On This Day in Aviation History MARCH 27 th

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1863 - Birth of Sir Frederick Henry Royce, 1st Baronet, pioneering car and aeronautical engine manufacturer, who with Charles Stewart Rolls founded the Rolls-Royce company.

1891 - Birth of Paul Billik, German WWI fighter ace and early commercial airliner pilot. -

1894 - Birth of René Paul Fonck, French aviator who ended WWI as the top Allied fighter ace, and when all succeeding conflicts are also considered, Fonck still holds the title of "all-time Allied Ace of Aces". He received confirmation for 75 victories (72 solo and three shared) out of 142 claims. Taking into account his probable claims, Fonck's finally could conceivably be nearer 100 or above. -

1897 - Birth of Francis Stanley Symondson, British WWI flying ace, air racer, instructor and stunt pilot. -

1898 - Birth of Sydney Leo George "Poppy" Pope, Irish WWI flying ace and WWII high ranking officer -

1899 - Birth of Earl Frederick Crabb, Canadian WWI flying ace, Airmail pilot, WWII instructor, Chief Pilot with the Forest Service. -

1905 - Birth of Elizabeth Muriel Gregory "Elsie" MacGill, known as the "Queen of the Hurricanes", world's 1st female aircraft designer. She worked as an aeronautical engineer during the Second World War and did much to make Canada a powerhouse of aircraft construction during her years at Canada Car and Foundry (CC&F)

1907 - Romanian Trajan Vuia begins tests of his airplane, newly fitted with steering surfaces. He makes a short flight of 33 feet in Paris, France.

1910 - 1st flight of the Dufour n°1, French experimental monoplane.

1918 - Attacked by German planes, bomber pilot Alan McLeod is strafed from below: Three bullets strike him and others puncture his fuel tank, setting his plane on fire. Lt McLeod climbs onto the lower left wing and steers the plane to a crash landing between the front lines. He pulls his gunner out of the wreck into a fox hole, from which they are rescued. He was awarded the Victoria Cross.

1918 - 1st flight of the Curtiss H16, American Twin engine biplane flying boat, 1st production aircraft built by the United States Naval Aircraft Factory

1924 - Death of Oscar Monthan, considered as one of the Army Air Corps finest aeronautical engineers, Killed in the crash of a Martin NBS-1 bomber while on a training mission.

1927 - Royal Air Force's 1st all-metal fighter, the Armstrong Whitworth Siskin IIIA, enters service with No.41 Squadron

1928 - Death of Sterling Rohlfs, American test pilot, in an aeroplane accident in Toluca, Mexico.

1930 - 1st flight of The Short Singapore II (S.12), British multi-engined biplane flying boat.

1934 - 1st flight of The FMA AeC.3, Argentinian light utility aircraft issued from the FMA AeC.2.

1936 - 1st flight of The Fokker D.XXI, Dutch low-wing monoplane fighter with fixed undercarriage.

1937 - Pilot Tte. 2o. Eduardo Arndt Brieva flying a Potez 56, Trapped in a narrow creek in fog, crashed in the Quebrada Higueraní (Cerro Blanco), aprox.30 km from Tacna, Peru

1938 - 1st passenger Service flight of The Bloch MB.220, French twin-engine passenger transport airplane.

1938 - A Dornier Do 18 flying Boat is catapulted from a seaplane carrier at Start Point, Devon to Caravelas in Brazil for a new seaplane distance record.

1939 - 1st flight of Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) Wirraway, Australian-built training and general purpose military aircraft, development of the North American NA-16 training aircraft.

1941 - Yugoslavian Air Force officers topple the pro-axis government in a bloodless coup.,_1941

1943 - Death of Grigori Iakovlévitch Bachcziwandzé (Baratchivadzi), WWII Sovietic Ace and test pilot, while testing the Bereznyak-Isayev BI-1 (rocket-powered aircraft). - -

1945 - The last V2 rocket to fall on Britain falls at Orpington in Kent

1945 - Operation Starvation, the aerial mining of Japan's ports and waterways begins. The mining runs were made by individual B-29 Superfortresses at night at moderately low altitudes, Radar providing mine release information. 1,000 parachute-retarded influence mines with magnetic and acoustic exploders were initially dropped, followed up with many more, including models with water pressure displacement exploders, as well.

1945 - Death of Roy Maxwell "Peter" Drummond, Australian WWI flying ace and high ranking WWII officer. His plane, a B-24 Liberator nicknamed Commando that was formerly the personal transport of Winston Churchill, disappeared near the Azores -

1945 - Death of Vincent Hugo Bendix, American inventor and industrialist, pioneer and leader in both the automotive and aviation industries.

1947 - Birth of Brian Jones, English balloonist. Along with Bertrand Piccard, he co-piloted the 1st successful uninterrupted circumnavigation of the world on board the balloon Breitling Orbiter 3.

1950 - 1st flight of 2nd Prototype Supermarine Swift (Type 528) , British single-seat jet fighter.

1953 - The Royal Netherlands Air Force becomes a separate command.

1957 - 1st flight of McDonnell F-101 Voodoo F-101B .(2 seat all-weather interceptor version).

1958 - 1st Flight of The Ambrosini (Aerfer) Ariete (Italian for Ram), Italian prototype fighter aircraft.

1962 – A Cubana de Aviacion Ilyushin IL-14 crashes into the sea about a mile from Santiago, Cuba, just after take off, killing all 22 aboard.

1968 - Death of Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, Soviet pilot and cosmonaut, 1st man in space, killed in the crash of a MiG-15UTI trainer near the Soviet capital Moscow.

1968 - 1st flight of the CEA DR-360 'Chevalier', french 4 seat loaw wing monoplane tourer.

1969 - Death of René Alphonse Pelissier, French WWI flying ace

1969 - Launch of Mariner 7, Mission's goals were to study the surface and atmosphere of Mars during close flybys, in order to establish the basis for future investigations, particularly those relevant to the search for extraterrestrial life, and to demonstrate and develop technologies required for future Mars missions.

1972 - Launch of Venera 8, probe in the Soviet Venera program for the exploration of Venus.

1972 - 1st flight of the Robin DR-400/180 'Régent', French 4 seat lown wing monoplane tourer.

1975 - 1st Flight of The de Havilland Canada DHC-7, popularly known as the Dash 7, turboprop-powered regional airliner with STOL capabilities, piloted by Bob Fowler.

1977 - Death of Oliver Campbell Bryson, British WWI flying ace, one of the British aviators ordered to Russia in 1919 to support the White Army in its counter-revolution against the Bolsheviks. He served in the RAF until 1943. -

1977 - Tenerife airport disaster: a collision involved 2 Boeing 747 (KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736) passenger aircraft on the runway of Los Rodeos Airport (now known as Tenerife North Airport) on the Spanish island of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. With 583 fatalities, the crash remains the deadliest accident in aviation history. Taking off in heavy fog on the airport's only runway, the KLM flight crashed into the top of the Pan Am aircraft backtaxiing in the opposite direction. The Pan Am had followed the backtaxiing of the KLM aircraft, under the direction of air traffic control, and the KLM's flight crew had been aware of Pan Am backtaxiing behind them on the same runway. Despite lack of visual confirmation due to the fog the KLM captain thought that Pan Am had cleared the runway and so attempted to take off without further clearance to do so. -

1979 - Death of William Boyd Elliott, Canadian WWI flying ace -

1987 - Death of Hans-Georg von der Osten, German WWI flying ace who also served in WWII -

1987 - Canadian Airlines is formed by the merge of Pacific Western Airlines and Canadian Pacific Airlines. -

1990 - Death of Francesco Panitteri, Italian WWII pilot, French Foreign Legion soldier during the indochina war under the name of Henri de Lagarde.

1990 - Death of Lester James Maitland, American aviation pioneer, raid pilot and a veteran pilot of WWI and WWII.

1994 - 1st flight of The Eurofighter Typhoon, twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole combat aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of three companies: Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems, and EADS; working through a holding company, Eurofighter GmbH,

1997 - HTMS Chakri Naruebet, flagship of the Royal Thai Navy (RTN), and Thailand's 1st and only aircraft carrier., is commissioned.

1999 – A Soviet anti-aircraft missile takes down an F-117 Nighthawk, single-seat, twin-engine stealth ground-attack aircraft in the Kosovo War for the first and only time thus far in its career.

2004 - Nasa's X-43 pilotless plane breaks world speed record for an atmospheric engine by briefly flying at 7,700 kilometers (4,780 miles) per hour (seven times the speed of sound) -

2008 - STS-123, Space Shuttle mission Endavour to the International Space Station (ISS), is back on earth.