On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 22nd

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1888 - Birth of Maxime Albert Lenoir, French WWI flying ace.

1892 - Birth of Herman Potocnik (pseudonym Hermann Noordung), Austro-Hungarian rocket engineer and pioneer of cosmonautics (astronautics).

1892 - Birth of George Henry Hackwill, British WWI flying ace and southern rhodesia politician. -

1892 - Birth of Lawrence Burst Sperry, American aviation pioneer, noted for having invented the 1st autopilot.

1897 - Birth of Giuseppe Ghislanzoni, Italian WWI pilot.

1897 - Birth of Keith Knox Muspratt, British WWI flying ace, and test pilot. -

1898 - Birth of Piero Magni, Italian aeronautic engineer, forerunner of some things still extremely relevant today, such as wings with variable incidence, development of canard or the equally innovative design for an aircraft whose monoplane wing was supported by a single strut.

1902 - Birth of Leonardo Bonzi, Italian aviator, Actor and bobsledder

1910 - British Aviation pioneer Cecil Stanley Grace went missing over the Channel with his Short S.27 while competing for the Baron de Forest Prize of £4,000 for the longest flight from England into continental Europe.

1916 - 1st flight of The Sopwith Camel, British WWI single-seat biplane fighter.

1918 - Death of Aristeidis Moraitinis, pioneer Greek military aviator and WWI flying ace. While flying from Thessaloniki to Athens his plane crashed due to harsh weather conditions over Mount Olympus.

1918 - Maj. Albert D. Smith complete the Armys 1st trans-continental flight with 4 Four Curtiss JN-4 from San Diego to Jacksonville.

1921 - 1st tethered lift (indoor) of the Brennan Helicopter, British early propeller-driven rotor concept.

1925 - Death of Amelie Hedwig Boutard-Beese (also known as Melli Beese), early German female aviator.

1929 - The sole Potez 34 Hispano, on a Paris-Saigon attempt raid, crashed in the jungle in Birmany. French crew Le Brix and Rossi bailed out.

1930 - 1st flight of The Tupolev TB-3 (ANT-6), 1st cantilever wing four-engine heavy bomber.

1934 - 1st flight of the Caudron C.580, French single seat trainer fighter low wing monoplane prototype

1934 - 1st night bombing in south america is done by a Macchi M.18, Italian flying boat operated by The Paraguayan government during Chaco War. -

1935 - Birth of John "Jack" Lawrence Finley, US Navy aviator, test pilot and astronaut

1936 - 1st flight of The North American XB-21 (NA-21), Twin engine Bomber prototype, North American Aviation's 1st twin-engined military aircraft

1938 - 1st flight of The de Havilland DH.95 Flamingo, British high-wing, twin-engined monoplane passenger airliner also used by the RAF as a troop-carrier and for general communications duties.

1939 - 1st flight of The Petlyakov VI-100 (Pe-2), Soviet twin engine dive bomber prototype aircraft, later developped as the Pe-2, regarded as one of the best ground attack aircraft of the war and was extremely successful in the roles of heavy fighter, reconnaissance and night fighter -

1939 - 1st flight of The Caproni Ca.313, Italian twin-engine reconnaissance bomber, development of the Ca.310.

1940 - 1st flight of The Northrop N-3PB Nomad, single-engined American floatplane

1941 - 1st flight of The Fairey Firefly, British carrier-borne fighter and anti-submarine aircraft.

1941 - 1st flight of The Consolidated TBY Sea Wolf, US Navy torpedo bomber, A competitor and contemporary to the very similar Grumman TBF Avenger.

1943 - Death of William Edwin "Ed" Dyess, USAAF WWII fighter pilot. Captured after the Allied loss at the Battle of Bataan, He endured the subsequent Bataan Death March before escaping from his POW camp. When his P-38G-10-LO Lightning caught fire while on a training mission over the highly populated area of Burbank, California, He remained with his burning aircraft despite ample opportunity to bail out in order to guide it to a vacant lot at 109 Myers St, Burbank, saving countless civilians on the ground.

1944 - Death of Yoshio Hirose, Japanese sino-japanese war and WWII flying ace, Ramming his Nakajima KI-43 into a B-29 over Nagoya. -

1944 - 1st vertical take off of the Bachem Ba 349 Natter, German point-defence rocket powered interceptor.

1944 - 1st flight of The Morane-Saulnier MS.470 'Vanneau', French two-seat basic trainer.

1945 - 1st flight of the The Beechcraft Bonanza, famous American general aviation aircraft.

1949 - 1st flight of The North American Aviation F-86D Sabre ("Sabre Dog"),American transonic jet all-weather interceptor based on North American's F-86 Sabre day fighter. It had only 25 percent commonality with other Sabre variants, with a larger fuselage, larger afterburning engine, and a distinctive nose radome.

1954 – Capt. Richard J. Harer, test pilot with the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, California, belly lands a Lockheed F-94C Starfire on Rogers Dry Lake following engine problems, becomes trapped in the cockpit as the aircraft burns. Capt. Milburn "Mel" Apt, flying chase in another fighter, lands beside the failing F-94 and succeeds in pulling Harer from the burning jet, saving his life. Harer suffers a broken back, third degree burns and compound fractures of both legs that result in their amputation.

1959 - Death of Arthur William Hammond, British WWI flying ace who also served in WWII with the RCAF. -

1961 - Birth of Yuri Ivanovich Malenchenko, Russian Air force pilot and Cosmonaut, 1st person to marry in space.

1964 - 1st flight of the Potez 841, French 4-engined 18-passenger executive monoplane, reengined version of the 840, last aircraft to use the Potez name.

1964 - 1st flight of The Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird", US advanced, long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft.

1964 - 1st flight of the Lockheed D-21, American Mach 3+ reconnaissance drone initially designed to be launched from the back of its M-21 carrier aircraft, a variant of the Lockheed A-12 aircraft.

1966 - 1st flight of The Northrop HL-10 (unpowered), one of five heavyweight lifting body designs flown at NASA's Flight Research Center (FRC—later Dryden Flight Research Center), Edwards, California, designed to to study and validate the concept of safely maneuvering and landing a low lift-over-drag vehicle designed for reentry from space.

1972 - 2 helicopters carrying search and rescue climbers arrived on the crash site of the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 Fairchild FH-227D in the andes. The survivors had fed on the dead passengers who had been preserved in the snow.

1974 - 1st flight of the Dassault Breguet Mirage F1-E (F1.M53), Single-seat all-weather multi-role fighter and ground-attack aircraft variant of the F1 for exportation.

1974 – Avensa Flight 358, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-14 suffers dual engine failure after takeoff and crashes near Maturín, Venezuela, killing all 77 on board

1974 - Birth of Simone Cavelli, Italian Air force pilot, Solo of the Aerobatic team 'Frecce Tricolori'.

1976 - 1st flight of The Fuji/Rockwell Commander 710, joint Japanese-American, twin engine light transport aircraft, powerful evolution of the model 700.

1976 - 1st flight of The Ilyushin Il-86 (NATO reporting name: Camber), russian medium-range wide-body jet airliner.

1977 - 1st flight of The Antonov An-72 'Coaler', Soviet twin jet engine transport aircraft.

1979 - 1st flight of The Socata TB 30 Epsilon, French light military tandem two-seater with a metal airframe aircraft trainer. -

1980 – Saudia Flight 162 Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, suffers an explosive decompression over Qatar, killing two passengers who were sucked out of the aircraft; the cause is traced to a fatigue failure of a main landing gear wheel flange.

1992 – Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 1103 Boeing 727-2L5 collides during approach with a Libyan Air Force MiG-23 near Tripoli International Airport, killing all 159 on board both aircraft.

1994 - 1st flight of the CHAIG Z-11 (Changhe Z-11), 1st indigenously-designed helicopter in China. -

1998 - 1st flight of The Beechcraft Premier I, American light business jet aircraft.

1999 – Korean Air Cargo Flight 8509 Boeing 747-2B5F crashes shortly after take-off from London Stansted Airport due to pilot error. All 4 crew members are killed.

2001 - A plot to bomb American Airlines Flight 63 by "shoe bomber" Richard Reid was foiled. The flight was en route from Paris Charles De Gaulle to Miami, and was diverted to Boston's Logan Airport.

2006 - STS-16, Space shuttle Discovery mission to the ISS, is back on earth.

2009 - American Airlines Flight 331 Boeing 737-800 overran the runway during a landing hampered by poor weather in Kingston, Jamaica. The plane continued on the ground outside the airport perimeter and broke apart causing only injuries.