Explore our past: 1910 - 1919

Imperial Airways De Havilland DH50 in 1919.
1919
31 January The Air Ministry issued its first aviation meteorological report – the forecast for 1 February. It was, in part, “low clouds, poor visibility and snow showers are likely to continue today over the British Isles. Cross-country flying will be dangerous on these accounts"
12 February The Department of Civil Aviation was formed at the Air Ministry. Winston Churchill MP was appointed Secretary of State for Air.
14 - 15 June The first direct crossing of the North Atlantic by air took place, flown by Captain John Alcock DFC and Lt A Whitten Brown. They flew a Vickers Vimy from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland in 15hrs 57mins. Both men were later knighted.
21 June The Secretary of State for Air appointed the Standing Advisory Committee on Civil Aviation under the chairmanship of Lord Weir to “advise and report on the best method of organising Imperial Air Routes.”
25 August The world’s first scheduled international service took place when single-engined De Havilland DH4A G-EAJC (Pilot: Lt E H “Bill” Lawford) of Air Transport and Travel flew from Hounslow Heath, Middlesex to Paris carrying one passenger, a consignment of leather, several brace of grouse and some jars of Devonshire cream.
2 September Handley Page Transport Ltd started flights from London Cricklewood to Paris Le Bourget with Handley Page converted twin-engined World War I bombers. The pilot of the first service was Lt-Col W Sholto Douglas, later a chairman of BEA.
30 October The Advisory Committee on Civil Aviation recommended the establishment of certain main trunk routes connecting Canada, Newfoundland, South Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand to the UK by air. Also that “the proper place for initial action” is the route to India thence to Australia “to be followed by a service to South Africa and that the development of these Imperial routes should be by private enterprise backed by State assistance.”
10 November Transport and Travel carried the first international air mail – to Paris. The first flight was by DH4A G-EAHF and an Air Mail pennant was attached to its rudder.