1917 in aviation

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Years in aviation: 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920
Centuries: 19th century · 20th century · 21st century
Decades: 1880s 1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s
Years: 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1917:

Events[edit]

January[edit]

February[edit]

March[edit]

April[edit]

May[edit]

  • May 1 – The German Navy Zeppelins L 43 and L 45 conduct reconnaissance patrols over the North Sea off the coast of Scotland, patrolling off the Firth of Forth and Aberdeen, respectively.[24]
  • May 4 – The German Navy Zeppelin L 43 attacks a force of British light cruisers and destroyers in the North Sea near the Dogger Bank with three 50-kg (110-lb) bombs, hitting the light cruiser HMS Dublin with bomb splinters. It one of the few cases of an airship attacking warships.[25]
  • May 7
  • May 9 – French ace René Fonck shoots down six German aircraft in a day.
  • May 14 – Flying the Curtiss H.12 Large America flying boat 8666, Royal Naval Air Service Flight Commander Robert Leckie shoots down the German Zeppelin L 22 18 nautical miles (33 km) north-northwest of Texel Island. It is the first time that a flying boat shoots down a Zeppelin.[26][27]
  • May 19 – The United States adopts an official national insignia for U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps aircraft for the first time, a white star centered in a blue circle with a red disc centered within the star USAAC Roundel 1919-1941.svg; the U.S. Coast Guard does not adopt it.[28] Except for an 18-month interruption in 1918-1919, the marking will remain in use until June 1942.
  • May 23–24 (overnight) – Six German Navy Zeppelins attempt a high-altitude raid on London and the south of England and encounter bad weather. They drop most of their bombs onto open countryside, killing one man, injuring no one else, and inflicting £599 in damage, and all return safely to Germany, although the raid reveals many mechanical problems and physical difficulties for crewmen during sustained high-altitude flights. Informed of the results of the raid, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany says, "In spite of this success, I am of the opinion that day of the airship is past for attacks on London. They should be used as scouts for the High Seas Fleet and strategic reconnaissance, not for bombing raids on London." The Chief of the Naval Staff argues that the bombing campaign is tying down many British personnel, guns, and aircraft on home air defense duties, and Wilhelm II agrees to allow raids to continue if conditions are favorable.[29]
  • May 24 – Turbulence throws the observer aboard a German Aviatik C.V, First Lieutenant Otto Berla, from his cockpit without a parachute. As he falls, an updraft forces the tail of the aircraft upward, and he punches through the plywood of the Aviatak's fuselage aft of his cockpit. The Aviatik's pilot returns him safely to base.[30]
  • May 25

June[edit]

July[edit]

August[edit]

  • United States Secretary of War Newton D. Baker announces the completion of the first Liberty engine 28 days after its design began. Before the end of World War I, 13,574 will be manufactured, and total will reach 20,478 by 1919.[47]
  • August 1 – The German Navy Zeppelin L 53 achieves an altitude of 20,700 feet (6,309 meters), a new record for an airship.[12]
  • August 2 – A Sopwith Pup flown by Royal Naval Air Service Squadron Commander Edwin Dunning becomes the first aircraft to land aboard a moving ship, the hybrid aircraft carrier-battlecruiser HMS Furious.
  • August 7 – Dunning is killed on his third landing when the Pup falls over the side of Furious.
  • August 17 – Tasked to study how the United Kingdom's air forces could be best organized for the war with Germany and to consider whether or not they should remain subordinate to the British Army and Royal Navy, General Jan Smuts completes the Smuts Report. In it, he observes that an air service could be used as "an independent means of war operations," that "there is absolutely no limit to the scale of its future independent war service," that soon "aerial operations with their devastation of enemy lands and destruction of industrial and populous centres on a vast scale may be the principal operations of war, to which older forms of military and naval operations may become secondary and subordinate." He projects that by the summer of 1918 "the air battle front will be far behind the Rhine" while the ground front is still bogged down in Belgium and France and that air attacks on German industry and lines of communication could be an "important factor in bringing about peace." The report is the foundation of a new theory of warfare advocated by British bomber advocates and will inspire the creation of the independent Royal Air Force in 1918.[48]
  • August 21 – Flying a Sopwith Pup fighter launched from a flying-off platform mounted on a gun turret of the Royal Navy light cruiser HMS Yarmouth, Royal Naval Air Service Flight Sub-Lieutenant B. A. Smart shoots down the German Navy Zeppelin L 23 in flames over the North Sea with the loss of her entire crew. Smart is recovered safely along with his plane's engine and one of its machine guns after he ditches his fighter in the sea.[49]
  • August 21–22 (overnight) – Eight German Navy Zeppelins commanded by German Naval Airship Service commander Peter Strasser aboard L 46 attempt a high-altitude raid on England. Only L 41 crosses the British coastline; she bombs the Kingston upon Hull area, destroying a chapel and injuring one civilian.[50]

September[edit]

October[edit]

  • At Ochey, France, the British Royal Flying Corps forms its first wing dedicated to long-range bombardment of targets in Germany. It will later become VIII Brigade.[41]
  • The United States Marine Corps divides its Marine Aeronautical Company into two units, the First Aviation Squadron equipped with land planes and the First Aeronautical Squadron equipped with seaplanes. The latter unit is intended for antisubmarine patrols from the Azores.[55]
  • October 1
  • October 7 – L 57, a German Navy Zeppelin modified to be able a long-distance flight from Yambol, Bulgaria, to Mahenge, German East Africa, to deliver medical supplies and munitions to German ground forces there, and as such the largest airship ever built at the time at 743 feet (226.5 meters) and carrying 2,418,700 cubic feet (68,490 cubic meters) of hydrogen gas, is wrecked and destroyed by fire while attempting to take off for a test flight in poor weather.[58]
  • October 19–20 (overnight) – The German Navy dispatches 13 Zeppelins on a high-altitude raid against the middle of England, and they encounter an unexpected gale. Two never leave their sheds; the other 11 set out for England and become lost in the storm. Most bomb open countryside, although L 41 damages the Austin Motor Works at Longbridge and L 45 bombs Northampton and London, killing 24 and injuring nine people. The British use muzzled antiaircraft guns around London to avoid guiding Zeppelins to the city, and the attack becomes known as the "Silent Raid." Although 73 British planes take off to intercept the raid, none have the ability to reach the Zeppelins' operating altitude. The storm scatters the Zeppelins widely across Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France during their return flights and only six reach Germany safely. L 55 sets an altitude record for airships of 24,000 feet (7,315 meters) during her homebound flight before being damaged beyond repair in a hard landing in Germany; L 44 is shot down in flames by French artillery over the Western Front with the loss of all hands; L 49 lands in France and is captured along with her entire crew; L 45 lands in France and is destroyed by her crew, who are captured; and L 50 makes a hard landing in France, after which 15 of her crew manage to get off the airship and are captured and she drifts away and crosses France before disappearing over the Mediterranean Sea with four men still aboard.[59]
  • October 30 – The German ace Leutnant Heinrich Gontermann is performing aerobatics when the upper wing of his Fokker Dr.I fighter breaks off. He is fatally injured in the subsequent crash. His 39 victories will tie him with Leutnant Carl Menckhoff as the 13th-highest-scoring German ace of World War I.[39]

November[edit]

  • November 21–24 – In an attempt to deliver medical supplies to munitions to German ground forces in German East Africa, the German Navy Zeppelin L 59, specially modified for long-range flights, makes a 6,757 km (4,196-statute mile) journey from Yambol, Bulgaria, over European Turkey, Asia Minor, and the Mediterranean Sea and into Africa to a point west of Khartoum before being recalled to Yambol, which she reaches after 95 hours 5 minutes continuously in the air at an average speed of 71 km/h (44 mph). The flight sets a new aircraft endurance record. She returns to Yambol with enough fuel aboard to have remained in the air for another 64 hours.[60]

December[edit]

First flights[edit]

January[edit]

February[edit]

March[edit]

April[edit]

May[edit]

June[edit]

July[edit]

September[edit]

October[edit]

November[edit]

December[edit]

Entered service[edit]

January[edit]

February[edit]

March[edit]

April[edit]

May[edit]

June[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Layman, R.D., Before the Aircraft Carrier: The Development of Aviation Vessels 1849-1922, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989, ISBN 0-87021-210-9, p. 30.
  2. ^ Layman, R.D., Before the Aircraft Carrier: The Development of Aviation Vessels 1849-1922, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989, ISBN 0-87021-210-9, pp. 73, 75.
  3. ^ Layman, R.D., Before the Aircraft Carrier: The Development of Aviation Vessels 1849-1922, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989, ISBN 0-87021-210-9, p. 96.
  4. ^ Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, p. 202.
  5. ^ Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 185.
  6. ^ a b Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, ISBN 0-517-56588-9, p. 417.
  7. ^ Layman, R.D., Before the Aircraft Carrier: The Development of Aviation Vessels 1849-1922, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989, ISBN 0-87021-210-9, p. 44.
  8. ^ a b c Chant, Chris, The World's Great Bombers, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2000, ISBN 0-7607-2012-6, p. 34.
  9. ^ a b Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 2. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979. 
  10. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, p. 189-190.
  11. ^ a b Knapp, Walter, "The Marines Take Wing," Aviation History, May 2012, pp. 51-52.
  12. ^ a b Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, p. 186.
  13. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, p. 188.
  14. ^ Crosby, Francis, The Complete Guide to Fighters & Bombers of the World: An Illustrated History of the World's Greatest Military Aircraft, From the Pioneering Days of Air Fighting in World War I Through the Jet Fighters and Stealth Bombers of the Present Day, London: Anness Publishing Ltd., 2006, ISBN 978-1-84476-917-9, p. 263.
  15. ^ a b Layman, R.D., Before the Aircraft Carrier: The Development of Aviation Vessels 1849-1922, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989, ISBN 0-87021-210-9, p. 116.
  16. ^ Phythyon, John R., Jr., Great War at Sea: Zeppelins, Virginia Beach, Virginia: Avalanche Press, Inc., 2007, p. 7.
  17. ^ Aviation Hawaii: 1879-1919 Chronology of Aviation in Hawaii
  18. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 190-193.
  19. ^ a b Butler, Glen, Colonel, USMC, "That Other Air Service Centennial," Naval History, June 2012, p. 56.
  20. ^ Allward, Maurice, An Illustrated History of Seaplanes and Flying Boats, New York: Dorset Press, 1981, ISBN 0-88029-286-5, p. 27.
  21. ^ Terraine, John, The U-Boat Wars 1916-1945, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1989, ISBN 0-8050-1352-0, p. 74.
  22. ^ Swanborough, Gordon, and Peter M. Bowers, "Army-Navy Airship Cooperation," Naval History, June 2011, p. 20.
  23. ^ Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, p. 63.
  24. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 183-184.
  25. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 193-194.
  26. ^ a b Thetford, Owen, British Naval Aircraft Since 1912, Sixth Edition, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1991, ISBN 1-55750-076-2, p. 87.
  27. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 208-210.
  28. ^ Swanborough, Gordon, and Peter M. Bowers, United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911, Second Edition, London: Putnam, 1976, ISBN 0-370-10054-9, p. 24.
  29. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 194-197.
  30. ^ Wilkinson, Stephan, "Amazing But True Stories," Aviation History, May 2014, p. 33.
  31. ^ Crosby, Francis, The Complete Guide to Fighters & Bombers of the World: An Illustrated History of the World's Greatest Military Aircraft, From the Pioneering Days of Air Fighting in World War I Through the Jet Fighters and Stealth Bombers of the Present Day, London: Anness Publishing Ltd., 2006, ISBN 978-1-84476-917-9, p. 265.
  32. ^ a b Chant, Chris, The World's Great Bombers, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2000, ISBN 0-7607-2012-6, p. 26.
  33. ^ a b c Hastings, Max, Bomber Command: Churchill's Epic Campaign - The Inside Story of the RAF's Valiant Attempt to End the War, New York: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1987, ISBN 0-671-68070-6, p. 37.
  34. ^ Franks, Norman, Aircraft Versus Aircraft: The Illustrated Story of Fighter Pilot Combat From 1914 to the Present Day, London: Grub Street, 1998, ISBN 1-902304-04-7, p. 62.
  35. ^ Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, ISBN 0-517-56588-9, p. 428.
  36. ^ Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, p. 194.
  37. ^ Crosby, Francis, The Complete Guide to Fighters & Bombers of the World: An Illustrated History of the World's Greatest Military Aircraft, From the Pioneering Days of Air Fighting in World War I Through the Jet Fighters and Stealth Bombers of the Present Day, London: Anness Publishing Ltd., 2006, ISBN 978-1-84476-917-9, p. 264.
  38. ^ a b Layman, R.D., Before the Aircraft Carrier: The Development of Aviation Vessels 1849-1922, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989, ISBN 0-87021-210-9, p. 113.
  39. ^ a b c d Franks, Norman, Aircraft Versus Aircraft: The Illustrated Story of Fighter Pilot Combat From 1914 to the Present Day, London: Grub Street, 1998, ISBN 1-902304-04-7, p. 63.
  40. ^ a b Sturtivant, Ray, British Naval Aviation: The Fleet Air Arm, 1917-1990, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1990, ISBN 0-87021-026-2, p. 215.
  41. ^ a b c Frankland, Noble, Bomber Offensive: The Devastation of Europe, New York: Ballantine Books Inc., 1970, p. 11.
  42. ^ a b Chant, Chris, The World's Great Bombers, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2000, ISBN 0-7607-2012-6, p. 29.
  43. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 211-212.
  44. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 198-201.
  45. ^ Terraine, John, The U-Boat Wars 1916-1945, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1989, ISBN 0-8050-1352-0, p. 78.
  46. ^ Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, p. 323.
  47. ^ Chant, Chris, The World's Great Bombers, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2000, ISBN 0-7607-2012-6, p. 30.
  48. ^ Hastings, Max, Bomber Command: Churchill's Epic Campaign - The Inside Story of the RAF's Valiant Attempt to End the War, New York: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1987, ISBN 0-671-68070-6, p. 38.
  49. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 215-216.
  50. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, p. 222.
  51. ^ Terraine, John, The U-Boat Wars 1916-1945, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1989, ISBN 0-8050-1352-0, p. 77.
  52. ^ Anti-Submarine Warfare in World War I John Abbatiello (2006) Routledge "Introduction"
  53. ^ Franks, Norman, Aircraft Versus Aircraft: The Illustrated Story of Fighter Pilot Combat From 1914 to the Present Day, London: Grub Street, 1998, ISBN 1-902304-04-7, p. 61.
  54. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, p. 223.
  55. ^ Butler, Glen, Colonel, USMC. "That Other Air Service Centennial'". Naval History, June 2012, p. 56.
  56. ^ Layman, R.D., Before the Aircraft Carrier: The Development of Aviation Vessels 1849-1922, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989, ISBN 0-87021-210-9, p. 78.
  57. ^ Thetford, Owen, British Naval Aircraft Since 1912, Sixth Edition, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1991, ISBN 1-55750-076-2, p. 14.
  58. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, p. 234.
  59. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 223-232, 236, 243.
  60. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, pp. 234-235.
  61. ^ Whitehouse, Arch, The Zeppelin Fighters, New York: Ace Books, 1966, no ISBN number, p. 237.
  62. ^ Francillon, René J., Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1979, ISBN 0-87021-313-X, p. 26.
  63. ^ Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, p. 58.
  64. ^ Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, ISBN 0-517-56588-9, p. 378.
  65. ^ Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, ISBN 0-517-56588-9, p. 416.
  66. ^ Thetford, Owen, British Naval Aircraft Since 1912: Sixth Revised Edition, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1991, ISBN 0-557-50-076-1, p. 119.
  67. ^ a b Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 51.
  68. ^ Thetford 1978, p. 318.
  69. ^ Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, ISBN 0-517-56588-9, p. 419.
  70. ^ Taylor 1988, p.71.
  71. ^ Mason 1994, p. 95.
  72. ^ Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, ISBN 0-517-56588-9, p. 415.
  73. ^ Dona;d, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 185.
  74. ^ Mason 1994, pp. 66–69.
  75. ^ Robertson 1970, p. 59.
  76. ^ Bruce 1953, p.87.
  77. ^ Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 39.

References[edit]