On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 26th

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1886 - Birth of Pierre Prier, French engineer, early aviator and aircraft manufacturer

1894 - Birth of Vladimir Ivanovich Strizhesky, Russian WWI flying ace -

1895 - Birth of Edwin Stuart Travis Cole, British WWI flying ace who also served in WWII -

1896 - Birth of Stephen Potter, US Navy officier and early Naval aviator, 1st American naval aviator to shoot down a German plane.

1897 - Birth of George Benson Anderson, Canadian WWI flying ace

1913 - Joseph Eugene Carberry flying a Curtiss Model G sets an Army record for altitude carrying a passenger at 7,800 feet (2,400 m).

1914 - Birth of John Lucian Smith, USMC WWII fighter ace, who worked later for Grumman Aerospace and Rocketdyne. -

1918 - Birth of Arthur Warren "Kit" Murray, American test pilot who flew test flights on the Bell X-1 and the Bell X-5 aircraft.

1933 - French Raymond Delmotte set a new airspeed records on 100km and 1000Km with a Caudron C 362 racer.

1935 - Death of Tito Minniti, Italian Pilot, killed after he was captured by Ethiopians during the 2nd Italo-Abyssinian War near Degehabur. His death and alleged torture became an atrocity story justifying the use of mustard gas against the Ethiopians.

1937 - Pan American World Airways (Pan-Am) Sikorsky S-42 flying boat 'Samoan Clipper' inaugurates the 1st air mail and freight service between the USA and New Zealand.

1939 - 1st Royal Australian Air Force squadron, No.10 Squadron RAAF, arrives in Britain for service alongside the Royal Air Force.

1941 - Death of Charles John Wharton "Johnny" Darwin, British WWI flying ace who also served in WWII -

1942 - 1st flight of the Kawasaki Ki-78 , Japanese High Speed Experimental Aircraft.

1944 - American WWII fighter ace Thomas Buchanan McGuire Jr. scores his last 4 victories with his P-38 agains A6M2 Zeros, making him the 2nd highest scoring American ace of WWII -

1948 - 1st Soviet pilot to break the sound barrier is I. E. Fedorov, diving his Lavochkin La-176 jet, powered by a Rolls-Royce Nene engine, at full throttle.

1950 - Birth of Barbara McConnell Barrett, American politician who trained as an astronaut, and was the backup spaceflight participant for the Soyuz TMA-16, 1st civilian woman to land in an F/A-18 Hornet on an aircraft carrier. -

1956 - 1st flight of the Leduc 0.22, French prototype of a Mach 2 swept wings and a coaxial turbojet-ramjet powerplant fighter. -

1956 - 1st flight of The Convair F-106 Delta Dart, USAF primary all-weather interceptor aircraft.

1960 - Death of Alexander Goodlet Clark, Australian WWI figter ace.

1960 - Death of Giuseppe Mario Bellanca, Italian-American airplane designer and builder who created the 1st enclosed cabin monoplane in the US, founder of Bellanca Aircraft Company.

1964 - Max Conrad lands his Piper Pa-30 Twin Comanche in St Petersburg, Florida setting a new FAI class record, flying 12,678.83 km (7,878.26 mi) from Cape Town, South Africa. -

1967 - Death of Edric William Broadberry, British WWI fighter ace. -

1970 - 1st flight of The NAMC J-12, People's Republic of China lightweight supersonic fighter prototype

1972 - As part of Operation Linebacker II, 120 American B-52 Stratofortress bombers attacked Hanoi, including 78 launched from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the largest single combat launch in Strategic Air Command history

1973 - Soyouz 13 is back on earth.

1974 - Launch of Salyut 4, Soviet space station.

1974 - 1st flight of the Airbus A300B4-100, European short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner, evolution of the A-300B2. -

1975 - 1st airmail flight by a supersonic aircraft is made by the Tupolev Tu-144, carrying mail between Moscow and Alma Ata, within the U.S.S.R.

1982 - 1st flight of The Antonov An-124 Ruslan (NATO Condor), Soviet strategic airlift jet aircraft

1989 - 1st flight of The Hongdu N-5 (Nanchang N-5), Chinese single-engined low-wing monoplane agricultural aircraft.

1989 - United Express Flight 2415 BAe Jetstream 31 stalled and crashed short of the runway at Tri-Cities Airport, Killing all 6 after The crew executed an excessively steep and unstabilized ILS approach along with improper air traffic control commands and aircraft icing.

1993 - 1st flight of The Yakovlev Yak-58, russian small, multi-role utility transport and business prototype aircraft with a pusher engine and twin boom tail.

2009 - Death of José María Bravo Fernández-Hermosa, Spanish Republican Flying ace of the Spanish war who also served with the Soviet Air force in WWII

2010 - Launch of KA-SAT, European high throughput telecommunications satellite to provide broadband Internet access services across Europe and also a small area of the Middle East.