On This Day in Aviation History APRIL 15 th

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1875 - Death of Théodore Sivel and Joseph Crocé-Spinelli, french balloonists, while with Gaston Tissandier they were trying to set a new altitude record.

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th%C3%A9odore_Sivel - http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Croce-Spinelli - http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z%C3%A9nith_(ballon)

1877 - 1st flight of an early helicopter powered by a steam engine developped by Enrico Fornalini. It was the 1st of its type that rose to a height of 13 meters, where it remained for some 20 seconds, after a vertical take-off from a park in Milan


1888 - Birth of Hermann Köhl, German Aviation pioneer and pilot of the 1st trans-atlantic flight in the East-West direction.


1891 - Birth of Geoffrey Herbert Hooper, Australian WWI flying ace who served in the RAF until Mid WWII

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_H._Hooper - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/australi/hooper.php

1892 – Birth of Theo Osterkamp, WWI and WWII German fighter pilot, one of only a few men to score victories in both World Wars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_Osterkamp - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/germany/osterkamp.php - http://www.luftwaffe.cz/osterkamp.html

1892 - Birth of Squadron Commander Christopher Draper, English flying ace of WWI. and flew also in WWII. His penchant for flying under bridges earned him the nickname "the Mad Major."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Draper - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/draper.php

1892 - Foundation of General Electric.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Electric - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_General_Electric

1893 - Birth of Merrill Samuel Taylor, Canadian WWI fighter ace.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrill_Samuel_Taylor - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/canada/taylor4.php

1893 - Birth of Harry Lutz Symons, Canadian WWI flying ace


1896 - Birth of Gerhard Fieseler,German WWI flying ace, aerobatics champion, aircraft designer and manufacturer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerhard_Fieseler - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/germany/fieseler.php

1898 - Birth of Arthur Gordon Jarvis, British WWI flying ace


1900 - The spectacular Paris International Exhibition opens. Clement Ader's Avion III is one of the exhibits.


1902 - Birth of Samuel Kurtz Hoffman, American engineer who specialised in rocket propulsion,developed the F-1 engines that would power the Saturn V rocket, and later worked on the Space Shuttle Main Engine.


1909 - 1st airport and flight school in Italy opens at Centocelle Field, Rome, Italy. On this occasion, Wilbur Wright make a 10-minute flight in which he reaches an altitude of 98 feet.


1913 - 1st flight of the d'Artois 'Hydroaéroplane', French seaplane biplane racer prototype, which unfortunately crashed in strong wind on take off killing its designer, François Louis Gaudart, French aviation pioneer.

http://www.aviafrance.com/aviafrance1.php?ID=9882 - http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Gaudart

1916 - RFC and RNAS aircraft deliver 13 tons of stores into Kut el Amara, Mesopotamia, while it was besieged by the Turks. This was the 1st time aircraft had been used for such a purpose.


1918 - 1st flight of the Martin MB-1, American large biplane bomber designed and built by the Glenn L. Martin Company for the United States Army Air Service. It was the first purpose-built bomber produced by the United States.


1921 - Birth of Georgy Timofeyevich Beregovoy , Soviet cosmonaut who commanded the space mission Soyuz 3 in 1968. At the time of his flight, Beregovoy was 47 years of age: he was the oldest human to go into space (by date of birth, not by age during flight), three months and three days older than the second earliest-born astronaut, American John Glenn.


1923 - 1st flight of the SPAD S-72, French single seat biplane fighter trainer monoplane prototype, issued from the SPAD S-VII.

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bl%C3%A9riot-SPAD_S.71#Bl.C3.A9riot-SPAD_S.72 - http://www.aviafrance.com/aviafrance1.php?ID=120

1925 - Ukvozdukhput (or Ukrainian Airways) begins service.


1925 - The U.S. Navy begins a program of daily flights to an altitude of 10,000 ft. from the Anacostia Naval Air Station in Washington, DC. The main purpose of these flights is to obtain weather data and to test upper-air sounding equipment that collects information that could be used to forecast weather.


1926 - Robertson Aircraft started Contract Air Mail service over route CAM-2 from Lambert Field to Chicago, with stops in Springfield, Illinois and Peoria, Illinois; Charles Lindbergh was employed as chief pilot for the service.


1928 - Take off of the Airship Italia, semi-rigid airship used by Italian engineer Umberto Nobile in his 2nd series of flights around the North Pole.


1928 - Sir (George) Hubert Wilkins and his pilot Carl Ben Eielson starts a trans-Arctic crossing from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Spitsbergen flying a Lockeed Vega.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubert_Wilkins - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Ben_Eielson


1931 - Reinhold Tiling, German engineer, pilot and a rocket pioneer, demonstrated a post office rocket, which carried 188 postcards reliably


1933 - 1st flight of The FMA AeT.1, Argentinian low-wing cantilever monoplane of conventional design, with fixed tailwheel undercarriage airliner. These aircraft provided Argentina's 1st scheduled airline services with Aero-Argentina, flying between Córdoba and Buenos Aires. It was also used to make a long-distance flight to Ushuaia, bringing the 1st mail to that town after a flight of 6,500 km (4,000 mi). Air France director Colin Jeannel flew as a passenger on that flight.


1934 - During Factory tests, The prototype Tupolev MTB-1 (MDR-4 / ANT-27), Russian Naval long-range reconnaissance heavy bomber 3 engine flying boat, Crashed on take off.


1935 - 1st flight of the Dewoitine D-503 (modification of the D- 511 prototype),all-metal, open-cockpit, fixed-undercarriage monoplane fighter aircraft, used by the French Air Force . The aircraft was briefly the personal mount of René Fonck.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewoitine_D.500 - http://www.aviafrance.com/aviafrance1.php?ID=310

1935 - 1st flight of the Douglas TBD Devastator, torpedo bomber of the US Navy and Navy’s 1st all-metal monoplane.


1936 - Death of Enea Silvio Recagno , Italian pilot. Major of Regia Aeronautica, participated at the Atlantic cruise of Italo Balbo, crashing on take off in his tourism aircraft after an engine failure.


1936 - Aer Lingus, flag carrier of Ireland, is founded.


1937 - 1st flight of the SFCA Lignel 20, French single seat racer prototype.


1938 - Death of Yonesuke Fukuyama, Japanese russo-japanese war flying ace, from wounds sustained in action in his Kawasaki KI-10.

http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/japan_fukuyama.htm - http://www.cieldegloire.com/010_fukuyama_y.php

1941 - The Belfast Blitz was an event that occurred on the night of Easter Tuesday, during WWII. Two hundred bombers of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) attacked the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland


1941 - CAMCO (Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company) signs an agreement with the Chinese government to equip and administer the American Volunteer Group in China (popularly known as the Flying Tigers).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Aviation/Historical_anniversaries/April_in_aviation - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Volunteer_Group#1st_AVG_.28Flying_Tigers.29

1941 - Igor Sikorsky makes an officially recorded flight of 65 minutes 14 seconds during a demonstration of his VS300 helicopter at Sratford in Connecticut.


1943 - Operation Flax is put into effect, the systematic targeting by Allied fighter pilots of Luftwaffe transport aircraft bound for North Africa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Aviation/Historical_anniversaries/April_in_aviation - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Flax

1943 - Birth of Hugh Clowers Thompson, US Army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, most well known for his role in stopping the My Lai Massacre.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Thompson,_Jr. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre#Helicopter_intervention

1945 - Death of Shoichi Sugita, Japanese WWII fighter ace, killed in his Kawanishi N1K 'George' while taking off to intercept Grumman F6F Hellcats attacking his airfield.


1945 - An Avro Lancaster on a night mission against Potsdam becomes the last British bomber shot down by a German night fighter during WWII.


1946 - Death of Charles William Anderson Scott, British aviator.


1947 - Trans Canada Airlines inaugurated Transatlantic Service between Dorval and Preswick with the North Star. Flight was 8 hrs, 39 mins.


1947 - BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) opens its 1st regular service to Canada; it is a weekly flight by a Constellation from London to Montreal.


1948 - Pan Am Flight 1-10 Lockheed L-1049C-55-81 Super Constellation crashed 725 meters (2,379 ft) short of runway 23 on its second approach at Shannon, Ireland, killing 30 over 31.


1951 - Birth of John Lynch Phillips, NASA astronaut.


1951 - Birth of Marsha Sue Ivins, former American astronaut and a veteran of 5 space shuttle missions.


1952 – 1st flight of the B-52 Stratofortress, long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber.


1955 - A Convair CV340, flown by Lufthansa on its Hamburg to London flight, becomes the 1st German operated civil airliner to land in the UK after the war.


1956 - Birth of Gregory Jordan Harbaugh, former NASA Astronaut.


1958 - 1st flight of the Breguet Br 905 'Fauvette', French single seat, standard class, competition sailplane featuring a V tail.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br%C3%A9guet_Br_905_Fauvette - http://www.aviafrance.com/aviafrance1.php?ID=6861

1959 - Birth of Uli Dembinski, German aerobatic pilot, who realised a record of 333 loopings with his Yak-55


1960 - Birth of Mikhail Borisovich Korniyenko, Russian cosmonaut.


1960 - Launch of Discoverer 11, USAF photographic surveillance satellite designed to assess how rapidly the Soviet Union was producing long-range bombers and ballistic missiles, and where they were being deployed.


1961 - 1st production version of the Lockheed P-3 Orion, American four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft , designated P3V-1, is launched.


1965 - Birth of Soichi Noguchi, Japanese aeronautical engineer and a JAXA astronaut


1965 - 1st flight of the Aérospatiale SA 330A Puma, four-bladed, twin-engined medium transport/utility helicopter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A%C3%A9rospatiale_SA_330_Puma - http://www.aviafrance.com/aviafrance1.php?ID=6057

1969 – A United States Navy Lockheed EC-121M Warning Star on a reconnaissance mission was shot down by North Korean MiG-17 aircraft over the Sea of Japan. The plane crashed 90 nautical miles (167 km) off the North Korean coast and all 31 Americans on board were killed.


1973 - Death of Harry M. Jones, early american aviator who flew the 1st air parcel post flight from Boston to New York.


1975 - Death of Marjorie Stinson, American Pionneer of aviation and 1st women US Postal pilot. Her brother Edward “Eddie” Stinson built the Stinson Aircraft Company.


1979 - 1st flight of the Dassault Mirage 50, French Single-seat multi-role fighter-bomber, ground-attack aircraft, evolution of the Mirage 5.

http://www.dassault-aviation.com/fr/passion/avions/dassault-militaires/mirage-50.html - http://www.aviafrance.com/aviafrance1.php?ID=3979

1981 - Death of John Smith "Jimmy" Thach, WWII naval aviator, air combat tactician, and United States Navy admiral. Thach developed the Thach Weave, a combat flight formation that could counter enemy fighters of superior performance, and later the big blue blanket, an aerial defense against Kamikaze attacks.


1985 - Thai Airways Boeing 737-2P5 hit high ground on approach at Pukhet in darkness and was destroyed by the impact and subsequent fire. The crash killed all 4 passengers and 7 crew members.


1986 - Death of Sergei Nikolajewitsch Anochin, Soviet Test pilot.


1986 - Launch of Operation El Dorado Canyon, comprised the joint United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps air-strikes against Libya. The attack was carried out in response to the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing.


1988 - 1st flight of The Tupolev Tu-155, a modified Tu-154 (CCCP-85035) soviet three-engine medium-range narrow-body airliner, used as an alternative fuel testbed, 1st experimental aircraft in the world operating on liquid hydrogen.


1992 - 1st flight of the AH-64D Apache 'Longbow' prototype, twin-engine attack helicopter with tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement, and tandem cockpit for a crew of two.


1999 - Launch of Landsat 7, American satellite designed to refresh the global archive of satellite photos, providing up-to-date and cloud-free images.


2002 – An Air China Boeing 767-200ER, flight CA129 crashes into a hillside during heavy rain and fog near Busan, South Korea, killing 128.


2005 - Launch of Soyuz TMA-6, Russian Soyuz mission to the ISS.


2008 - Hewa Bora Airways Flight 122 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 crashed into a residential and market area of Goma (Democratic Republic of the Congo) due to Engine failure at takeoff.


2009 - The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency cancels the operating license of airline Elbrus-Avia.


2010 – Volcanic ash from the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland leads to the closure of airspace over most of Europe.


2011 - Launch of USA 229 (NROL-34), pair of American signals intelligence satellites.