On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 5th

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1879 - Birth of Clyde Vernon Cessna, American aircraft designer, aviator, and founder of the Cessna Aircraft Corporation.

1883 - Birth of Mathieu Marie Joseph Antoine Tenant de la Tour, French Aviation pioneer and WWI flying ace. -

1895 - Birth of Henry Garnet Forrest, Australian WWI flying ace -

1895 - Birth of John Finlay Noel MacRae, Canadian WWI flying ace

1896 - Birth of Russell Fern McRae, Canadian WWI flying ace.

1909 - 1st manned glider flight in Australia in a glider is made by George Augustine Taylor, in one of his own design, 1st person in Australia to fly in a heavier-than-air craft.

1909 - 1st Australian woman to fly a heavier-than-air craft is Florence Mary Taylor (born Parsons), in a glider built by her Husband.

1917 - Death of Thomas Vicars "Sticky" Hunter, British WWI flying ace, killed in a flying accident just after his squadron had shifted from the Western Front to Italy. -

1918 - Birth of Walker Melville "Bud" Mahurin, American WWII and Korean war fighter ace, (only USAF pilot to score in both the European and Pacific Theaters and the Korean War). -

1919 - Avianca is founded as the Sociedad Colombo-Alemana de Transporte Aéreo (SCADTA) in Barranquilla. -

1921 - Birth of Satoru Anabuki, One of the top scoring Japanese WWII fighter ace, who served the JNADF post war. -

1921 - Birth of John Douglas Derry, British test pilot and 1st Briton to exceed the speed of sound.

1921 - West Australian Airways opens the 1st scheduled regular airline service in the country with a Bristol Tourer. (crashing 130 km north of Geraldton)

1931 - Death of Lowell R. Bayles, American air racer, killed in the crash of his Gee Bee Model Z during an attempt at the landplane speed record.

1935 - World's 1st trans-Antarctic flight : Lincoln Ellsworth and Herbert Hollick-Kenyon made a forced landing with the Northrop Gamma 2B 'Polar Star' (Two-seat version with tandem controls of the single-engine all-metal monoplane cargo aircraft) from Dundee Island bound for Richard E. Byrd's base camp at Little America, after traveling over 2,400 miles (3,865 km) when the aircraft ran out of fuel just 25 miles (40 km) short of the goal.

1941 - 1st flight of The Kawanishi E15K Shiun, Japanese single-engined Japanese reconnaissance floatplane.

1942 - Canadian Vickers prototype of the Consolidated Canso was test flown at St Hubert Quebec, by ECW Dobbin and crew.

1943 – USAAF begins attacking Germany's secret weapons ski sites bases during Operation Crossbow.

1945 – 5 TBM Avenger torpedo bombers on Flight 19, routine navigation and combat training exercise, are lost in the Bermuda Triangle.

1946 - 1st flight of The Lavochkin La-152 (USAF reporting name - Type 4), Soviet jet fighter prototype.

1947 - Birth of Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa, 1st Mongolian cosmonaut and 2nd Asian in space.

1949 - Birth of Bruce Edward Melnick, US Coast guard pilot and NASA astronaut.

1954 - 1st flight of the Sud Aviation (SNCASO) S.O. 4050-03 Vautour IIB, French Two-seat bomber prototype jet aircraft. -

1955 - Death of Glenn Luther Martin, American aviation pioneer, founder of Glenn L. Martin Company and later Lockheed Martin,

1957 - Death of Ernest Arthur Deighton, British WWI fighter ace who also served in WWII. -

1961 – A U. S. Navy McDonnell F4 H-1 Phantom II sets a sustained altitude record of 66,443.8 feet (20,252.1 m).

1963 - Robert A. Rushworth flew the X-15A-1 to Mach 6.06 over Edwards AFB, California.

1965 - Death of Yasuhiko Kuroe, Japanese Second Sino-Japanese War and WWII fighter ace, high ranking officer postwar. -

1969 - Death of Claude (Claudius) Honoré Desiré Dornier, German airplane builder and founder of Dornier GmbH.

1973 - Death of Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt, Scottish Electrical Engineer considered by many to be the "inventor of radar".

1973 - Death of John "Jack" Michael Conroy, American WWII Bomber pilot, who developed the Pregnant Guppy, Super Guppy, and Mini Guppy cargo planes for Aero Spacelines, and later founded Conroy Aircraft and Specialized Aircraft.

1975 - Death of Edward Meeker Haight, American WWI flying ace, Airliner pilot who returned on duty in WWII. -

1981 - Jerry Mullen considerably extends the closed circuit distance record in Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) class C1d for piston-engined aircraft, flying 16,104 kilometres (10,007 miles) in 73 hours 2 minutes in an aircraft named 'Phoenix'.

1982 - Death of Heinrich Hertel, German aeronautical engineer.

1997 - STS-87, Space Shuttle Columbia mission, is back on earth.

2000 - Launch of EROS A1, Israeli commercial Earth Resources Observation Satellite.

2001 - Launch of STS-108, space Shuttle Endeavour mission to the ISS

2002 - Death of Ann Courtenay Welch (Born Edmonds), British aviatrix who received the Gold Air Medal from Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) for her contributions to the development of four air sports - gliding, hang gliding, paragliding and microlight flying.

2002 - Launch of TDRS-10 (TDRS-J), American communications satellite operated by NASA as part of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.