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Flight in the Depression Timeline

1935-1936 Flight Timeline

November 13, 1935 New Zealand pilot Jean Batten completes a record flight from Lym­pne, England, to Natal, Brazil, in 2 days, 13 hours, and 15 minutes.

November 22, 1935 Pan Am inaugurates transpacific airmail service in the China Clipper. A round-trip flight takes 122 hours, 42 minutes.


November 29, 1935 A propeller deicer is announced by the Bureau of Air Commerce.

December 17, 1935 The Douglas Sleeper Transport, DC-3 prototype, flies.

January 13-14, 1936 Howard Hughes, flying a Northrop Gamma, sets a west-east nonstop transcontinental record of 9 hours, 26 minutes, 10 seconds.

February 9, 1936 It is announced that 40,000 people are at work on $35 million worth of WPA aviation projects.

February 10, 1936 Rocket research begins at the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology (GALCIT). The project will eventually lead to Jet Assisted Take-Off (JATO).

February 17, 1936 Aviation pioneer and inventor Hiram Maxim dies at age 66.

February 19, 1936 Billy Mitchell dies in New York at age 58.

March 4, 1936 The LZ 129 Hindenburg, the world's largest airship, flies for the first time.

March 5, 1936 The Supermarine Spitfire prototype flies for the first time.

March 10, 1936 The Fairey Battle, a total failure of a light bomber, makes its first flight.

March 17, 1936 The Armstrong Whitworth Whitley, which will become one of the RAF's three main bombers in the early days of World War II (the others: Wellington, Hampden), flies for the first time.

April 1936 A rocket engine is flight tested in a modified Heinkel He 112.

April 1936 Rocket scientist Wernher von Braun moves into a new center at Peenemünde, Germany.

April 1936 The Fieseler Storch, a true short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft, flies for the first time.

April 4, 1936 The Yorktown, the first American aircraft carrier designed for that task, is launched.

April 15, 1936 Hans Pabst von Ohain begins work on his jet engine at Heinkel.

May 5, 1936 Italian forces conquer Ethiopia.

May 6-14, 1936 The Hindenburg flies from Friedrich­shafen, Germany, to Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 61 hours, 50 minutes. The return flight takes 49 hours, 3 minutes.

May 12, 1936 The Messerschmitt Bf 110 prototype flies.

May 19, 1936 The Consolidated XPBY-1 prototype flies for the first time.

May 22, 1936 The Herrick Vertiplane, a combination aircraft/autogiro, is tested.

June 6, 1936 The first production of 100 octane gasoline is initiated.

June 7, 1936 Ira Eaker completes the first transcontinental blind flight.

June 15, 1936 The Vickers Wellington, which uses Barnes Wallis' geodetic construction, flies for the first time.

June 15, 1936 The Westland Lysander makes its first flight.

June 25, 1936 The bomber version of the Bristol 142, the Blenheim, flies for the first time.

June 26, 1936 The Focke-Wulf Fw 61 twin-rotor helicopter makes its first flight.

July 18, 1936 The first battle of the Spanish Civil War takes place.

July 20, 1936 German Ju 52/3m transports airlift Nationalist troops from Spanish Morocco to Spain. It is the first large-scale airlift in the world.

July 23, 1936 The Short Canopus, the first of the four-engine Empire flying boats, makes its first flight.

­August 7, 1936 The first six Heinkel He 51 fighters arrive in Spain in packing crates marked "furniture."