LATVIAN AVIATION CHRONOLOGY - EVENTS PRIOR TO 1919


1866
- Born: Teodor Kalep, future aircraft manufacturer.

1880
July 22 - Born: Eduards Pulpe, future latvian pilot in the Russian Imperial Air Service.

1886
- Born: F.Zutte, future commander of the Aviation Division, at Sloka.

1887
- Born: Friedrich Zander, leading member of the First Student Society for Aeronautics and Flight Technology (Riga)

1888
- Born: Karlis Santins, future General Inspector of Aircraft for the IRAS.

1889
January 9 Born: Jezups Basko, aviation pioneer and future commander of the Aviation Regiment, near Daugavpils
January 20 Born: Alfreds Valleika, first commander of the Aviation Regiment
- Born: Karlis Skaubitis

1890
- Born: Peteris Abrams

1891
September 5 Born: Eduard Tomsons, pioneer of the Aviation Regiment

1893
May 10 Born: Rudolfs Drillis, future commander of the Aviation Park.

1894
- Born: Rudolfs Celms

1895
- Born: Roberts Eidemanis, future organizer of Soviet civil aviation.

1897
January 1 Born: Jekabs Alksnis
August 11 Born: Edvins Bitte, future aviator.

1901
February Born: Margeris Kenins, future aircraft designer.
April 6 Born: Oskars Dzervitis, future engineer.
September 14 Born: Nikolajs Pulins, future pilot and aircraft designer.

1903
May 5 Born: Pauls Reinhards, future pilot and aircraft designer.

1904
October 14 Born: Karlis Irbitis, future pilot, aircraft designer and builder.

1905
- Born: Herberts Runka, future aircraft builder, in Madona.

1906
October 8 Born: Imants Sleiters, future aircraft designer, in Jelgava.

1907
- Eduards Pulpe graduates from the Moscow University.

1908
March 6 Born - Georgs Novickis, future aircraft designer/builder.
May 7 Born - Haralds Melkus, future aviation engineer.
- Eduards Pulpe goes to Germany for advanced studies at the University of Heidelberg.
- The First Student Society for Aeronautics and Flight Technology (Riga) is formed.

1909
- Eduards Pulpe returns to Riga to teach mathematics at a High School in Dubulti.
- The First Student Society for Aeronautics and Flight Technology (Riga) builds a biplane hang glider with which they make 200+ flights in the vicinity of Riga.

1910
February - The First Transmission, Machinery and Foundry Factory (MOTOR) produces the first complete aircraft manufactured entirely by themselves alone.
March 7 - The first Russian air exhibition opens in Riga.
May 22 - A.Leitner brings a Hans Grade monoplane to Riga.
May 30 - Dr.Orla Anzen attempts a Wright biplane flight at the Riga Hippodrome, but after six attempts it is cancelled because the take-off run was too short.
July 6 - T.Meibaums flies the Grade monoplane for 56 seconds. This was the first powered aircraft flight in Riga and took place at the Solitude horseracing track at Zasulauks.
- Eduards Pulpe and his students at the Kenins private school design and build a powered aircraft. Pulpe later flew this a number of times at the beach near Riga.
- The Russo-Baltic Wagon Works (RBWZ) establishes an aeronautical division in Riga. Before it was transferred to St.Petersburg in 1913, they built 10 aircraft - seven Sommers, two Hackels and a Kudashov IV.

1911
March 5 - A.Kuzminski flies a Bleriot IX for 1 minute, 50 seconds (Solitude track, Zasulauks)
March 6 - V.Smit flies a Sommer biplane for 3 minutes, 44 seconds (Solitude track, Zasulauks)
March 8 - V.Smit flies a Sommer biplane for 1 minute, 55 seconds (Solitude track, Zasulauks)
March 10 - V.Smit flies a Sommer biplane for 9 minutes, 37 seconds (Solitude track, Zasulauks)
May - Janis Steglavs, originally from Jelgava, makes his first flight in his own designed and built "Biplane No.1" in St.Petersburg.
June 15 - The first public demonstration of an aircraft flight in Riga. Russian pilot Sergei Utochkin flew a Farman IV at the Riga Hippodrome.
- Janis Sumanis builds a successful hang glider.
- Alfreds Rozentals, still in high school, builds his own hang glider which he successfully flies at Mezaparks.
- P.Abrams, Karlis Vizins and Treibergs build a successful hang glider.

1912
- Karlis Skaubitis travels about Russia demonstrating flights in a hot air balloon.
- Born: Karlis Mikelsons, future test pilot
- Eduards Pulpe goes to Paris to study aeronautical engineering at the Sorbonne.

1913
April 30 Teodor Kaleps, aircraft manufacturer, dies.
April Vladimir & Lidija Sljusarenko establish a small aircraft construction and repair shop, along with a flying school, in Riga.
- December - Eduards Pulpe receives his pilot's license (#1571).
- MOTOR factory builds and tests a streamlined monoplane designed by a Russian, Viktor V. Dibovski.
- A.Rozentals builds a powered airplane. This aircraft was eventually repossessed by the bank.

1914
- After graduating from the Riga Polytechnical School, Friedrich Zander finds employment at the Provodniks rubber products factory in Riga.
- The RBWZ automobile division, still based in Riga, designs and builds the 160-hp RBWZ-6 engine for use in the Il'ya Mourmetz.

1915
April 25 Born: Arnolds Mencis, future latvian aviator.
c.April Eduards Pulpe, flying for the French, shoots down two german aircraft over Verdun.
c.JulyThe MOTOR factory is evacuated to Moscow (becoming the Gosaviazavod Nr.4 imeni Frunze, later the Zavod Nr.24
September 8 Alfreds Rozentals, flying for the IRAS, is shot down and killed.
December 15 Eduards Pulpe is awarded the Medaille Militaire.
- Provodniks rubber products factory moves from Riga to Moscow, and Zander moves with it.

1916
March 20 Pulpe shoots down one german aircraft and forces another to land. For this action he receives the Croix de Guerre avec Palmes.
April 15 Russian 12th fighter squadron bases itself in the field near the cement factory, and becomes the first aviation unit based at the future site of Spilve aerodrome.
July 21 Eduards Pulpe is shot down and killed by German Fokkers near Kovel.

1917
February 28 Olgerts Teteris is shot down and killed.
August Edvins Bitte graduates from flight school in Sevastopol.
October 5 Nikolajs Pulins, then a cavalry officer, is wounded in battle and then captured by the Germans.
- Jekabs Alksnis graduates from the Military Academy at Odessa.

1918
October 27 Edvins Bitte defects from the bolshevik air force joing the White Russian forces.
November 18 Latvia declares its independence.
November 25 Nikolajs Pulins is released from the German POW camp and returns to Riga.
December 3 Nikolajs Pulins volunteers for Latvian army.
December 23 The first meeting, in Riga, to lay the foundations for a latvian air force.
December The Bolshevik 1st Aviation Division moves into Spilve, and remains there until February 8, 1919.



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