On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 2nd

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1888 - Birth of Alexander MacDonald Shook, Canadian WWI flying ace -

1898 - Birth of Indra Lal Roy, 1st Indian WWI flying ace -

1917 - Death of Harry George Ernest Luchford, British WWI fighter ace, killed in action in his Bristol Fighter. -

1919 - 1st flight of the Handley Page W.8 (HP 18), British twin engined medium-range biplane airliner, 1st of the W family (2 or 3 engine) airliners.

1936 - 1st flight of the Boeing YB-17, Evolution of the Model 299, 1st deployed version of the Flying Fortress.

1937 - 1st flight of The Brewster F2A Buffalo, American fighter aircraft, US Navy's 1st monoplane fighter aircraft and one of the 1st US WWII monoplanes with an arrestor hook and other modifications for aircraft carriers.

1939 – New York City's La Guardia Airport opens.

1943 - Death of Toshio Matsuura, Japanese WWII fighter ace, killed in action.

1943 - 1st flight of the Mikoyan/Gurevich I-221, Soviet single engine turbocharged high-altitude fighter prototype, Evolution of the I-220 Prototype.

1943 - Death of Hector Omdurman MacDonald, South african WWI flying ace, killed in a crash near Takoradi, Ghana, while serving as an armaments officer in the South African Air Force.

1943 – 105 German Junkers Ju 88 bombers of Luftflotte 2 bombs the harbour of Bari, Italy, sinkink numerous cargo and transport ships, including an American Liberty ship, the John Harvey, with a stockpile of WWI-era mustard gas.

1945 - 1st flight of the Handley Page HP 81 Hermes, British low-wing civilian airliner monoplane powered by four piston engines.

1945 - 1st flight of The Bristol Type 170 Freighter, British twin-engine freighter and airliner, best known as an air ferry to carry cars and their passengers over relatively short distances.

1948 - 1st flight of The Beechcraft T-34 Mentor, American propeller-driven, single-engined, military trainer aircraft derived from the Beechcraft Model 35 Bonanza.

1952 - 1st flight of The Short SB5 (serial WG768), "highly unorthodox, adjustable wing" British research aircraft .

1960 - Korabl-Sputnik 3 (or Vostok-1K No.3, also known as Sputnik 6), Soviet spacecraft carrying two dogs; Pcholka and Mushka ("little bee" and "little fly"; affectionate diminutives of "pchela" and "mukha", respectively), a television camera and scientific instruments, reentered the atmosphere at a steep angle, and disintegrated. Both Pcholka and Mushka were killed. -

1963 - Death of George Howard Brett, Early USAAF pilot and WWII high ranking officer

1965 - 1st nuclear-powered ship to engage combat is the USS Enterprise CVN-65, launching aircraft against the Viet Cong near Bien Hoa.

1965 - Death of Hugh Latimer Dryden, American aeronautical scientist and civil servant.

1968 - Wien Consolidated Airlines Flight 55 Fairchild F-27B suffered a structural failure after encountering "severe-to-extreme" air turbulence and crashed into Pedro Bay, Alaska, killing all 39 on board

1971 - Mars 3, unmanned Soviet space probe becomes the 1st spacecraft to touch down on Mars.

1972 - Death of General Sir Hesperus Andrias 'Pierre' van Ryneveld, South African military commander, WWI Fighter ace, raid pilot and WWII high ranking officer.

1974 - Launch of Soyuz 16, manned Soviet test flight to test a docking ring and other systems to be used for the joint Soviet-US space flight Apollo-Soyuz.

1974 - Pioneer 11, NASA robotic space probe, reached closest approach to Jupiter, passing 42,828 kilometers (26,612 mi) above the cloud tops.[20] The probe obtained detailed images of the Great Red Spot, transmitted the 1st images of the immense polar regions, and determined the mass of Jupiter's moon Callisto.

1976 - 1st flight of the Westland Wisp, British remotely piloted observation helicopter powered by two Korba 2-stroke 2-cylinder piston engines -

1976 - 1st flight of The Boeing 747 SCA, American Airlines airliner which has been adapted to carry the US reusable space shuttle.

1977 - A Libyan Arab Airlines Tu-154 ran out of fuel in foggy weather near Benghazi and crashed, killing 59 over 165.

1979 - 1st flight of The Gulfstream III, American business jet produced by Gulfstream Aerospace, improved variant of the Grumman Gulfstream II.

1987 - Death of Donn Fulton Eisele, USAF test pilot and NASA Astronaut.

1988 - Launch of STS-27, NASA Space shuttle Atlantis mission with a classified payload for the U.S. Department of Defense.

1990 - Launch of Soyuz TM-11, russian space flight to the Mir Station with Toyohiro Akiyama, reporter/space tourist for a Japanese television network.

1990 - Launch of STS-35, NASA space shuttle Columbia mission devoted to astronomical observations with ASTRO-1, a Spacelab observatory consisting of four telescopes.

1991 - STS-44, Space Shuttle Atlantis for a U.S. Department of Defense space mission, is back on earth

1992 - Death of Dan Vizanti, Romanian WWII fighter ace. -

1992 - Launch of STS-53, Space Shuttle Discovery mission in support of the United States Department of Defense

1993 - Launch of STS-61, NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

1995 - Launch of The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), European space Agency spacecraft to study the Sun.

2011 - Death of Henry Lafont, French WWII fighter pilot, last surviving French veteran of the Battle of Britain, who stayed in the French Air Force until 1966 and was director of the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget. -

2012 - Launch of Pléiades-HR 1B via a Russian Soyuz STA rocket out of the Guiana Space Centre, Kourou, French Guiana, very-high-resolution optical Earth-imaging satellite, Designed as a dual civil/military system to meet the space imagery requirements of European defence as well as civil and commercial needs.