On This Day in Aviation History MARCH 20 th

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1835 - Death of Jean-Marie-Joseph Coutelle, French engineer, scientist and pioneer of ballooning.

1889 - Birth of Brice Herbert Goldsborough, American aviation instrument designer at Sperry Gyroscope and later founder of the Pioneer Instrument Company. He flew aboard the Spirit of St. Louis with Charles Lindbergh in two test flights.

1893 - Birth of Kurt Wissemann, German WWI flying ace, credited with shooting down french fighter ace Georges Guynemer. -

1894 - Birth of Stephen W. Thompson, American aviator of WWI, and the 1st person in the U.S. Military to shoot down an enemy aircraft

1895 - Birth of Arthur William Keen, British WWI fighter ace -

1895 - Birth of James Andrew Healy, American WWI flying ace, WWII officer. He has been technical advisor for the movie 'Wings'. - -

1897 - Birth of William John Gillespie, Canadian WWI flying ace -

1898 - Birth of Frederick Vincent Hall, British WWI flying ace.

1910 - Birth of Anatoly Kostantinovich Serov, Soviet test pilot, Fighter ace of the Spanish war and the Soviet–Japanese war. -

1910 - Birth of Mikhail Nikolaevich Yakushin, Soviet flying ace during the Spanish war, high ranking officer during and post WWII.

1912 - The French Service de l'Aéronautique de la Marine (Fleet air arm) is formed.

1914 - Birth of Edwin Woodward Burke, American WWII naval aviator and McDonnell test pilot

1915 - The Belgian 'Compagnie des Aviateurs' is reformed as 'Belgian Military Aviation'. -

1919 - Birth of Toshio Ota, Japanese WWII fighter ace. -

1919 - Birth of Gerhard "Gerd" Barkhorn, German WWII fighter ace, 2nd most successful fighter ace of all time after fellow Luftwaffe pilot Erich Hartmann. - -

1919 - The Compagnie des Grands Express Aériens, pioneering French airline, is formed

1919 - Dr. John Hamilton Parkin set up the University of Toronto's 1st wind tunnel as part of the aeronautics program.

1920 - The Fokker F.II (V-45) prototype, single engined high-wing cantilever commercial monoplane, is flown out of Germany illegally by Bernard de Waal as Fokker decided to transfer his activities to the Netherlands

1920 - Two South African pilots (Pierre van Ryneveld and Quintin Brand) complete the 1st flight from Britain to South Africa after a flying time of four days, 13 hours, 30 minutes. -

1920 - Vincente Almandos Almonacid nicknamed 'Condor Riojano' with a Spad XIII, crosses the Andes by night.

1922 - The CV-1 Langley, America's 1st aircraft carrier, is commissioned into the U. S. Navy at Norfolk, Virginia under the command of Comdr. Kenneth Whiting.

1925 - Birth of David Ronald de Mey Warren, Australian scientist, best known for inventing and developing the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder (also known as FDR, CVR, and "the black box").

1932 - Luftschiffbau Zeppelin begins regular trans-atlantic services between Germany and Brazil, using the Graf Zeppelin.

1932 - 1st flight of The American Boeing P-26 Peashooter, 1st all-metal production fighter aircraft and the first pursuit monoplane

1934 - 1st test of a practical radar apparatus was made by Rudolf Kuhnold in Kiel Harbour, Germany, Chief of the German Navy Signals Research Department. His 700-watt transmitter worked on a frequency of 600 megacycles, had a receiver and had disk reflectors. It received echoes from signals bounced off the battleship Hesse, anchored 600 yds away. -

1935 - 1st flight of The Grumman F3F, last American biplane fighter aircraft delivered to the United States Navy, which served between the wars, development of the Grumman F2F

1937 - An attempted round-the-world flight by leading US woman aviator Amelia Earhart ends when the starboard tire of her Lockheed Electra airliner bursts during take-off from Honolulu, Hawaii. Because of damage, the expedition is temporary abandoned.

1938 - The Prototype Heinkel He 115 V1, German twin engine seaplane, set 8 records, carrying a series of loaded from 0kg to 2000kg over 1,000km and 2,000km courses.

1940 - 1st flight of The Armstrong Whitworth A.W.41 Albemarle, British twin-engine transport aircraft, originally designed as a medium bomber.

1940 - 1st flight of 1st production of the Curtiss-Wright Model 21 (also known as the Curtiss-Wright Model 21 Demonstrator, the Curtiss-Wright CW-21 Interceptor, the Curtiss-Wright CW-21 Demon), US built interceptor fighter aircraft.

1941 - 1st flight of The Boeing 314A Clipper, long-range flying boat, version with increased engine power and a larger carrying capacity of 77 daytime passengers

1942 - 1st flight of The Mitsubishi J2M Raiden 'Jack', single-engined land-based fighter aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service in WWII.

1942 - 1st flight of the Potez-CAMS 161, French 6 engine large transatlantic flying boat prototype. - -

1942 - Launch of Operation Outward, British World War II program to attack Germany by means of free-flying balloons. It made use of cheap, simple gas balloons filled with hydrogen. They carried one of two types of payload: a trailing steel wire, intended to damage high voltage power lines by producing a short circuit or three incendiary devices - 6-pound (2.7 kg) flexible socks filled with flammable material - that were intended to start fires in forests and heathland.

1945 - Birth of Flight leader Lieutenant Henry "Black Bart" Bartholomay , US Naval Aviator.

1950 - Operation Musgrave : Royal Air Force Avro Lincoln bombers are sent to Singapore to be used against the Communist guerillas of Malaya in the Malayan Emergency.

1954 - 1st flight of the SAAB J.29F 'Tunnan', last variant of the swedish jet fighter.

1955 - American Airlines Flight 711 Convair 240 crashed a quarter mile short of Chicago-Springfield, MO,while landing, killing 13 over 35.

1956 - Death of William Bushnell Stout, American inventor, aircafts designer (He designed an aircraft, Stout 3-AT, that eventually became the Ford Trimotor). His work in automotive and aviation fields were notable.

1957 - 1st flight of the 1st true Sea Vixen, the de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen FAW.20 (fighter all-weather, later redesignated FAW.1), twin boom British two-seat jet fighter.

1960 - Birth of Yuri Georgiyevich Shargin , cosmonaut in the Russian Space Forces.

1963 - Saudi Arabian Government Comet 4C SA-R-7 crashed in the Italian Alps near Cuneo.

1964 - The precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organization) is established

1969 - A United Arab Airlines Ilyushin Il-18D crashed at night while attempting to land at Aswan Airport during a sand storm, killing 100 over 105

1970 - 1st flight of The IAR-822, Romanian agricultural aircraft, variant of the IAR-821 fitted with a horizontally-opposed engine in place of a radial.

1972 - Opening of the Seychelles International Airport (IATA: SEZ, ICAO: FSIA) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, epic event for the small Seychelles Islands.

1982 - Garuda Indonesia Fokker F28 overran the runway at Tanjung Karang-Branti Airport, Indonesia during very heavy rain, and caught fire. All 27 were killed.

1991 - Cuban Air Force pilot Major Orestes Lorenzo Perez defects in his Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23BN to Naval Air Station Key West, Florida on a training mission. U.S. fighters never scramble to intercept, and embarrassed military authorities say that "hardware and software problems" with the radar net contributed to the failure. -

1999 – After a 46,759-mile balloon flight which lasted 19 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes, the Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon, flown by Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard, achieves a non-stop round-the-world balloon flight.

2003 - Death of Kerim Aliyevich Kerimov, Azerbaijani-Soviet/Russian aerospace engineer and a renowned rocket scientist, one of the founders of the Soviet space industry, and for many years a central figure in the Soviet space program.

2008 - Death of Ann G. Baumgartner Carl, American Aviatrix, WWII WASP and test pilot, 1st American woman to fly a USAAFjet aircraft.

2011 - 1st flight of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, American wide-body jet airliner.