Today in Aviation History MAY 4 th

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1860 - Birth of Hans Georg Friedrich Groß, German balloonist and airship constructor.

1883 - Birth of Jan Olieslagers, Belgian motorcycle racer, aviation pioneer (who set world records with both types of machinery) and WWI flying ace. -

1890 - Birth of François Marie Noel Battesti, French WWI flying ace -

1892 - Birth of Otto Rosenfeld, German WWI flying ace.

1899 - Birth of Fritz Adam Hermann Opel (Von Opel) German pilot and engineer remembered mostly for his spectacular demonstrations of rocket propulsion that earned him the nickname "Rocket Fritz".

1899 - Birth of Reginald Carey Brenton Brading, British WWI flying ace. -

1901 - Birth of Jerzy Bajan, prominent Polish sports and military aviator, winner of the Challenge 1934 contest.

1904 - Birth of Joaquín García-Morato y Castaño, leading Nationalist fighter ace of the Spanish Civil War. He is credited with 40 air victories, 4 gained while flying Heinkel He 51s and 36 with the Italian Fiat CR.32. -

1916 - Zeppelin LZ-32 is shot down and destroyed by British naval gunfire.

1917 - Birth of Siegfried Freytag "The Malta Lion", WWII german fighter ace and member of the French Foreign Legion during the french indochina war. -

1918 - Death of Karl Patzelt, Austro-Hungarian WWI flying ace, killed in action. -

1924 - Etienne Oehmichen , flew for he 1st time an helicopter following a circular trajectory with a length of about one km after about 7 minutes and 40 seconds in the same place to land.

1924 - 1st flight of The Sikorsky S-29-A, American all-metal, twin-engine biplane airliner, 1st aircraft that aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky designed and built after coming to the United States.

1926 - Birth of Milton Orville 'Milt' Thompson, NASA research pilot, 1st person to fly a lifting body.

1927 - 1st flight of The Short Crusader, British racing seaplane.

1927 - 1st flight of The Boeing TB (or Model 63), American torpedo bomber biplane.

1928 - Death of Leonard Warden Bonney, pioneering aviator, while making the 1st flight of his 'Bonney Gull '. -

1933 - US Navy airship USS Akron crashes during a storm, killing 76 of its 79 crew.

1936 - Amy Johnson in a Percival Gull Six (G-ADZO) took off from Gravesend on a record flight to Wingfield aerodrome, Cape Town, and back to Croydon Airport.

1937 - Die Heinkel-Werke Oranienburg, important factory for aircraft construction, is inaugurated.

1937 - 1st flight of the Lambach HL II, Dutch light biplane aerobatic aircraft, issued from the HL I.

1937 - 1st flight of the Bloch MB-150, French low-wing, all-metal monoplane fighter aircraft with retractable landing gear and enclosed cockpit -

1942 – World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea begins with an attack by aircraft from the United States aircraft carrier Yorktown on Japanese naval forces at Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands. The Japanese forces had invaded Tulagi the day before.

1949 - NATO is formed

1949 - The Avio Linee Italiane (Italian Airlines) Fiat G212CP carrying the Torino A.C. football squad flew into a thunderstorm on the approach to Turin and encountered conditions of low cloud and poor visibility. It crashed into the hill of Superga near Turin killing all 31 aboard

1949 – The Canadian Blue Devils aerobatic team is formed (410 (F) Squadron Aerobatic Team) flying the de Havilland Vampire.

1950 - 1st flight of the Northrop YRB-49A, American prototype jet-powered heavy bomber flying wing, developped from the piston engined Northrop YB-35.

1953 - English Electric Canberra B2 WD952, fitted with Rolls-Royce Olympus engines set a world altitude record - 63,668 ft (19,406 m)

1955 - Death of Louis Charles Breguet, French aircraft designer and builder, one of the early aviation pioneers.

1956 - Birth of Michael Landon Gernhardt, NASA astronaut.

1959 - Birth of Maurizio Cheli, Italian engineer, air force officer, a European Space Agency astronaut and a veteran of one NASA space shuttle mission.

1959 - 1st fligth of the Pilatus PC-6 Porter, civilian utility aircraft built by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland.

1961 - Project Strato-Lab : To test the Navy's Mark IV full-pressure suit, A world balloon record of 113,739.9 feet is set in a two-place open gondola balloon Strato Lab V by U.S. Navy Commander Malcolm David Ross and Lieutenant Commander Victor A. Prather. The flight lasted 9 hours 54 minutes and covered a horizontal distance of 140 miles (230 km). Unfortunately, Victor Prather drowned during the helicopter transfer after landing. -

1963 - 1st flight of the Dassault Falcon 20, French business jet and 1st of a family of business jets built by Dassault Aviation. -

1966 - Death of William Edward George "Pedro" Mann, British WWI flying ace, one of the 1st to fly an inverted formation at Hendon. He also served in WWII and helped to develop mobile radar and signals units that served as models for the entire RAF. -

1967 - Launch of Lunar Orbiter 4 by an Atlas-Agena. It was given a general objective, to "perform a broad systematic photographic survey of lunar surface features in order to increase the scientific knowledge of their nature, origin, and processes, and to serve as a basis for selecting sites for more detailed scientific study by subsequent orbital and landing missions"

1969 - The Daily Mail Trans-Atlantic Air Race, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the 1st trans-atlantic crossing by Alcock and Brown, Begins.

1972 - Aeroflot/East Siberia Yak-40 with 18 passengers and crew on approach to Bratsk Airport, Russia (then USSR) crashed due to wind shear. All aboard perished

1976 - Launch of LAGEOS 1, or Laser Geodynamics Satellites, scientific research satellitesdesigned to provide an orbiting laser ranging benchmark for geodynamical studies of the Eart.

1977 - 1st flight of the SOCATA TB-10 'Tobago', French 4/5-seat low wing cabin tourer aircraft.

1978 - 1st prototype Lockheed Have Blue, American demonstrator stealth aircraft, hit the runway a little too hard at Groom Lake, Nevada, and had to lift off for another pass rather than go into a skid, but had bent the right main gear strut. Lockheed test pilot Bill Park decided to eject and let the aircraft crash into the desert. The airframe was bulldozed under the desert. News of the crash leaked to the press, and some vague comments were made about the possible existence of "stealth" aircraft.

1982 – Twenty sailors are killed when the British Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield (D80) is hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile Air-launched from a Super Etendard during the Falklands War.

1989 - Launch of STS-30, space shuttle mission by NASA using the Space Shuttle Atlantis. It was the 29th shuttle mission, and the fourth for Atlantis. It deployed the Magellan probe bound for Venus. -

2002 – An EAS Airlines BAC 1-11-500 crashes in a suburb of Kano, Nigeria shortly after takeoff killing more than 148 people.

2002 - Launch of SPOT 5 (Système Pour l’Observation de la Terre) , French high-resolution, optical imaging Earth observation satellite.

2002 - Launch of Aqua (EOS PM-1), multi-national NASA scientific research satellite in orbit around the Earth, studying the precipitation, evaporation, and cycling of water.

2003 - Soyuz TMA-1, Soyuz mission to the International Space Station (ISS) with a Russian-Belgian cosmonaut crew, is back on earth.