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On This Day: 1928

Aviation events for 1928

January 6: Pilot Lt. C. F. Schilt, USMC, lands a Vought O2U-1 Corsair in the street of a Nicaraguan village to rescue wounded officers. Eighteen servicemen are rescued and, for his bravery, Lt. Schilt iss awarded the Medal of Honor.
February 12: Lady Heath (formerly Mrs. Elliot-Lynn) becomes the first woman to fly solo from Cape Town, South Africa to London, England.
February 22: Australian Bert Hinkler lands at Fanny Bay in Darwin, Australia after 11,000-mile solo flight from England. He is the first to make such a trip, setting four other new records: longest solo flight, longest light plane flight, first nonstop flight from London to Rome and fastest journey from Britain to India.
March 1: An airmail route between France and Chile is opened with a fast sea link between Dakar, Senegal and Natal, Brazil.
March 9: The English aviatrix Lady Mary Bailey takes off from Croydon on what becomes the first round-trip flight between London and Cape Town, South Africa flown by a woman. She arrives back in England on May 12.
March 13: The first Canadian woman to obtain a pilot’s license, Miss Eileen M. Vollick, passes her flight test in Hamilton, Ontario on Curtiss aircraft.
March 30: The Federal Aeronautique Internationale (FAI)–ratified world speed record is pushed through 300 mph for the first time. Flying a specially adapted Macchi M-52bis seaplane, Italian Maj. Mario de Bernardi achieves a speed of 512.69 km/h (318.64 mph). This is an increase of 20.81 mph over his previous record.
March 30: A resident of Zehden, Germany, Samuel Schwartz, asks German airline Deutsche Luft Hansa (DLH) for rent for the airspace above his house, citing law that says his rights extend to the “space above and the ground beneath” his property.
April 21: Australian explorer Hubert Wilkins and his American pilot Carl Ben Eielson arrive in Spitzbergen, Norway after making the first ever crossing of the Arctic by airplane. They left Point Barrow, Alaska, on April 15th in their Lockheed Vega.
April 30: British pilot Lady Mary Bailey lands to complete a flight from England to Cape Town, South Africa. She took off on March 9th.
May 31: The first airplane flight across the Pacific is made by British Capt. Charles Kingsford-Smith and crew in a Fokker F-VIIB/3m. They fly from Oakland Field, California to Brisbane, Australia, 7,389 miles (11,890km), in 83 hours, 38 minutes. On the way, it becomes the first airplane to land in Fiji.
June 11: The first rocket-powered manned airplane flight is made by Frederich Stamer from the Wasserkuppe peak in the Rhön Mountains of Germany. His tail-first glider flies about one mile.
June 15: An Imperial Airways AW Argosy piloted by Gordon Olley races the London and North Eastern Railway’s Flying Scotsman train the 390 miles from London to Edinburgh; the Argosy takes 84 minutes to refuel twice en route and beats the train by only 15 minutes.
June 15: Mail is successfully transferred from an airplane in flight to a train as Lt. Karl S. Axtater flies directly over an Illinois Central train and transfers a mail bag to a railway clerk.
June 17: Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger as she accompanies pilot Wilmer Stiltz and mechanic Louis Gordon on their flight from Newfoundland to Wales in a Fokker C-2. Less than four years later, she flies the Atlantic alone.
June 25: The Boeing Model 83 biplane, the last from this company in which wood was used for the wing frame and the last biplane built by Boeing, makes its first flight.
August 7: One of the most successful designs of the day, the first Curtiss Model 50 Robin, takes to the air. A typical Robin has a wingspan of 41 ft. and a length of 25 ft., 8 in. with a 185-hp engine.
September 13: In an effort to speed up the time it takes for mail to reach the United States via Europe, a single-engined Liore et Oliver LeO 198 airplane is catapulted off the Ile de France ocean liner, reducing the time it takes mail to reach the United States by one whole day.
September 18: The 1st rotating-wing aircraft to fly the English Channel is the Cierva C-8L Autogyro flown by its designer, Spaniard, Juan de la Cierva.
September 18: The 1st flight of the Zeppelin LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin is made. It is the most successful rigid airship ever built, flown commercially on a regular basis from Europe to South America. It flies over a million miles and carries some 13,100 passengers before its demise in 1940.
September 19: The 1st diesel engine to power a heavier-than-air aircraft is flight tested in Utica, Michigan.
December 20: Australian George Wilkins and Lieutenant Carl Eielson make the first flight over Antarctica. They use a Lockheed Vega for the 10-hour flight.

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