On This Day in Aviation History March 18 th

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1858 - Birth of Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel, German inventor and mechanical engineer, famous for the invention of the Diesel engine.

1874 - Birth of Adolphe Aloys Marie Hubert duBois d'Aische, Belgian WWI flying ace'Aische -

1880 - Birth of Walter Hohmann, German engineer who made an important contribution to the understanding of orbital dynamics.

1887 - Birth of Sterling Rohlfs, American test pilot.

1892 - Birth of Hans von Freden, German WWI fighter ace -

1896 - Birth of Otto Jindra, Austro Hungrian WWI flying ace who, post war, became Czechoslovakian citizen and was instrumental in raising a Czechoslovak Air Force. -

1896 - Birth of Eugene Weismann, French WWI flying ace (as an aerial gunner) who also served in WWII. -

1898 - Birth of Leon A. "Jake" "The Bullfrog" Swirbul, American aviation pioneer and co-founder of Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation.

1904 - Birth of William John "Jack" Frye, American aviation pioneer, Commercial and raid pilot. He built TWA into a world class airline.

1906 - Traian Vuia, Romanian inventor and aviation pioneer, flew his early own designed and built aircraft "Vuia 1" on about 12 m (40 feet) at Montesson, France . This was the first well-documented unassisted takeoff and landing on a level surface by an engine-driven monoplane with a completely-wheeled undercarriage

1908 - 2nd flight of the Red Wing (or Aerodrome #1), early aircraft designed by Thomas Selfridge and built by the Aerial Experiment Association, finish in a crash after only 37m. 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.

1913 - Birth of Werner Mölders, WWI II German Luftwaffe pilot and leading German fighter ace in the Spanish Civil War. Mölders became the 1st pilot in aviation history to claim 100 aerial victories—that is, 100 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft. -

1916 - Birth of Squadron Leader William Arthur 'Bill' Waterton Canadian test pilot and correspondent for the Daily Express. He was awarded the George Medal for saving the flight data when he landed at great risk the prototype Gloster Javelin after it lost its controls during a test flight

1918 - Death of John Anthony "Jack" McCudden, British WWI flying ace and younger brother of British ace James McCudden, killed in action in his SE5a. -

1919 - Death of Orazio Pierozzi, Italian WWI pilot, killed in a crash. -

1920 - Death of Franz Büchner, German WWI fighter ace, killed during a reconnaissance flight against communist revolutionaries near his hometown of Leipzig -

1925 - 1st flight of the SPAD S-51-2, French single seat biplane fighter, evolution of the S-51 for export to Poland. -

1925 - Alan Cobham, A. Elliott and Sir Sefton Branker lands back their de Havilland DH50 in London after a flight to Rangoon in Burma and back.

1937 – Emilio Casco flies the human-powered aircraft, Pedaliante, over 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) outside Milan.

1939 - While being demonstrated to representatives of KLM with two engines inoperative on one wing, the 1st Boeing 307 Stratoliner, 1st commercial transport aircraft with a pressurized cabin, went into a spin and crashed, killing all 10 on board (Including KLM test pilot Albert von Baumhauer, Boeing test pilot Julius Barr, Boeing Chief Aerodynamcist Ralph Cram, Boeing Chief Engineer Earl Ferguson).

1940 - 1st flight of the Amiot 356, 4 seat twin engine medium bomber prototype, evolution of the Amiot 351.

1944 - Death of Mario Calderara, Italian engineer and aviator. 1st italian licenced pilot and 1st italian builder of a seaplane.

1944 - Birth of Dick Smith, (born Richard Harold Smith), Australian entrepreneur, businessman, aviator, and political activist.

1945 - Death of Piotr Konstantinovich "Daddy" Kozachenko, Soviet Fighter ace during the Sino Japanese war, Finnish-Soviet Winter War and WWII, killed in action in his Lavochkin La-5. -

1945 - The largest United States Army Air Force (USAAF) daylight raid on Berlin takes place, with 1,250 bombers and an escort of 670 fighters.

1945 - 1st flight of The Douglas A-1 (formerly AD) Skyraider, American single-seat attack aircraft.

1952 - 2 USAF F-84 Thunderjets landed in Neubiberg, Germany, after a 2,800-mile flight without refueling. The planes crossed 7 nations, averaged 585 mph, and were airborne for 4 hours, 48 minutes.

1953 - An American Convair RB-36H Peacemaker bomber on a 25-hour journey as part of a simulated combat mission flying from Lajes, Azores back to the Rapid City base, struck at night in bad weather an 896-foot hill at 800 feet with a ground speed of 202 knots. The aircraft was co-piloted by Richard Elmer Ellsworth, USAF commander during the early part of the Cold War.

1954 - Birth of James Francis Reilly, II, Ph.D.,American geologist and a former NASA astronaut

1957 - Birth of Arne Christer Fuglesang, Swedish physicist and an ESA astronaut and 1st Swedish citizen in space.

1957 - A Lloyd Aereo Boliviano Douglas DC-3 (registered CP-535), which had been on a passenger flight from Cochabamba to Oruro, crashed into a mountain near Sayari. All 16 passengers and 3 crew members died

1958 - Death of Gordon Percy Olley, WWI flying ace who later formed his own airline, Olley Air Services. 1st pilot to fly a million miles in total -

1961 - 1st flight of The Tupolev Tu-28 (prototype Tu-28-80 - NATO reporting name Fiddler) , long-range interceptor aircraft.It was the largest and heaviest fighterever in service

1963 - The Dassault Balzac V , vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) testbed developped from Mirage III, makes its 1st transitions from vertical to horizontal flight and back.

1965 – Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov, leaving his spacecraft Voskhod 2 for 12 minutes, becomes the 1st person to walk in space.

1966 - United Arab Airlines Flight 749 Antonov An-24 crashed while attempting to land in bad weather in Cairo, Egypt, killing all 30.

1966 - An Aermacchi MB-326 (or Macchi MB-326), Italian light military jet aircraft, Set an altitude record of 56,807 ft (17,315 m).

1970 - Death of Louis Béchereau, french pioneering aircraft designer.

1980 – At Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia, 48 people are killed by an explosion of a Vostok-2M rocket on its launch pad during a fueling operation.

1980 - Death of Konstantin Konstantinovich Artseulov, Russian test-pilot, WWI pilot and glider designer, one of the founders of the soviet gliderism.

1982 - Death of Sir Lawrence James Wackett, Australian WWI pilot and aircraft designer, widely regarded as "father of the Australian aircraft industry".

1989 - STS-29, NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour mission, is back on earth.

1994 - STS-62, Space Shuttle Columbia mission, is back on earth.

1995 - STS-67, Space shuttle Endeavour mission, is back on earth

1995 - Launch of Space Flyer Unit, Japanese spacecraft carrying testing materials and research data that held value to NASA.

1995 - Death of James Howell 'Jim' Howard, American WWII fighter ace, businessman, author, and airport director. -

1997 – The tail of a Russian Antonov An-24 charter plane breaks off while en-route to Turkey causing the plane to crash and killing all 50 on board and leading to the grounding of all An-24s.

1997 - Douglas DC-3C HK-337 of Aliansa crashed 10 kilometres (5.4 nmi) from Tame on a domestic non-scheduled passenger flight from Camilo Daza International Airport to El Alcaraván Airport, Yopal. All eight people on board were killed

2010 - 1st flight of The Avicopter AC313, Chinese civilian helicopter based on the earlier Harbin Z-8, itself a development of the Aérospatiale Super Frelon.

2010 - Soyuz TMA-16, Russian manned flight to and from the International Space Station (ISS), is back on earth.

2010 - 1st vertical 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.

2013 - Death of Muhammad Mahmood Alam , Pakistani indo-Pakistan war Flying ace.