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On This Day: 1912

Aviation events for 1912

February 16: Frank Coffyn takes aerial views of New York City with a cinema camera while controlling his airplane with his feet and knees.
February 19: One of the most successful pre-World War I airship operations begins with the first flight of the Zeppelin LZ II, Victoria Louise, and its introduction into service with the German airship company DELAG.
February 22: The Fokker Aviatik G.m.b.H. company is entered in the trade register at Berlin, Germany with a quoted capital of 20,000 marks. The company’s Holland-born founder, Anthony Herman Gerard Fokker, was brought up in Haarlem, the Netherlands and moved to Germany where he developed a passion for aviation before designing his first airplane – the Spider No. 1 – in late 1910.
March 1: Capt. Albert Berry makes the first parachute descent from a powered airplane in America when he jumps from a Benoist aircraft that is being flown by the company pilot, Anthony Jannus. The aircraft is flying at a height of 1,500 ft. over Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri, and Berry uses a static line parachute.
March 5: Bob Fowler flies from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida. The west to east coast-to-coast journey has taken four months to complete.
March 19: The first of the U. S. Signal Corps Scout series capable of meeting a specification issued February 8, 1912, the S. C. No.8 is delivered to Augusta, Georgia by Curtiss pilot Charles F. Walsh. It finally passes all tests at College Park, Maryland in May with Lincoln Beachey at the controls.
March 31: The world’s first hydroplane competitions, held in Monaco, over the past week, has been a runaway success for Farman biplanes. Belgian Jules Fisher is the overall winner. He is one of only two non-French pilots of the eight starters and flies a Henry Farman machine.
April 16: Harriet Quimby, the first American woman pilot, lands after a solo flight across the English Channel from Dover to Calais, France. Read more...
April 22: Englishman Denys Corbett Wilson flies across St. George’s Channel between England and Ireland.
May 28: Capt. Charles de Forest Chandler, commanding officer of the U.S. Signal Corps Aviation School at College Park, Maryland, receives War Department form no. 395 AGO, dated February 2, 1912, which was the first document on U.S. aviation medicine. It dictates that “all candidates for aviation only shall be subject to a vigorous physical examination to determine their fitness for duty.”
May 30: Wilbur Wright dies of typhoid fever at the early age of 45. His death marks the end of his extraordinary partnership with his brother Orville, which culminated in 1903 with the first true powered flight in history.
June 7: Captain Charles Chandler of the U.S. Army Signal Corps test fires a Lewis gun fitted to a Wright Model B biplane flown by Lieutenant Thomas Milling in Maryland. It is the first time a machine gun has been fired from an airplane in the U.S.
July 5: Captain Charles Chandler and Lieutenants Thomas Milling and Henry Arnold are presented with certificates qualifying them as the U.S.’s first “Military Aviators.”
July 27: Lieutenant John Rodgers and Ensign Charles Maddox, in a Wright B1 Flyer, send the first wireless message from an airplane to a ship, the torpedo boat USS Stringham, stationed in Annapolis, Maryland.
August 10: Englishman Francis K. McClean becomes the first pilot to fly under bridges spanning the Thames River when he takes off from Harty Ferry, Eastchurch in his Short biplane S. 33.
August 25: Royal Navy aviator Wilfred Parke becomes the first pilot ever to recover from a spin, regaining control of his Avro Type G biplane 50 feet from the ground at Larkhill, England.
October 1: The Military Aviation Service is founded in Germany.
October 24: Harry Hawker wins the British Empire Michelin Cup for endurance. He flies for over 8 hours in a Burgess-Wright airplane.
November 12: The 1st successful catapult launch of a seaplane is made at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard. Catapulted by a compressed air system from an anchored barge, the floatplane is a Curtiss A-1.
November 27: The aeronautical division of the US Army Signal Corps receives the 1st “flying boat”, a Curtiss Model F, capable of takeoff from water.
November 28: The Italian Air Battalion is made a fully operational command, the Flotta Aerea d’Italia.
December 18: French aviator Rolland Garros becomes the first pilot to bridge two countries in a single flight. He flies his Blériot monoplane from North Africa to Europe, half-way across the Mediterranean, 177mi.

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