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On This Day: 1909

Aviation events for 1909

January 3: The first airspeed indicator is patented by Alec Ogilvie. Read more...
January 14: Wilbur Wright, his brother Orville and sister Katharine, having just arrived from America, move to Pau in the south of France after completing flying demonstrations at Camp d’Auvers.
January 18: The first book to treat the work and accomplishments of the Wright brothers, Les Premiers Hommes-Oiseaux: Wilbur et Orville Wright, is written by François Peyrey (1873-1934) and published in France.
January 23: The first flight of the French Bleriot XI, one of the most successful monoplanes designed and built before World War I, is made.
February 11: An important pioneer in developing aviation in New Zealand, Vivian C. Walsh pilots a Howard-Wright biplane on what is generally considered the first flight in New Zealand by a powered airplane.
February 23: John A. McCurdy flies the Aerial Experimental Association’s Silver Dart biplane 40 feet over the frozen Bras d’Or lake at Baddeck Bay – the first flight of a heavier-than-air machine in Canada.
March 4: President William Howard Taft approves Congressional Gold Medals for the Wright brothers.
March 19: The International Aero and Motor-Boat Exhibition opens in London. Among the exhibits is a Wright airplane for sale at $7,000.
March 24: The Wright brothers found a school in the USA to train pilots for exhibition flights. The first pupil is a childhood friend, Walter Brookins, 21, from Dayton. Because Dayton’s weather is not good enough, Orville Wright sets up the school at Montgomery, Alabama, where winds are generally light.
April 6: The first machine wholly designed by Anglo-French air pioneer Henry Farman takes to the air at Bouy, France. Called either the Henry Farman III or, because it represents a new departure, the HF1, the biplane is the first aircraft to incorporate practical ailerons attached to the trailing edges of the wings.
April 15: A crowd at the Centocelle Field, Rome, Italy, sees Wilbur Wright make a 10-minute flight in which he reaches an altitude of 98 feet.
April 24: Wilbur Wright makes five flights in Centocelle, Italy with King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy present. During one flight, a Universal News Agency cameraman accompanies him and takes the first motion pictures from an airplane in flight.
May 14: Samuel Cody makes the first powered airplane flight of more than one mile in Britain. He flies the British Army Aeroplane No.1 from Laffans Planin to Danger Hill in Hampshire at average height of 30 ft.
June 5: John Berry and Paul McCullough win the U.S.’s first National Balloon Race, covering 377.9 miles – from Indianapolis, Indiana to Fort Payne, Alabama – in 25 hours 35 minutes.
June 5: The first monoplane flight of over one hour is made by Englishman Hubert Latham on the Antoinette IV for one hour, seven minutes, 37 seconds.
June 12: Louis Blériot flies his Blériot XII monoplane at Issy-les-Moulineaux with two passengers, Alberto Santos-Dumont and André Fournier. This is the first time a pilot has flown with two passengers.
June 16: A two-day celebration in Dayton, Ohio marks the homecoming of the Wrights.
June 22: Wykoff, Church and Partridge, a car sales firm, becomes the USA’s first airplane sales agency.
June 26: The first commercial sale of an airplane in the United States is made as Glenn H. Curtiss sells one of his planes to the Aeronautic Society of New York for $7,500. This action spurs the Wright brothers to begin a patent suit to prevent him from selling airplanes without a license.
June 27: Three New York Papers (the Sun, Times and Herald) carry the world’s first advertisements of a practical airplane for sale to the general public.
June 29: In opening demonstration flights before the U.S. Army at Fort Myer, Virginia, Orville Wright makes the first flight with the new Wright A built to replace the one destroyed in September 1908.
July 13: If brief hops by Alliott Verdon Roe on June 8, 1908 are discounted, the first flight made by an Englishman in an English airplane takes place when Roe flies his Roe I triplane for the first time at Lea Marsches in Essex. He flies only 100 ft., but on July 23 he extends the distance to some 900 ft. off the ground.
July 21: The first international Zeppelin (airship) show is held in Frankfurt, Germany.
July 25: Louis Blériot of France, who flies his Blériot No.XI monoplane from Les Baraques to Dover, England in 37 minutes, makes the first airplane crossing of the English Channel. The event increases public and government awareness of the possible military aspects of the airplane.
July 25: Van den Schkrouff makes the first flight in Russia in a Voisin biplane at Odessa.
July 27: Orville Wright makes the first official test flight of the U.S. Army’s first airplane in Fort Meyer, Virginia. President William Howard Taft, his cabinet, and 10,000 spectators witness the flight.
July 29: Georges Legagneux makes the first airplane flight in Sweden in his Voisin biplane in Stockholm.
July 30: The Rinji Gunyo Kikyu Kenkyu Kai (Provisional Committee for Military Balloon Research) is formed in Japan.
August 2: The first flying machine purchased and put into service by a government is the Wright Flyer. The US Army accepts its first airplane and pays the Wrights $25,000, plus a $5,000 bonus, because the machine exceeded the speed requirement of 40 mph.
August 14: The first woman passenger to fly in a powered airplane in Great Britain is the wife of Samuel F. Cody. She is taken for a 3-minute flight from the Royal Engineers Balloon Factory at Farnborough in Cody’s British Army Aeroplane No.1.
August 22: The first great aviation meeting in Bétheny, France, opens as 23 European airplanes make 87 flights during one week. The meeting will have a strong influence on the technical and military aspects of flight.
August 29: At the end of a two-day flight from Lake Constance during which Count von Zeppelin travels a total distance of more than 400 miles, he makes a spectacular flight in his dirigible LZ5 over the city of Berlin, Germany.
September 7: The U.S. Army's 1st "aerodrome", an airfield or airport, is established in College Park, Maryland.
October 4: More than a million New Yorkers watch as Wilbur Wright makes a flight along the Hudson River.
October 7: Glenn Curtiss becomes the 1st American to hold an FAI airplane certificate.
October 16: German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin forms the world’s 1st commercial airline.
October 18: Charles Comte de Lambert, Wilbur Wright’s 1st aviation pupil, flies around the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
October 27: Mrs. Ralph van Denman flies for four minutes with Wilbur Wright at College Park, Maryland, becoming the U.S.'s 1st female passenger.
October 30: Claude Moore-Brabazon wins a £1,000 prize offered by the Daily Mail for a circular flight of one mile.
November 22: Wright Company is incorporated with a capital stock of $1,000,000. Formed to manufacture airplanes, the company’s president is Wilbur Wright and his brother Orville is the vice president.
December 5: George Taylor makes the first manned glider flight in Australia in a glider of his own design. He eventually makes a total of 29 flights at Narrabeen Beach in New South Wales.
December 9: American Dr. Henry W. Walden makes the first flight with his triplane known as the Walden III. It is powered by a three-cylinder, 22-HP Anzani engine and takes off from Mineola, Long Island, N.Y.
December 10: Two men become the first Australians to fly from Great Britain to Australia direct. Cruising along as an average speed of 83mph, it only took them 135 hours for the 11,340-mile trip. They purportedly ran out of Terra chips in the second hour.

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