First Aircraft Landing on Moving Ship
On August 2, 1917, Royal Naval Air Service officer E.H. Dunning became the first pilot to land on the deck of a moving ship. He performed the tricky maneuver by flying his Sopwith Pup alongside the HMS Furious as it steamed at high speed into the wind, then side-slipping inward to the deck. Furious joined the British Royal Navy as an aircraft carrier after being fitted with a primitive flight deck. While the converted ship solved the problem of launching fighter aircraft, recovery was still dangerous and costly, since planes launched from the flight deck were forced to land at sea, where they were often lost. Five days after his successful deck landing, Dunning drowned during another attempt when his aircraft developed mechanical problems and plunged overboard.