On This Day in Aviation History March 5 th

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1883 - Birth of Radul Milkov Mikhailov, bulgarian WWI pilot and high ranking officer, credited of the 1st drop af an aerial bomb.

1894 - Birth of Adriano Bacula, WWI Italian pilot and Test pilot for Savoia-Marchetti after WWI

1896 - Birth of Albert Hets, German WWI flying ace

1906 - 1st flight of The Vuia I, built by Rumanian born aviator Trajan Vuia at Montesson in France, 1st aircraft with pneumatic tyres. However, the aircraft was virtually flightless. 5 'flights' were made of which the longest was 24 metres.

1911 - The Belgian Army Balloon Company is formed as the Compagnie des Ouviers et Aerostiers

1912 - Italian forces are the 1st to use airships for military purposes, employing them for reconnaissance west of Tripoli behind Turkish lines.

1913 - The 1st Aero Squadron of the United States Army Signal Corps is formed.

1918 - The 2nd Balloon Company took over the line and began operations supporting the U.S. 1st Division, becoming the "1st complete American Air Service unit in history to operate against an enemy on foreign soil".

1918 - Birth of Glen Edwards, US Air Force test pilot and WWII Pilot.

1923 - The great aeronautical pioneer Igor Sikorsky sets up the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corp. in the United States with the financial help of several important leading figures, including Sergey Rachmaninoff.

1928 - 1st flight of The Beardmore Inflexible, (also known as the Rohrbach Ro VI), Scottish three-engined all-metal prototype bomber aircraft prototype.

1928 - Wilmer Stultz, O.Le Boutilier, and Mabel Boll on a improvised seat made the 1st non-stop flight in the Wright-Bellanca WB-2 'Columbia' between New York, New York and Havana, Cuba.

1929 - LAN Airlines S.A., flag carrier of Chile, is founded by Chilean Air Services Commander Arturo Merino Benitez.

1930 - 1st flight of the SPAD S-92-2, French twin seat biplane trainer.

1931 - Birth of Geraldyn "Jerrie" M. Cobb, American aviatrix, commercial pilot, pilot and manager for Aero Design and Engineering Company, record setter, part of the "Mercury 13," a group of women who underwent some of the same physiological screening tests as the original Mercury Seven astronauts as part of a private, non-NASA program.

1935 - Birth of Philip Kenyon Chapman, 1st Australian-born American astronaut.

1936 - 1st flight of the Breguet 470 'Fulgur', French twin-engined monoplane airliner prototype.

1936 - 1st flight of The Supermarine Spitfire, British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries throughout the Second World War. The Spitfire continued to be used into the 1950s both as a front line fighter and in secondary roles. It was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft, and was the only Allied fighter in production throughout the war. At the controls was Captain Joseph "Mutt" Summers, chief test pilot for Vickers (Aviation) Ltd., who was reported in the press as saying "Don't touch anything" on landing.

1937 - Imperial Airways opens a new flying boat base at Hythe, Hampshire.

1943 - Death of Mitsugu Sawada, Japanese Sino-Japanese war and WWII flying ace, known as the ‘King of the Force-Landing’, Killed in action in his Nakajima Ki-43. After his landing gear refused to retract, he was Attacked By p-38s and p-40s of which he managed to resist 30 minutes, shooting down 3 of his opponents, before being shot down in flames. -

1943 - 1st flight of The Gloster Meteor, 1st British jet fighter and the Allies 1st operational jet.

1943 - Beginning of the 'Battle of the Ruhr': 5 month long campaign of strategic bombing during WWII against the Nazi Germany Ruhr Area.

1944 - Beginning of 'Operation Thursday': RAF and USAF transport aircraft fly in the leading elements of two Long Range Penetration 'Chindit' brigades, under the command of Major General Orde Wingate, to landing zones deep behind the Japanese lines in Burma.

1945 - Only known deaths in the continental U.S. as the result of enemy action during WWII : A pregnant woman and 5 children were killed when they discovered a Fu-Go balloon bomb that had landed in the forest of Gearhart Mountain in Southern Oregon.

1953 - Birth of Valery Grigoryevich Korzun, Russian cosmonaut.

1953 - Franciszek Jarecki, Polish Air Force pilot, lands a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 jet and seeks political asylum on the Danish island of Bornholm. -

1957 - 1st flight of the Mignet HM-350, French light twin seat homebuilt aircraft, part of the Flying Flea family.

1958 - 1st flight of The Yakovlev Yak-28, swept wing, turbojet-powered combat aircraft, Based on The Yak-129 prototype.

1958 - Launch of Explorer 2, Nasa spacecraft equipped with a Geiger counter for the purposes of detecting cosmic rays which did not reach orbit due to a failure in the rocket during launch.

1960 - Death of Kenneth Bowman Watson, Canadian WWI flying ace -

1962 - A Convair B-58 (serial no. 59-2458) of the 43rd Bombardment Wing breaks 3 records during a round trip between New York and Los Angeles in 4 hours 41 minutes 14.98 seconds. The fastest trans-continental crossing between Los Angeles and New York is accomplished in 2 hours 58.71 seconds at an average speed of 1,214.65 mph. The third record notches the fastest time between New York and Los Angeles.

1962 - Birth of Robert Lee Curbeam, Jr., American astronaut, and USN Pilot.

1966 – BOAC Flight 911 encountered severe clear-air turbulence associated with lee waves, causing a sudden structural failure that initiated an in-flight breakup sequence and crashed on Mount Fuji, Japan, killing 124.

1967 - Varig Airlines Flight 837 Douglas DC-8-33 crashed during approach to Runway 04 of Roberts International Airport, Monrovia, Liberia, killing 51 over 90 and 5 on ground.

1967 - Lake Central Flight 527 Convair 580 crashed near Marseilles, Ohio, killing all 38 after an engine failed and the propeller hurled through the cabin, severing control cables as well as the structural integrity of the plane itself.

1969 - 1st manned flight of a LM, 1st docking and extraction of a LM, two spacewalks, and the 1st docking of two manned spacecraft on Apollo 9

1970 - 1st flight of the Fournier RF-7, french single-seat motorglider

1974 - Death of Hugh Fitzgerald Moore, Scottish WWI flying ace

1978 - Launch of Landsat 3, enterprise for acquisition of imagery of Earth from space.

1979 – Soviet probes Venera 11, Venera 12 and the American solar satellite Helios II all are hit by "off the scale" gamma rays leading to the discovery of soft gamma repeaters.

1979 – America's Voyager 1 spacecraft has its closest approach to Jupiter, 172,000 miles.

1980 - Death of Fred Parkinson Holliday, Australian WWI fighter ace who also served with Canada in WWII. -

1982 - Venera 14, soviet probe, lands on Venus.

1983 - Death of Carlo Francesco "Francis" Lombardi, Italian WWI flying ace, Aircraft and Automobile designer who made post war record breaking flights. He formed the Avia aviation company. -

1991 - Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela Flight 108 McDonnell Douglas DC-9 crashed on the side of a foggy mountain near La Valesa in the La Aguada sector of the Páramo Los Torres, venezuala, killing all 45.

1993 - Controlled from the ground by test pilot N.P.Bezdetnov, the Ka-37 (unmanned helicopter designed for aerial photography, television and radio broadcasting, delivery of medicines, food, mail, and emergency aid in disasters or hard and dangerous environments) made its 1st flight

1993 – Palair Macedonian Flight 301 Fokker 100 rashed shortly after take-off from Skopje Airport on its way to Zurich Airport, killing 83 of 97 passengers and crew on board. -

1998 - NASA announce that data obtained from Clementine indicated that there is enough water in polar craters of the moon to support a human colony and a rocket fueling station. Doubt has since been cast on this interpretation.

1999 - Death of John Leland Atwood, American prominent engineer and executive in the aerospace industry, Chief Engineer/Executive at North American Aviation, He developed the P-51 Mustang during WWII, the F-100 jet fighter, the X-15 rocket plane, and overheaded the Apollo program.

1999 - 1st (glide) flight of the NASA X-38 V-132, 2nd prototype for a wingless lifting body reentry vehicle that was to be used as a Crew Return Vehicle for the International Space Station (ISS).

2008 - Aero Ica Cessna U206C Super Skywagon lost power on approach and crashed 150m from Maria Reiche Neuman runway, killing 5. Only the pilot survived.

2009 - 1st flight of The Terrafugia Transition, American light sport, roadable aircraft which can be driven up to 65 miles per hour (105 km/h). It has folding wings, pusher propeller and twin tail. . When operated as a car, the engine powers the rear wheel drive. In flight, the engine drives the pusher propeller.

2010 - Launch of Yaogan 9A, 9B and 9C, Chinese reconnaissance satellites

2011 - 1st launch in space of the Boeing X-37B, (USA-226) American unmanned robotic vertical-takeoff, horizontal-landing spaceplane.