National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Aeronautics and Astronautics Chronology, 1915-1919

SOURCE: Eugene M. Emme, comp., Aeronautics and Astronautics: An American Chronology of Science and Technology in the Exploration of Space, 1915-1960 (Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1961), pp. 1-11.


January 15: New official American one-man duration record of 8 hours 53 minutes set by Lt. B. Q. Jones in a Martin tractor biplane at San Diego, Calif.

---: First transcontinental telephone conversation, New York to San Francisco, by Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas A. Watson.

January 19-20: First German aerial bombing of Britain, by two Zeppelins, thereby opening up a new era in the exploitation of aeronautics. During World War I, a total of 56 tons of aerial bombs was dropped on London and 214 tons on the rest of Britain.

During January: First air-to-air combat, German airman killed by rifle fire from Allied aircraft. In February a machine gun mounted on a French aircraft, Lieutenant Garros as pilot, first shot down a German aircraft.

February 24: Macy automatic pilot tests were begun at San Diego, Calif.

During February-March: Anthony H. G. Fokker perfected synchronizing gear to allow machinegun to be fired through rotating propeller.

March 3: The Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (later the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics or NACA) was established by a rider to the Naval Appropriations Act, " supervise and direct the scientific study of the problems of flight, with a view of their practical solution." The sum of $5,000 a year was appropriated for 5 years. The total appropriation for naval aeronautics was $1 million.

March 4: Congress passed an appropriation bill of $300,000 for Army aeronautics for fiscal year 1916.

April 2: President Wilson appointed the first 12 members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Throughout the entire history of the NACA until October 1958, members served without compensation.

April 16: Navy AB-2 flying boat successfully catapulted from a barge, Lt. P. N. Bellinger as pilot.

April 23: The Secretary of War called the first meeting of the NACA in his office. Brig. Gen. George P. Scriven, Chief Signal Officer, was elected temporary Chairman, and Dr. Charles D. Walcott, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, was elected first Chairman of the important NACA Executive Committee.

---: American altitude record of 10,000 feet for seaplanes was established in Burgess-Dunne AH-10 by Lt. P. N. Bellinger over Pensacola, Fla.

May 31: First German Zeppelin raid on London. British employed rockets in their defenses around London.

June 1: Navy let first contract for lighter-than-air craft in ordering one nonrigid airship from Connecticut Aircraft (later the DN-1).

June 8: U.S. Patent Office granted patent (No. 1142754) to Glenn H. Curtiss covering the arrangement of a step or ridge incorporated in the hull of flying boats.

During June: First year of formal graduate study in aeronautical engineering was completed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and one master of science degree was awarded.

July 7: Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, in a letter to Thomas A. Edison said that the Navy required "machinery and facilities for utilizing the natural inventive genius of Americans to meet the new conditions of warfare." This letter prompted creation of Naval Consulting Board of civilian advisers which functioned throughout World War I, and which included in its organization a "Committee on Aeronautics, including Aero Motors."

July 10: Naval Aeronautic Station, Pensacola, tested sextant equipped with a pendulum-type artificial horizon and reported that pendulum type was unsatisfactory for aircraft use, but that a sextant with a gyroscopically stabilized artificial horizon might be acceptable.

August 11: Naval Observatory requested Eastman Kodak to develop an aerial camera with high-speed lens suitable for photography at 1,000 or 2,000 yards' altitude.

September 1: Congress supplemented appropriation of Army aeronautics to $13,281,666 from $300,000 of previous fiscal year.

October 15: Secretary of the NACA was instructed by the committee to communicate with the Government departments, the result of investigation with regard to aeronautical activity, and to recommend or advise the Secretaries of the separate departments of the Government to continue and foster experimental development.

November 6: First catapult launching from a ship underway, made from the U.S.S. North Carolina in Pensacola Bay, by Lt. Cmdr. H. C. Mustin.

December 3: Lt. R. C. Saufley reached 11,975 feet over Pensacola in a Curtiss AH-14, an American altitude record for hydroaeroplanes.

December 9: NACA Report No. 1 was issued, a two-part "Report on Behavior of Aeroplanes in Gusts," by Jerome C. Hunsaker and E. B. Wilson of MIT.

December 12: An all-steel frame, fabric-covered combat plane successfully flown, one designed by Grover C. Loening and built by Sturtevant Aeroplane Co.

During December: All-metal fully cantilever-wing monoplane produced by Hugo Junkers in Germany, the J-1 powered by a 120-hp Mercedes, made its first successful flights.

During 1915: Elmer A. Sperry developed and demonstrated his drift indicator for which he received the Robert J. Collier Trophy for 1916.

---: General Vehicle Co., Long Island City, contracted with French Government to build Gnome engines, the first radial engine produced in the United States.

---: Robert H. Goddard proved validity of rocket propulsion principles in a vacuum at Clark University, Worcester, Mass.


March 15: First U.S. tactical air unit in the field, the 1st Aero Squadron commanded by Capt. B. D. Foulois, began operations with General Pershing's expedition into Mexico.

April 2: American altitude record of 16,072 feet set by Lt. R. C. Saufley in a Curtiss hydroaeroplane.

During April: French employed first air-to-air combat rockets, four Le Prieur rockets attached to each strut of Nieuport fighter, credited with downing of German hydrogen-inflated Zeppelin LC-77. The Belgian, Willy Coppens, and Briton, Albert Ball, reportedly used rockets effectively against German balloons until incendiary bullets were developed.

May 22: French airmen successfully destroyed five of six German balloons using Le Prieur rockets on their Nieuport fighters.

June 8: The NACA called the first meeting of representatives of the aircraft industry and of interested Government agencies.

July 19: Navy Gallauder 59A, an airplane with propeller mounted amidships in the fuselage, made preliminary flights at Norwich, Conn., Lt. (jg) G. D. Murray as pilot.

July 22: Navy requested Aluminum Co. of America to develop a suitable alloy for fabrication into Zeppelin-type girders.

August 22: President Wilson signed Navy appropriation bill, which included $3,500,000 for naval aviation.

August 29: The NACA requested $85,000 and received $82,515.70 for fiscal year 1917 as a part of the naval appropriation bill. $68,957.35 later went toward laboratory construction at Langley Field.

---: U.S. Army appropriations approved, which included $14,281,766 to the Signal Corps for military aeronautics.

September 2: Plane-to-plane radio demonstrated over North Island, Calif., at a distance of about 2 miles.

September 2-3: First German Zeppelin shot down by RFC aircraft over Britain; five Zeppelins were brought down over Britain during 1916.

September 12: Piloted hydroaeroplane equipped with automatic stabilization and direction gear developed by the Sperry Co. and P. C. Hewitt was demonstrated by Amityville, Long Island, before naval observers.

September 21: The National Research Council, formed at the request of President Wilson by the National Academy of Sciences, held its first meeting in New York.

During September: Wright-Martin Aircraft Corp. contracted with French company to manufacture the Hispano-Suiza engine in the United States.

October 5: The NACA first recommended inauguration of airmail service, and William F. Durand was elected Chairman of the NACA.

October 9: Subcommittee of the NACA appointed to consider the needs of the committee as to a site for experimental work, with authority to visit and inspect sites, and to secure the cooperation of the War and Navy Departments and the Weather Bureau.

November 23: The NACA recommended purchase of land north of Hampton, Va., for use as an aircraft proving ground by the Army and Navy. This site became known as Langley Field, and the location of the first NACA laboratory.

November 28: First airplane raid on London, by a German seaplane.

During November: "Design Requirements for Airplanes" (A.P. 970), a basic six-page pamphlet, was issued by the British Royal Aircraft Factory of Farnborough.

December 20: Army Balloon School established at Fort Omaha, Nebr.

During 1916: Radio-controlled pilotless monoplane, the "Aerial Target," designed by H. P. Folland with radio gear by A. M. Low, flown at the British Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough.

---: Development work on air cooling of aircraft engines by means of spacing, depth and thickness of fins, and the effects of airflow, were conducted by Professor Givson at Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough.

---: Nine U.S. aircraft companies delivered only 64 out of 336 aircraft ordered by the Army, the performance of which compared unfavorably with European aircraft.


January 10: Comptroller of the Treasury Department ruled that the NACA was an independent agency and was not an appendage of the Navy Department in spite of the fact it was originally funded under the naval appropriations bill.

During January: The NACA, after considering high-cost complaints of Army and Navy, recommended creation of Manufacturers Aircraft Association to effect cross-licensing of aeronautic patents. This was a milestone in preventing a virtual deadlock in aircraft construction because of patent infringement suits.

February 2: The NACA recommended to the President, for transmittal to Congress for approval, that the Government acquire basic aeronautical patents.

February 13: Aircraft Manufacturers Association formed, Frank H. Russell as president.

March 8: Naval Act carried appropriation of $1 million for purchase of basic aeronautical patents by the Federal Government.

March 29: The NACA recommended preparation of 3-year programs for aircraft production to the Secretaries of War and the Navy.

April 6: The United States declared war on the Central Powers. The Aviation Section of the Signal Corps consisted of 35 pilots, 1,987 enlisted men, and 55 training airplanes. Navy Aviation and Marine Corps combined had 48 officer-pilots, 239 men, 54 airplanes, 1 airship, 3 balloons, and 1 air station.

April 10: The NACA recommended the organization of an Aircraft Production Board, to be appointed by the Council of National Defense. Such was created on May 16.

April 14: Naval Consulting Board recommended to the Secretary that $50,000 be granted to carry on experimental work on aerial torpedoes in the form of automatically controlled aeroplanes or aerial machines carrying high explosives. This was origin of the Navy N-9 "flying bomb," later considered the Navy's first guided-missile effort.

May 7: First aerial bombing of London by German bombers at night.

May 12: Capt. W. A. Robertson established new American altitude record of 17,230 feet over North Island Flying School, San Diego, Calif.

May 20: First aircraft sinking of a submarine, the German U-36, in the North Sea by a British flying boat.

June 2: Aviation Section became the Airplane Division of the Army Signal Corps, and Maj. B. D. Foulois was appointed officer-in-charge on July 23.

June 4: Aircraft Production Board and the Joint Technical Board on Aircraft authorized the construction of five prototype models of 8- and 12-cylinder Liberty motors. Engine designs had been worked out in a Washington hotel room by J. G. Vincent of Packard Motor Car Co. and E. J. Hall of the Hall-Scott Motor Car Co. during the previous week, applying current engineering practices to mass production techniques.

July 4: First 8-cylinder Liberty aircraft engine arrived in Washington, D.C., for test by the National Bureau of Standards. Design, manufacture, and assembly of this motor had required less than 6 weeks.

July 24: Manufacturers Aircraft Association formed to handle cross-licensing patents between all manufacturers.

---: $640 million aviation bill became law, the largest U.S. appropriation for aviation to date.

July 27: Secretary of the Navy authorized a naval aircraft factory in Philadelphia.

---: First British DH-4 arrived in United States and became model for the first combat aircraft produced in volume in the United States.

August 17: Field Marshal Jan Christian Smuts, Chairman of a Sub-committee on Imperial Defence, submitted classic proposal for creation of an autonomous air force in the British military structure.

August 21: First airplane powered by Liberty engine successfully flown, the L. W. F. Engineering Co.'s "Model F" biplane.

August 25: Navy "NC" flying boat development was initiated by Chief Constructor of the Navy, D. W. Taylor, in a memo outlining general requirements of such an aircraft to combat the submarine menace and "to fly across the Atlantic to avoid difficulties of delivery, etc." Acting Secretary of the Navy, F. D. Roosevelt, authorized development of "NC" flying boats capable of flying the Atlantic.

---: 12-cylinder Liberty motor passed a 50-hour test with power output of over 300 hp prior to being ordered into mass production.

During August: The NACA recommended funds be given Weather Bureau to promote safety in aerial navigation.

September 3: Brig. Gen. W. L. Kenly appointed Chief of the Air Service, AEF, the first time control of Army air activities was placed under a single head.

September 7: Radio signals sent from a Navy R-6 seaplane flying from NAS Pensacola, were received by Naval Radio Station New Orleans, 140 miles distant, in tests.

October 1: Congress created the Aircraft Board.

October 16: Final tests of Army's airplane radiotelephone at Langley Field, Va., achieved 25 miles for plane-to-plane communication and 45 miles airplane-to-ground.

October 18: McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio, was established as an aeronautical experimental station by the Signal Corps.

---: British De Havilland DH-4 ordered into series production in the United States 6 months after U.S. entry into World War I. By the end of the war, about 4,500 had been built, and of the total of 1,216 American-built planes to reach the Western Front, all but three (two Le Peres and one experimental DH-9) were DH-4's.

---: The Aviation Medical Research Board was established by the Signal Corps.

October 21: First flight test of 12-cylinder Liberty engine in Curtiss HS-1 flying boat at Buffalo, N.Y.

October 29: First DH-4 completed, flown at Dayton, Ohio.

November 15: Committee on Light Alloys established within NACA to intensify efforts to develop new metals for aeronautical use, Constructor Jerome C. Hunsaker was Navy member.

November 21: A modified Navy N-9 "Flying Bomb" was demonstrated to Army, Navy and civilian observers at Amityville, Long Island.

December 15: U.S. Navy airplane design placed under LCdr. W. Starling Burgess, Bureau of Construction and Repair.

December 26: First test-run of altitude laboratory constructed at the Bureau of Standards for the NACA, one capable of testing engine performance up to one-third an atmosphere.

During 1917: U.S. Weather Bureau aerological specialist, William R. Blair, prepared NACA Report No. 13, "Meteorology and Aeronautics," which was widely circulated as a basic handbook.

---: At request of War Department, a member of NACA technical staff assigned to supervise altitude performance tests of the first Liberty engines at Detroit, Mich., and Pikes Peak, Colo.

---: Development work at the British Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough included a measured-injection carburetor, prototype design of 14-cylinder, double-row, static-radial, air-cooled engine (RAF-8), and design and construction of the SE-5 fighter.

---: Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" became basic training airplane for thousands of American pilots.


January 19: U.S. School of Aviation Medicine began operations under Maj. Williams H. Wilmer, Signal Corps, Hazelhurst Field, Mineola, N.Y. A low-pressure tank was constructed to simulate altitudes up to 30,000 feet, and some studies were conducted at Pikes Peak.

January 23: First American military balloon ascension in the AEF took place at Cuperly, Marne, France.

During January: The NACA established Office of Aeronautical Intelligence at the suggestion of the Aircraft Board to collect and distribute scientific and technical data on aeronautics.

February 7: The Joint Army and Navy Technical Aeronautical Board (JAN-TAB) passed resolution on Instrument Standardization in Army and Navy planes for incorporation in general specifications.

February 16: Plant for assembly of American-made airplanes began operations at Romorantin, France.

March 6: Navy unmanned "flying bomb" successfully launched by catapult and flown for 1,000 yards at Sperry Flying Field, Long Island.

March 8: Majs. E. C. Schneider and J. L. Whitney (USA) reached an artificial altitude of 34,000 feet in 24 minutes, at Signal Corps Laboratory, Mineola, N.Y.

March 21: "Dunkirk fighter" or Navy HA seaplane made its first flight at Port Washington, Long Island, with Curtiss pilot Roland Rohlfs as pilot.

March 27: First aircraft built at the Naval Aircraft Factory, the H-16 seaplane, was flown for the first time, and was later used for the antisubmarine patrol from United States and European stations.

March 29: Curtiss 180-T or "Kirkham" triplane fighter ordered by Navy from Curtiss Engineering.

April 6: Night aerial photographs taken with use of magnesium flares by Lt. J. C. McKinney (USA) and civilian pilot Norbert Carolin.

April 15: First Marine Aviation Force formed at NAS Miami, commanded by Capt. A. A. Cunningham.

April 23: First oversea shipment of Liberty motors arrived at assembly and repair station at Pauillac, France.

April 25: Loening M-3 first flown, equipped with Lawrence three-cylinder, air-cooled engine.

April 27: French-built airship AT-1, commanded by Lt. F. P. Culbert (USN), completed a 25-hour 23-minute flight out of Paimboeuf, France, longest flight on record for airship of this type.

April 29: Plans approved for construction of first wind (5-foot) tunnel at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory of NACA.

May 11: First American-made DH-4, with Liberty engine, received in the AEF.

May 15: Navy Bureau of Steam Engineering reported that Marconi SE-I100 radio transmitter designed for use on H-16 flying boat, had proven capable of reliable voice communications from plane to shore up to 50 nautical miles and code communications up to 120 nautical miles.

---: The Post Office's first regular airmail route, Washington to New York, was inaugurated by Army pilots.

May 17: First flight made in France of an American-built military aircraft, a DH-4, built by Dayton Wright Co. adapted from English design.

May 20: Army Aeronautics was divorced from the Signal Corps and two air departments were created: Bureau of Military Aeronautics and Bureau of Aircraft Production.

May 24: First consignment of American-built flying boats, six HS-1's, arrived at Pauillac, France.

During May: At instigation of Dr. W. F. Durand, Chairman of the NACA, General Electric assembled an experimental turbo supercharger on a Liberty engine at Dayton.

June 19: Naval Air Station Pensacola began taking upper atmosphere weather soundings to provide wind velocity and direction. Recording instruments were carried aloft by a kite balloon, a technique developed by the station meteorological officer Lt. W. F. Reed.

During July: Standard Aircraft Corp. requested to build Italian Caproni and English Handley-Page bombers.

August 17: American-designed bomber, Army Martin MB-1, made its first flight with T. E. Springer as pilot. It became the first standard bomber of the Air Service but did not enter combat, while later modifications of it were used by the Post Office Department.

September 18: Altitude world record of 28,899 feet established by Maj. R. W. Schroeder (USA) at Dayton, Ohio.

September 23: Flywheel catapult used successfully to launch Navy "flying bomb" at Copiague, Long Island, a development undertaken by Sperry Co.

September 28: One JN4 aircraft maneuvered another JN4 in flight solely by means of radio at Langley Field, Va.

October 1: First bombing using electrical releases, Allied bombers in an attack on German infantry counterattack.

October 2: First successful flights of Army's Kettering pilotless aircraft with preset controls, "The Bug," at Dayton, Ohio; often called a "guided missile" in later years.

October 3: Flight refueling demonstrated in a seaplane by Lt. Godfrey L. Cabot (USNR), by snatching 155 pounds of weight from a moving sea sled.

October 4: Navy NC-1 flying boat, designed by Hunsaker, Richardson & Westervelt, was successfully test flown.

October 19: Pilotless Navy N-9 training plane, converted to automatic flying machine, flew prescribed course although distance gear failed to land the airplane at preset range of 14,500 yards.

November 6-7: Robert H. Goddard fired several rocket devices before representatives of the Signal Corps, Air Service, Army Ordnance, and others at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Solid-fueled prototype. (See Ventur Info Space, p. 7.)

November 11: With the signing of the Armistice, the Army Air Service had a total of 195,024 personnel, of which 20,568 were officers, and the AEF had 3,538 airplanes while 4,865 were in service in the United States. Naval aviation consisted of 6,716 officers and 30,693 men, with 282 officers and 2,189 men in Marine Corps units with a total of 2,107 airplaines, of which 1,172 were flying boats.

November 17: NAS Hampton Roads reported that H-16 flying boat equipped with radio direction finder using British six-stage amplifier had received signals from Arlington, Va., a distance of 150 miles.

November 25: NC-1 flying boat established new world record by taking off from Rockaway Beach, N.Y., with 51 persons aboard.

During November: The NACA first recommended enactment of Federal legislation for civil aviation, enforcement to be under the Deaprtment of Commerce.

December 4: First Army transcontinental flight by four Curtiss JN4's began at San Diego, reaching Jacksonville, Fla., on December 22.

December 31: Altitude laboratory at Bureau of Standards completed a full year of detailed analysis of various engine performances up to 30,000-foot altitutdes, which yielded many results of basic importance.

During 1918: Medical Research Laboratory of the Signal Corps published a manual on aviation medicine.

---: Ballistic Branch of the Army Ordnance Corps, in conjunction with the National Bureau of Standards, conducted wind tunnel tests to determine optimum shapes for artillery projectiles.


January 21-31: Second Army transcontinental flight by Maj. T. C. Macauley in DH-4 Liberty, Fort Worth-San Diego-Miami-Fort Worth, which he repeated in April.

February 5: First civil airline with passenger service, Germany's Deutsche Luftreederei which operated between Berlin, Leipzig, and Weimar.

February 18: Navy Bureau of Ordnance (BuOrd) continued wartime experimental work begun by Sperry Gyroscope in 1917 on the unmanned "Flying Bomb."

February 19: The NACA recommendations on regulating air commerce, the licensing of pilots, the inspection of aircraft, and the use of landing fields were transmitted to Congress through the Secretary of the Treasury.

During February: First flights of Thomas-Morse MB-3, first U.S.-designed fighter procured in quantity, which reached speed of 164 mph in early flights exceeding that of contemporary European aircraft.

March 19: The Aircraft Board was abolished by Presidential Executive Order.

March 21: First recorded flight test of gyrocompass, a Sperry instrument, by the Navy, which was unsuccessful.

April 26: World duration unofficial record attained by Navy F5L flying boat of 20 hours 19 minutes, with Lt. H. B. Grow as pilot.

April 28: Naval Observatory requested by LCdr. Richard E. Byrd to supply bubble levels for attachment to navigational sextants, thereby providing an artificial horizon for astronomical observations from aircraft.

---: Unofficial seaplane record made by Navy F5L piloted by Lt. H. B. Grow out of Hampton Roads, which completed a flight of 20 hours and 19 minutes, a distance of 1,250 nautical miles.

During April: Curtiss 18-T two-place fighter powered by a Curtiss-Kirkham K-12-350, made first flights, reached speed of 162 mph.

May 8-29: First transatlantic flight by LCdr. Albert C. Read and crew in Navy plane NC-4. Newfoundland-Azores-Lisbon (Time, 7/26/68, 8)

May 26: Date of Dr. Robert H. Goddard's progress report to the Smithsonian Institution entitled "A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes." It was published by the Smithsonian in January 1920.

June 14-15: First nonstop Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Ireland, 1,936 miles, was accomplished by Capt. John Alcock and Lt. A. W. Brown of England in a Vickers-Vimy-2 Rolls 400, in 15 hours 57 minutes.

June 25: NAS Anacostia reported on measurement of temperature and humidity at altitudes made by special instruments on aircraft.

June 28: Signing of Treaty of Versailles disarmed Germany of a military air force but did not include rockets as potential weapons, thus leaving Germany free under international law to develop them.

During June: Paris office of the NACA opened with William Knight in charge to collect and disseminate aeronautical information in Britain, France, and Italy.

July 2-6: First airship crossing of the Atlantic, by British R-34.

July 24-November 9: "Around the rim" circuit flight of the United States, covering 9,823 miles, completed by Lt. Col R. L. Hartz and Lt. E. E. Harmon in a Martin bomber.

July 28: First aerial observations of schools of fish made by U.S. Bureau of Fisheries with cooperation of naval aircraft, at Cape May, N.J.

August 1-September 14: First International Aircraft Exposition since Armistice, at Amsterdam, Holland.

August 14: First airmail delivered at sea, by Aeromarine flying boat to the White liner Adriatic (Br.).

August 25: First daily commercial air service, London to Paris, begun by British Airco DH-4a.

September 6: New unofficial world altitude two-man record of 28,250 feet was set by Maj. R. W. Schroeder and Lt. G. A. Elfrey in a Le Pere Liberty 400 at Dayton, Ohio. On October 4, Schroeder reached new record of 31,796 feet in same airplane.

September 12: The NACA coordinated the replies of the executive departments regarding provisions of the International Convention on Air Navigation meeting in Paris.

September 18: World altitude official record of 31,420 feet flown by Roland Rohlfs in Curtiss triplane-Curtiss-Kirkham K12-350.

October 8-31: Army transcontinental reliability and endurance flight from New York to San Francisco and return: 44 aircraft completed westbound; 15 eastbound; and 10 planes made round trip.

October 9: Charles D. Walcott, Secretary of the Smithsonian, elected Chairman of the NACA; Joseph S. Ames was elected Chairman of the Executive Committee, a post he held until October 7, 1939.

October 13: International Convention on Air Navigation signed in Paris, which reaffirmed the principle of national sovereignty in airspace and established a Commission for Aerial Navigation under the League of Nations to regulate international air commerce.

October 30: Reversible-pitch propeller tested at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio.

November 12-December 10: Ross McPherson Smith completed 11,500-mile intercontinental flight in a Vickers-Vimy from Heston, London, to Port Darwin, Australia.

December 8: The Aeronautical Engineering Society was organized at MIT.

December 29: American Meteorological Society founded at St. Louis, Mo., for the development and dissemination of knowledge of meteorology in all its phases and applications.

December 31: Notable technical achievements of the year according to McCook Field were: development of leakproof tanks; reversible- and variable-pitch propellers; a siphon gasoline pump; fins and floats for emergency water landings; and the turbocompressor or supercharger developed by Sanford A. Moss of General Electric.

During 1919: Adolph Rohrback of Germany developed smooth-surface, metal-surfaced wings, combined with metal boxspar internal construction, the beginning of the stressed-skin concept.

---: Weather Bureau expended $100,000 to improve meteorological observations to support increasing aviation requirements, an appropriation granted by Congress in 1917 upon the recommendation of the NACA.

---: Junkers of Germany produced J-13 low-set, cantilever-wing transport, which carried a crew of two and four passengers.

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Last Updated: January 27, 2005