The First Shot Fired from an Airplane G&A Staff July 22nd, 2016 | More From G&A Staff Share0 Tweet Email Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+ Lt. Jacob E. Fickel fired the first shot from an airplane on August 20, 1910, at Sheepshead Bay race track near New York City. With Mr. Glenn Curtis piloting, Lt. Fickel used a Springfield Model 1903 .30-’06 and effectively fired twice at a 3×5-foot target from an altitude of 100 feet to demonstrate that an airplane would not break up in flight due to the gun’s recoil. The next month, Lt. Fickel and Mr. Curtis repeated the experiment in Boston, Massachusetts, using a Colt Model 1911. Lt. Fickel demonstrated his aerial gunnery skills at an air show in the summer of 1911 at Nassau Boulevard airfield on Long Island competing against a team of Britons, Thomas Sopwith and Malcolm Campbell. Fickel handedly won the competition by placing six bullets through a dinner plate target while being flown in an aircraft 200 feet off the ground. These experiments led to the development of low-recoil machine guns, which were soon added to military airplanes. Lt. Fickel would continue serving through World War I and World War II and become a Major General in the U.S. Air Force before passing away in 1956. relatedClassics: 1903 Springfield RifleInitially, the 1903 Springfield was chambered in a new .30-03 caliber. The cartridge employed a rimless, necked-down cas... Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+ Share0 Tweet Email Load Comments ( ) Don’t forget to sign up! Get the Top Stories from Guns & Ammo Delivered to Your Inbox Every Week To sign-up for our newsletter, check this box and submit your email address below. If you sign-up, then you acknowledge that your email address is valid, and that you have read and accept our Terms of Service Even More Historical Show More Get the Guns & Ammo Newsletter FREE! Get the top stories delivered right to your inbox every week. To sign-up for our newsletter, check this box and submit your email address below. If you sign-up, then you acknowledge that your email address is valid, and that you have read and accept our Terms of Service 9 Awesomely Creative Ways to Kill ZombiesRead Now! Advertisement ▶ Now on Tablets! Subscribe & Save! Temporary Price Reduction! Subscribe Now Give a Gift | Subscriber Services LIKE WHAT YOU'RE READING? Get 12 issues for the low price of just $9! Subscribe!