On This Day in Aviation History APRIL 17 th

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1884 - Birth of Vasily Kamensky, Russian Futurist poet, playwright, and artist as well as one of the 1st Russian aviators.


1890 - Birth of Victor S. Chapman, French-American WWI pilot, 1st American pilot to die in WWI.


1891 - Birth of John Henry Tudhope, South African WWI flying ace.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Henry_Tudhope - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/canada/tudhope1.php

1893 - Birth of Carl Brown Squier, WWI aviation pioneer and vice president of Lockheed Corporation.


1897 - Birth of Herbert Hollick-Kenyon, British aviator who made significant contributions towards aviation in Antarctica.


1897 - Birth of Harold Day, Welsh WWI flying ace.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Day_(aviator) - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/wales/day1.php

1897 - In Aurora, Texas, a cigar-shaped mystery airship is said to have hit a windmill on the property of a Judge J.S. Proctor. The pilot (who was reported to be "not of this world", and a "Martian" according to a purported Army officer from nearby Fort Worth) did not survive the crash, and was buried "with Christian rites" at the nearby Aurora Cemetery.


1898 - Birth of Johannes Jensen, German WWI flying ace


1913 - Gustav Hamel lands after a non-stop flight of 4 hours and 18 minutes from Dover, England, to Cologne, Germany in a Blériot XI.


1914 - Birth of Albert John ‘Ajax’ Baumler, American flying ace during the Spanish Civil War and WWII, 1st American pilot credited with destroying aircraft of all three Axis Powers. Ground Controlled Approach (GCA) operator during the Korean war, it is said that he identified some of the Russian pilots as his former wingmen in Spain from the way some Migs were manoeuvering. He used to refer to them, laughingly, as 'My Boys'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Baumler - http://www.cieldegloire.com/014_baumler_a_j.php - http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/us_baumler.htm

1915 - Birth of Joseph Jacob "Joe" Foss, leading fighter ace of the USMC during WWII.


1915 - Birth of David Arthur Burchinal, American test pilot, WWII bomber pilot and high ranking officer


1918 - Death of Rudolf Matthaei, German WWI flying ace, Killed in a flying accident.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Matthaei - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/germany/matthaei.php

1920 - The Venezuelan Air Force is formed, with a flying school at Maracay


1920 - Birth of Mario Squarcina, Italian Aviator, WWII fighter pilot, leader of the 'Diavoli Rossi' (red devils) Italian military aerobatic team, he created later the 'Frecce Tricolori'.


1920 - Death of Walter Alfred Southey, British WWI fighter ace

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Southey - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/southey.php

1921 - Birth of Costantino Petrosellini,WWII italian Pilot. He was also the 1st italian to break the sound barrier.


1923 - The De Bothezat helicopter lifted the pilot and 4 people hanging on to the framework.


1924 - 1st flight of the Adaridi AD 3, Finnish high wing wooden aircraft prototype with a low-powered engine designed by the Russian engineer Boris Adaridin.


1925 - Sgt. Randall L. Bose and Pvt. Arthur Bergo make a delayed parachute jump of 1,500 ft. to demonstrate that falling persons remain conscious.


1926 - 1st flight of The Blackburn T.5 Ripon, British carrier-based torpedo bomber and reconnaissance biplane.


1926 - Western Air Express starts its service between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City with a Douglas M-2, American single-seat mail plane.


1934 - 1st flight of The de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide 'Dominie', British short-haul passenger airliner.


1934 - 1st Flight of The Fairey Swordfish ('stringbag'), Biplane torpedo bomber , with a metal frame covered in fabric, and utilizing folding wings as a space-saving feature for aircraft carrier use. Notably known for the sinking of one and damaging two battleships of the Regia Marina (the Italian Navy) in the Battle of Taranto and the famous crippling of the Bismarck


1935 - A Pan Am Sikorsky S-42 flying boat lands in Hawaii, completing the 1st airline flight from the continental US to Hawaii.


1941 - During dive tests to determine why wrinkles are appearing on the surface plates of the wings, Lt. Manbeye Shimokawa, squadron leader at Yokosuka Naval Air Corps, is killed in Mitsubishi A6M Model 21, number 135, equipped with balance tabs, when, during pull-out at 1,500 meters from dive from 4,000 meters, parts are seen by ground observers to depart from the port wing, fighter drops nose, plunges into ten fathoms of water off Natsu Island.


1941 - Sikorsky fitted utility floats (also called pontoons) to the VS-300 and performed a water landing and takeoff, making it the 1st practical amphibious helicopter


1942 - Death of Shigeru Yano, Japanese WWII flying ace, killed in action


1942 – 12 Lancaster bombers – six each from No. 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron and No. 97 Squadron – carry out the longest low-level penetration thus far in WWII and the 1st daylight raid by the Lancaster in an attack on a submarine diesel engine factory at Augsburg, Germany.


1944 - F/O TC Cooke and crew in a Consolidated Canso A of No. 162 RCAF Squadron sank the German submarine U-342, southwest of Iceland.


1944 - 2nd production Lockheed Constellation C-69, piloted by Howard Hughes and TWA president Jack Frye, flew from Burbank, California, to Washington, D.C., in 6 hours and 57 minutes (c. 2,300 mi/3,701 km at an average 330.9 mph/532.5 km/h).


1948 - 1st Flight of the Tupolev TU-73, Russian Twin jet naval bomber.


1949 - The 1st Fairey FB-1 Gyrodyne, British experimental British rotorcraft that used single lifting rotor and a tractor propeller mounted on the tip of the starboard stub wing to provide both propulsion and anti-torque reaction, is destroed in a crash, killing the pilot, Foster H. Dixon and observer, Derek Garraway.

http://www.aviastar.org/helicopters_eng/fairey_gyrodyne.php - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairey_FB-1_Gyrodyne#Testing_and_evaluation

1950 - Death of Jerry Cox Vasconcells, American WWI flying ace and commercial pilot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Vasconcells - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/usa/vasconcells.php

1956 - The Nord 1405 Gerfaut II, 3rd delta-wing experimental research aircraft of SFECMAS (later Nord-Aviation) makes its 1st flight.

http://www.aviastar.org/air/france/nord_gerfaut.php - http://www.aviafrance.com/aviafrance1.php?ID=7200

1957 - 1st flight of The Nord Aviation 3202, French military cantilever low-wing monoplane with a fixed tailwheel landing gear and a nose-mounted inline piston engine trainer aircraft with an enclosed cockpit in tandem.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nord_3202 - http://www.aviafrance.com/aviafrance1.php?ID=9670

1958 - 1st flight of The LIPNUR Belalang (grasshopper), Indonesian military trainer aircraft, essentially a Piper Cub converted to give it a low wing.


1959 - Death of Auguste Joseph Marie Lahoulle, French WWI flying ace, WWII French Air force high ranking officer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auguste_Lahoulle - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/france/lahoulle.php

1961 - Bay of Pigs Invasion starts, The Houston (freighter ship chartered by the CIA from the Garcia Line) is severly damaged by FAR B-26 and T-33s and is intentionally beached it on the western side of the bay. 2 other ships are sunk.


1962 - 1st flight of the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8, supersonic jet fighter developed from and to replace MiG-21 (originally named MiG-23).Due to unsolved technical problems the aircraft's development was abandoned.


1963 - Death of Yoshitoshi Tokugawa, Japanese military aviation pioneer.


1964 - Birth of Andrei Ivanovich Borisenko, Russian cosmonaut.


1964 - Geraldine "Jerrie" Fredritz Mock, arrives in Columbus, Ohio in a Cessna 180, completing a solo round-the-world flight and becoming the 1st woman to make such a journey.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerrie_Mock - http://www.soloflights.org/mock_text_e.html

1967 - Launch of Surveyor 3, NASA unmanned spacecraft sent to explore the surface of the Moon.


1969 - 1st flight (glide) of The Martin Marietta X-24A, experimental US aircraft developed from a joint USAF-NASA program named PILOT (1963–1975). It was designed and built to test lifting body concepts, experimenting with the concept of unpowered reentry and landing, later used by the Space Shuttle.


1970 - After an oxygen tank exploded, severely damaging the spacecraft's electrical system, Apollo 13 Crew returns safely to Earth. NASA called the mission a "successful failure"


1973 - 1st Flight of The PZL-106 Kruk (Raven),Polish agricultural aircraft.


1973 - FedEx Express, American cargo airline, starts overnight operations with 14 Dassault Falcon 20s connecting 25 cities in the United States


1986 - Death of Marcel Dassault, born Marcel Ferdinand Bloch , French aircraft industrialist.


1988 - Death of Pietro Magni, Italian aeronautical engineer. He was heavily involved with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).


1993 - STS-56, NASA Space Shuttle Discovery for special experiments is back on earth


1998 - Launch of STS-90, Space Shuttle Columbia mission.


2002 - Death of Tsutomu Iwai, Japanese sino-japanese war and WWII flying ace.


2006 - Death of Squadron Leader William Arthur 'Bill' Waterton, Canadian test pilot and correspondent for the Daily Express. He was awarded the George Medal for saving the flight data when he landed at great risk the prototype Gloster Javelin after it lost its controls during a test flight


2006 - Hooters Air, American airline, Cease operations.


2007 - Go!, Hawaian airline, begin operations.


2009 - Mimika Air Flight 514 Pilatus PC-6 crashed on Mount Gergaji in Papua, killing all 10 on board.


2012 – Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, accompanied by a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) T-38 Talon chase plane, carries the retired Space Shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, to Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, where Discovery is slated to replace the Space Shuttle Enterprise on display at the Smithsonian Institution's nearby Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a part of the National Air and Space Museum. The delivery flight includes low-level passes over the Cape Canaveral area as well as flybys at an altitude of 1,500 feet (457 meters) over Washington, D.C.-area landmarks