The beautiful USS Lexington was one of the United States' first large aircraft carriers.

Peter M. Bowers Collection

1927-1929 Flight Timeline

August 1927 The first Huff-Daland bombers are delivered to the Air Corps.

August 17, 1927 Art Goebel and William Davis win the $25,000 Dole air race.

September 1­, 1927 American Railway Express and major U.S. airlines begin air express operations.

October 12, 1927 Wright Field is dedicated; it becomes the primary research and development site for the Air Corps.

October 14-15, 1927 Dieudonné Costes and Joseph Le Brix make the first nonstop crossing of the South Atlantic in a Breguet 19.

October 28, 1927 Pan Am establishes an international air station at Key West, Florida.

November 16, 1927 The USS Saratoga, an aircraft carrier, is commissioned.

December 14, 1927 The USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier, is commissioned.

1928 The NACA develops a cowling for radial engines.

January 7, 1928 The Polikarpov U-2 (later Po-2) makes its first flight.

February 7-22, 1928 Bert Hinkler flies solo from England to Australia.

February 28, 1928 The Navy contracts with Consolidated for the XPY-1, the first U.S. monoplane flying boat.

March 30, 1928 Flying a Macchi M.52, Major Mario de Bernardi attains a record speed of 318.623 miles per hour over a three-kilometer course.

April 12-14, 1928 The Junkers W 33 Bremen makes the first east-west crossing of the Atlantic.

April 15-21, 1928 Captain George Hubert Wilkins and pilot Carl Ben Eielson fly a Lockheed Vega over a 2,200-mile polar route, Alaska to Norway, in 20 hours, 20 minutes.

May 16, 1928 Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT), the predecessor of TWA, is formed.

May 23, 1928 The tragic flight of Italian airship Italia begins.

May 31-June 9, 1928 Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm fly from San Francisco to Australia.

June 1928 A prototype Hawker Hart two-seater flies.

June 11, 1928 Fritz Stammer makes the first piloted rocket-powered flight in the Ente (Duck).

June 20, 1928 Braniff Airways is formed. June 25, 1928 The Boeing 100 prototype for the P-12 and F4B makes its first flight.

July 3-5, 1928 Italians Arturo Ferrarin and Carlo del Prete set a straight-line distance record: 4,466 miles in a Savoia-Marchetti S.64.

September 18, 1928 The Graf Zeppelin, the world's most successful dirigible, is launched.

September 19, 1928 The Packard Diesel, the first diesel engine to power a heavier-than-air craft, flies.

November 14, 1928 The Fairey Long-Range Monoplane flies. It will set many records.

December 19, 1928 The first American autogiro, the Pitcairn, is flown.

December 20, 1928 Captain George Hubert Wilkins and Carl Ben Eielson fly their Lockheed Vega over Antarctica.

January 1929 A Soviet TB-1 aircraft bomber flies from Moscow to New York.

January 1929 The first Link Trainer is sold.

January 1-7, 1929 Major Carl Spaatz, Captain Ira Eaker, First Lieutenant Harry Halverson, Second Lieutenant Elwood Quesada, and Staff Sergeant Roy Hooe conduct an endurance flight in the Fokker C-2A Question Mark, setting a world record of 150 hours, 40 minutes, and 15 seconds.

January 2, 1929 Bobbie Trout sets a female endurance record of 12 hours, 11 minutes in a Golden Eagle monoplane.

­January 30, 1929 Elinor Smith sets a new female endurance record in a Brunner-Winkle Bird, flying 13 hours, 16 minutes.