Today in Aviation History MAY 8 th

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1885 - Birth of Phillip von Doepp, German Engineer and aircraft designer, specialized in inverted wings, expert in guided missile aero design during WWII. -

1888 - Birth of Maurice Jean-Paul Boyau, French rugby union player, WWI flying ace and one of the most successful balloon busters. -

1891 - Birth of James Robert Smith, canadian WWI flying ace -

1895 - Birth of Percy Henry O'lieff, British WWI flying ace

1895 - Birth of James H. "Dutch" Kindelberger, American pioneer of aviation. He was also a leader of North American Aviation for a number of years.

1896 - Birth of Viktor von Pressentin von Rautter, German WWI fighter ace -

1911 - US Naval Aviation Service is created and the Navy's 1st airplane, a Curtiss Model D, is ordered.

1913 - John Henry Towers flew a long-distance flight of 169 miles in a Curtiss flying boat from the Washington Navy Yard down the Potomac River and then up the Chesapeake Bay to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland in 3hrs 5 min.

1914 - René Caudron takes off with a French Navy Caudron G3 type J seaplane from a liftoff platform mounted on the 1st seaplane carrier 'La foudre'. -

1914 - 1st flight of the Bristol S.S.A. (Single-Seat Armoured), British single-seat armoured biplane prototype designed by Henri Coanda to fulfill a French government order.

1918 - Death of Roderick McDonald, Canadian WWI flying ace, Killed in action in his Sopwith Camel.

1918 - Death of Bernard Paul Gascoigne Beanlands, Canadian WWI flying ace, killed in a flying accident at RAF Northolt -

1918 - British WWI fighter aces Dennis Latimer and his observer Tom Cecil Noel, shot down 1 Albatros D.V and 3 Fokker DR.I on that signle day with their Bristol F.2b. -

1919 - 3 US Navy flying boat, (NC-1, NC-3 and NC-4) left Naval Air Station Rockaway, New York beginning an Atlantic crossing, flying by short stages from Long Island, New York to Lisbon, Portugal -

1927 – Attempting to make the 1st non-stop transatlantic flight from Paris to New York, French war heroes Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli disappeared after taking off aboard The White Bird biplane (Levasseur PL-8). - - -

1929 - 1st flight of the Short S.10 Gurnard I (two-seat biplane naval fighter) in his landplane form.

1929 - Flying the Wright Apache, Lt Apollo Soucek set the world altitude record for landplanes by flying to the height of 39,140 feet (11,930 m).

1933 - Stanislaw Skarzynski lands in Maceio, Brazil, having crossed the South Atlantic from Saint-Louis, Senegal in a small single-seater tourist airplane RWD-5bis (part of Warsaw - Rio de Janeiro flight), in 20 hours 30 minutes, over a distance of 3,582 km (2,238 miles), establishing a distance World Record in a FAI tourist plane category II (weight below 450 kg / 1000 lb). The RWD-5bis was the smallest plane to have ever flown the Atlantic -

1935 - 1st flight of The Handley Page H.P.51, monoplane conversion of the earlier, unsuccessful biplane bomber-transport aircraft, the Handley Page H.P.43.

1935 - Amelia Earhart makes a non-stop flight from Mexico City to Newark in New Jersey, in 14 hours 19 minutes.

1937 - A new altitude record is set at Montecelio in Italy when Lieutenant Colonel Mario Pezzi flies a Caproni 161 to 15,655 metres (51,362 feet).

1937 - 1st flight of The Tipsy B, Belgian small sports two-seat monoplane.

1941 - Death of Armando Boetto and Franco Cappa, italian WWII pilots, killed in acton in their S.M.79s while attacking a british convoy near Malta. - -

1942 – The Battle of the Coral Sea comes to an end with Japanese Imperial Navy aircraft carrier aircraft attacking and sinking the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Lexington.

1942 - Kenji Okabe, Japanese WWII fighter ace, scores 8 victories with his A6m2 Zero on that day during the Battle of the Coral Sea (3 SBD Dauntless and 5 F4F-Wildcats), IJN's official record for the number of aircraft destroyed in a single encounter. He is also famous for his strong opposition to the kamikaze attacks, rare in IJN at the time. -

1942 - WWII German Fighter ace Adolf Dickfeld scores 11 on that single day.

1943 - 1st flight of the Savoia-Marchetti SM.95, Italian four-engine, mid-range transport aircraft

1944 - Death of Albert Leo Stevens, American pioneering balloonist who also played a key role in the development of safety features for parachutes.

1945 - 1st flight of The Yokosuka R2Y Keiun, Japanese prototype reconnaissance aircraft prototype with coupled engines driving a single propeller and a tricycle undercarriage.

1945 – Flying a Messerschmitt Bf 109, Luftwaffe fighter pilot Erich Hartmann scores his final aerial victory, shooting down a Soviet Yakovlev Yak-9 fighter over Brno, Slovakia. He is the highest-scoring ace in history -

1945 - 1st prototype of Curtiss XF15C ( mixed-propulsion fighter prototype) was lost when it crashed during a landing approach, killing test pilot Charles Cox.

1952 - Birth of Charles Joseph "Charlie" Camarda , American engineer and a NASA astronaut who flew his 1st mission into space onboard the Space Shuttle mission STS-114.

1953 - 1st flight of The SO.1310 'Farfadet', French gyrodyne type aircraft featuring a tip-jet driven, three-bladed rotor, a fixed wing and a turboprop engine driving a nose-mounted propeller -

1971 - 1st flight of the Mirage G8-01.(French Swing-wing multirole fighter) . G8-01 was a two-seat version. -

1972 - Sabena Flight 571 Boeing 707 is hijacked by 4 terrorists from the Black September organization and land at Lod Airport.

1978 - National Airlines Flight 193 Boeing 727-235 impacted Escambia Bay, sinking in 12 feet (3.7 m) of water During the descent into Pensacola Regional Airport at night in low visibility from fog.

1980 - Max Leroy Anderson and his son Kristian take off their balloon ' Kitty Hawk' from Fort Baker, California for the 1st non-stop trans-North American balloon flight.

1981 - 1st flight of the Dassault-Breguet 'Atlantic' 2 (ATL2), modernized version of the French Breguet Br 1150 'Atlantic', twin-engined, mid-winged monoplane with a "double-bubble" fuselage reconnaissance and patrol aircraft as well as anti-submarine aircraft. -

1983 - Death of James Andrew Healy, American WWI flying ace, WWII officer. He has been technical advisor for the movie 'Wings'. -

1987 - Death of Hugh William Lumsden "Dingbat" Saunders, South African WWI fighter ace, High ranking officer during and post WWII. -

1988 - 1st flight of the Bumble Bee II, American single engine single seat monoplane Issued from the biplane Bumble Bee, world's smallest piloted airplane.

1989 - STS-30, space shuttle Atlantis mission to deploye the Magellan probe, is back on earth.

1997 – China Southern Airlines Flight 3456 Boeing 737 crashes on approach into Bao'an International Airport, killing 35 people.

2004 - 1st (glide) Flight of Hopper (phoenix), proposed European Space Agency orbital and reusable launch vehicle. Dropped from 2.4 kilometers (8,000 ft) by a helicopter, it landed precisely and without incident after a GPS-guided 90 second glide.

2010 - After being recovered and completely rebuilt over an eight year period and an estimated 18,000 man hours by Pemberton and Sons Aviation in Spokane, Washington, a Boeing Model 40 (mail plane and first aircraft built by the Boeing company to carry passengers) had an aerial rendezvous with Boeing's newest passenger aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.