This Month in Buoyant Flight History – June

June 1

          1863     Solomon Andrews flew his airship Aereon made the first of three flights over Perth Amboy, New Jersey. This was the first dirigible airship in history. The airship consisted of three cigar-shaped bags (80 feet [24.4 m] long, 13 feet [4 m] in diameter) which were bound together forming an inclined plane. By moving back and forth in the car below the bags, Andrews was able to make the airship rise and fall, allowing it to move forward, even with a head wind. A rudder provided steering capability. Click here for a lithograph depicting the Aereon.

June 2

          1957      USAF Colonel Joe Kittinger (a Captain, at the time) set an altitude record of 96,760 ft. (29,500 meters) in a 2,000,000 cu. ft (56,600 m3) zero pressure balloon. Click here for a description of the flight. Click here for other accomplishments by Colonel Kittinger.

June 3

          1925     The Goodyear Pilgrim makes its first flight. The Pilgrim was the first of the Goodyear commercially licensed blimp. It made its first flights inflated with hydrogen. Click here to read more about the Pilgrim.

June 4

          1783     In Annonay, France the Montgolfier brothers demonstrate their new invention: the hot air balloon. Click here to read more about the Montgolfier balloons. Click here to see a series of images about the Montgolfiers and their balloons.

June 5

          1909     The first National Balloon Race was launched at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first event held at the famous “Brickyard”, before any car races were held there. Click here to read more about the event.

June 8

          1942     Navy airships L-2 and G-1 collide over the Atlantic during a night flight light, conducting visual and photographic observations of an experimental nature. Twelve people were killed in the crash, including five civilian scientists. Click here to read an article published by the Port Arthur News on June 9, 1942.

June 9

          1861     First American military use of LTA. James Allen of the Rhode Island 1st Regiment made the United States Army’s first captive (tethered) balloon ascent. Click here to read an excerpt of the history of the U. S. Army Air Arm.

June 14

          1897     Doctor Karl Wölfert’s airship “Deutschland” catches fire and crashes in Berlin. Click here to read more about Dr. Wölfert and his airship.

June 23

          1921     First flight of ZR-2 (British built R-38) in England. Click here to read about the R-38/ZR-2.

June 30

          1932     The USS Los Angeles is decommissioned at Lakehurst after 8 years of service, 331 flights and 4398 hours of flight. Click here for a brief history of the USS Los Angeles. Click here to see a photo gallery of the airship.