Aviation News

March 28, 2012

March 28th in Aviation History: Aerial Steam Carriage Earns First Patent for a Propeller-Driven Aircraft

Patent drawing of the Aerial Steam Carriage soaring over the Thames River, circa 1843.
Patent drawing of the Aerial Steam Carriage soaring over the Thames River, circa 1843. Despite several attempts, the design never actually made it off the ground.
2003 – Two US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolts mistakenly attack British tanks in during the invasion of Iraq. The friendly fire incident kills soldier Matty Hull and injures five others.

1981 – Air France operates its final Sud Aviation Caravelle service on a flight from Amsterdam to Paris.

1980 – The 1,000th Learjet is delivered.

1961 – Air Afrique is founded through a joint venture involving Air France, Union Aéromaritime de Transport (UAT) and nine west African nations: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Mauritania, Niger, the Republic of the Congo and Senegal.

1948 – B-29 Superfortresses undergo the first aerial refueling tests.

1933 – A fire breaks out on an Imperial Airways Armstrong Whitworth Argosy II biplane, causing it to crash near Diksmuide, Belgium, killing all 15 people onboard. It is believed, but never confirmed, that one of the passengers set the fire, which would make it the first air disaster caused by sabotage.

1910 – History’s first seaplane flight is completed as Henri Fabre takes his Fabre Hydravion for a 1,500 ft hop at an altitude of 7 feet across La Mede Harbor in Martigues, France. The Hydravion would be destroyed in a crash a year later, but Fabre would later help Glenn Curtiss and Gabriel Voisin adapt his ideas for their own seaplanes.

1843 – The first detailed design for a propeller-driven aircraft — William Samuel Henson’s Aerial Steam Carriage — is granted a patent in London. Several attempts were made to fly scale models of the design over the following few years, none of which would be successful.