On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 15th

Jump to December => (01 - 02 - 03 - 04 - 05 - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31)

1857 - Death of George Cayley, English engineer and one of the most important people in the history of aeronautics, considered as the 1st true scientific aerial investigator and the 1st person to understand the underlying principles and forces of flight.

1887 - Birth of Georges Thenault, French military aviator, commander of the Lafayette Escadrille (the famed branch of the French air force in WWI composed of American volunteer pilots), Author and Assistant Military Attache for Aeronautics at the French Embassy, Washington DC.

1912 - Death of Wilfred Parke, British aviator and 1st aviator to recover from an accidental spin, killed in the crash of his Handley Page monoplane shortly after takeoff. -

1913 - Death of Miguel Lebrija Urtetegui, Early mexican aviator.

1914 – SMS Glyndwr, originally a British cargo ship seized by german navy at the outbreak of WWI, becomes the 1st Imperial German Navy aviation ship to be commissioned

1915 - Birth of Yoshimi Minami, Japanese WWII fighter ace.

1915 - 1st flight of The Anatra D (Anade), Russian two-seat reconnaissance aircraft, two-bay biplane of conventional configuration that seated the pilot and observer in tandem, open cockpits.

1917 - Death of James Hubert Ronald Green, British WWI flying ace. -

1918 - Birth of David Carl Schilling, USAF officer, WWII fighter ace, and leading advocate of long-range jet fighter operations. -

1919 - Ad Astra Aero, Swiss airline is formed.

1920 - 1st of a number of flying schools to train reserve pilots for the military opens at Orly, south of Paris.

1921 – USS Wright (AZ-1) is commissioned as the US Navy’s 1st and only balloon ship. She is the only U. S. Navy ship ever to bear the “AZ” designation for “lighter-than-air craft tender. ”

1924 - Following a failure two days earlier, a Sperry Messenger, successfully hooks up to US Navy TC3 dirigible.

1929 - Uruguayan Tydeo Larre Borges takes off his Breguet 19 TR 'Oiseau Blanc' from Sevilla, Spain for the 1st south atlantic crossing by a south american. -

1934 - Death of Victor Maslin Yeates, British WWI flying ace and author, best known for his semi-autobiographical book 'Winged Victory'. -

1938 - 1st flight of the Polikarpov I-180, Sovier fighter prototype. Short on Approach, Valery Pavlovich Chkalov, Russian test pilot, attempted to correct the engine but stalled. Chkalov was able to avoid several buildings but crashed into a powerline but died in the crash. This ended Nikolai Nikolaevich Polikarpov's career as an aircraft designer. -

1938 - 1st flight of the Bloch MB-152, French low-wing, all-metal monoplane fighter aircraft with retractable landing gear and enclosed cockpit issued from the MB-151. -

1939 - 1st flight of the Kimura HK-1, Japanese glider prototype to investigate the possibilities of tailless aircraft. It was a single-seat design with an open cockpit, swept wings, and a single tail fin.

1939 - 1st flight of the Bloch MB-161 (later SNCASE SE.161 Languedoc) , French four-engine transport prototype. -

1944 - Death of Misao Inoue, Japanese 2nd Sino-Japanese War and WWII fighter ace, killed in a crash landing due to a partial gear down of his Kawasaki Ki-45.

1944 - A USAAF UC-64 Norseman took off from RAF Twinwood Farm in Clapham, Bedfordshire and disappeared while flying over the English Channel.No trace of the aircrew, passengers or plane has ever been found. On board was Alton Glenn Miller, famous American jazz musician who was going to play for the Soldiers in Paris.

1945 - 1st flight of the S.N.C.A.N. Nord 1200 , French 2-seat cabin monoplane prototype, later developped into the 'Norécrin' family. -

1948 - 1st flight of The Northrop X-4 Bantam, american prototype small twin-jet aircraft with no horizontal tail surfaces, depending instead on combined elevator and aileron control surfaces (called elevons) for control in pitch and roll attitudes, almost exactly in the manner of the similar-format, rocket-powered Messerschmitt Me 163.

1953 - 1st flight of The Lockheed T2V SeaStar, (later the T-1 SeaStar), US Navy turbojet trainer aircraft developped from the T-33.

1954 - Orenda Iroquois, Canadian jet engine designed for the Avro CF-105 Arrow, made its 1st test run.

1955 - 1st flight of the Bell X-1E, American supersonic research rocket-powered aircraft, Evolution of the Bell X-1.

1958 - The balloon 'Small World', commanded by A.B. Elloart, ditches in the sea aftyer having travelled 2,800 kilometres (1,740 miles) from the Canary Isles in an attempt to traverse the South Atlantic.

1959 - Major Joseph W. Rogers set a world speed record of 1,525.96 mph (2,455.79 km/h) in a Convair F-106 Delta Dart at 40,500 ft (12,300 m)

1960 - Launch of Pioneer P-31 (also known as Atlas-Able 5B or Pioneer Z), NASA lunar orbiter probe. It exploded shrtly after take off.

1964 - Launch of San Marco 1 (San Marco A), 1rst Italian satellite, and one of the earliest non-Soviet/US spacecraft.

1965 – Gemini 6A, crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford, is launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida. Four orbits later, it achieves the 1st space rendezvous, with Gemini 7.

1966 - Death of Patrick Gordon "Bill" Taylor, Australian WWI flying ace, Author, Airliner pilot and raid pilot. -

1970 – Soviet spacecraft Venera 7 successfully land on Venus. It is the 1st successful soft landing on another planet.

1971 - Death of Charles Roderick Carr, British WWI and anti-Bolshevist side in the civil war pilot, Raid pilot, and RAF Senior commander in WWII.

1984 - Launch of Vega 1, Soviet unmanned spacecraft to Venus.

1997 – Tajikistan Airlines Flight 3183 Tupolev 154B-1 crashes in the desert near Sharja, United Arab Emirates airport killing 85.

1998 - STS-88 Endeavour space shuttle is back on earth.

2006 - SkyValue USA, seasonal American low-cost airline, begin operations

2006 - A B-52, tail number 61-0034 'Checkmate', took off from Edwards with synthetic fuel powering all eight engines. 1st time that an Air Force aircraft is entirely powered by using alternative fuel.

2006 - 1st flight of The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, American single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighter to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability.

2009 - 1st flight of The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, American long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner.

2010 - Tara Air de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter crashed shortly after take-off from Lamidanda Airport, Lamidanda, Nepal, killing all 22.

2010 - Launch of Soyuz TMA-20, Russian manned spaceflight to the International Space Station (ISS)