On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 18th

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1894 - Birth of Herbert Howard Snowden Fowler, Canadian WWI flying ace.

1895 - Birth of Desmond Percival Fitzgerald Uniacke, British WWI flying ace (observer/gunner) -

1898 - Birth of Robert North "Chubby" Chandler, British WWI flying ace -

1907 - The sole Blériot VII, French expemimental monoplane and 1st modern configurated airplane in which Louis Blériot made successful turns, is destroyed on landing.

1908 – Wilbur Wright set a new altitude record at Camp d’Auvours, 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) east of Le Mans. He flies 99.8 kilometres (62.0 mi) in 1 h 54 min 2/5 s. rising to 110 m (360 ft)

1910 - Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith wins the Baron de Forest Prize of £4,000, performing the longest straight line flight in Europe by a British pilot in a British aeroplane. The flight covers a distance of 285 kilometres (177 miles). -

1912 - 1st pilot to bridge two countries in a single flight is french Roland Garros. He flies his Morane-Saulnier type H monoplane from North Africa to Europe, half-way across the Mediterranean, 177mi From Tunis to Trapani during a raid flight to Roma.

1912 - Birth of Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr., commander of the WWII Tuskegee Airmen , WWII and Korean war pilot, 1st African-American USAF general.

1915 - 1st flight of the Handley Page H.P.11 O/100, Original bomber version for RNAS of the british Handley Page Type O, one of the major production version. -

1917 - 1st german Aircraft shot down at night over British soil is a Gotha G.III, Brought down by Gilbert Ware Murlis Green flying a Sopwith Camel.

1919 - Death of Sir John William Alcock, Captain in the Royal Air Force who, together with navigator Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown, piloted the 1st non-stop transatlantic flight. Killed in his Vickers Type 54 Viking, during the 1st postwar aeronautical exhibition in Paris, crashing in fog at Cote d'Everard, near Rouen, Normandy stalling such that a wing hit a tree. -

1922 - Birth of Mariâ Ivanovna Dolina, WWII Soviet bomber pilot, Deputy and acting squadron commander of the 125th “Marina M. Raskova” Borisov Guards dive bomber Regiment.

1922 - Death of John Wilson Wallwork, British WWI flying ace -

1922 - 1st flight of The de Bothezat helicopter, (Jerome-de Bothezat Flying Octopus), American experimental quadrotor helicopter, said at the time to be the 1st successful helicopter.

1925 - 1st flight of the Hawker Danecock, british Biplane fighter developed from the Hawker Woodcock for the Danish air force and naval service.

1932 - Birth of Nikolay Nikolayevich Rukavishnikov, russian Physicist and cosmonaut.

1932 - Paris-Saigon challenge : French René Lefevre takes off from Le bourget in the Peyret-Mauboussin PM XI, French high-wing 2 seat touring aircraft, for a flight to Saigon. -

1933 - Klm pilot Ivan Vasilyevich Smirnov begins a record breaking flight from Amsterdam to Batavia (Jakarta) on Java (Indonesia - formerly the Dutch East Indies)

1933 - 1st flight of The Northrop XFT ,American prototype fighter aircraft, single engined low-winged monoplane.

1934 - Birth of Boris Valentinovich Volynov, Soviet Engineer, Airforce pilot and cosmonaut.

1935 - French Genin and Robert takes off in a Caudron C.635 'Simoun' named 'Gody Radio' from Le Bourget, France to Antananarivo (Madagascar).

1935 - 1st flight of The Miles M.7 Nighthawk, British training and communications single engined cabin monoplane

1936 - 1st flight of he Mitsubishi Ki-21 'Sally', Japanese twin engine bomber.

1939 - Royal Air Force abandons daylight raids on Germany after a raid by Vickers Wellingtons ov 9, 37 and 149 Squadrons takes heavy losses on a mission against German shipping on the Schillig Roads and Wilhelmshaven..

1940 - 1st flight of the Bloch MB-800, french 3 seat twin engine low wing trainer prototype -

1940 - 1st flight of The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, US carrier-based dive bomber aircraft.

1944 - Death of Yukiyoshi Wakamatsu, Japanese Navy WWII fighter ace, killed in action by a P-51 while attacking B-29s.

1944 – Typhoon Cobra strikes Task Force 38 as it operates in the Philippine Sea east of Luzon. In addition to the sinking of three destroyers, the loss of over 800 men, and damage to many ships, the task force loses 146 carrier aircraft and battleship and cruiser floatplanes. Plans for strikes on Luzon from December 19 to 21 are cancelled.

1947 - 1st flight of the Chase XCG-18A, (later YC-122 Avitruc), American high-wing cantilever monoplane of twin boom configuration military transport aircraft.

1951 - Birth of Andrew "Andy" Sydney Withiel Thomas, Australian-born American aerospace engineer and NASA astronaut.

1952 - Janusz Zurakowski, the Avro company chief development test pilot, took the Canadair CF-100 Mk 4 'Cannuck' prototype to Mach 1.0 in a dive from 30,000 ft. being the 1st straight-winged jet aircraft to achieve controlled supersonic flight.

1953 - 1st flight of The XHR2S-1 - prototype of the Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave (S-56), American large heavy-lift gargo helicopter. -

1956 - Birth of Reinhold Ewald, German physicist and ESA astronaut.

1957 - Death of John Dale Price, American Naval Aviator credited with making the 1st night landing on an aircraft carrier (USS Langley) and US navy admiral. -

1958 - Project SCORE, the world's 1st communications satellite, is launched.

1959 - Death of Gerald Joseph Constable Maxwell, Scottish WWI fighter ace who served as station commander at RAF Ford during WWII. -

1965 - Gemini 7, NASA spaceflight for investigating the effects of fourteen days in space on the human body, is back on earth.

1968 - Death of James "Robbo" Milne Robb, Scottish WWI flying ace, Fleet aviation officer and during WWII high ranking officer in the RAF. One of the Only to have flown a Jet fighter (a Gloster meteor) on service. -

1969 - The England-Australia Commemorative Air Race, flown in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Smith brothers' flight, is won by W. J. Bright and F. L. Buxton in a Britten-Norman Islander

1970 - Airbus Industrie is formally established to develop the Airbus A300; it is comprised of Aérospatiale, Deutsche Airbus, Fokker and Hawker Siddeley.

1973 - Launch of Soyouz 13, Soviet manned space flight an Soviet Union's 1st dedicated science mission

1977 - SA de Transport Aérien (SATA) Flight 730 Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle 10R crashed into the sea on approach to Funchal Airport, Madeira as the crew forgot to set the altimeter at the correct value, 36 were killed upon 57.

1978 - Death of Alexander Alexandrovich Arkhangelsky, Soviet aircraft designer and doctor of technical sciences.

1982 - Death of Hans "Assi" Hahn, German WWII fighter ace. -

1982 - Death of Hans-Ulrich Rudel, Famous german dive-bomber pilot and The most highly decorated German serviceman of WWII. -

1992 - 1st flight of the Molniya-1 triplane, Russian six-seat aircraft designed for individual use, tourism, cargo and mail carrying, business flights and aerial photography and which can be used in patrol and ambulance services, Subscale proof-of-concept vehicle for Gerakl / Molniya-1000 catamaran subsonic 900 tonne aircraft design that would be used for VKS-DM spaceplane -

1992 - 1st flight of the Let L-610G, Czech twin engined turboprop airliner prototype evolution of the L-610.

1992 - 1st flight of the McDonnel-Douglas MD 900 "Explorer", American light twin utility helicopter, 1st commercial helicopter totally designed using computer-aided design techniques

1993 - 1st flight of the 2nd prototype, 1st pre-production of the Sukhoi Su-34 (T10V-2), Russian twin-seat twin engine jet fighter-bomber.

1995 - 1st flight of The NHIndustries NH90, European consortium medium sized, twin-engine, multi-role military helicopter. -

1995 - Trans Service Airlift Lockheed L-188C Electra crashed shortly after takeoff from Jamba Airport, Angola, killing 141 of the passengers and crew.

1996 - Death of Gwilym Hugh Lewis, British WWI flying ace and Author ("Wings Over the Somme") who served in WWII as a member of the Cabinet War Rooms reporting to and briefing Winston Churchill. He was at that time the oldest remaining British WWI ace remaining, his near namesake Cecil Lewis, was a year younger and died a month later. -

1998 - Death of Lev Stepanovich Dyomin, Soviet Cosmonaut.

1999 – NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying 5 Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.

2003 - 1st flight of The ShinMaywa (formerly Shin Meiwa) US-2, Japanese large STOL amphibious aircraft designed for air-sea rescue (SAR) work.

2006 - The sole Lockheed Martin Polecat (company designation P-175), American unmanned aerial vehicle, crashed due to an "irreversible unintentional failure in the flight termination ground equipment, which caused the aircraft's automatic fail-safe flight termination mode to activate."