On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 7th

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1861 - Birth of John Edward Capper, senior officer of the British Army, instrumental in the development of the tank during WWI who also pioneered the development of airships in Britain.

1891 - Birth of George Walker Blaiklock, Canadian WWI flying ace (observer/gunner)

1896 - Birth of Ralph Ambrose O'Neill, American WWI flying ace, who setted up the functional Mexican Air Force and trained Mexican pilots before making a career in civil aviation, founder of the New York, Rio, and Buenos Aires Line. He flew the 1st airmail from Argentina to Miami in a Sikorsky S-38.'Neill -

1903 - The Langley Aerodrome crashes in the Potomac River just after his launch. Pulled out, it is immediatly repaired for a 2nd attempt the next day.

1910 - Birth of Clement Joseph 'Clem' Sohn, American airshow dare-devil who perfected a way of gliding through the air with a home-made wingsuit.

1920 - Birth of Walter "Nowi" Nowotny, Austrian-born German WWII fighter ace. -

1922 - An Airco DH.4 piloted by 1st Lt. Charles L. Webber with Col. Francis C. Marshall aboard for an inspection trip of cavalry posts and camps, takes off from Rockwell Field, San Diego, California but crashed into Cuyamaca Peak just a few miles east of San Diego in fog within 30 minutes of departure. One of the largest man-hunts in Air Service history is mounted but the wreckage were discovered 6 month later.

1928 - 1st flight of the Peyret-Mauboussin PM X, French single-seat high-wing tourer monoplane.

1928 - 1st flight of The de Havilland DH.75 Hawk Moth, British four-seat cabin monoplane.

1931 - Herbert John Louis 'Bert' Hinkler lands his de Havilland Puss Moth in London after flying solo from Canada via Central America and the South Atlantic.

1932 - 1st flight of the Avia 41P, French single seat competition glider

1936 - Death of Jean Mermoz, French raid aviator, disappearing with the Latécoère 300 Croix du Sud (Southern Cross) in the south atlantic. -

1940 - 1st flight of The Fairey Barracuda, British carrier-borne torpedo and dive bomber.

1941 - The Imperial Japanese Navy makes a devastatingly successful surprise attack on the US Navy fleet at Pearl Harbor. 6 aircraft carriers launched a total of nearly 400 warplanes which claimed 5 US battleships and 10 other vessels, and damaged 3 other battleships.

1941 - Death of Fusata Iida, Sino-Japanese and WWII Japanese flying ace, killed in A6M5 Zero during the attack of Pearl Harbor, Making a suicide attack on Kaneohe Naval Air Station as his plane was badly damaged.

1941 - 1st flight of The Nakajima A6M2-N 'Rufe', Japanese single-crew float seaplane based on the Mitsubishi A6M Zero Model II

1941 - Death of Gordon Metcalfe Duncan, Scottish WWI flying ace -

1942 - 1st flight of The Bell P-63 Kingcobra (Model 24), American Fighter, developed from the Bell P-39 Airacobra.

1948 - 1st flight of the Cierva W.11 Air Horse, British helicopter prototype, unusual for using three rotors mounted on outriggers, and driven by a single engine mounted inside the fuselage.

1962 - 1st flight of The Aérospatiale SA 321 Super Frelon, French three-engined heavy transport helicopter.

1964 - 1st flight of the SOCATA 'Rallye Commodore', Evolution of the Rallye family, re-engined version of the french single-engined, low-wing monoplane tourer, sports aircraft.

1966 - Launch of ATS-1, American communications satellite to test geostationary orbit techniques at 23,000 miles (37,000 km) above Earth, 1st satellite to use frequency division multiple access which accepted multiple independent signals and downlinked them in a single carrier.

1972 - Launch of Apollo 17, 11th and final manned mission in the American Apollo space program.

1983 – An Iberia Airlines Flight 350 Boeing 727-256 collides with an Aviaco Flight 134 DC-9-32 in dense fog while the two airliners are taxiing down the runway at Madrid Barajas International Airport, killing 93 people. -

1987 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 British Aerospace 146 crashes near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shoots his ex-boss traveling on the flight, then shoots both pilots and himself.

1995 – The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis during Mission STS-34.

1995 - Air St. Martin Beech 1900D chartered by the Government of France to return illegal immigrants to Haiti from French territory, collided with a mountain at 5,030 feet after having been cleared by air traffic control to descend to 4,000 feet near Belle-Anse, Haiti, killing all 20. Investigators determined that it had drifted ten nautical miles off course.

1996 - STS-80, Space Shuttle Columbia mission, is back on earth

1999 - Asian Spirit Flight 100 Let L-410 Turbolet crashed onto a mountainside between the municipalities of Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya and Cabarroguis, Quirino in the Philippines as he was approaching Cauayan Airport, killing all 17.

2001 - Launch of TIMED (Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics), NASA spacecraft to study the dynamics of the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere (MLT) portion of the Earth's atmosphere, along with Jason-1 joint project between the NASA (United States) and CNES (France) satellite oceanography mission to monitor global ocean circulation, study the ties between the ocean and the atmosphere, improve global climate forecasts and predictions, and monitor events such as El Niño and ocean eddies -

2002 - STS-113, Space shuttle Endeavour mission, is back on earth.