hamel in a Blériot XI, between Hendon and Windsor

October - first military aviation trials held at Rheims by the French Army

5 October - the 5th Gordon Bennett Cup competition for balloons is won for Germany by Hans Gericke (pilot) and Otto Duncker (co-pilot) with a flight of 471 miles (758 km), in 12 hours 28 mins, from Kansas City to Holcombe, Wisconsin. Heavy rain prevents any truly long distance flights this year

29 October - the 3rd British Empire Michelin Cup No.1 for distance is won by Samuel Cody with 261 miles (421 km) in 5 hrs. 15 mins. minutes at Farnborough on his Cathedral biplane (a new British record)

1 November - during the Italo-Turkish War, Guilio Gevotti drops several small spherical bombs on Turkish troops at Ain Zaia in Turkish controlled Libya from a Taube. This is the first offensive military use of an aircraft in war

1 December - the Mortimer Singer Navy prize of £500 for distance by a Royal Navy pilot with a passenger is won by Lt. L. H. Longmore, who covers 172 miles (277 km) at Eastchurch in a modified Short S.27

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Mortimer Singer

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Blériot XI

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Deperdussin B

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Harry Hawker


7/8 January - Émile Dubonnet and Pierre Dupont set a world distance record for balloons with a 1,231 mile (1954 km) flight from Bordeaux, France to Sokolowka, Poland

24/31 March - the world's first hydro-aeroplane meeting is held at Monaco

31 March - the Mortimer Singer Army prize of £500 for distance by a British Army pilot with a passenger is won by Lt. B. H. Barrington-Kennett, R.E., who covers 249 miles (401 km) at Salisbury Plain in a Nieuport monoplane

9 May - Sub-Lt. Charles Samson, R.N., makes the first take off from a moving warship by flying a Short S.38 biplane from HMS Hibernia while underway at 10.5 knots in Weymouth Bay

8 June - the 1st Daily Mail Aerial Derby around London is won by Tommy Sopwith (after an appeal) in a 2 seat Blériot XI

9/12 June - Hellmuth Hirth (pilot) and Lt. Schoeller win the Berlin - Vienna Race

16/17 June - Roland Garros wins the French Aero Club's Prix d'Anjou in atrocious conditions, flying a lightened Blériot XI, to claim the 75,000 franc prize 

August - first British military trials held at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain are won by Samuel Cody

19 August - Edmond Audemars makes the first flight from Paris to Berlin. Flying a Blériot XI monoplane, the 590 mile (949 km) trip took over two days before he landed at Berlin's Johannisthal airfield

31 August/1 September - the Circuit of Berlin is held

10 September - the 4th Gordon Bennett Cup race, held at Chicago, is won for France by Jules Védrines flying a Deperdussin at an average speed of 106 mph (171 kph)

12 October - the 2nd British Empire Michelin Cup No.2 for speed over a 186 mile (299 km) cross-country course is won by Samuel Cody in 3 hrs. 23 mins. minutes on his Cathedral biplane 

24 October - the 4th British Empire Michelin Cup No.1 [for duration?] is won by Harry Hawker with a flight of 8 hrs. 23 mins. at Brooklands on a modified Burgess Wright biplane (a new British record)

27 October - the 6th Gordon Bennett Cup competition for balloons is won for France by Maurice Bienaime (pilot) and René Rumpelmayer (co-pilot) with a flight of 1,361 miles (2191 km), in 45 hrs 42 mins, from Stuttgart, Germany to Rubnoje, Russia. This distance is still (in 2004) unbeaten in the Gordon Bennett Cup

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Schneider Cup Dep

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Adolphe Pégoud

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Gordon Bennett Dep

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France to Egypt


24 January - Swiss pilot Oscar Bider makes the first flight over the Pyrenees from Pau in southern France to Madrid. During the flight his Blériot XI monoplane reaches an altitude of 11,500 ft. (3500 m.)

1 April - the Daily Mail offers a £10,000 prize for the first transatlantic flight (won in 1919 by John Alcock and Arthur Whitten-Brown)

15 April - the 1st Schneider Trophy race for seaplanes is won for France by Maurice Prévost flying a Deperdussin monoplane over a 280 km (174 mile) course at the Monaco Hydro-aeroplane Meeting

17 April - the first non-stop flight from Britain to Germany is made by Gustav Hamel, in 4 hrs 18 mins, flying from Dover to Cologne in his Blériot XI

10 June/2 July - French pilot Brindjonc des Moulinais makes a tour of European capitals on a Morane-Saulnier monoplane with an 80 hp Gnôme. He starts with an impressive first leg Paris - Berlin - Warsaw of 845 miles (1360 km) in one day. Reaching St. Petersburg (Russia) on 18 June, he then crosses the Baltic to arrive in Stockholm (Sweden) on 25 June. His route back to Paris takes him through Copenhagen (Denmark) on 29 June and The Hague (Holland) on 1 July. He arrives back at Villacoublay, Paris, on 2 July having covered more than 3,000 miles (4800 km)

8 July - the Mortimer Singer prize for all-British amphibians (worth £500) is won by Harry Hawker flying the Sopwith Bat Boat between Hamble, Hampshire, and the Solent (English Channel). The rigorous conditions of the contest require 6 out-and-back flights between two points on land and water at least 5 miles (8 km) apart within 5 hours. By completing the rigorous task within 3 hrs 25 mins the Bat Boat can reasonably claim to be the world's first practical amphibian aircraft

16/30 August - the 2nd Circuit of Britain (a race for all-British seaplanes) attracts only one starter. Harry Hawker flying a Sopwith is forced to abandon the 1,540 mile (2478 km) course at Dublin, but is awarded £1,000 by the Daily Mail as a consolation prize

9 September - Lt. Petr Nikolaevich Nesterov of the Imperial Russian Army is the first to loop the loop, flying a Nieuportmonoplane, at Kiev. The feat was repeated independently a few days later in France by Adolphe Pégoud

20 September - the 2nd Daily Mail Aerial Derby around London is won by Gustav Hamel in a Morane-Saulnier monoplane over a course of 95 miles (153 km)

23 September - Roland Garros makes the first non-stop aeroplane crossing of the Mediterranean from Saint Raphael near Cannes to Bizerta in Tunisia (a distance of 475 miles/760 km), flying a modified Morane-Saulnier monoplane. The flight took 7 hrs, 53 mins and very nearly exhausted Garros' petrol supply

29 September  - the 5th Gordon Bennett Cup race, held at Rheims, is retained for France by Maurice Prévost flying a Deperdussin at an average speed of 124 mph (200 kph)

12 October - the 7th Gordon Bennett Cup competition for balloons is won for the USA by Ralph Upson (pilot) and R.A.L. Preston (co-pilot) with a flight of 384 miles (618 km), in 43 hours 30 mins, from Paris to Bridlington in East Yorkshire (via Devon!)

15 October - first official airmail flight in France made by Lt. Ronin from Villacoublay to Pauillac in a Morane-Saulniermonoplane

6 November - the 5th British Empire Michelin Cup No.1 for distance is won by Reginald Carr with 315 miles (507 km) on a Grahame-White Type X Charabanc

20 November/29 December - Jules Védrines makes the first flight from France to Egypt via Turkey (2,500 miles/4000 km) in a Blériot XI

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Cairo - Khartoum

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Sopwith Schneider


4 January-3 February - Marc Pourpe makes the first flight from Cairo to Khartoum and back in his long-range Morane-Saulnier monoplane, a journey of over 2,000 miles (3000 km)

8/9 February - Hans Berliner, Alexander Haase and Arnold Nicolai set a world distance record for balloons with a 1,897 mile (3,053 km) flight from Bitterfeld in Germany to Ekaterinburg in Russia

20 April - the 2nd Schneider Trophy race for seaplanes is won for Britain by Howard Pixton flying the Sopwith Schneider biplane (a float version of the Sopwith Tabloid) with an average speed of 87 mph (140 kph) at Monaco

6 June - the 3rd Daily Mail Aerial Derby around London is won by W. L. Brock in a Morane-Saulnier monoplane

28 June - Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia, by a nationalist terrorist - the casus belli for the First World War. In the following weeks civil aircraft are quickly requisitioned for military use and pilots are called up - although at first opposing airmen more commonly wave at each other than shoot. [The best website on the air war is www.theaerodrome.com]

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