Today in Aviation History MAY 16 th

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1883 - Birth of Antoine Laplasse, French pioneer aviator and WWI flying ace. -

1890 - Birth of Lucien Boussoutrot, French pioneer aviator and politician.

1891 - Birth of Adolf Ritter von Tutschek, German WWI fighter ace. -

1893 - Birth of Acheson Gosford Goulding, Canadian WWI flying ace and WWII instructor.

1898 - Birth of Gordon Budd Irving, Canadian WWI flying ace -

1911 - Delag passenger Zeppelin LZ8 'Ersatz Deutschland' is destroyed in a docking accident.

1911 - 1st flight of the Fokker Spin (spider) 2, early dutch monoplane.

1914 - Birth of Cesare Barro, Italian WWII bomber pilot

1917 - Death of Enrico Cottino and Francesco Guadalupi, italian aviators, in the crash of their Farman 14.

1918 - Death of Trevor Durrant, British WWI flying ace, shot down while fighting against Fokkers DR.I near Albert.

1918 - Death of Hans Joachim Wolff, German WWI flying ace, Killed in action in his Fokker DR.I.

1919 - Birth of Arthur "Art" Ryan Smith Jr., Canadian WWII Bomber pilot, executive business man, magazine editor, and politician.

1919 - 3 Naval Curtiss aircraft NC commanded by Albert Cushing Read leaves Trepassey, Newfoundland, for Lisbon via the Azores on the 1st transatlantic flight, the longest leg of their journey.

1920 - Birth of Joseph Otis Fletcher, American Air Force pilot and polar researcher, 1st pilot to land at the North pole along with William Pershing Benedict with a C-47.

1922 - Birth of Forrest Silas 'Pete' Petersen, US Navy Aviator and test pilot.

1923 - Birth of Lars Paul Erich Hattinen, Finnish WWII flying ace and airliner pilot. -

1924 - 1st Outdoor tethered flights of the Brennan Helicopter, with Louis Brennan, English aviation pioneer, at controls.

1929 - Wings, a silent film about WWI fighter pilots, is the 1st film, and the only silent film ever, to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

1930 - 1st flight of the Blériot Bl-110 nicknamed 'Joseph Le Brix', French high wing single engine monoplane prototype designed for endurance records. -

1935 - Birth of Jerauld Richard "Jerry" Gentry, USAF test pilot and Vietnam War veteran, chief USAF pilot of the Lifting Body Research Program.

1940 - Death of Allen Benjamin Angus, Canadian WWII fighter pilot and 1st canadian ace of WWII, killed in action in his Hurricane. -

1942 - Canadian Pacific Airlines is formed.

1943 - Launch of Operation Chastise, attack on German dams by Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, subsequently known as the "Dambusters", using a specially developed "bouncing bomb" invented and developed by Barnes Wallis.

1945 - Birth of Brewster Hopkinson Shaw, Jr. former NASA astronaut, veteran of 3 space shuttle missions and has logged 533 hours of space flight. He was pilot of space shuttle Columbia in November 1983, commander of space shuttle Atlantis in November 1985 and commander of Columbia in August 1989.

1954 - Birth of Dafydd Rhys "Dave" Williams, Canadian physician and a retired CSA astronaut.He had 2 spaceflights, both of which were Space Shuttle missions

1957 - 1st Flight of The Saunders-Roe SR.53 , prototype interceptor aircraft of mixed jet and rocket propulsion developed for the RAF.

1957 - Death of Walter Edwin Lees, early American aviator and record setter.

1958 - USAF Capt Walter W. Irwin flying a Lockheed YF-104A set a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph over a 15/25 kilometer course at Edwards AFB.

1959 - Newly-formed RCAF aerobatic team, the Golden Hawks, flying gold-finished North American Sabres, performed its 1st demonstration at Torbay, Newfoundland.

1961 - 1st flight of Mikoyan/Gurevich Ye-152/1 , Soviet single-seat fighter/interceptor aircraft.

1967 - Death of John F Taylor, British aircraft designer, killed in the crash of the Taylor Titch prototype.

1969 - Venera 5, probe in the Soviet space program Venera lands on Venus.

1971 - Death of Walter Carl Simon, American WWI flying ace, 1st American "ace in a day" (5 scores on 1 day), Vice-director of the peruvian Naval Flying School at Ancon, and senior USAAF officer in WWII. -

1977 - The landing gear failed on a Sikorsky S-61L while it was taking on passengers on the roof of the Pan Am Building. The aircraft rolled onto its side. Its spinning rotor blades killed four passengers waiting to board (including movie director Michael Findlay) and injured a fifth. Parts of a broken blade fell into the streets below, killing one pedestrian and injuring another. The accident precipitated the closure of the heliport for good. -

1982 - Death of Russell Fern McRae, Canadian WWI flying ace.

1986 - The movie 'Top gun' opened in the USA

1992 - Munich-Riem Airport, the main international airport of Munich is closed down. Operations moved to the new location near Freising. The IATA airport code MUC and the ICAO airport code EDDM were transferred to the new Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport.

1992 - STS-49, maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour lands at Edwards AFB.

1995 - XW666, a Royal Air Force BAe Nimrod R1 from RAF Waddington, ditched in the Moray Firth 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from Lossiemouth after an engine caught fire during a post-servicing test flight from RAF Kinloss.

1996 - Launch of AMOS-1 (or Intelsat 24), 1st Israeli communications satellite, and Palapa C2, Indonesian Communications Satellite. -

2001 - A Turkish Air Force CASA CN-235M-100 crashed near Malatya, Turkey, after the pilot lost control, killing all 34 people on board.

2011 - Launch of STS-134, (ISS assembly flight ULF6) penultimate voyage of NASA's Space Shuttle program and Shuttle Endeavour's last mission.