On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 14th

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1782 – The Montgolfier brothers' 1st balloon lifts off on its 1st test flight. The lifting force was so great that they lost control of their craft which floated nearly two kilometers (about 1.2 mi) and was destroyed after landing by the "indiscretion" of passersby

1894 - Birth of Umberto Maddalena, Italian aviator.

1894 - Birth of Edric William Broadberry, British WWI fighter ace. -

1895 - Birth of Charles Howard Pixton, early British aviator and air racer, 1st test pilot for Avro. -

1896 - Birth of James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle, American aviation pioneer and USAF pilot.

1897 - Birth of Edward Henry Ward, British WWI flying ace (observer/gunner)

1903 - Wilbur Wright makes the 1st and unsuccessful attempt at powered flight at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. His aircraft stalls after 3 ½ seconds in the air and crash-lands 105 feet away.

1905 - Birth of Maurice Claisse, French aviator and record setter, WWII fighter pilot and test pilot.

1911 - Birth of Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain, German-American engineer, one of the inventors of jet propulsion.

1913 - Hugo Kaulen complete a 87hrs endurance flight in his balloon.

1915 - German Navy Schutte-Lanz airship SL4 (C2) is wrecked in a storm while still in its shed.

1915 - 1st Canadian aerial victory : Flight Sub Lt. Arthur Ince a RFC Observer shot down a German seaplane off the coast of Belgium.

1920 - A Handley Page O/400 crashes at Cricklewood in foggy weather shortly after take-off, causing the 1st fatality on a United Kingdom scheduled air service. Both crew members and two of the six passengers are killed

1920 - Birth 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.

1922 - Death of Arthur Winston Blake, South african WWI flying ace, killed in a flying accident while serving the SAAF.

1924 - A Martin MO-1 is launched using an explosive-driven catapult fitted to a turret on USS Mississippi, requiring less distance than ever for the take-off.

1931 - French René Lefèvre reaches Tananarive, Madagascar, from Paris with the Peyret-Mauboussin PM XI (two-seat high wing touring aircraft), covering the 11000 Km at an average speed of 120 Km/h -

1931 - While visiting Reading Aero Club, Douglas Bader attempted some low-flying aerobatics at Woodley airfield in a Bulldog Mk. IIA. His aircraft crashed when the tip of the left wing touched the ground. Both his legs were amputated – one above and one below the knee.

1935 - The Breguet-Dorand "Gyroplane Laboratoire" sets a distance record in a 500 m closed circuit.

1936 - Birth of Robert Allan Ridley 'Bob' Parker, American scientist and NASA astronaut.

1939 - Six Vickers Wellingtons of No.99 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command, are lost from an attacking force of twelve during an attempted raid on the German Navy cruisers Nurnberg and Leipzig, which have been damaged in a naval action in the North Sea. The Wellingtons are intercepted by Luftwaffe Bf109 fighters, which shoot five down into the sea and the sixth crash lands near Newmarket.

1944 - 1st flight of The Short Shetland, British high-speed, long-range, four-engined flying-boat.

1949 - 1st fligth of the Aero XE-II, Czech open single-seater with a single three-blade main rotor helicopter.

1949 - 1st flight of the Cessna 305, prototype of the Cessna L-19/O-1 Bird Dog, American High wing liaison and observation aircraft.

1953 - 1st flight of The Miles M.77 Sparrowjet, British twin-engined jet-powered racing prototype aeroplane.

1954 - Birth of Steven Glenwood MacLean, Canadian Astronaut.

1956 - 1st country in Latin America to acquire an aircraft carrier, Brazil purchase HMS Vengeance from the United Kingdom. -

1959 - The world altitude record is broken again by a Lockheed F104C Starfighter, flown by Captain Joe Bailey Jordan to a height of 31,513 metres (103,389 feet).

1959 - A USAF Boeing KC-97G Stratofreighter collided with a B-52 during refueling at an altitude of about 15,000 feet. The aircraft lost the whole left horizontial stabalizer and elevator, the rudder was missing and the upper fourth of the verticle stabilizer. They made a no-flap, electrical power off landing at night at Dow AFB. -

1960 - Air Ivoire, Ivory coast flag airline, is formed

1960 - A Boeing B-52G Stratofortress set a world distance record by flying unrefueled for 10,078.84 miles (8,762 nmi, 16,227 km) in 19 hours 44 minutes (510.75 mph).

1960 - Birth of Catherine Grace "Cady" Coleman, American chemist, USAF pilot, and NASA astronaut.

1962 - Death of Alfredo Kindelán y Duany, Spanish aviator, general and politician.

1962 - NASA's Mariner 2 becomes the 1st spacecraft to fly by Venus.

1963 - Death of Marie Marvingt, French athlete, mountaineer, and aviator, and the most decorated woman in the history of France. 1st woman to fly combat missions as a bomber pilot during WWI, a qualified surgical nurse, 1st trained and certified Flight Nurse in the world. She worked for the establishment of air ambulance services throughout the world.

1963 - Project Stargazer: Joseph Kittinger and astronomer William C. White tin an open-gondola helium balloon packed with scientific equipment reached an altitude of about 82,200 feet (25,100 m), completing an 18 hrs flight.

1964 - USAF launches Operation Barrel Roll, attacking the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos.

1967 - As part of a Centennial project, Col. Robert (Bud) White sets a Canadian altitude record by flying a fighter jet to 30,030 metres. Col. White dives 3,600 metres at full throttle to gain speed for his supersonic climb at Mach 2.4.

1970 - Test Pilots Kurt Cannon and Byron Graham, established two E-1 class world speed records flying the Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk (private-venture, prototype attack helicopter) at 348.97 km/h (217 mph) over a 3 km (1.9 mi) course.

1972 - Eugene Cernan is the last person to walk on the moon, after he and Harrison Schmitt complete the 3rd and final Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) of the Apollo 17 mission. This is the last manned mission to the moon of the 20th century. -

1977 - 1st flight of The Mil Mi-26 'Halo', Soviet/Russian heavy transport helicopter. In service with civilian and military operators, it is the largest and most powerful helicopter ever to have gone into production.

1979 - 1st flight of The Edgley EA-7 Optica, British light aircraft designed for observation work, intended as a low-cost alternative to helicopters

1984 - 1st flight of the Grumman X-29, American experimental aircraft that tested a forward-swept wing, canard control surfaces, and other novel aircraft technologies.

1986 - The Rutan Model 76 Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, takes off from Edwards AFB for the 1st fly around the world without stopping or refueling.

1989 - The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is formed.

2002 - Launch of ADEOS II (Advanced Earth Observing Satellite 2 or Midori 2), Fedsat (Australian Civilian communications satellite), WEOS Kanta-Kun (Japanese Earth resources satellite) and Mu-Labsat (Japanese Navigation technology satellite). - -

2003 - Japanese Mars-orbiting aeronomy probe Nozomi makes a Mars flyby

2006 – American spy satellite USA-193 is launched.

2009 - Launch of WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer), NASA infrared-wavelength astronomical space telescope.