1910 - For ten days, the world's first international Air Meet is held at Dominguez Field. The first powered flight in the west occurs at this event.
1911 - Calbraith "Cal" Perry Rodgers makes the first transcontinental airplane flight and first transcontinental air mail delivery from New York to Pasadena from September 17 to November 5 aboard his Wright Model EX aircraft Vin Fiz (named for a soft drink). He makes 70 stops and experiences a number of mechanical difficulties and crash landings along the way, spending 82 hours and 4 minutes in the air. He finally lands in Pasadena before a crowd of 20,000 people to greet him. On December 10, despite a delay due to a crash landing in Compton a month before, he completes his final leg by landing in Long Beach and taxing his plane into the Pacific Ocean. A crowd of 50,000 were on hand to witness the event.
1913 - On June 21, over Los Angeles, Georgia "Tiny" Broadwick becomes the first women to parachute from an airplane.
1923 - Construction begins on the Grand Central Airport in Glendale. It offers the first paved runway west of the Rocky Mountains.
1924 - The first airplane to ever fly around the world is built in Santa Monica. It is a Douglas World Cruiser named New Orleans.
1928 - The Grand Central Air Terminal opens in at Glendale's Grand Central Airport. It provides the first air passenger service in the region.
1929 - A U.S. Army Air Corps Atlantic-Fokker C-2A named Question Mark, piloted by future Air Force Chief of Staff Carl A. Spaatz, takes off from Metropolitan Airport in Van Nuys, on January 1, 1929, to set a world flight endurance record of 150 hours, 40 minutes, 14 seconds. He circles over Southern California while being refueled 42 times (9 times at night), and lands on January 7.
Goodyear begins operating the first of its blimps, Volunteer, over the Los Angeles area.
Charles Lindbergh takes off from Grand Central Airport in Glendale to inaugurate the first air passenger service between Southern California and the East Coast.
1930 - Laura Ingalls lands in Glendale to become the first woman to fly solo across the United States.
Mines Field opens (future Los Angeles International Airport - LAX) and is named Los Angeles Municipal Airport.
1932- On August 24, Amelia Earhart Putnam takes off from Los Angeles to make the first solo nonstop transcontinental flight across the United States by a woman. Her flight ends in Newark, New Jersey.
1933 - Two pilots, New Jersey surgeon Albert Forsythe and Charles Anderson, land at Grand Central Airport, becoming the first African Americans to complete a transcontinental flight. The historic journey leads to the creation of a famed World War II corps of black aviators.
1935 - On April 19-20, by invitation of the Mexican government, Amelia Earhart Putnam takes off from Los Angeles to become the first person to fly solo from Los Angeles to Mexico City.
The first DC-3 is rolled out on December 17 by the Douglas Aircraft Company. Many DC-3s are still flying today.
1946 - Commercial airline service begins at Los Angeles Airport (Mines Field), the future Los Angeles International Airport.
1958 - The first TV news helicopter is introduced in Los Angeles by KTLA Channel 5 on July 4. It is known as the "Telecopter."
1959 - Passenger jet service (via Boeing 707-123 Astrojet) is inaugurated on January 25 by American Airlines from Los Angeles International Airport to New York. The crew consisted of Captain Lou Szabo, Flight Engineer Bill Duncan, Flight Engineer Norman Rice, Stewardesses Claire Bullock, Edna Garrett, Argie Hoskins and Marilyn Rutkowski. Airline president Cyrus Rowlett Smith was also a passenger aboard. 25,000 spectators showed up to see the flight off.
Note: Special thanks to Rick Reaser for contributing information regarding the 1929 world flight endurance record.