On This Day in Aviation History March 12 th

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1863 - Birth of Gabriele D'Annunzio or d'Annunzio (ennobled by the King of Italy in 1924 as Principe di Montenevoso), Italian poet, journalist, novelist, dramatist, daredevil and WWI pilot. -

1891 - Birth of Wilhelm "Willi" Reinhard, German WWI fighter ace. -

1892 - Birth of Charles Gordon Ross, South African WWI fighter ace who served in WWII. -

1894 - Birth of William Henry "Harry" Brown, Canadian WWI flying ace

1895 - Birth of Major General William Carey "Bill" Lee , American U.S. Army soldier and general, often referred to as the "Father of the U.S. Airborne"

1908 - 1st flight by Frederick W. Baldwin of the Red Wing (or Aerodrome #1) early aircraft designed by Thomas Selfridge off the frozen Keuka Lake near Hammondsport, New York in what would be the first public demonstration of a powered aircraft flight in the United States as well as the 1st flight by a Canadian pilot. It was named for the bright red color of its silk wings - chosen to achieve the best result with the photography techniques of the day.

1911 - Birth of Alfonso Mattei, Spanish war and WWII italian flying ace.

1912 - Birth of Charles Goujon, French WWII fighter pilot and test pilot. -

1912 - At the request of the Signal Corps, Frank Purdy Lahm, American aviation pioneer, the "nation's first military aviator", opened a seasonal flying school on the polo ground of Fort William McKinley near Manila

1914 - 1st flight of the Curtiss Model J, American biplane prototype tractor configuration aircraft.

1915 - A Burgess H biplane (No. 28) sets a world endurance record for a pilot and two passengers by remaining in the air for 7 hours 5 minutes. This particular airplane has been modified by Grover C. Loening at the army training school in San Diego. -

1918 - John Stanley Chick, Welsch WWI fighter ace, and British Percy Douglas as Observer, drove down out of control a German observation plane and 4 Fokker Dr.I fighters on a single sortie with their Bristol F.2b . - -

1920 - Birth of Walter Omiccioli, Italian WWII pilot who flew in the italian Air force until 1973, commanding a T-33 Squadron.

1923 - Birth of Walter Marty Schirra, Jr., American test pilot, United States Navy officer, and one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts. He is the only person to fly in all of America's first three space programs (Mercury, Gemini and Apollo), fifth American and the ninth human to ride a rocket into space. He was the first person to go into space three times.

1925 - 1st flight of the Fokker F.VIIa (F.VIIa/1m), Single-engined transport aircraft, slightly larger than F.VII with new undercarriage and wing.

1927 - 1st flight of The Fokker F.VIII (or F.8), large twin-engined airliner.

1928 - Death of Samuel Marcus Kinkead, South African WWI fighter ace, while attempting to break the world air speed record in a Supermarine S5. -

1929 - German newspaper Die Weltbühne publishes an article in which is reported the secret rearmament of the german military aviation.

1930 - 1st flight of the Blériot Bl-111/3 (the Bl-111/2 Modified), French Single engine Low wing monoplane transport prototype

1930 - Death of William George 'Billy' Barker, Canadian WWI fighter ace, when he lost control of his Fairchild KR-21 biplane trainer during a demonstration flight for the RCAF, at Air Station Rockcliffe, near Ottawa, Ontario. He was at the time the President and General Manager of Fairchild Aircraft in Montreal. -

1931 - 1st flight of the Nieuport-Delage NiD-650 (a modified NiD-450), French low wing float plane racer prototype designed for the Schneider race

1935 - 1st flight of the Nieuport Ni-140, French Low gull wing twin seat dive bomber prototype. - -

1936 - Death of Friedrich Theodor Noltenius, German WWI flying ace, in the crash of his Bucker Jungmann on take-off. -

1936 - 1st flight of the Salmson D-3 'Phryganet', French high wing light tourer aircraft prototype, 2 seat version of the Phrygane serie.

1938 - 1st flight of The PZL.44 Wicher , Polish prototype of 14-seat, twin-engine airliner to compete with the DC-2 and Lockheed Super Electra.

1938 - Compañía Aeronáutica Uruguaya S.A. (CAUSA), Uruguayan airline company, begin operations.

1939 - 1st flight of The Luton L.A.5 Major, British two-seat high-wing cabin monoplane.

1943 - Death of Giorgio Savoja (Savoia), Italian WWII fighter pilot.

1943 - Birth of James Phillip Fleming, USAF helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War.

1944 - Death of Yoshiro Kuwabara, Japanese WWII fighter ace, Killed in action in his Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa by a P-38. -

1945 - 1st flight of the last bomber variant of the De Havilland Mosquito (Model B35)

1947 - 1st flight of The Douglas Cloudster II, American prototype five-seat light aircraft, with an unusual layout: two buried piston engines driving a single pusher propeller.

1948 - Northwest Airlines Flight 4422 Douglas C-54G-1-DO crashed into Mount Sanford, Alaska, killing all 30 on board.

1949 - 1st flight of the SNCAC NC-856, french high wing 3 seat tourer prototype.

1950 - An Avro 689 Tudor V Star Girl owned by Airflight Limited and being operated under the "Fairflight" name crash while approaching runway 28 of Llandow aerodrome at an abnormally low altitude with the undercarriage down. The pilot attempted to correct the descent by increasing the power of the engines and brought the plane up. The aircraft rose steeply to 100 m (300 ft) attaining a nose-up attitude of 35 degrees to the vertical, and then the aircraft stalled.

1953 - A RAF Avro Lincoln (RF531 "C") of Central Gunnery School was shot down 20 mi (32 km) NE of Lüneburg, Germany by a Soviet MiG-15 as it flew to Berlin on a training flight, resulting in the deaths of the seven crew members.

1955 - 1st flight of The Aérospatiale Alouette II (SE 3130), light helicopter originally manufactured by Sud Aviation and later Aérospatiale, both of France. The Alouette II was the 1st production helicopter to use a gas turbine instead of a conventional heavier piston engine.

1956 - 1st flight of the Brochet MB-110, French high wing single e,gine 4 seat tourer prototype. -

1957 - Death of Jackie Linwood "Jack" Ridley, aeronautical engineer, USAF test pilot and chief of the air force's Flight Test Engineering Laboratory. He helped develop and test many cold war era military aircraft but is best known for his work on the Bell X-1. He died in the crash of a C-47 into a snow-covered mountainside northwest of Tokyo.

1959 - 1st flight of The Aero Boero AB-95, small Argentine civil utility aircraft, high-wing monoplane with fixed tailwheel undercarriage built of fabric-covered metal structure.

1963 - Birth of Patricia Consolatrix Hilliard Robertson, American physician and a NASA astronaut.

1964 - 1st flight of the Morane-Saulnier MS-881 Rallye 'Club', French 3 seat low wing monoplane tourer aircraft.

1966 - Death of Sir Sydney Camm, English aeronautical engineer who contributed to many Hawker aircraft designs, from the biplanes of the 1920s to jet fighters. One particularly notable aircraft he designed is the Hawker Hurricane fighter.

1973 - Death of André Robert Lévy, French WWI flying ace -

1974 - 1st flight of the René Fournier RF-6B, French 2 seat light trainer aircraft. -

1979 - Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Inc. (ASA), American airline, is formed.

1981 - Launch of Soyuz-T4, Soviet space mission to dock with Salyut-6

1985 - Launch of GEOSAT (GEOdetic SATellite),U.S. Navy Earth observation satellite.

2002 - Death of Horace A. Hanes, American WWII and Korean war Fighter pilot, USAF test pilot and high ranking officer. -

2002 - STS-109 (SM3B), NASA space shuttle Columbia mission for Hubble Space Telescope servicing, Last successful mission for Columbia before STS-107, is back on earth.

2004 - 1st flight of the The Embraer ERJ-190, narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range, jet airliner, part of the E-Jet Family.

2010 - Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 Airbus A330-202 crashed on approach 900 metres (980 yd) short of Runway 09 at Tripoli International Airport killing 103 over 104.