On a single evening, 10 of the 16 Royal Flying Corps aircraft which take off to defend England against German air attack crash, killing three pilots. By May, RFC night flying skills will have improved to the point that 10 aircraft that take off on a single evening all land safely.
January 14 – In response to high losses German Fokker Eindecker fighters are inflicting on Alliedreconnaissance aircraft flying over the Western Front, Royal Flying Corps Headquarters orders that reconnaissance planes have an escort of at least three fighters flying in close formation with them, and that a reconnaissance aircraft must abort its flight if even one of the three fighters becomes detached from the formation for any reason.
January 18 – The world's first practical all-metal aircraft, the Junkers J.1, flies for the first time.
January 29 – The second and last Zeppelin raid on Paris inflicts 54 casualties.
February 21 – The Battle of Verdun begins. To support the morale of French troops defending against the German offensive, the future French ace Jean Navarre soon begins daily aerobatic flights over the front line in a Nieuport 11Bébé ("Baby") fighter with its fuselage painted in French red, white, and blue.
February 26 – Merely by appearing behind a German two-seat aircraft over the Verdun battlefield, Jean Navarre induces its crew to land in French-held territory and surrender without ever firing a shot. Later that morning he shoots down a German bomber for his fifth victory.
March 31-April 1 (overnight) – Seven German Navy Zeppelins attempt to bomb London. Two turn back with engine trouble, and L 15 is so badly damaged by British fighters and antiaircraft guns that she crash-lands off the coast of England and her crew is captured.
April 20 – The Escadrille Américaine ("American Squadron"), later to be known as the Lafayette Escadrille ("Lafayette Squadron"), is established as an American volunteer unit in France, equipped with Nieuport 11s.
Since January 1, 46 German airshipsorties have crossed the coast of England between Yorkshire and Kent, and German airships have attacked London twice. British aircraft defending England have contributed (with antiaircraft guns) to the shooting down of only one German airship.
August 6 – French aceCapitaineRené Fonck gains his first confirmed victory. He will become the highest-scoring Allied and second-highest-scoring ace overall of World War I.
August 23 – The Brazilian Navy establishes a naval aviation arm with the creation of a naval aviation school.
August 24–25 (overnight) – Led by the commander of the Imperial German Navy's airship force, Peter Strasser, aboard the Zeppelin L 32, 13 German naval airships attack England. Several are damaged by British antiaircraft fire and a British seaplane and most of their bombs miss their targets widely, but L 31 under KapitänleutnantHeinrich Mathy bombs southeast London, inflicting £130,000 in damage, including damage to a power station at Deptford, and killing nine and injuring 40 civilians.
September 2–3 (overnight) – 12 German Navy and four German Army airships raid southeast England in the largest airship raid of World War I; they drop 823 bombs totaling 38,979 pounds (17,681 kg), killing four people and injuring 12 and causing over £21,000 in damage. Royal Flying CorpsLieutenantWilliam Leefe-Robinson, flying a B.E.2c, shoots down the German Army Schütte-Lanz airship SL 11, which falls spectacularly in flames near London, killing her entire crew of 16. Leefe-Robinson becomes the second pilot to shoot down an airship and the first to do it over the United Kingdom, and the German Army Airship Service withdraws from future bombing raids on England, leaving the bombing campaign to German naval airships. It is considered the turning point in the defense of the United Kingdom against German airship raids.
September 5 – It is announced that Lieutenant William Leefe-Robinson has received the Victoria Cross for shooting down SL-11.
September 23–24 (overnight) – Twelve German Navy Zeppelins attack England. Most scatter their bombs widely, and bombs strike Nottingham and Grimsby. L 33 bombs central London with 42 high-explosive and 20 incendiary bombs, hitting several warehouses and setting fire to an oil depot, a lumber yard, and several groups of houses, with 10 people killed and 12 seriously injured. L 31 under Heinrich Mathy also bombs London, destroying a tramcar, damaging houses and shops, and killing 13 and injuring 33 people. Two of the newest Zeppelins are shot down, L 33 by ground fire and L 32 by Royal Air Force LieutenantFrederick Sowrey; L 33's crew is captured at Little Wigborough (the only armed enemy personnel to set foot in England during the War) and L 32's is killed. Their loss shocks the German naval airship commander Peter Strasser.
September 25–26 (overnight) – Nine German Navy Zeppelins set out to attack England. Some turn back and the rest scatter their bombs widely over the countryside and sea. L 22, however, bombs an armament factory complex in Sheffield, killing 28 and injuring 19 people, and L 21 drops several bombs on Bolton.
October 1–2 (overnight) – Eleven German Navy Zeppelins set out to attack England. Three turn back and the others fail to drop their bombs or scatter their bombs widely, killing one British soldier. Royal Flying Corps Second Lieutenant W. J. Tempest in a B.E.2c shoots down L 31 in flames outside London, killing its entire crew, including the famed airship commander Heinrich Mathy, who leaps to his death from the burning Zeppelin.
October 19 – German Navy Zeppelins participate in a High Seas Fleet sortie into the North Sea, but German and British ships do not come into contact with one another, although the Zeppelin L 14 sights part of the Royal Navy's Harwich Force. Five Zeppelins suffer serious mechanical breakdowns during the operation.
December 28 – While ground crewman are walking the German Navy Zeppelin L 24 to her shed at Tondern, Germany, she is slammed against her hangar by wind and catches fire. She and the Zeppelin L 17,which is in the hangar, are destroyed in the resulting blaze.
December 28–29 (overnight) – Six German Navy airships – five Zeppelins and the Schütte-LanzSL12 – attempt a raid on England but are recalled due to bad weather. SL12 is unable to return to base and lands nearby, where she is battered to pieces by wind.