On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 16th

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1886 - Birth of Albert Victor Tonkin, Australian WWI flying ace -

1895 - Birth of Leonard Thomas Eaton 'Taps' Taplin, Australian WWI flying ace, aviation pioneer and commercial pilot, he pioneered the use of aerial photography for cartography. -

1896 - Birth of Colin Geen Orr MacAndrew, Scottish WWI flying ace.

1898 - Birth of John Pierce Findlay, South african WWI flying ace

1898 - Birth of William Keith "Pete" Swayze, Canadian WWI flying ace

1914 - Herbert Arthur "Bert" Dargue with Joseph Oswald Mauborgne as radio operator, flying the Burgess Model I seaplane, make the 1st two-way communication by radio telegraphy between a ground station and an airplane in flight.

1929 - 1st flight of the HMS R-100, privately designed and built rigid British airship

1935 - French Andre Japy, lands his Caudron C.600 Aiglon, light touring monoplane, in Saigon coming from Paris at an average speed of 128 Km/h

1940 - Death of Mario Amaru, Italian Raid Aviator, killed in action in his S.M.79

1940 - For the 1st time, RAF Bomber Command conducts a raid focusing on attacking a city center rather than specific targets in Operation Rachel, a raid by 134 British bombers against Mannheim, Germany, in reprisal for the German raid on Coventry in November. Their bombs are dispersed widely, killing 34 people in Mannheim and Ludwigshafen, 1st deliberate RAF "terror bombing".

1944 - Death of Shirotaro Kashima, Japanese WWII flying ace, killed in action.

1944 - Beginning of The Battle of the Bulge (also known as the Ardennes Offensive and the Von Rundstedt Offensive).To support the offensive, the Luftwaffe had assembled some 2,460 combat aircraft, including 1,770 single-engine fighters.

1944 - Largest loss of life in a single attack of V2 occurs at Antwerp, Belgium, when the roof of a crowded cinema was struck, leaving 567 dead and 291 injured.

1948 - Royal Australian Navy Aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney (R17) is commissioned, 1st aircraft carriers of the RAN.

1949 - 1st flight of The Nord 2200, French jet fighter prototype developed as a shipboard fighter. -

1949 - 1st flight of the Rey R-1, French twin engine low wing monoplane prototype designed with a flexible wing to absorb gusts.

1951 - 1st helicopter powered by a gas-turbine engine flies successfully. The Kaman K-225 uses a turbine that makes for a lighter, simpler, more powerful engine compared to a conventional piston engine.

1952 - North Central Airlines is founded from Wisconsin Central Airlines after it moved from Wisconsin to Mineapolis.

1953 - 1st flight of The Sud-Ouest S.O.1221 Djinn, French 2 seat light helicopter issued from the 1220 prototype. The rotors were driven by compressed-air jets at the end of each blade. -

1953 - 1st flight of Sud Aviation (SNCASO) S.O. 4050-02 Vautour IIA, French Single-seat ground-attack jet aircraft prototype. -

1953 - 1st flight of the Dassault MD-454 Mystère IVB, Improved version of the French fighter with a Radar and afterburner. -

1954 - Death of Maurice Colliex, French engineer, Early aviator, aircraft designer, test pilot and WWI pilot. - -

1956 - Death of René Couzinet, French engineer and aircraft designer.

1957 - 1st flight of The Antonov An-12 'Cub', Soviet four-engined turboprop transport aircraft, military version of the Antonov An-10.

1959 - China Airlines (CAL), flag carrier and the largest airline of Republic of China, is formed.

1960 - While approaching New York's Idlewild Airport, United Airlines Flight 826 Douglas DC-8 collides with TWA Flight 266 Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation in a blinding snowstorm over Staten Island, killing 134.

1965 - Launch of Pioneer 6, NASA space probe, designed to measure large scale magnetic phenomena and particles and fields in interplanetary space.,_7,_8,_and_9

1965 - Gemini 6A is back on earth.

1966 - Death of Andre René Celestin Herbelin, French WWI flying ace -

1971 - End of the Indo Pakistani war, The Indian Air Force lost 72 aircrafts and the Pakistan Air Force 94 aircrafts.

1979 - Launch of Soyuz T-1, unmanned Soviet space flight,test flight of a new Soyuz craft which docked with the orbiting Salyut 6 space station.

1979 - British Airways Concorde lands in London after flying from New York in less than three hours (2 hours 58 minutes) at an average speed of 1,172 mph.

1980 - Death of Hellmuth Walter, German engineer who pioneered research into rocket engines and gas turbines.

1990 - Death of Douglas Campbell, American aviator and WWI flying ace, 1st American aviator flying in an American unit to achieve the status of ace. -

1994 - 1st flight of The Antonov An-70, russian four-engine medium-range transport aircraft, and 1st large aircraft to be powered by propfan engines.

1998 - 1st time that women flew combat sorties as US Navy strike fighter pilots and 1st combat use of the B-1B bomber during Operation Desert Fox – The USAs and UK bomb targets in Iraq.

2000 - 1st flight of the Lockheed-Martin X-35C, Navy version of the American Joint Strike Fighter

2006 - Launch of Genesat 1, miniature laboratory for in-space biologics experimentations.

2009 - Flyglobespan, British low-cost airline, Ceased operations.