On This Day in Aviation History February 20 th

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1875 - Birth of Marie Marvingt, French athlete, mountaineer, and aviator, and the most decorated woman in the history of France. 1st woman to fly combat missions as a bomber pilot during WWI, a qualified surgical nurse, 1st trained and certified Flight Nurse in the world. She worked for the establishment of air ambulance services throughout the world.


1888 - Birth of Fred Parkinson Holliday, Australian WWI fighter ace who also served with Canada in WWII.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Parkinson_Holliday - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/australi/holliday.php

1888 - Birth of Benjamin Thomas 'Ben' Epps, American aviation pioneer and aircraft designer.


1908 - Birth of Grigorij Jakowlewicz Bachcziwandzé (Baratchivadzi), Soviet WWII flying ace who set a world speed record in BI-1 rocketplane.

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grigori_Baratchivadz%C3%A9 - http://cieldegloire.com/015_bakhchivadzhi_g_y.php

1912 - Birth of John "Johnny" Milne Checketts, New Zealand WWII fighter ace, responsible for introducing the de Havilland Vampire to form the RNZAF's 1st jet squadron.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Checketts - http://www.cieldegloire.com/002_checketts_j_m.php

1916 - Birth of Georgiy Nikanorovich Zhidov, Soviet WWII fighter ace.


1918 - Death of Wolfgang Güttler, German WWI flying ace colliding with another pilot of his squadron.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_G%C3%BCttler - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/germany/guttler.php

1919 - Birth of Squadron Leader James Joseph "Orange" O'Meara, British Battle of Britain Spitfire Ace.


1921 - Birth of Joseph Albert "Joe" Walker, American NASA test pilot and Astronaut.


1924 - In Dakar, Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Tulasne, Captain Gama and Lieutenant Michel complete the 1st trip across the Sahara desert and back, piloting Breguet-14 airplanes.


1933 - 1st flight of the Loire 45, French single-seater high-winged monoplane fighter aircraft.

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loire_46 - http://www.aviastar.org/air/france/loire_45.php

1939 - 1st flight of The Douglas DC-5, least known of the famous DC airliner series, 16-22 seat, twin-propeller aircraft intended for shorter routes than the DC-3 or DC-4.


1940 - 1st flight (with skis) of The Yakovlev Yak-4 BB-22 production series, Soviet twin engine light bomber.


1941 - Death of Athos Ammannato, Italian WWII bomber pilot, missing in action over the mediterranean sea.


1941 - Death of Alfredo Fusco, Italian WWI & WWII pilot, Killed in action in his Fiat G.50 "Freccia" over Albania.


1942 – Lieutenant Edward Henry “Butch” O'Hare becomes America's 1st WWII flying ace, shooting down 5 Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bombers attacking USS lexington with his Grumman Wildcat.


1942 - Flight to Arras (French: Pilote de guerre), memoire by French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, is published in the USA. It recounts his role in the French air force as pilot of a reconnaissance plane during the Battle of France in 1940.


1943 - Birth of Aleksandr Pavlovich Aleksandrov, Soviet cosmonaut.


1944 – The "Big Week" begins with American bomber raids on German aircraft manufacturing centers.


1949 - Birth of Vladimir Yevgeniyevich Turovets, Russian test pilot.


1954 - Birth of Vasily Vasiliyevich Tsibliyev, Ukrainian-Russian cosmonaut.


1954 - 1st flight of the Dassault MD-312B, French twin engine low wing monoplane transport aircraft prototype, Experimental shortened and monotailed version on the MD-312 with heavier loaded weight.


1957 - 1st prototype of the Fiat G.91, Italian jet fighter aircraft, crashes due to aeroelastic vibrations.


1958 - 1st pre-production Fiat G.91, Italian jet fighter aircraft, makes its 1st flight.


1958 - Death of Charles Alexander Holcombe Longcroft , Britsh WWI pilot and squadron commander in the Royal Flying Corps who went on to become a senior commander in the Royal Air Force.


1959 - "Black Friday" in the Canadian aviation industry. Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow , delta-winged interceptor aircraft project is cancelled.


1962 - Flight of Mercury-Atlas 6, Nasa Human spaceflight. John Glenn becomes the 1st US astronaut to orbit the earth with Friendship 7. A 4 hours and 56 minutes flight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_Atlas_6 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Glenn

1963 - Death of Harold Koch Boysen, American WWI flying ace

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Koch_Boysen - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/usa/boysen.php

1965 - Ranger 8 crashes on the moon. The spacecraft was designed to achieve a lunar impact trajectory and to transmit high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface during the final minutes of flight up to impact.


1967 - Death of Cecil Guelph Brock, Canadian WWI flying ace who participated at the dogfight which conducted to Manfred Von Richtofen's death.


1968 - A standard Learjet 25 sets a new "time-to-climb" record by climbing to 40,000 feet in 6 minutes 29 seconds


1972 - Birth of Anton Nikolaevich Shkaplerov, Russian air force pilot and cosmonaut.


1972 - A USAF Lockheed HC-130H Hercules piloted by a crew commanded by Lt. Comdr. Ed Allison sets a new world record for unrefuelled flight by turboprop aircraft. It flies a distance of 14,052.94 km (8,732.5 mi.) between the Taiwanese base of Ching Chuan Kang AB and Scott AFB, Illinois


1974 - Death of Frederic A. Brossy, American aviator, instructor and record setter.


1975 – USAF Major R. Smith sets a new world absolute time-to-height speed record, flying a McDonnell Douglas F-15 A Eagle to 30,000 m (98,425 feet) in 207.80 seconds.


1977 - Death of Cristoffel Johannes "Boetie" Venter, South African WWI fighter ace, Director-General of the SAAF durin WWI and later, director of South African Airways.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christoffel_Venter - http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/safrica/venter.php

1986 - Launch of Mir, Soviet (later Russian) space station, 1st modular space station.


1996 - Death of Jeffrey Kindersley Quill, British WWII RAF officer, RNVR officer and Test pilot. He test-flew every mark of Spitfire.


1999 - Launch of Soyuz TM-29 Russian manned spacecraft to MIR.


2001 - Launch of Odin, Swedish satellite to study star formation.


2001 - STS-98, Space shuttle Atlantis mission to the ISS, is back on earth.


2003 - Pakistani Air Chief Mushaf Ali Mir died along with his wife Bilquis Mir and all other 15 officers, when their Fokker F-27 crashed during a routine flight to PAF Base Kohat.


2004 - The Eurofighter Typhoon enters in service in Italy.


2008 - STS-122, NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis mission to the International Space Station (ISS), is back on earth


2009 – 2 Tamil Tigers aircraft (Zlín Z 143 - single engine, low-winged monoplane, mainly used for training purposes) packed with C4 explosives en-route to the national airforce headquarters are shot down by the Sri Lankan military before reaching their target, in a kamikaze style attack.


2011 - Death of Barbara Harmer, British airliner pilot, 1st qualified female Concorde pilot.