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On This Day: 1908

Aviation events for 1908

January 13: The first European to fly one kilometer in a circle is Henri Farman in his Voisin-Farman airplane. Farman’s 1 minute 28 second flight wins him the Grand Prix d’Aviation Deutsche-Archdeacon race in France.
January 27: Pasiphae, a satellite of Jupiter, discovered by Melotte.
January 29: The Imperial All-Russia Aero Club is founded and raises money through public subscription by imperial decree.
February 8: Flight tests begin at Issy-les-Moulineaux for the Gastambide-Mengin I monoplane, built by Léon Levavasseur and fitted with a 50-hp Antoinette engine.
March 12: The U.S. Aerial Experiment Association’s first aircraft, the Red Wing, makes its first flight. This flight ends in a crash, from which pilot Thomas Baldwin, survives.
March 14: Henri Farman makes the first flight in his modified Voisin-Farman I-bis, the biplane built by Voisin brothers.
March 14: Edward Henry Heinamann born, Saginaw, Michigan. Designer for the Douglas Aircraft Corporation.
March 21: Henri Farman covers 6,275 feet in 3 minutes 47 seconds in his Voisin-Farman No.1 bis at Issy-les-Moulineaux.
March 23: French industrialist Lazare Weiller signs a contract with the Wrights establishing a Wright airplane company in France, on condition that the brothers make two demonstration flights covering 50 km (31.1 miles) within a hour’s flying time. They will receive FF500, 000 and half the founders’ share.
March 28: Leon Delagrange makes the first passenger flight, taking Farman aboard his Voisin biplane at Issy-les-Moulieaux.
April 7: The members of the Aerial Experiment Association enter a competition sponsored by the Scientific American, which has offered $25,000 for a flight of over 0.62 miles. The Wrights refuse to enter because the rules state the airplane must take off without help.
April 11: Delagrange flies 12,878 feet in six minutes, 30 seconds in his Voisin-Delagrange Nº 2 in Paris.
May 6: The Wright brothers fly for the first time since 1905, at Kitty Hawk. Wilbur pilots the 1905 Flyer III, modified so that the pilot and a passenger can sit erect, on a flight of just over 1,000 feet.
May 14: The first passenger flies in an airplane. Wilbur Wright takes Charles W. Furnas of Dayton, Ohio on a 28 3/5 seconds flight that covers 600 meters at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.
May 23: The first airplane flight in Italy is made by Léon Delagrange in Rome.
May 29: The first passenger flight in Europe occurs as Henri Farman takes up Ernest Archdeacon for a brief flight at Issy-les-Moulineaux, France.
May 30: The first European flight of over 15 minutes takes place. Léon Delagrange flies his Voisin-Delagrange in France.
June 9: The Aeronautical Society of the United States is established in New York.
June 21: The first flight of the Aerial Experiment Association’s (AEA) promising June Bug biplane, their third machine, takes place in New York State. It has a 40-hp air-cooled Curtiss engine.
June 30: A mysterious explosion occurred in the skies over Siberia. It has since been attributed to comet fragments.
July 4: The Zeppelin LZ-4 makes a 12-hour flight crossing the Alps. It covers the 235 miles from Friedrichshafen to Zürich and reaches speeds of 32 mph.
July 8: Thérése Peltier becomes the first woman to ascend in an airplane when Delagrange, her instructor, takes her up. She flies about 656 feet at a height of 13 feet.
July 17: The USA’s first aviation legislation is passed: a municipal ordinance requiring an annual license and regulating aircraft within the city limits of Kissimmee, Florida.
July 20: Orville Wright warns Glenn Curtiss that the wing flaps used in the AEA’s June Bug are an infringement of the Wrights’ patent.
August 4: Count von Zeppelin takes the LZ4 on a 24-hour flight from Lake Constance, down the Rhine to Basel, then to Strasbourg and Mainz and back to Stuttgart, a total non-stop distance of 435 miles.
August 4: Wilbur Wright makes the first flight using stick controls near Le Mans, France. The flight lasts 1 minute and 45 seconds.
August 8: Wilbur Wright makes his first flight in Europe by flying the Wright Flyer A from the racetrack at Hunaudières, 5 miles south of Le Mans, France.
August 12: Controlled by Thomas Baldwin and Glenn Curtiss, the Signal Corps’ Dirigible Balloon No.1, known as SC-I, the first Army dirigible, begins flight trials at Fort Meyer near Washington, D.C.
August 20: The Wright Flyer built for flight trials before the U.S. Army arrives at Fort Meyer, near Washington, D.C., eight days ahead of schedule. Before trials begin, tests to check transportability, another stipulation, start.
August 21: The first turn in the air performed by a monoplane is carried out by Antoinnette II, first flown at Issy-les-Moulineaux on July 22,1908. It lasts 1 minute, 36 seconds.
August 21: Wilbur Wright begins flying demonstrations of his Flyer A from the artillery ground known as Camp d’Auvers, 7 miles east of Le Mans, France, having moved from the Hunaudières race course.
August 28: The US Army accepts its first dirigible. It is 96 feet long, with a 20-hp Curtiss engine.
September 3: Orville Wright makes his 1st flight at Fort Meyer, Virginia, circling the field one-and-one-half times. During the next two weeks, he conducts a series of 14 long, high, and impressive flights, many of which set new records and are witnessed by government officials.
September 5: The 1st flight of a full-size triplane, the French Goupy, is made. Built by Ambroise Goupy, it has three sets of wings each stacked above the others and is powered by 50-hp Renault engine.
September 17: The 1st fatality in a powered airplane occurs when Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge is killed while flying with Orville Wright at Fort Meyer, Virginia.
October 6: Wilbur Wright and a French writer make the 1st passenger flight of over one hour.
October 16: Samuel Cody becomes the 1st man to fly in Britain. Flying the British Army Aeroplane N° 1, Cody flies for 1,391 feet before crashing.
October 30: Henry Farman performs the 1st cross-country flight in Europe as well as the 1st flight between two towns.
November 5: Wilbur Wright receives the Grand Gold Medal of the Aéro Club of France for advances in aviation.
November 30: La Compagnie Generale de Navigation Aérienne, the French Wright company, is organized.
December 4: The Englishman J.T.C. Moore-Brabazon (later Lord Tara of Brabazon) makes a flight of 1,350 ft. in a Voisin biplane at Issy-les-Moulineaux in France. He becomes one of the guiding lights of early British aviation and is issued the first British pilot’s license, then called an aviator’s certificate.
December 19: The world’s first aerodrome, Port-Aviation, is opened 12 miles outside of Paris.
December 24: The world’s first aeronautical exhibition opens in Paris when the French president inaugurated the second half of the Annual Automobile Salon at the Grand Palais.
December 31: Wilbur Wright at Auvours, France, makes the first flight over 2 hours. He flies for 2 hours and 20 minutes, covers 77 miles, and wins the Michelin Cup for 1908.

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