On This Day in Aviation History March 17 th

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1871 - Birth of Carlo Piazza, Early italian aviator, Known for having flown the 1st aircraft to be used in war (a Bleriot XI) in the World's 1st aerial reconnaissance mission.

1888 - Birth of Pierre Armand Wertheim (Wertheimer), French WWI flying ace -

1897 - Birth of Patrick Huskinson, British WWI fighter ace, Director of Armament Production during WWII -

1897 - Birth of Francis McDougall Charlewood Turner, British WWI flying ace -

1897 - Birth of Charles Albert Levine, 1st passenger aboard a transatlantic flight. (1st non-stop flight from New York to Eisleben, Germany flown by Clarence D. Chamberlain in a Bellanca monoplane)

1898 - Birth of Thomas Elliott, British WWI flying ace.

1911 - The Curtiss D pusher-engined biplane with a tricycle landing gear is demonstrated to the United States Army. Later it becomes their Army Aeroplane No.2.

1912 - Birth of Fortunato Cesari, Italian aviator.

1913 - The Uruguayan Military Aviation Academy (Escuela de Aviación Militar) is formed at a small airport 50 km from Montevideo. The 1st aircrafts were a Farman Longhorn biplane and a Blériot XI monoplane.

1917 - Zeppelin LZ86 (L39) is brought down over Compiegne in France by anti-aircraft fire.

1917 - Death of Eric Clowes Pashley, British WWI flying ace, Killed In a Flying Accident.

1918 - Birth of Marcel Lefèvre, French WWII Pilot who served in the French Soviet squadron Normandie Niemen. - -

1918 - Death of Saint Cyprian Churchill Tayler, British WWI flying ace, killed in action in his S.E.5 -

1918 - Death of Hans Bethge, German WWI fighter ace, Kileld in His Pfalz D.III over Passchendaele by a D.H.4. -

1918 - Death of Maurice Douglas Guest Scott, British WWI flying ace, killed in an airplane accident near Shoreham, England. -

1921 - Death of Nikolay Yegorovich Zhukovsky, Russian scientist, founding father of modern aero- and hydrodynamics. Whereas contemporary scientists scoffed at the idea of human flight, Zhukovsky was the 1st to undertake the study of airflow.

1921 - 1st U. S. Marine airman to serve in the Pacific arrives on Guam with responsibility for supporting U. S. land and sea forces in the region. There, 10 pilots and 90 enlisted men operate seaplanes on reconnaissance duty as Flight L, Fourth Squadron, for 10 years.

1923 - The US government authorizes Army aircraft to drop calcium arsenate on Louisiana's cotton fields in order to kill weevils.

1923 - Dobrolyot, or sometimes Dobrolet, early Soviet Union air transport organisation, is formed.

1927 - 1st night aerial crossing of the South Atlantic is made by Portuguese José Manuel Sarmento de Beires with a Dornier Do J Wal 'Argos' metallic seaplane from Portuguese Guinea to Brazil. -

1930 - Birth of James Benson Irwin, American astronaut and engineer. He served as Lunar Module pilot for Apollo 15, the 4th human lunar landing; he was the eighth person to walk on the Moon

1935 - German authorities make the color-coding at vital aircraft parts obligatory; red for fire circuit-breakers, green for temperature regulators, yellow for throttles and brown for hydraulic circuits.

1936 - Birth of Thomas Kenneth "Ken" Mattingly II, American astronaut and rear admiral in the US Navy who flew on the Apollo 16, STS-4 and STS-51-C missions. He is one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon.

1936 - 1st flight of The Armstrong Whitworth A.W.38 Whitley , British twin-engine, front line medium bomber.

1937 - 1st flight of the Gourdou Leseurre GL-521, frecnh single seat parsol wing carrier born dive bomber prototype.

1937 – Amelia Earhart flies a Lockheed Electra from Oakland, California, to Wheeler Field, Territory of Hawaii, on the first leg of an attempted circumnavigation of the world, making the flight in 15 hours 47 min.

1939 - 1st flight of the Hanriot H.220-2, 2nd prototype of a french twin engine heavy fighter.

1943 - Consolidated and Vultee officially merged, creating Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation, popularly known as Convair

1945 - 331 American B-29 bombers launched a firebombing attack against the city of Kobe, Japan. The resulting firestorms destroyed an area of three square miles and included 21% of Kobe's urban area.

1947 - 1st flight of The North American B-45 Tornado, United States Air Force's 1st operational jet bomber, and the 1st jet aircraft to be refueled in the air.

1950 - Test pilot Ivan Ivashchenko is killed when his prototype Mig-I330 (Mig-SI/ MIG-17) developped flutter which tore off the horizontal tail, causing a spin and crash.

1954 - Death of Joseph Arthur "Joe" Lynch, Jr., WWII pilot, North American Aviation Test pilot, killed in the fiery crash of the only North American TF-86F Transonic Sabre, a two-seat experimental version of the famous Sabre Jet, as he started a slow roll on takeoff. He lost control of the plane and impacted the ground.

1955 - 1st flight of the SNCASO SO-9000-01 'Trident' I, mixed power French prototype interceptor aircraft, evolution of the Trident with more powerful turbojets. -

1957 – A Douglas C-47 plane named "Mt. Pinatubo" crashed on the slopes of Mount Manunggal in Cebu, Philippines, killing Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and 24 others.

1958 - French National Airline Air Inter commences operations.

1958 - Launch of Vanguard 1, fourth artificial Earth satellite launched and the 1st satellite to be solar powered.

1960 - Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 710 Lockheed L-188 Electra, disintegrated in-flight and crashed near Cannelton, Indiana killing all 63 on board. ( in-flight separation of the right wing while cruising at 18,000 ft (5,500 m) due to flutter caused by unexplained reduced stiffness of the engine mounts.)

1961 - The Northrop T-38 Talon, American twin-engine supersonic jet trainer, world's 1st supersonic trainer enters in service.

1963 - Birth of Emir Šišic, pilot of the Air Force of the SFR Yugoslavia and later FR Yugoslavia who was involved in a controversial air encounter that resulted in five deaths, for which he served prison time.

1963 - Death of Pierre Desire Augustin Ducornet, French WWI flying ace who served in WWII. -

1964 - A Spanish Air force Douglas DC-3 crashes on night landing near Tenerife-Norte Los Rodeos Airport.

1964 - American flyer Joan Merriam Smith takes off with her Piper Apache from Oackland for the 2nd round-the-world flight by a woman.

1966 – Off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean, the DSV Alvin submarine finds a missing American hydrogen bomb, lost in a United States Air Force midair accident over Palomares, Spain.

1966 - Gemini 8 (officially Gemini VIII), sixth manned spaceflight in NASA's Gemini program, returns on earth after suffering thruster malfunction which required immediate abort of the mission. Despite this, docking to RM-81 Agena (satellite support bus) had been successful.

1966 - 1st flight of The Bell X-22, United States V/STOL X-plane with four tilting ducted fans

1969 - 1st flight of the Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama, French single-engined helicopter developed to meet hot and high operational requirements of the Indian Armed Forces -

1969 - 1st flight of The Westland Wessex HCC4, British turbine-powered development of the American helicopter Sikorsky S58, designed for VVIP (Queen's flights).

1970 - Eastern Air Lines Shuttle Flight 1320 Douglas DC-9 is hijacked. The hijacker is overpowered and the aircraft lands safely in Boston, although the co-pilot is killed in the struggle.

1977 - Death of Hans Wolfgang von Gronau, German glider pilot and aviation pioneer.

1979 - An Aeroflot Tupolev 104B crashed near Moskva-Vnukovo Airport (VKO), Russia, killing 58 aver 119. A false alarm on engine in takeoff led to crash while attempting to return to airport. -

1982 - Death of Paul Kollsman, American inventor who invented barometers and instruments for instrument flight in airplanes

1988 – A Colombian Boeing 727 jetliner, Avianca Flight 410, crashes into a mountainside near the Venezuelan border killing 143.

1992 - Launch of Soyuz TM- 14, Russian space mission to Mir, 1st Russian Soyuz mission after the collapse of the Soviet Union

1993 - Death of Robert Aitken Rushworth, USAF test pilot for the North American X-15 program.

1994 - An Iranian Air Force C-130E military transport aircraft, carrying Iranian embassy personnel from Moscow to Tehran, was shot down by Armenian military forces near the city of Stepanakert in Nagorno-Karabakh, All 32 were killed.

1997 - Linda Finch, pilot, aviation historian and businesswoman, takes off from Oakland International Airport a restored and specially equipped 62-year-old Lockheed Electra 10E, to recreate the 1937 Amelia Earhart flight around the globe solo.

2002 - Launch of The Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE), oint mission of NASA and the German Aerospace Center, for making detailed measurements of Earth's gravity field.

2006 - Steve Fossett lands back at Salina, Kansas after a 25,294 miles (40,707 km) flight flown eastbound around the world. He tracked along the Equator in order to maximize the distance while crossing the Pacific Ocean with his GlobalFlyer, setting a new Absolute Distance Over a Closed Circuit Record.

2007 - UTair Flight 471 Tupolev Tu-134A-3 suffered heavy structural damage during a hard landing at Samara Kurumoch Airport near Samara, Russia. Of the 50 passengers and 7 crew members on board, 6 people were killed and 20 injured when the aircraft broke apart.

2009 - Launch of The ESA Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satyellite carrying a highly sensitive gravity gradiometer which detects fine density differences in the crust and oceans of the Earth.

2010 - 1st hover followed by a STOVL landing of The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II, american single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighter for ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability.

2010 - Death of Major General Robert Michael "Bob" White, US military aircraft test pilot who broke several records with the North American X-15 experimental aircraft.