Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Flight in the Depression Timeline

1938-1939 Flight Timeline

July 10-14, 1938 Howard Hughes makes a record round-the-world flight, in 3 days, 19 hours, 8 minutes.

July 11-August 10, 1938 Intense air fighting takes place between the Soviets and Japanese in Manchuria.

July 17-18, 1­938 Douglas "Wrong-Way" Corrigan flies from New York to Ireland in 28 hours, 13 minutes in a 9-year-old Curtiss Robin.

July 21-22, 1938 Mercury, the upper component of the Short-Mayo composite, makes the first commercial crossing of the North Atlantic by a heavier-than-air craft.

July 28, 1938 Pan American's Hawaiian Clipper disappears.

August 10-11, 1938 The Focke-Wulf Fw 200 prototype is flown nonstop from Berlin to New York.

August 22, 1938 The Civil Aeronautics Authority becomes effective.

August 23, 1938 Frank Hawks and a passenger are burned to death in the crash of the Gwinn Aircar.

August 29, 1938 Alexander de Seversky sets an east-west speed record of 10 hours, 2 minutes, 57 seconds.

September 3, 1938 Jacqueline Cochran wins the Bendix Trophy race in a Seversky AP-7 at ten hours, three minutes.

September 5, 1938 Roscoe Turner wins the Thompson Trophy at 283.41 miles per hour.

September 14, 1938 The Graf Zeppelin II, the last Zeppelin to be built, flies for the first time.

September 21, 1938 Chief of Air Corps Major General Oscar Westover crashes to his death in a Northrop A-17A.

>September 29, 1938 The Munich Agreement guts Czechoslovakia.

October 2, 1938 The Dewoitine D.520, the best French fighter of World War II, flies for the first time.

October 6, 1938 The Short Mercury sets a long-distance record for seaplanes: 5,007 miles.

October 11, 1938 Harald Penrose makes the first flight of a Westland Whirlwind, the only twin-engine single-seat fighter to serve with the RAF in World War II.

October 14, 1938 The Curtiss XP-40 prototype flies for the first time.

October 22, 1938 Lieutenant Colonel Mario Pezzi regains the world altitude record for Italy, attaining 56,046 feet in a Caproni 161-bis biplane; this remains the world record for piston-engine aircraft.

October 26, 1938 The first Douglas Model 7B is flown. The aircraft will be developed into the A-20 Havoc series.

November 5-7, 1938 The RAF establishes a new distance record, using a Vickers Wellesley single-engine long-distance monoplane to fly from Egypt to Australia (7,157 miles), in 48 hours.

December 10, 1938 James Wyld develops a regeneratively cooled liquid-rocket motor, which becomes the basis for the JATO system.

December 16, 1938 The NACA high-speed motion picture camera is developed.

December 31, 1938 The Boeing 307, the first pressurized airliner, flies for the first time.

December 31, 1938 The Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) is reorganized into the Civil Aeronautics Board.

1939 The NACA continues development of laminar flow airfoil.

1939 The NACA combined-loads testing machine is developed.

January 27, 1939 The Lockheed XP-38 Lightning flies for the first time.

February 1939 The NACA begins reevaluating jet propulsion for aircraft.

April 1, 1939 The Mitsubishi A6M Zero prototype flies for the first time.

­April 20, 1939 The first free-flight tunnel is placed into operation at Langley Field, Virginia.