History of Flight


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Below is a sample time line of some important dates in aviation history.

1500

 Leonardo da Vinci develops many ideas and drawings on how a person might fly.

1783

Montgolfier Hot Air Balloon carries 2 men 5 miles.

1903

 The Wright Brothers launch the first powered flight at Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina. Their aircraft is called the Flyer. The Wright Brothers are from Ohio.

1909

J.D. McCurdy makes the first powered flight in Canada, flying the Silver Dart at Baddeck, Nova Scotia.

1911

Eugene Ely becomes the first person to land an aircraft on a ship, landing on the U.S.S. Pennsylvania. Ely also made the first takeoff a year earlier from the U.S.S. Birmingham.

1914-1918

WWI    During the war many developments made throughout aviation and aircraft become an important part of the military. Canadians fight in “The Great War” with courage and honor.  Two names stand out in a field of distinguished men, they are:

1917

Billy Bishop wins the Victoria Cross for Bravery.  He will finish the war with 72  victories in Aerial Combat , the top ranking Allied ace.

1918

 Roy Brown shoots Baron Von Richthofen (The Red Baron) down.

1919

Alcock and Brown complete the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic.  They depart St.John’s Newfoundland and land in Ireland.  They use a modified Vickers Vimy bomber to make the flight.

1922

The U.S. Navy commissions the first Aircraft Carrier, the U.S.S. Langley.

1924

The Royal Canadian Air force is formed. (1999 is the 75th Anniversary of it’s formation).

1927

Charles Lindbergh completes the first solo Trans-Atlantic flight.  Lindbergh used Halifax, N.S. and St. John’s, Nfld. as navigation points.

1928

 Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to cross the Atlantic.  She would later fly the Atlantic solo in 1932, becoming the first woman to do so.

1930

 J. Erroll Boyd becomes the first Canadian to fly across the Atlantic in a Bellanca, named “Mapleleaf”.

1935

First Flight of the Canso flying boat.

1937

The Hindenburg is lost in an accident at Lakehurst, New Jersey.  The accident is looked upon, by many, as the end of the Airship era.

1937

Amelia Earheart disappears over the Pacific.

1937

First Flight of a Harvard.

1939-1945

World War II.  Again, Canadians serve with great distinction and honor.  As before the war accelerates the development of aircraft.

1939

Trans-Canada Airlines, forerunner of Air Canada starts first Trans-Continental service.

1939

Germans test fly the world’s first Jet aircraft.

1940

Canada becomes the Center of the Empire Air Training  Plan.  Many Commonwealth
pilots are trained  here in Canada.

1945

Air power delivers the only nuclear bombs ever dropped, in anger.  Hopefully there will never be another.

1947

Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier.

1947

First flight of the F-86 Sabre.

1948

First flight of a T-33.

1950

First Flight of the CF-100 Canuck.

1950-53

Korean War.  Some Canadian pilots score the last Air to Air victories.  Flt. Lt. O.
Levesque becomes the last Canadian Ace.

1953

Jackie Cochran pilots a Canadian built Sabre Mk3 to a new woman’s world speed
record.

1954

First flight of an F-101 Voodoo.

1954

First flight of an F-104 Starfighter.

1957

First flight of the Argus.

1958

First flight of the Avro Arrow.

1961

First man, Yuri Gagarin, flies in space.

1963

First flight of the F-5 Freedom Fighter.

1969

First flight of the Concord.

1969

Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon.

1974

The SR-71 Blackbird sets the world speed record by flying across the Atlantic in 1 hour, 55 minutes, 42 seconds.

1978

First Balloon flight across the Atlantic.

1978

First flight of the F-18 Hornet.

1981

First space shuttle flight.

1984

Marc Garneau becomes the first Canadian in space.

1987

First flight of the EH-101 helicopter.

1990-91

Desert Shield/Desert Storm.    The Gulfwar. Canada sends CF-18’s into combat for the first time in 40 years.

1998

Swiss Air 111 crashes off Peggy’s Cove, killing all passengers and crew.

1999

First flight of a hot air balloon around the world.

1999

NATO forces, including CF-18’s, drop bombs in order to intervene in the killings in Koskvo

1999

Koskvar refugees are airlifted to Canada and landed at CFB Greenwood in Atlantic Canada.

 

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