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World War I Flight Timeline


1923 Flight Timeline
The Curtiss PW-8 featured wing surface radiators. Unfortunately, they were a maintenance nightmare and impractical in combat.
The Curtiss PW-8 featured wing surface radiators. Unfortunately, they were a maintenance nightmare and impractical in combat.
Peter M. Bowers Collection

May 2-3, 1923 U.S. Army Lieutenants Oakley Kelly and John Macready make the first nonstop coast-to-coast flight in 26 hours, 50 minutes in the Fokker T-2.

May 14, 1923 A prototype Cu­rtiss PW-8 fighter is received by the USAS, the beginning of a long line of Curtiss biplane fighters.

May 26, 1923 Lieutenant H. G. Crocker completes a nonstop, transcontinental, south to north flight in a DH-4B, flying from Houston, Texas, to Gordon, Ontario, in 11 hours, 55 minutes.

June 6-7, 1923 The Navy sets 15 records for Class C seaplanes.

June 20, 1923 The all-metal Gallaudet CO-1 flies for the first time.

June 26, 1923 Lieutenants Lowell H. Smith and John P. Richter achieve the world's first complete midair hose refueling.

August 21, 1923 Navigation beacon lights between Chicago and Cheyenne are completed.

August 22, 1923 The giant Barling Bomber makes its first flight.

September 4, 1923 The Navy dirigible USS Shenandoah makes its first flight.

September 5, 1923 Air Service planes sink the decommissioned USS Virginia and New Jersey.

September 28, 1923 Lieutenant David Rittenhouse wins the Schneider Trophy for the United States in a Navy Curtiss CR-3 racer at 181 miles per hour.

October 1-6, 1923 The National Air races take place in St. Louis.

October 6, 1923 The Navy's Lieutenant Alford Williams wins the Pulitzer Trophy in a Curtiss R2C-1 racer at 243.68 miles per hour.

October 10, 1923 The Shenandoah, the first dirigible to use helium, is christened.

The USS Shenandoah saw the derigible as a sensible means of reconnaissance.
The USS Shenandoah saw the derigible as a sensible means of reconnaissance.
Peter M. Bowers Collection

November 1, 1923 Robert Goddard's first small liquid-fuel rocket is tested.

November 4, 1923 USN Lieutenant Alford Williams sets a world speed record of 266.6 miles per hour in a Curtiss R2C-1.

November 6, 1923 USN Lieutenant Alford Williams sets a time-to-climb record: 5,000 feet in one minute in a Curtiss R2C-1.

December 13, 1923 Lawrence Sperry crashes his Messenger in the English Channel. The plane is recovered, but Sperry's body is never found. ­


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