Golden Age of Flight Timeline

The Douglas Aircraft Company was boosted into the big time with the successful round-the-world flight of its Douglas World Cruisers in 1924. See more ­flight pictures.
Peter M. Bowers Collection

February 21, 1924 The first airmail in Alaska is flown by Carl Eielson in a DH-4H.

April 6, 1924 Four Douglas World Cruisers depart Seattle to attempt the first round-the-world flight.


Flight Pictures

April 16-May 19, 1924 Stanley Goble and Ivor McIntyre circumnavigate Australia in 90 hours.

May 1924 The Fokker C V makes its first flight.

May 19, 1924 Lieutenant John Macready sets a new American altitude record in a LePere LUSAC-11 at 35,239 feet.

June 23, 1924 Lieutenant Russell Maughan completes a "Dawn to Dusk" flight in a Curtiss PW-8. He makes five stops en route and covers 2,670 miles in 21 hours, 48 minutes, and 30 seconds.

June 23, 1924 The first Focke-Wulf, the A 16 four-passenger monoplane, flies.

July 1, 1924 TAT, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania railroad, begins transcontinental travel--air by day, train by night.

August 1924 The Savoia-Marchetti S.55 flies for the first time.

August 24, 1924 The dirigible ZR-3 is completed in Germany for war reparations. Delivery to the United States is scheduled for October.

September 28, 1924 Two Douglas World Cruisers land in Seattle to complete the first flight around the world.

October 15, 1924 The LZ 126, from Friedrichshafen, Germany, arrives in the United States after an 81-hour flight. It becomes the the USS Los Angeles (ZR-3).

December 15, 1924 A Sperry Messenger successfully makes an aerial hookup onto the trapeze of the U.S. Army Airship TC-3.

December 25, 1924 Mrs. Calvin Coolidge christens the USS Los Angeles (ZR-3).

1925 The French Potez 25, a general-purpose biplane, makes its first flight.

January 3, 1925 The Fairey Fox flies for the first time, revolutionizing RAF thinking on engines and aircraft.

January 24-25, 1925 Scientists in 25 aircraft fly above the clouds to view a total eclipse of the sun. The new USS Los Angeles (ZR-3) carries Naval Observatory scientists.

February 2, 1925 President Calvin Coolidge signs the Kelly Bill, authorizing contract air transportation of airmail.

February 22, 1925 The de Havilland D.H.60 Moth flies for the first time.

March 12, 1925 The Fokker F VII flies for the first time.

April 8, 1925 The first night carrier landings are made on the USS Langley.

April 13, 1925 Henry Ford starts an airplane freight line to operate between Detroit and Chicago.

July 7, 1925 The first Boeing 40A flies, establishing Boeing in the airmail business.

August 31-September 10, 1925 Commander John Rogers attempts to fly from San Francisco to Hawaii in a PN-9 patrol plane. Forced down at sea, he travels 450 miles by sail for ten days until he is picked up.

September 3, 1925 The USS Shenandoah is torn apart by a line squall when ordered to fly into a stormy area by official flight orders.

September 4, 1925 The tri-motor Fokker F VIIa/3m flies. It will become important all over the world.

October 12, 1925 Lieutenant Cy Bettis, in an Army Curtiss R3C-1 landplane racer, wins the Pulitzer Trophy race. He sets two unofficial speed records.

October 27, 1925 Lieutenant Jimmy Doolittle sets an official world speed record for seaplanes in a Curtiss R3C-2 at 242.166 miles per hour.

November 24, 1925 The prototype ANT-4 (Tupelov TB-1) bomber flies.

December 17, 1925 Billy Mitchell is found guilty by court martial of discrediting the U.S. Army.

January 6, 1926 Deutsche Lufthansa is formed.

­January 22-February 10, 1926 Commandante Ramón Franco makes the first east-west crossing of the South Atlantic in a Dornier Wal.