Aviation News 1916




Aviation News Stories By Year    


Naval Appropriations Act of 1916

MARCH 3--The Naval Appropriations Act of 1916 added enlisted men and student aviators to those eligible for increased pay and allowances while on duty involving flying; increased the amount previously provided for qualified aviators; and in addition, provided for the payment of one year's pay to the next of kin of officers and men killed in aircraft accidents. The same act also raised the limits on personnel assigned to aviation to a yearly average of not more than 48 officers and 96 men of the Navy and 12 officers and 24 men of the Marine Corps.

Military Sets New Standards For Aeronautic Force Of  The Naval Militia

MARCH 25--Qualifications for officers and enlisted men in the Aeronautic Force of the Naval Militia were defined by General Order which, in each instance, were over and above those prescribed for the same ranks and ratings of the regular Militia. These extras, cumulative for ranks in ascending order, required ensigns to have knowledge of navigation (except nautical astronomy) and scouting problems, practical and theoretical knowledge of aeroplanes and motors, and ability to fly at least one type of aircraft. Lieutenants (junior grade) were in addition to have some knowledge of nautical astronomy, principles of aeroplane design, and to qualify for a Navy pilot certificate. Additional requirements for lieutenants called for a greater knowledge of nautical astronomy and ability to fly at least two types of naval aircraft, while lieutenant commanders, the highest rank provided for the Force, were also to have knowledge of Navy business methods used in aeronautics. Aviation mechanics were to have knowledge of aircraft maintenance and aviation machinists were to have similar knowledge of motors.

Aviators To Be Properly Suited By The Military

JULY 18--Flight clothing allowances were established by the Secretary. Aviators were to be furnished helmets, goggles, and safety jackets. Enlisted men whose duties involved flying were to receive, in addition, wool head cover, suit, gauntlets, and boots.

Negotiation for the first aircraft production contract began

AUGUST 10--Negotiation for the first aircraft production contract began with a telegram to Glenn Curtiss requesting him to "call at the Bureau (Construction and Repair) Monday with a proposition to supply at the earliest date practicable thirty school hydro aeroplanes." Specified characteristics included: two seats, loading of about four pounds per square foot, and power loading of about twenty pounds per horsepower. The telegram concluded "Speed, climb and details of construction to be proposed by you. Rate of delivery is important and must be guaranteed." This telegram resulted in a contract for thirty N-9 which were delivered between November 1916 and February 1917. The aircraft became the Navy's most popular training aircraft during World War I.

Guided Missile Demonstration

SEPTEMBER 12--A demonstration of guided missile equipment--a piloted hydroaeroplane equipped with automatic stabilization and direction gear developed by the Sperry Company and P. C. Hewitt--was witnessed by Lieutenant T. S. Wilkinson of the Bureau of Ordnance at Amityville, Long Island. Wilkinson reported: "The automatic control of the aeroplane is adequate and excellent. The machine left the water without difficulty, climbed to its desired height, maintained this altitude until the end of the run, when it dived sharply, and, unless controlled by the aviator, would have dived to the earth."

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