August 19, 1929 In skies above the Detroit area, a one-of-a-kind airship manufactured for the U.S. Navy made its first flight. The ZMC-2 was created by the Detroit-based Aircraft Development Corporation and is the only successfully operated all-metal airship ever built. (ZMC stood for “Zeppelin Metal Clad.”) While nicknamed the “Tin Bubble,” the teardrop-shaped ZMC-2 --... Continue Reading →

July 13, 1919 The first two-way air crossing of the Atlantic Ocean was completed by Major George Herbert Scott of the British Royal Air Force. The aircraft used for this crossing was the military airship R34, which had been built by the British engineering conglomerate William Beardmore and Company. On July 2, Scott -- along... Continue Reading →

June 15, 1928 The first successful aircraft-to-train transfer of mail took place in southwestern Illinois. This pioneering handover from a U.S. Army airship (also known at the time as a dirigible) to an Illinois Central Railroad (IC) train specifically occurred in the vicinity of the city of Belleville. That experiment in mail delivery was a... Continue Reading →

May 12, 1926 The Italian-built airship Norge successfully completed the first verified flight over the North Pole. This aircraft was also the first to fly over the ice cap between Europe and North America. Polar explorer Roald Amundsen of Norway was the leader of this airborne expedition. The other members of the expedition included Italian aviator... Continue Reading →

October 18, 1910 The efforts of journalist and adventurer Walter Wellman to pilot the first transatlantic flight ended when he had to halt the ambitious trip about 450 miles (643.7 kilometers) east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. With his dirigible America unable to travel any further across the Atlantic Ocean due to both mechanical failures... Continue Reading →

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