Winter and Spring —
Wilbur Wright flies
for audiences in Europe, launching his Wright Model A airplane from
locations in France and Italy. He is accompanied by
Orville and Katharine.
— The Aéro-Club de France
issues the first 15 pilot licenses, the first going to Louis Blériot.
Number 15 is awarded to Wilbur Wright.
A recuperating Orville Wright and his
join Wilbur in Plymouth, England. They are also met by
Hart O. Berg, his wife Edith, and members of the
Aéro-Club de France.
— Louis Blériot flies the Blériot XI,
his first truly practical monoplane, for 200
meters (656 feet). It features the stick-and-rudder control
system first introduced on the Blériot VIII.
The eventual success of this aircraft will make its controls
standard in future airplane designs.
February 10 —
The Smithsonian awards the
Wright brothers (in absentia) the Samuel P.
Langley Gold Medal for Aerodromics, but it is not
presented until they visit Washington, D.C. later in the
February 15 —
Katharine Wright flies with her brother Wilbur for the
February 27 —
La Compagnie Générale de Navigation Aérienne
produce their first Wright Model A. It is intended to
be used to instruct student pilots.
Wrights sign a contract with the Short Brothers
of England to produce six Wright Model As. Eustace
Short makes the first complete set of engineering
drawings for the aircraft.
March 10 — James
McCurdy, Canada, of the Aerial Experiment Association
flies the Silver Dart in a complete circle. It is the
second truly practical airplane to fly in North America
following the 1905 Wright Flyer.
March 20 —
Glenn Curtiss and Augustus
Herring incorporate the Herring-Curtiss Company to manufacture airplanes.
Herring has led Curtiss to believe he has patents for an airplane that
he declined to deliver to the US military in 1908, and that
these will countermand the 1906 Wright patent.
Wright student Count Charles de Lambert and Paul
Tissandier fly 25 kilometers (16 miles) to qualify for
their pilot licenses.
April-May In France, Henry Farman develops
a biplane, the Farman III, that uses ailerons to control roll. It is the first practical
European airplane with ailerons.
Wilbur Wright begins to train Italian student pilots
Lt. Umberto Savoia and Lt. Mario Calderara.
Wilbur Wright flies with a Universal News
cameraman. making the first motion pictures to be shot from
an airplane in flight.
April 28-May 13
Wilbur, Orville, and Katharine Wright travel
from Rome to Paris to London, to New York City and finally
arrive home in Dayton, Ohio.
Port-Aviation, the world's first airport, opens 19
kilometers (12 miles) from Paris, France.
June 10 The Wright
Brothers visit Washington, D.C. where President Howard Taft
presents each of them with the Congressional Medal of Honor, Aero
Club of America Medal, and the Samuel P.
Langley Gold Medal for Aerodromics.
June 16 Glenn Curtiss delivers the Golden
Flier to the Aeronautic Society of New York. It is the first
commercially-sold airplane in America.
June 17-18 The Wrights return home to Dayton
and a heroes welcome. The two-day homecoming celebration includes a parade,
speeches, the presentation of more medals, and a reception at the YMCA where
Wilbur and Orville stand for hours to shake the hands of thousands of
June 29-July 30 — The Wrights deliver
their new Military Flyer to the U.S. Army Signal Corps at Fort Myer,
Virginia, and put it through the required trials. The Army accepts the
flying machine and Signal Corps No. 1 becomes the first military aircraft in the world.
Later, the aircraft is christened the Miss Columbia,
but the name does not stick. Her pilots refer to her as "Old
— Anticipating commercial air traffic by many years, the Aéro-Club de France
proposes of air routes similar to shipping lanes. This idea
will grow to become the Vector Airway System ("V"
routes) used today.
— Glenn Curtiss flies 25 miles in
the Golden Flier to win the Scientific American Trophy for a second
year in a row.
July 23 — Alliot
Verdon Roe, England, flies his Avroplane for 274 meters
(899 feet). It is the first aircraft designed, built, and
flown by a British citizen.
— Louis Blériot crosses the English
Channel in a Blériot XI monoplane. This has an enormous psychological
effect around the world because it shows that natural physical boundaries
that had protected nations for millennia can be crossed easily by an airplane.
— The Wright Brothers file law suits against Glenn
Curtiss and the Herring-Curtiss Company. Judge John R. Hazel
United States District Court for the Western District of New
York is assigned to the case. The Wrights accuse Curtiss of
using the same combination of aerodynamic controls as
claimed in their 1906 patent. These are the first shots in
what will become known as the "Patent Wars."
22-29 — 22 pilots from all over the world converge on the old French
cathedral city of Reims for the first-ever aviation meet. There are
hundreds of flights over seven days, and one spectator, David Lloyd George
(who would later become Prime Minister of England), remarks, "Flying
machines are no longer toys and dreams; they are an established
August 27 —
Henry Farman, France makes
the first flight of over 100 miles and wins the contest for endurance
flying at Rheims.
August 29 — Curtiss comes
in first in the speed contest at Reims, capturing the Gordon Bennett Cup
and setting a new world's speed record of 46.5 miles per hour (75.6
kilometers per hour).
September 7 — Eugene Lefebvre dies while
testing a new French-built Wright airplane. He is the first pilot to die
at the controls of his craft.
That same day, the US Army Signal Corps establishes its first
airfield at College Park, Maryland.
October 2 — Orville Wright makes the first
fight above 1000 feet (305 meters) in altitude.
25-October 1 — Over 100,000
people visit the Exposition Internationale de Locomotion
Aérienne in the Grand
Palais, Paris, France. Dozens of aircraft and hundreds of
aviation engines and inventions are displayed.
September 30-October 4
— For the Hudson-Fulton Celebration in New
York City, Wilbur Wright circles the Statue of Liberty and flies up the
Hudson River to Grant's Tomb and back. Over a million people see him fly.
October 8-November 2
— Wilbur Wright trains the first US Army pilots,
Lt. Fredric Humphreys, Lt. Frank Lahm, and Lt.
Benjamin Foulois at College Park, Maryland.