On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 27th

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1771 - Death of Henri Pitot, French hydraulic engineer and the inventor of the Pitot tube.

1773 - Birth 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 Reginald Milburn Makepeace, British WWI fighter ace, killed in a flying accident at Turnberry Aerodrome. -

1891 - Birth of Del Antoine Gaston Vial, French WWI flying ace -

1892 - Birth of Alfred Edwin “Eddie” McKay, Canadian WWI Flying ace. -

1896 - Birth of Charles Arthur Bissonette, American WWI flying ace

1897 - Birth of Hans "Franz" Nülle, German WWI flying ace

1902 - Birth of Francesco Agello, Italian test pilot, while testing a new Italian fighter plane

1916 - Birth of Werner Baumbach , German WWII bomber pilot, commander of the secret bomber wing Kampfgeschwader 200 (KG 200).

1916 - Death of Gustav Leffers, German WWI flying ace, killed in combat with FE-2b's of No 11 Squadron RFC while flying a captured Nieuport. -

1916 - Death of Pierre Augustin François Violet-Marty, French WWI flying ace, killed in action just after having scored his 5th victory. -

1919 - 1st flight of The Boeing Model 6 (also known as the B-1a), American small biplane flying boat prototype, 1st commercial design for Boeing.

1919 - Birth of Charles W. Sweeney, USAAF WWII pilot and the pilot who flew the "Fat Man" atomic bomb to Nagasaki.

1922 - 1st purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world is the Japanese Hosho.

1926 - A de Havilland DH.66 Hercules, British seven-passenger, three-engined airliner, starts an inaugural flight from Croydon UK to Delhi, India.

1935 - USAAC uses aerial bombardment to divert a flow of lava from Mauna Loa, Hawaii that is threatening Hilo's waterworks.

1936 - 1st flight of The Petlyakov Pe-8, only Soviet 4 engine heavy bomber built during WWII.

1936 - United Airlines Trip 34 Boeing 247D crashed at the head of Rice Canyon killing all 12. The probable cause was found to be " error on the part of the pilot for attempting to fly through Newhall pass at an altitude lower than the surrounding mountains without first determining by radio the existing weather".

1942 - 1st flight of The Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu 'Peggy', Japanese twin-engine medium bomber.

1942 - 1st flight of The Kawanishi N1K1-J Shiden 'George', Japanese fighter, Evolution of the N1K1 prototype.

1942 - Death of Konstantin Vladimirovich Solovev, Soviet Winter war and WWII flying ace, killed in action in his I-153.

1942 - 1st flight of The Northrop N-9M, one-third scale aircraft used for the development of the Northrop XB-35 and YB-35 Flying Wing long-range bomber program

1943 - Death of Nakakazu Ozaki, Japanese WWII fighter ace, colliding in mid-air with a fighter attacking the bombers he was escorting near Suichuan airfield. -

1945 - 1st flight of the Heinkel He 274, German heavy bomber prototype designed for high-altitude bombing with pressurized crew accommodation, finally completed just after WWII by the Ateliers Aéronautiques de Suresnes (AAS) and named AAS 01A.

1947 - Air India Douglas DC-3 crashed shortly after takeoff from Karachi due to Poor visibility and malfunctioning instrument in the cockpit, Killing all 23

1947 - Death of Johannes Winkler, German rocket pioneer who founded the 1st German rocket society and launched the 1st successful liquid-fuelled rocket in Europe

1947 - 1st flight of the 2nd Heinkel He 274, German heavy bomber prototype designed for high-altitude bombing with pressurized crew accommodation, finally completed just after WWII by the Ateliers Aéronautiques de Suresnes (AAS) and named AAS 01B.

1951 - 1st flight of The North American FJ-2/-3 Fury, American swept-wing carrier-capable fighters for the US Navy and USMC, based on the United States Air Force's F-86 Sabre

1952 - The de Havilland Comet 1A made its initial proving flight from Paris to Dakar.

1954 - 1st flight of the SFECMAS 1402 'Gerfaut' 1B, French delta-wing turbojet experimental research aircraft.

1968 - North Central Airlines Flight 458 Convair CV-580 crashed into a hangar while attempting a night landing in poor weather at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, Killing 27 over 45 on board ond one on ground.

1968 - Apollo 8 is back on earth, (Frank F. Borman II, James A. Lovell Jr. and William A. Anders) 2nd manned mission in the American Apollo space program, 1st human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit, 1st to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body and 1st crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial body—Earth's Moon.

1970 - Birth of Naoko Yamazaki, japanese engineer and JAXA astronaut.

1978 - 1st flight of the Enstrom F-280 L Hawk, American small, light piston-engined helicopter prototype, four-seat version of the 280C.

1982 - Death of John Leonard 'Jack' Swigert, Jr., American test pilot and NASA astronaut, one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon.

1992 - USAF F-16D Fighting Falcons shoot down an Iraqi Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 in Southern Iraq's "no fly zone"

1998 - Death of Robert Samuel Johnson, American WWII flying ace. -

1999 - STS-103, Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission by Space Shuttle Discovery is back on earth

2006 - CHC Helicopter Eurocopter SA-365N Dauphin 2, on a carrying crew mission between the Millom and South Morecambe gas platforms, crashed into sea 24 miles from the shoreline of Morecambe Bay, Lancashire, killing all 7.

2006 - Launch of COROT (COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits), CNES/ESA space mission to search for extrasolar planets with short orbital periods, particularly those of large terrestrial size, and to perform asteroseismology by measuring solar-like oscillations in stars, 1st spacecraft dedicated to the detection of transiting extrasolar planets.