On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 11th

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1878 - Birth of George Edward Maurice Kelly, American aviator.

1892 - Birth of William Dolley Tipton, American WWI flying ace, founder of the Maryland Air National Guard , who also served in WWII. -

1908 - Birth of Mario 'Ras' Daverio, Italian WWII pilot.

1909 - 1st flight of the Etrich Sperling at the aviation ground at Weiner-Neustadt, early austrian aircraft.

1911 - Birth of Qian Xuesen (Tsien Hsue-shen), Chinese scientist who made important contributions to the missile and space programs of both the USA and People's Republic of China, Father of Chinese spaceflights.

1913 - 1st flight of The Ilya Muromets, Russian large four-engine commercial airliner and heavy military bombing aircraft, based on the Russky Vityaz or Le Grand, the world's 1st four-engined aircraft, designed by Igor Sikorsky.With a revolutionary design, intended for commercial service with its spacious fuselage incorporating a passenger saloon and washroom on board. It became the 1st four-engine bomber to equip a dedicated strategic bombing unit during WWI.

1917 - British non-rigid airship C27 is shot down near Belgian Coast by German Navy Oberleutnant Friedrich Christiansen, flying a Brandenburg W12 seaplane.

1917 - Katherine Stinson flies 606 miles from San Diego to San Francisco, setting a new American non-stop distance record.

1924 - French Florentin Bonnet with The Bernard SIMB V.2 sets a world speed record of 448.771 km/h. (279 mph) . -

1928 - Death of Gustav Dörr, German WWI fighter ace and 1 of the 1st postwar commercial airline pilot with Deutsche Luft Hansa, killed while attempting an emergency landing at Letzlinger Heide with his Junkers G 31 on a night flight from Cologne to Berlin. -

1933 - 1st flight of The Bernard 82, French single-engined long-range monoplane bomber prototype.

1941 - Death of Masaaki Iinuma, Japanese navy Aviator, Raid and test pilot, killed when, in a daze from hearing the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces, he accidentally walked into a spinning aircraft propeller.

1941 - 1st flight of the Castel C-242, French 2 seat high wing glider trainer.

1941 - Death of John Gillespie Magee, Jr., American Aviator and Poet, killed in his Spitfire V in a mid-air collision with an Airspeed Oxford trainer over Lincolnshire. He is most famous for his poem "High Flight"a tribute to the Spitfire and pilots of all generation.,_Jr.#Death -

1942 - 1st flight of the Sud-Est SE.200 'Amphitrite', French flying boat airliner prototype, large, six-engine design with a high-set cantilever monoplane wing, and twin tails.

1944 - The sole Grumman XF5F Skyrocket, American prototype of a twin-engine shipboard fighter interceptor, is written off after a belly landing, ending its development.

1945 - Supermarine Spitfire IXs of No.273 Squadron carried out strafing attacks on Viet Minh guerrillas surrounding a French force at Banme Thuet, French Indo-China. Leaflets were dropped in advance to warn the Viet Minh of this action.

1947 - 1st flight of The Sud-Ouest S.O.30P Bretagne, french twin-engined mid-wing cantilever all-metal monoplane airliner (developped from the 30N).

1949 - Death of Croston K. Stead, WWII USAF pilot, killed in the crash of his North American F-51D-25-NT Mustang at Reno Air Force Base, Nevada, during a mock dogfight during training mission.

1954 - USS Forrestal (CV-59), American aircraft carrier is launched, 1st American aircraft carrier to be constructed with an angled flight deck, steam catapult, and an optical landing system,

1958 - Death of Charles Godefroy, French aviator famous by his spectacular flight passing through the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in 1919.

1959 - Joseph Moore flies a Republic F-105B Thunderchief for a world record of 1,216.48 miles per hour (1,958 km/h) over a 62 miles (100 km) circuit.

1961 - Death of Albert Hoyt Taylor, American electrical engineer who made important early contributions to the development of radar.

1972 - Apollo 17, 11th and final manned mission in the American Apollo space program, lands on the moon.

1974 - Death of Emile John Lussier, American WWI flying ace. -

1978 - Death of John Rutherford Gordon, Ausralian WWI flying ace who served in WWII with the RAAF. -

1981 - 1st flight of The OMAC Laser 300 (OMAC I), American 6-7 seat business aircraft prototype of highly unusual design, with a canard layout, a pusher-mounted turboprop engine, and a high, cantilever, swept wing carrying endplate-type fins at its tips.

1984 - Death of Krafft Arnold Ehricke, German rocket-propulsion engineer and advocate for space colonization.

1984 - Death of Ernesto ‘Gamba di Ferro’ Botto, Spanish War and WWII italian flying ace

1985 - 1st flight of the CHAIG Z-8 (Zhishengji-8), Chinese triple engine, multi-role helicopter.

1986 - 1st flight of The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15E Strike Eagle, American all-weather multirole fighter, derived from the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle.

1988 - Launch of Astra 1A, 1st satellite launched and operated by SES (Société Européenne des Satellites), to provide television coverage to Western Europe and revolutionary as one of the 1st medium-powered satellites.

1994 – A bomb explodes on Philippine Airlines Flight 434 Boeing 747-283B, en route from Manila to Tokyo, killing one. The captain is able to safely land the plane.

1997 - 1st flight of the Bell 427, American twin engine, multirole, light utility helicopter.

1998 – Thai Airways Flight 261 crashes near Surat Thani Airport, killing 101. The pilot flying the Thai Airways Airbus A310-300 is thought to have suffered spatial disorientation.

1998 - Launch of The Mars Climate Orbiter, NASA robotic space probe to study the Martian climate, atmosphere and surface changes.

1999 - SATA Air Açores Flight 530M British Aerospace ATP crashed into the north face of Pico da Esperança on the island of São Jorge in the Azores while on descent in heavy rain and turbulence, killing all 35 -

2000 - After a catastrophic hydraulic leak and subsequent software instrument failure, a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey fell 1,600 feet (490 m) into a forest in Jacksonville, North Carolina, killing all four aboard. This caused the Marine Corps to ground their fleet of eight V-22s

2000 - STS-97 Space Shuttle Endeavour mission to the ISS to install the 1st set of solar arrays to the ISS, is back on earth.

2009 - 1st flight of The Airbus A400M, also known as the Atlas,multi-national four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed by Airbus Military as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities -