On This Day in Aviation History AUGUST 4 th

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1755 - Birth of Nicolas-Jacques Conté, French painter, balloonist, army officer, and inventor of the modern pencil.

1807 - Andre-Jacques Garnerin in Paris, France makes the 1st night ascent in a balloon.

1840 - A hot air balloon, took to the air for the 1st time in Canada when the "Star of the East", piloted by American aeronaut Louis Anselm Lauriat, rose into the sky over Saint John, New Brunswick.

1877 - Birth of Roger Sommer, French early aviator and aircraft designer.

1878 - Birth of Charles de Nié Port (Nieuport), French aircraft designer and pilot, co-founder with his brother Edouard of the eponymous Nieuport aircraft manufacturing company, Société Anonyme Des Établissements Nieuport

1890 - Birth of Henri Albert Péronneau, French WWI flying ace who also served in WWII. -

1891 - Birth of William Joseph Baynes Nel, South African WWI flying ace

1893 - Birth of Alfons Nagler, German WWI flying ace -

1898 - Birth of Victor Emmanuel Groom, British WWI flying ace, WWII and post WWII high ranking officer. -

1908 - Count von Zeppelin takes the L-Z4 attempting a 24-hour flight from Lake Constance, down the Rhine to Basel, then to Strasbourg and Mainz and back to Stuttgart, a total non-stop distance of 435 miles. But it landed near Echterdingen after 12 hours to repair an engine

1921 - Birth of Geoffrey Wellum, British WWII fighter pilot, one of the youngest pilot of the Battle of Britain, test pilot on the Hawker Typhoon, based at Gloster Aircraft.

1924 - A RAF Vickers Vulture amphibious bi-plane with Archibald Stuart MacLaren, William Noble Plenderleith and W.H. Andrews, makes a forced sea landing ending their round-the-world flight attempt from Calshot, UK.

1924 - Birth of Vladimir Nikolayevich Benderov, Tupolev test pilot

1924 - 1st flight of the Blériot Bl-105, French 4 engine biplane transport prototype, derivative of the SPAD S-45.

1929 - 1st FAI International Tourist Plane Contest (Challenge 1929) conceived by the Aéro-Club de France starts in Paris. 55 aircraft from six countries: Germany (24 crews), Italy (12 crews), France (9 crews), United Kingdom (5 crews), Czechoslovakia (3 crews) and the Swiss (2 crews), entered the Challenge.

1934 - 1st flight of the Latécoère 296, French single engine torpedo bomber floatplane prototype, evolution of the Laté 294.

1935 - French Marcel Cogno is killed in his Farman F-1001, Pressurized prototype, when the cabin depressurized suddenly at 10400m.

1939 - 1st flight of The Renard R-38, Belgian all-metal fighter prototype single seat aircraft.

1943 - German submarine U-489 is sunk by a Canadian Sunderland flying boat of 420 Squadron, RCAF southeast of Iceland. The Sunderland was shot down, five of the eleven man crew were killed.

1943 - Death of Augustus Henry Orlebar, British WWI pilot, test pilot and air Racer. -

1943 - Birth of Michael James McCulley, USN officer, NASA astronaut, and 1st submariner in space.

1944 - Beginning of Operation Aphrodite. Old B-17 and PB4Y are used as precision-guided munitions against bunkers and V1 sites, but the project was dangerous, expensive and unsuccessful.

1944 - Death of Klaus Riedel, German rocket pioneer who joined Wernher von Braun for the V2 project.

1954 - 1st flight of The English Electric Lightning P1A, British supersonic jet fighter aircraft, noted for its great speed and unpainted natural metal exterior finish, only all-British Mach 2 fighter aircraft.RAF pilots described it as "being saddled to a skyrocket"

1955 - Birth of Andrew Michael "Andy" Allen, USMC pilot and NASA Astronaut.

1955 - Birth of Charles Donald "Sam" Gemar, US Army pilot and NASA Astronaut.

1960 - The X-15A sets an Unofficial world speed record of 3533 kph at 23809 m.

1971 - British pilot Sheila Scott completes the 1st flight by a light plane from equator to equator via the North Pole. Flying in a Piper Aztec D, she covers 34,000 miles (54,718 km)

1971 - 1st flight of the DC.01 'Rapace', French Light single seat racer monoplane.

1971 - 1st flight of the Agusta Westland AW109, Anglo-Italian light-weight, twin-engine, eight-seat multi-purpose helicopter.

1992 - Death of William Mayes Fry, British WWI flying ace who also served in WWII. -

1995 - The Grob Strato 2C, German experimental high altitude research aircraft, set a world altitude record for manned piston-engined aircraft of 18,552 m (60,897 ft) on its last flight.

1997 - 1st flight of the Aero L 159 ALCA (Advanced Light Combat Aircraft), Czech-built multi-role combat aircraft in a two seat version.

1998 - Death of Yury Petrovich Artyukhin, Soviet Air Force Pilot and Cosmonaut

2007 - Launch of Phoenix, American robotic spacecraft for a space exploration mission on Mars.

2009 - Bangkok Airways Flight 266, operated by an ATR-72 between Krabi and Koh Samui skidded off the runway, killing one of the pilots. The 68 passengers were evacuated.