On This Day in Aviation History March 15 th

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1888 - Birth of Willi Kampe, German WWI flying ace. -

1890 - Birth of Alfred Lenz, German WWI flying ace

1892 - Birth of Charles Eugène Jules Marie Nungesser, French WWI ace pilot and adventurer. -

1895 - Birth of Caleb Vance Haynes, American WWI pilot and test pilot, Instructor and record setter, mostly used by the Air Force as an organizer, able to create air units from scratch. He commanded a large number of groups, squadrons and task forces before, during and after WWII obtaining rank of USAF major general.

1896 - Birth of Oliver Manners Sutton, British WWI flying ace.

1898 - Birth of Erich Meyer, German WWI flying ace

1902 - Birth of Luigi Questa, Italian aviator who participated at the Atlantic cruise with Italo Balbo in 1930.

1904 - Birth of Carl Wilhelm Brunolf Baade, East-German Engineer who designed the 1st german Jet passenger airliner Baade 152 (also known as Dresden 152, VL-DDR 152 or simply 152) but which never entered service.

1906 – Rolls-Royce Limited, renowned British car and, aero-engine manufacturing company is founded by Charles Stewart Rolls and Henry Royce.

1914 - Birth of 'Buffalo' Wong Sun-Shui, Chinese-American flying ace of the Sino-Japanese war.

1916 – The 1st Aero Squadron begins operations with Gen. John J. Pershing in a punitive expedition against Mexico and Pancho Villa.

1918 - Death of Adolf Ritter von Tutschek, German WWI fighter ace, shot down in his Fokker DRI by a SE.5a -

1918 – After an extensive conversion, HMS Furious re-enters service with the Royal Navy as the world’s 1st aircraft carrier with aircraft lifts (elevators).

1920 - Death of Rudolf Berthold, German WWI flying ace, during a riot between communist and nationalist factions, after taking part in the failed Kapp Putsch. -

1931 - 1st flight of the Latécoère 440 (Land version), 3 seat single-engined, high-winged floatplane prototype built as a coastal defence aircraft for the French Navy -

1932 - Birth of Alan LaVern Bean, NASA astronaut, engineer, and painter

1935 - 1st flight of The Dornier Do 18, German twin engine flying boat, development of the Do 16.

1938 - De Havilland D. H. 88 Comet racer G-ACSS begins a record-breaking flight from England to New Zealand and back for what some regard as the most notable success of the Comet's achievement: a return flight time of 10 days 21 hours 22 minutes.

1939 - 1st flight of the SNCAC NC-2234, french 4 engine high wing monoplane airliner prototype issued from the Farman F222.

1941 - Philippines Airline begins operations with a single Beechcraft Model 18 NPC-54 on daily services between Manila (from Nielson Field) and Baguio.

1942 - The jet Engine Jumo 004A is flight tested on a Messerschmitt Bf 110.

1945 - 1st flight of the SNCASO SO.3050, French lown wing single engine monoplane tourer prototype.

1946 - The RCAF Fighter Wing, Nos. 411, 412, 416 and 443 Squadrons, are disbanded. they were serving with the British Air Forces of Occupation.

1949 - 1st flight of the Salmson D-7 'Cricri Major', French conventional, parasol-wing monoplane light aircraft with fixed tailskid undercarriage and seating in tandem open cockpits for the pilot and passenger, issued from the D-6-3.

1949 - Dick Reider and Bill Barris start a world endurance record for a flight-refueled aircraft in the U.S with their Aeronca 15AC Sedan 'Sunkist Lady' light aircraft. Along the way, fuel and food will be passed from vehicles on the ground to the pilots during low passes over airport runways.

1950 - 1st flight of 2nd prototype Vickers Viscount (663 Tay Viscount), British medium-range turboprop airliner, testbed for Rolls-Royce Tay turbojet.

1951 - 1st flight of the SNCAN NC-856A 'Norvigie', french 3 seat single engine high wing monoplane scout aircraft evolution of the NC-856

1951 - 1st flight of The SNCASO SO.4000, experimental French twin-engined jet-bomber aircraft. -

1951 - 1st flight of the SNCASO CO-30 'Nene', French experimental low wing twin engined jet transport aircraft.

1957 - A U.S. Navy ZPG-2 'Snowbird' non-rigid airship sets a new unrefueled endurance record when it lands at NAS Key West, Fla., having remained aloft for 264 hours (11 days) 12 minutes

1957 - 1st flight of the Dassault Étendard VI, French prototype fighter aircraft.

1962 - Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 Lockheed Constellation L-1049H disappeared over the Western Pacific Ocean.

1963 - Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano Flight 915 Douglas DC-6 crashed into Chachacomani mountain, killing all 36 passengers and three crew members.

1967 - Death of François Durafour, swiss aviation pioneer.

1967 - 1st flight of the Sikorsky HH-53 "Super Jolly Green Giant" , US long-range combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter.

1985 - American Eagle Airlines, a commuter subsidiary of American Airlines, begins service.

1986 - Soyuz T-15 Docked to Russian space station Mir.

1996 - The Fokker aircraft manufacturer is declared bankrupt.

2004 - Death of William Hayward Pickering, New Zealand born rocket scientist who headed Pasadena, California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for 22 years, senior NASA luminary and who pioneered the exploration of space.

2008 - Death of Victoria Louise "Vicki" Van Meter,American aviatrix. She was known for setting several youngest-pilot distance-flying records -

2008 - Death of George David Low, American aerospace executive and a NASA astronaut.

2009 - East Star Airlines, People's Republic of China Airline, Cease operations.

2009 - Launch of STS-119, space shuttle mission Discovery to the ISS