On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 12th

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1879 - Birth of Friedrich Christiansen, WWI german seaplane fighter ace. -

1881 - Birth of Vincent Hugo Bendix, American inventor and industrialist, pioneer and leader in both the automotive and aviation industries.

1894 - Birth of Charles John Wharton "Johnny" Darwin, British WWI flying ace who also served in WWII -

1896 - Birth of Grigory Eduardovich Suk, Russian WWI flying ace. -

1896 - Birth of Noel William Ward Webb, British WWI fighter ace. -

1897 - Birth of Tom Cecil Noel, British WWI fighter ace (as observer). -

1909 - Birth of Sergei Prokof’evich Denisov, Soviet Spanish civil war flying ace and WWII High ranking officer.,+Sergei

1915 - The Junkers J 1, German experimental aircraft and world's 1st practical all-metal aircraft makes a 'hop' of up to almost 3 m (10 ft) altitude, but a gust of wind brought hardly the aircraft down.

1915 - Death of Gaston Caudron, french aviation pioneer and aircraft designer along with his brother René, killed in the crash of the Caudron R-4 he was testing at Lyon-Bron.

1916 - 1st flight of the Kishi No.2 Tsurugi-go, Japanese 2 seat Single-engine pusher biplane prototype. Immediately after take off, the craft banked sharply to the left, allowing the wingtip to contact the ground, causing it to cartwheel and end the flight with considerable damage to the aeroplane which not flew again.

1917 - 1st flight of the Beardmore W.B.IV, British single-engine biplane ship-based fighter prototype.

1917 – North Sea class blimp N.S.5 sets off for RNAS East Fortune, but both engines fail within sight of her destination, and she drifts with the wind for about 10 miles (16 km) before they can be restarted. However, since both engines continue to be troublesome it is decided to make a "free balloon" landing, but the ship is damaged beyond repair during the attempt.

1917 - Canadian WWI flying ace William Wendell Rogers shot down a huge Gotha G bomber piloted by German Blue Max winner Hauptmann Rudolf Kleine north of Frelinghien, killing Kleine and his three crew members

1918 - Captain R.M. Smith, Brigadier General A.E. Borton, Major General W. Salmond and 2 other crew members complete the 1st flight from Egypt to India with a Handley Page O/400 from Heliopolis to Karachi.

1919 - Cpt Henry Wrigley and Lt Arthur Murphy lands their Royal Aircraft Factory BE.2e. after 47 hours flying From Melbourne to Port Darwin, 1st aerial crossing of Australia.

1920 - 1st fligth of The Bleriot-SPAD S.33, small French biplane airliner. -

1920 - French Joseph Sadi-Lecointe set a new speed record of 313.043 km/h with the Nieuport-Delage NiD-29VBis -

1924 - The Dewoitine D 8, high-altitude version of the french fighter D 1, set a 1000km closed-circuit record of 221,775km/h.

1924 – The Cierva C.6 autogyro makes the 1st cross-country flight by a rotary-wing aircraft, piloted by Captain Joaquín Loriga Taboada the 10.5 km (7 statute miles) from Cuatro Vientos airfield to Getafe, Spain, in 8 minutes.

1927 - 1st flight of The Nakajima A1N (Navy Type 3 Carrier Fighter), Japanese carrier-based single-seat, single-bay biplane, of all-wooden construction fighter, licenced copy of the British Gloster Gambet, naval version of the Gloster Gamecock.

1931 - 1st flight of the Amiot 110S, french 3 seat scouting monoplane single engined seaplane.

1931 - 1st flight of the SPCA 41T, French high-wing mailplane, re-engined version of the 40T. -

1935 - French Andre Japy, takes off in a Caudron C.600 Aiglon, light touring monoplane, from Paris to Saigon.

1936 - French Maryse Bastié takes off from Orly in her Caudron C.635 'Jean Mermoz' for a transatlantic fight to Natal (Brazil) via Dakar (Senegal).

1937 - While anchored upstream from Nanking, USS Panay and three Standard Oil tankers, Mei Ping, Mei An, and Mei Hsia, came under attack from Japanese naval aircraft, 3 Yokosuka B4Y Type-96 and 9 Nakajima A4N Type-95.

1938 - 1st flight of The Fairey Albacore, British single-engine carrier-borne biplane torpedo bomber.

1940 - Approximately 70 people are killed in the Marples Hotel, Fitzalan Square, Sheffield as a result of a German air raid. -

1941 - 54 Japanese A6M Zero fighters raid Batangas Field, Philippines. Jesús Villamor and 4 Filipino fighter pilots fend them off; César Basa is killed.

1941 - Death of Herbert Arthur "Bert" Dargue, american pioneer military aviator, in the crash of his Douglas B-18 Bolo in the Sierra Nevada mountains, outside Bishop, California.

1945 - 1st flight of The Morane-Saulnier MS-472 Vanneau II, French two-seat low-wing cantilever monoplane fighter trainer. -

1945 - Death of William Dolley Tipton, American WWI flying ace, founder of the Maryland Air National Guard , who also served in WWII, killed in a crash while flying home to be released from active duty. His P-47N Thunderbolt struck a mountain near Adena, Ohio. -

1946 - 1st flight of The Westland Wyvern, British single-seat carrier-based multi-role strike aircraft. It was powered by large and distinctive contra-rotating propellers

1951 - 1st flight of The de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter, Canadian single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driven, STOL aircraft

1951 - Birth of Steven Alan Hawley, NASA Astronaut.

1952 - 1st french to break the sound barrier is Roger Carpentier with the Dassault Mystère II.

1952 - Death of Selden Herbert "Tubby" Long, British WWI flying ace, noted for the audacity of his trench strafing missions–an early form of close air support. -

1953 - Chuck Yeager in the Bell X-1A achieves an altitude of 74,700 feet (22,800 m) and a new air speed record of Mach 2.44 (equal to 1620 mph, 724.5 m/s, 2608 km/h at that altitude).

1955 - Death of Robert Hazen Little, WWI canadian fighter ace.

1956 - British Aviation Services purchase the Lancashire Aircraft Corporation.

1957 - 1st flight of The Tipsy Nipper T.66, Belgian aerobatic light aircraft

1957 - Maj Adrian Drew sets a new world speed record, in a modified F-101 Voodoo (JF-101A), of 1,207 mph (1,943 km/h)

1958 - The balloon 'Small World', commanded by A.B. Elloart, ascends from the Canary Isles in an attempt to traverse the South Atlantic.

1960 - 1st flight of The Morane-Saulnier MS.760 Paris II, evolution of the French four (or six) seat jet trainer and liaison aircraft with various systems improvements and integral fuel tanks in the leading edges of the wings. -

1961 - Launch of OSCAR 1 (Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio). It uses amateur radio frequencies to facilitate communication between amateur radio stations.

1964 - Death of Aldo Corazza, Italian aviation pioneer and early aircraft designer.

1964 - Birth of Kenneth "Hock" Todd Ham, USN pilot and NASA Astronaut.

1965 - Death of William Randolph "Randy" Lovelace II, American physician who made contributions to aerospace medicine, killed in a crash of a private plane near Aspen, Colorado, when the pilot became disoriented and flew into a blind canyon.

1966 - 1st flight of the Fiat G.91Y, Twin engine prototype version of the Italian jet fighter.

1968 - Pan Am Flight 217 Boeing 707-321B 'Clipper Malay' crashed into the sea and explode on impact, killing all 51 on board, probably after an optical illusion created by the lights of the city on an upslope while approaching Caracas at night.

1970 - Launch of Uhuru, NASA Satellite, 1st satellite launched specifically for the purpose of X-ray astronomy. It was also known as the X-ray Explorer Satellite, SAS-A (for "Small Astronomy Satellite")

1974 - Death of Karl Arnstein, one of the most important 20th century airship engineers and designers in Germany and the USA, chief designer of the U.S. Navy airships, USS Akron and USS Macon.

1976 - Death of Vadim Borisovic Šavrov, Soviet Aviation historian and aircraft designer.

1977 - Death of Wilhelm "Willi" Stör, German WWI fighter ace. -

1979 - 1st flight of The Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk, American twin turboshaft engine, multi-mission helicopter designed for the USN and based on the US Army UH-60 Black Hawk.

1985 - Arrow Air Flight 1285 McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63CF of charter airline Arrow Air, crashes while taking 250 soldiers back to the US for Christmas, killing everyone on board.

1988 - 1st flight of The CMC Leopard, British 4 seat mid-wing cantilever monoplane of composite construction with all-swept flying surfaces and jet fighter-like styling other than the podded engines on either side of the aft fuselage, light personal business jet aircraft prototype.

1994 - Death of Stuart Allen Roosa, USAF pilot and NASA Astronaut, one of only 24 people to travel to the Moon.

1998 - Alan Zwick, 9th Reconnaissance Wing and instructor, flew his U-2 and payload to an altitude record of more than 12 and a half miles above the Earth's surface.