On This Day in Aviation History APRIL 20 th

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1879 - Birth of Waldemar Geest, early german Aircraft designer.


1891 - Birth of Charles Humphrey Kingsman, British naval aviator during WWI and a senior commander in the RAF during WWII. He made the 1st ever aerial torpedo attack on a ship.


1896 – Birth of Wilfrid Reid "Wop" May, Canadian aviator. WWI flying ace and pioneering aviator who created the role of the bush pilot while working the Canadian west

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wop_May - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/canada/may.php

1899 - Birth of William Edward George "Pedro" Mann, British WWI flying ace, one of the 1st to fly an inverted formation at Hendon. He also served in WWII and helped to develop mobile radar and signals units that served as models for the entire RAF.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Mann_(RAF_officer) - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/mann.php

1899 - Birth of Alan Arnett McLeod, Canadian WWI pilot, recipient of the Victoria Cross


1901 - Birth of Adolph Busemann, German aerospace engineer and influential early pioneer in aerodynamics, specialising in supersonic airflows who introduced the concept of swept wings.


1904 - Birth of Vance Breese, American aviation engineer, manufacturer and test pilot.


1912 - 1st Hendon flying display takes place.


1914 - Charles Howard Pixton wins the Schneider Trophy at Monaco. Pixton averages 139.66 km/h (86.78 mph) over the course in a Sopwith Schneider


1914 - John Henry Towers led the 1st naval aviation unit called into action with the Fleet. He and two other pilots, 12 enlisted men and three aircraft sailed from Pensacola aboard the cruiser Birmingham in response to the Tampico Affair.


1916 - The 'Escadrille Américaine', later to be known as 'Lafayette Escadrille', American volunteer unit in France, equipped with Nieuport 11s, is deployed in Luxeuil-les-Bains, France.


1917 - Death of Stewart Dillon, WWI Pilot


1918 – Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shot down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manfred_von_Richthofen - http://theaerodrome.com/aces/germany/richthofen2.php

1918 - Death of Richard Raymond-Barker, British WWI flying ace, killed in action in his Sopwith Camel (79th victim of The Red Baron)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Raymond-Barker - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/raymond-barker.php

1919 – Birth of Richard Hope Hillary, Australian WWII flying ace and author.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Hillary - http://www.cieldegloire.com/002_raaf_hillary_r_h.php

1920 - The 1st civilian aircraft to be registered in Canada was (G-CAAA Curtiss JN-4) registered in Sask. to Aerial Service Company of Regina.


1922 - Birth of Air Marshal Sir Richard (Dickie) Gordon Wakeford KCB OBE LVO AFC, officer in the Royal Air Force for 36 years, from 1941 to 1977. Beginning as a pilot of flying boats with Coastal Command, he became a flying instructor, and commanded the Queen's Flight.


1927 - 1st flight of the SPAD S-70, French twin seat biplane fighter prototype, evolution of the SPAD S-60


1930 - Colonel and Mrs. Charles A. Lindbergh set a new transcontinental speed record of 14 hours and 45 minutes over a distance of 2,500 miles from Los Angeles to New York City in a Lockheed 8 Sirius.


1931 - The Northrop Alpha , American single-engine, all-metal, seven-seat, low-wing monoplane fast mail/passenger transport aircraft, entered service with Transcontinental & Western Air (future TWA) making its inaugural flight. The trip from San Francisco to New York required 13 stops and took just over 23 hours.


1933 - Death of William Newton "Bill" Lancaster, pioneering British aviator. On an attempt to beat the hotly-contested England to South Africa speed record, He had crash-landed his Avro Avian 'Southern Cross Minor' 8 days before in the Algerian desert far north of his expected flight path. His final message, written on a fuel card on the morning , was "So the beginning of the eighth day has dawned. It is still cool. I have no water. I am waiting patiently. Come soon please. Fever wracked me last night. Hope you get my full log. Bill"


1935 - Commercial air service to Hawaii is inaugurated with the arrival of Pan American Airways Clipper ship Pioneer Clipper at Pearl Harbor.


1936 - Vladimir Konstantinovich Kokkinaki performed the Nesterov Loop for the 1st time with a twin-engine aircraft, a TsKB-26 (prototype of the Ilyushin Il-4)


1938 - 1st flight of The Tachikawa Ki-36 (named Ida in Allied reporting code) , Japanese army-cooperation aircraft of WWII. It was a two-seat, low-wing monoplane with a single piston-engine and a fixed, tailwheel-type undercarriage.


1938 - British Air Commodore Arthur Travers Harris makes a purchasing trip to the United States to select aircraft to expand the Royal Air Force. The Lockheed Hudson and North American Harvard are chosen.


1939 - 1st flight of the Latécoère 522 'Ville de Saint-Pierre', evolution of the 521, 6 engine high wing monoplane flying boat Used by Air France on North Atlantic. One built.


1941 - Death of Loris Pivetti, Pilot for the Special air service of Italy, Disappearing with his Savoia-Marchetti S.M.82 on a flight back from Benghazi.


1941 - Death of Marmaduke Thomas St. John "Pat" Pattle, South African WWII fighter ace, Killed in His Hurricane I by a Me-110 during a prestige mission over Athens to bolster morale for the Greeks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marmaduke_Pattle - http://www.cieldegloire.com/017_pattle_m_t_st_j.php

1942 - Operation Calendar : 46 Supermarine Spitfires are flown to Malta from the deck of the United States Navy (USN) carrier USS Wasp, together with the pilots of No.601 and No.603 Squadrons RAF.


1942 - 1st demonstration of Sikorsky XR-4 to military officials; it is declared ready for delivery.


1944 – Death of Elmer Gedeon, one of two Major League Baseball fatal casualties during WWII.Gedeon's B-26 was hit by flak below the cockpit just after bombing.


1945 - The USAAF’s 8th Emergency Rescue Squadron arrives in Kunming, China with 5 YR-6As.


1945 - The 1st production F.1 Vampire, TG274 built by English Electric makes his 1st flight with a square cut tail fin and other modifications to establish the best fin and rudder configuration. (Add by Gooneybird)


1945 - Birth of Gregory Hammond "Greg" Olsen , American entrepreneur, engineer and scientist, 3rd private citizen to make a self-funded trip to the ISS with the company Space Adventures.


1949 - A Short Sunderland flies medical personnel and supplies to HMS Amethyst, shelled by Chinese Communist forces on the Yangtze River.


1949 - Birth of Giovanni Ballestra, Italian Air Force pilot.


1949 - Death of Robert Lewis Coffey Jr., American WWII flying ace and Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, USAF reserve pilot, killed on a training flight in the crash of his F-80A Shooting Star probably dur to an engine failure on take off from Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.


1955 - Birth of Donald Roy Pettit, American chemical engineer and a NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station and the 1st NASA astronaut to return to earth in a Russian spacecraft..


1956 - 1st flight of SNCASE SE-212 Durandal, French jet and rocket mixed-power fighter aircraft.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sud-Est_S.E.212_Durandal - http://www.aviafrance.com/aviafrance1.php?ID=5691

1958 - Death of Juan Antonio Ansaldo Vejarano, Spanish aviator and monarchist activist and conspirator.


1959 – Aeroflot puts the 84 to 110-seater Ilyushin IL-18, its 1st turboprop, into service from Moscow to Alma Ata, Kazakhstan, and Adler, now Sochi, on the Black Sea.


1959 - 1st hover for the Curtiss Wright X-100,(prototype for a new, vertical take-off transport aircraft) to verify control power and feel.


1961 - 1st flight of the Morane-Saulnier MS-885 'Super Rallye', French low wing 4 seat tourer.


1964 - 1st flight of The Lockheed L-100 Hercules, civilian variant of the prolific american C-130 military transport aircraft.


1967 - A Bristol Britannia of Globe Air crashes near Nicosia Airport due to bad weather, (Cyprus), Killing 126 over 130.


1967 - Surveyor 3, NASA unmanned spacecraft lands on the surface of the Moon.


1968 - Death of Paul Constant Homo, French WWI flying ace

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Homo - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/france/homo.php

1968 - South African Airways Flight 228 crashed soon after take-off after a scheduled stopover in Windhoek, South West Africa (present day Namibia)


1969 - Birth of Felix Baumgartner, Austrian skydiver and Base jumper, 1st person to skydive across the English Channel using a specially made fibre wing.


1972 – Apollo 16 landed on the moon commanded by John Young.


1977 - 1st Flight of the T-10S, revised version of the Sukhoi Su-27 to reflect Soviet awareness of the F-15's specifications


1978 – Korean Air Flight 902 Boeing 707 is shot down by Soviet, after it violated Soviet airspace and allegedly failed to respond to Soviet interceptors. Tapes released by Rovaniemi Area Control Centre show that the pilots of KAL902 transmitted their call sign three times immediately prior to the shootdownTwo passengers were killed when Soviet aircraft opened fire on the aircraft. 107 passengers and crew survived after the plane made an emergency landing on a frozen lake.


1979 - 1st flight of the 16th and last Concorde built.


1981 - After Extensive redesigns, and a heavily revised version, the T-10S, made its 1st flight.


1983 - Launch of Soyuz T-8, Soviet manned mission to the Salyut 7 space station.


1989 - Death of Doru Davidovici, Romanian aviator and writer, during landing procedures in the crash of his MiG-21UM during a training flight.


1994 - STS-59, Space Shuttle Endeavour mission, is back on earth.


1996 - MSAT-1, short for Mobile Satellite, satellite-based mobile telephony service developed by the National Research Council of Canada, is launched from Kourou, French Guiana aboard Ariane 42P


1998 - Boeing 727 Air France Flight 422 crashed into the mountains east of Bogotá because of foggy weather and low visibility after taking off.


2001 - Death of Minoru Suzuki, Japanese WWII flying ace


2003 - LAPA (Líneas Aéreas Privadas Argentinas) ceases operations.


2004 - Launch of Gravity Probe B (GP-B), NASA satellite-based mission to measure spacetime curvature near Earth.


2008 – In an effort to raise money for a spiritual rest stop for truckers in Paranagua, Brazil, and to break the existing 19-hour record for a flight suspended by helium balloons, Brazilian priest Adelir Antonio de Carli lifts off from Paranagua for a flight inland to Dourados, over 725 km (450 mi) to the northwest, suspended under 1,000 brightly colored party balloons. Rising to as high as 20,000 feet (6,096 m), he is swept backward out over the Atlantic Ocean and disappears about eight hours after takeoff. Some of his balloons are found floating intact in the sea two days later, and his body will be found floating in the Atlantic 700 km (435 mi) northeast of Paranagua near Maricá, Brazil, on 4 July.


2009 - Launch of SICRAL 1B, 2nd Italian Military communications satellite.


2009 - Launch of RISAT-2 (Radar Imaging Satellite ),Indian radar reconnaissance satellite, and ANUSAT, Indian student research microsatellite.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RISAT-2 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANUSAT

2010 - AF-2, the seventh Lockheed Martin F-35 flight test aircraft, flew for the 1st time. The aircraft’s main test role was for validating the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant’s weapons suite. Piloted by F-35 test pilot Jeff Knowles.


2010 - STS-31, NASA Space Shuttle Discovery mission to the International Space Station (ISS), is back on earth.


2010 - After five years of development and ground testing, the B-1 Lancer bomber radar replacement program successfully completed its 1st test flight.


2011 - Launch of X-sat (Indian microsatellite for Earth observation and imaging for environmental application), Resourcesat-2 (Indian Satellite to provide data with enhanced multispectral and spatial coverage) and YouthSat (Russian-Indian scientific-educational artificial satellite).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Sat - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resourcesat-2 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youthsat

2012 - Bhoja Air Flight 213 Boeing 737-236 crashed in bad weather during its approach to Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad, on the inaugural flight of Bhoja Air's second daily service on this route, killing all 127.