On This Day in Aviation History APRIL 26 th

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1877 - Birth of Sir Edwin Alliott Verdon Roe, pioneer English pilot and aircraft manufacturer, founder of the Avro company.


1894 – Birth of Rudolf Hess, WWI Pilot, Nazi official. During WWII, On the eve of war with the Soviet Union, he flew solo to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom.


1896 - Birth of Robert Henry Magnus Spencer Saundby, British WWI flying ace and WWII RAF high ranking officer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Saundby - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/saundby.php

1896 – Birth of Ernst Udet, German second-highest scoring WWI fighter ace, film actor, test pilot, aerobatic pilot and WWII Luftwaffe officer .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Udet - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/germany/udet.php

1899 - Birth of George Edgar Bruce Lawson, South african WWI flying ace.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lawson_(RAF_officer) - http://theaerodrome.com/aces/safrica/lawson.php

1911 - 1st straight hops of the Handley Page Type E, British two-seat, single-engined monoplane demonstrator conducted by Henry Petre at Fairlop in Essex.


1913 - Birth of Mario Visintini, 1st Regia Aeronautica WWII ace. He was the top scoring pilot of all belligerent air forces in Eastern Africa (Africa Orientale) and the top biplane fighter ace of World War 2


1916 - Birth of Kenneth Horatio Wallis, WWII bomber pilot, one of the leading exponents of autogyros who held 34 autogyro records and still held eight at the time of his death.


1917 - Death of René Doumer, French WWI flying ace, killed in action in his SPAD VII.


1917 - 1st company to incorporate the Boeing name, the Boeing Airplane Company, is formed.


1929 - Squadron Leader A G Jones-Williams and Flight Lieutenant N H Jenkins set a record of 50 hours 48 minutes (4,130 miles /6,646 km) landing at Karachi , India from RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire, with their Fairey Long-range Monoplane, 1st non-stop flight between Britain and India


1933 - 1st flight of the Potez 53, French racer to contest the Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe, low-wing cantilever monoplane of conventional design with an enclosed cockpit for the pilot.

http://www.aviafrance.com/aviafrance1.php?ID=923 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potez_53

1937 – Spanish Civil War: Guernica (or Gernika in Basque), Spain is bombed by German Luftwaffe. 4 Heinkel He.111 and 23 Junkers Ju 52 bombers of the German Condor Legion attack Guernica, Spain, 1st example of “carpet bombing” to demoralize a civilian population. Over three hours, the bombers drop 45,000 kg (99,207 lbs) of bombs, destroying 70% of the city and killing at least 1,000, and perhaps as many as a third (over 1,600 people) of its inhabitants. Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Heinkel He 51 fighters also strafe the town to kill any inhabitants they see.


1939 - Fritz Wendel flew the Messerschmitt Me 209 to a new world speed record of almost 756 km/h (469 mph) bearing the German civil registration "D-INJR".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Me_209 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Wendel

1942 - 1st flight of The North American XB-28 (NA-63), American twin engine high-altitude medium bomber prototype.


1943 - 3d prototype of Bell P-63 Kingcobra, the XP-63A, makes his 1st Flight.


1945 - Hanna Reitsch, flying a Fieseler Fi-156 Storch, flies General Ritter von Greim from Gatow into Berlin. In Hitler's underground bunker he is promoted to command the Luftwaffe in place of Hermann Göring.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanna_Reitsch#F.C3.BChrerbunker - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fieseler_Fi_156#During_WWII

1949 - Flying continuously in their Aeronca 15AC Sedan 'Sunkist Lady' light aircraft for 1,008 hours, and one minute (just over six weeks). Dick Reider and Bill Barris set a world endurance record for a flight-refueled aircraft in the U.S. Along the way, fuel and food were passed from vehicles on the ground to the pilots during low passes over airport runways.


1949 - 1st flight of the 2nd prototype McDonnell XF-88A Voodoo long-range, twin-engine jet fighter aircraft


1951 - 1st operational variant of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet, the B-47B makes his 1st Flight.


1951 - 1st flight of The Lockheed X-7 (dubbed the "Flying Stove Pipe"), American unmanned test bed for ramjet engines and missile guidance technology.


1954 - Death of Julien Anatole Guertiau, French WWI flying ace.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julien_Guertiau - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/france/guertiau.php

1962 - Launch of Ariel 1, (also known as UK-1 and S-55), 1st British satellite


1962 – NASA's Ranger 4 spacecraft crashes into the Moon.


1962 - 1st flight of the Lockheed A-12 ( American High-altitude reconnaissance aircraft) with Lockheed test pilot Louis Schalk at Groom Lake.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_A-12 - http://roadrunnersinternationale.com/schalk.html

1963 - 1st Flight of the FMA I.A. 50 Guarani II , Argentine twin-engined light transport utility aircraft.


1968 - KHR1 (experimental variant of the Kawasaki KH-4, Developed from the three-seat Bell 47G-3B) makes his 1st flight for testing a three-blade rigid rotor system.


1971 - Death of Charles Arthur Bissonette, American WWI flying ace


1971 - SR-71 61-7968 flown by Majors Thomas B. Estes and Dewain C. Vick flew over 15,000 miles in 10 hrs. 30 min. This flight was awarded the 1971 Mackay Trophy for the "most meritorious flight of the year" and the 1972 Harmon Trophy for "most outstanding international achievement in the art/science of aeronautics"


1972 - 1st Lockheed L-1011 TriStar was delivered to Eastern Air Lines.


1975 - Death of Alois Rodlauer, Austro Hungarian WWI flying ace who also served in the Luftwaffe during WWII

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alois_Rodlauer - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/austrhun/rodlauer.php

1975 - 1st production Model Bell Model 214A (c/n 27004) was taken in charge by the Iran Imperial Army Aviation (IIAA)


1977 - Birth of Samantha Cristoforetti, the 3rd woman astronaut in the European Space Agency, and the 1st Italian woman astronaut


1982 - CAAC Flight 3303 Hawker Siddeley HS-121 Trident 2E crashed into a mountain near the town of Yangshuo, China on approach to the airport in heavy rain, killing all 112.


1982 - Last ever attempt to utilize the Skyhook system: during the Flintlock 82 exercise, Sergeant First Class Clifford Strickland was picked up by an Lockheed MC-130 Combat Talon of the 7th Special Operations Squadron at CFB Lahr, Germany, using the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system. However, he fell to his death reportedly due to faulty equipment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Combined_Exchange_Training - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulton_surface-to-air_recovery_system

1983 - Death of Henry George "Hal" Crowe, Irish WWI flying ace, who served the RAF until the end of WWII.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Crowe - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/ireland/crowe2.php

1984 - Death of Arthur Stuart Draisey, British WWI flying ace (Observer/Gunner).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Draisey - http://theaerodrome.com/aces/england/draisey.php

1984 - USAF Lt. Gen. Robert M. Bond is killed in a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 that crashed at the Nevada Test Site. . Following this accident, officers of General rank were prohibited from test flying. The Air Force is also forced to admit that it is flying Soviet bloc aircrafts.

http://www.af.mil/information/bios/bio.asp?bioID=4734 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan-Gurevich_MiG-23#Notable_incidents_and_accidents

1985 - Death of David Sinton Ingalls, only US Navy Flying Ace of WWI, and 1st ace in U. S. Navy history, director of Pan Am World Airways and politician.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ingalls - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/usa/ingalls.php

1986 - 1st flight of the Piasecki PA-97 Helistat, American experimental heavy-lift aircraft fastening 4 obsolete helicopters to a framework beneath a helium blimp.


1987 - 1st Saab JAS 39 Gripen, lightweight single-engine multirole fighter, was rolled out, marking Saab's 50th anniversary


1990 - Death of William Alan Wright, British WWI flying ace

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wright_(aviator) - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/wright2.php

1993 - Indian Airlines Flight 491 Boeing 737 2A8 impacted heavily with a lorry on a highway at the end of runway. The left main landing gear, left engine bottom cowling and thrust reverser impacted the left side of the truck at a height of nearly seven feet from the level of the road. Thereafter the aircraft hit the high tension electric wires nearly 3 km North-East of the runway and hit the ground.


1993 - Launch of STS-55 (Space Transportation System 55), or D-2 , multinational Spacelab flight with Shuttle Columbia.


1994 – China Airlines flight 140 crashes at Nagoya Airport in Japan, killing 264 of the 271 people on board.


1995 - A Mikoyan MiG-29 sets a new FAI class C-1h world altitude record of 90,092 ft.


1995 - 1st reactivated SR-71A (#61-7971) makes its 1st flight after restoration by Lockheed.


1996 - 1st flight of The Yakovlev Yak-130 'Mitten', Russian subsonic two-seat advanced jet trainer/light attack aircraft or lead-in fighter trainer


2001 - Pilot Sean Loutitt lands in Chile after a daring two-day flight to the South Pole in a Twin Otter to rescue an ailing U.S. scientist. It was the 1st rescue of its kind in the harsh Antarctic winter.


2002 - 1st flight of The Extra EA-500, German six-seat single-engined high wing turboprop utility aircraft


2003 - Launch of Soyuz TMA-2 , Russian mission to the International Space Station (ISS).


2005 - Launch of Spaceway F1, American satellite, part of DirecTV’s constellation of direct broadcast satellites, heaviest commercial communications satellite (13,400-lb or 6,080-kg) ever put into orbit until iPSTAR-1.


2006 - The U.S. Army AH-64 Apache combat helicopter fleet had logged more than two million flight hours


2007 - 1st test flight for SOFIA, Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy , joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for the construction and maintenance of an airborne observatory, at the L-3 Integrated Systems' (L-3 IS) Waco, Texas facility


2014 - Death of William Franklin Ash, American-born British writer who served as a fighter pilot with the RCAF during WWII, real-life “cooler king” of Stalag Luft III, said to be one of several sources for the character Virgil Hilts, played by Steve McQueen in the film The Great Escape; his escape attempts became celebrated – over the wire, through it with cutters, through the gates in disguise as a Russian slave-labourer, and, especially, via tunnels. If he never succeeded, it was not for want of trying.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ash_(writer) - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10799031/William-Ash-obituary.html