April 2, 1931 Leroy Grumman's new firm, an offshoot of his relationship with Grover Loening, gets a contract for the immortal Fifi, the FF-1 two-seat, retractable gear, biplane fighter. It's the start of a fighter dynasty.
April 8, 1931 Amelia Earhart establishes the autogiro altitude record of 18,415 feet in her Pitcairn autogiro.
April 13, 1931 Ruth Nichols sets a female speed record of 210.6 miles per hour in a Lockheed Vega.
April 13, 1931 The Boeing XB-901 (later known as the YB-9 "Death Angel") flies for the first time. It will ultimately lead to the Boeing B-17.
May 26, 1931 The Consolidated P2Y makes its first flight.
May 27, 1931 Professor Auguste Piccard and Paul Kipfer reach 51,775 feet in a balloon.
May 28, 1931 Lieutenant W. Lees and Fred Brossy fly 84 hours, 33 minutes, unrefueled, in a diesel-powered Bellanca.
May 31, 1931 The first drone plane is flown by radio control from another plane.
June 4, 1931 The Dornier Do X arrives in New York.
June 23-July 1, 1931 Wiley Post and Harold Gatty fly the Lockheed Vega Winnie Mae around the world in 8 days, 15 hours, 51 minutes.
July 1, 1931 United Air Lines is formed from Boeing Air Transport, National Air Transport, Pacific Air Transport, and Varney Air Lines.
July 24-31, 1931 The Graf Zeppelin carries 12 scientists on an Arctic flight.
July 28-30, 1931 Russ Boardman and Johnnie Polando fly their Bellanca from New York to Istanbul, setting a world record of 5,011 miles in 49 hours, 20 minutes.
July 28-August 6, 1931 Amy Johnson flies from England to Tokyo in nine days in a de Havilland Puss Moth.
August 11, 1931 A Polish PZL P-11 prototype flies.
September 3, 1931 Lowell Bayles wins the Thompson Trophy in a Gee Bee Z at 236.23 miles per hour.
September 4, 1931 Jimmy Doolittle sets a transcontinental record of 11 hours, 16 minutes to win the Bendix Race.
September 13, 1931 Flight Lieutenant John Boothman wins permanent possession of the Schneider Trophy for England in an uncontested event.
September 23, 1931 The Akron flies for the first time.
September 29, 1931 Flight Lieutenant George Stainforth flies a Supermarine S.6B at 407.5 miles per hour to establish a new world speed record. It's the first flight of more than 400 miles per hour.
October-December 7, 1931 Bert Hinkler, a famous Australian pilot, flies solo from New York to London in a de Havilland Puss Moth.
October 3-5, 1931 Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon, Jr., make the first nonstop flight from Japan to the United States in a Bellanca for a $25,000 prize. Their total time: 41 hours, 13 minutes.
October 24-25, 1931 Ruth Nichols sets a female distance record of 1,977.6 miles.
October 26, 1931 The de Havilland Tiger Moth flies for the first time.
October 27, 1931 The tiny Curtiss Sparrowhawk fighter hooks up with the Los Angeles in a trial for eventual use with the Akron.
October 27, 1931 The Akron is commissioned.
November 19, 1931 The Sikorsky S-40 amphibian enters service with Pan Am, with Charles Lindbergh making the first flight.
December 1, 1931 Lowell Bayles sets a world landplane speed record of 281.75 miles per hour in a Gee Bee Z.
December 19, 1931 Major General Benjamin Foulois becomes the Chief of Air Corps.
February 14, 1932 Ruth Nichols sets a world altitude record (19,928 feet) for diesel-powered aircraft in a Lockheed Vega.