On This Day in Aviation History May 20 th

Jump to May =>(01 - 02 - 03 - 04 - 05 - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31)

1784 – The Marchioness de Montalembert, the Contess de Montalenbert, the Contess de Podenas, and Mademoiselle de Ligarde ascend in a tethered balloon. Their Montgolfier balloon lifts to the length of the restraining rope.

1851 - Birth of Emile Berliner or Emil Berliner , German-born Jewish American inventor, advance vertical flight pioneer but best known for developing the disc record gramophone.

1883 - Birth of Jan Kašpar, 1st Czech aviator, aircraft constructor, designer and engineer.

1885 - Birth of Alexander Löhr, Austrian Air Force (Österreichische Luftstreitkräfte) commander during the 1930s and, after the "Political Union of Germany and Austria" (Anschluss), he was a German Air Force (Luftwaffe) commander. Löhr served in the Luftwaffe during WWII.

1890 - Birth of Hans Berr, German WWI flying ace. -

1890 - Birth of Beckwith Havens, Early american aviator.

1893 - Birth of Paul Strähle, German WWI fighter ace who ran Luftverkehr Strähle,a pioneering air mail service, and later served during WWII. -

1893 - Birth of Alfred Marie-Joseph Heurtaux, French WWI fighter ace. -

1895 - Birth of Reginald Joseph Mitchell, British aeronautical engineer, best known for his design of the Supermarine Spitfire.

1895 - Birth of Donald Wainwright Beard, British WWI flying ace who served in WWII. -

1896 - A dirigible built by German Friedrich Hermann Wölfert reached the then record height for an airship of 1,940 metres (6,360 ft).

1897 - Birth of George Augustus Vaughn, Jr., American WWI flying ace, he helped to organize the New York Air National Guard.,_Jr. -

1908 - Birth of James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart, American film and stage actor, and also instructor pilot in single- and twin-engine aircraft during WWII.

1909 - French Paul Tissandier set the 1st world airspeed record with a Wright biplane achieving 54kph (34mph)

1916 - Birth of Alexey Petrovich Maresyev, Soviet WWII fighter ace who flew half of the war with his 2 legs amputated below the knees. -

1917 - Birth of Ann Courtenay Welch (Born Edmonds), British aviatrix who received the Gold Air Medal from Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) for her contributions to the development of four air sports - gliding, hang gliding, paragliding and microlight flying.

1917 - A flying boat of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) destroys the 1st hostile submarine to be sunk by an aircraft without any form of assistance. A Curtiss H-12 'Large America' flying boat flown by Flight Sub-Lieutenant C.R. Morrish, Royal Naval Air Service, on a 'Spider Web' patrol from Felixstowe sighted and attacked the German submarine UC36 on the surface near the North Hinder Light Ship. Destruction of the submarine was confirmed in January 1919

1918 - U.S. Signal Corps (Aviation support -liaison and observation), military aviation service of the US Army became Division of Military Aeronautics.,_U.S._Signal_Corps

1918 - Death of Lewis Ewart Whitehead, British WWI flying ace, killed in his Sopwith Camel by a Fokker DR.I

1924 - In an attempt to fly around the world, Georges Pelletier d'Oisy and Lucien-Pierre-Alfred Besin crash-land their Breguet 19 A2 in Shangai on their way to Tokyo coming from Villacoublay. Their trip will continue with a borrowed Breguet XIV.

1925 - Birth of Alexei Andreyevich Tupolev (son of famed Soviet aircraft pioneer, Andrei Tupolev.), Soviet aircraft designer who led the development of the 1st supersonic passenger jet, the failed Tupolev Tu-144. He also helped design the Buran space shuttle and the Tu-2000, which has been suspended because of the lack of funds.

1927 - Flight Lieutenants Charles Roderick Carr and L.E.M Gillmann take off in a Hawker Horsley, British single-engined biplane bomber, to attempt a non-stop flight to India. -

1927 - Charles A. Lindbergh takes off from New-York In his Ryan monoplane Spirit of St. Louis for a non-stop solo Atlantic crossing.

1927 - 1st flight of the Boeing Model 40A, American mail Biplane, Evolution of the Model 40 with seating for 2 passengers in an enclosed cabin -

1929 - Peruvian Army and Navy are merged into the Cuerpo de Aviación del Perú (Peruvian Aviation Corps, abbreviated CAP).

1929 - Blackburn Aircraft Corp. is incorporated into Detroit Aircraft to acquire design and patent rights on entire line of metal aircraft of Blackburn Airplane & Motor Co., Ltd. of England.

1932 - Amelia Earhart set off from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland with the latest copy of a local newspaper (the dated copy was intended to confirm the date of the flight). She intended to fly to Paris in her single engine Lockheed Vega 5b to emulate Charles Lindbergh's solo flight.

1936 - Death of Elmer "Archie" Fowler Stone, US naval aviator and a Commander in the US Coast Guard. He was a pilot on the 1st successful transatlantic flight on a Curtiss NC-4.

1937 - 1st flight of The de Havilland DH.91 Albatross, four-engine British transport aircraft.

1941 - The Battle of Crete Begins. Nazi Germany launched an airborne invasion of Crete under the code-name Unternehmen Merkur ("Operation Mercury").

1944 - Birth of David Mathieson 'Dave' Walker, US Navy officer and NASA astronaut.

1946 - Death of Jacob Christian Hansen Ellehammer, Danish watchmaker and inventor, remembered chiefly for his contributions to powered flight.

1946 - A United States Army Air Forces C-45F Beechcraft airplane crashed in heavy into the north side of Bank of Manhattan Building at 40 Wall Street, New york. The twin-engined plane was heading for Newark Airport on a flight originating at Lake Charles Army Air Field in Louisiana. It struck the 58th floor of the building, killing all 5 on board and creating a 20 by 10-foot (3.0 m) hole in the masonry.

1948 - Death of George Frederick "Buzz" "Screwball" Beurling, most successful Canadian fighter pilot of WWII. Recruited to fly P-51 Mustangs for the Israeli Air Force. En route, Beurling fatally crashed his Noorduyn Norseman transport aircraft while landing at Aeroporto dell'Urbe in Rome. Suspicion at the time of the accident centred on possible sabotage which never was proven. - -

1951 - USAF Cpt James 'Jabby' Jabara becomes the 1st flying ace to score his 5 victories in a jet (a F-86 Sabre) over jets (Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15s). -

1951 - Birth of Thomas Dale 'Tom' Akers, astronaut in the United States Space Shuttle program.

1955 - Death of Tetsuzo Iwamoto, Most successful Japanese 2nd Sino-Japanese War and WWII fighter ace. -

1956 - 1st US airdrop of a thermonuclear bomb from a B-52 Stratofortress, specifically (Mark 15 nuclear bomb), over Bikini atoll during operation Redwing.

1957 - A PZL TS-8 Bies, Polish trainer aircraft, sets a class speed record of 320.362km/h over a 2000km closed circuit.

1958 - Capital Airlines Vickers 745D Viscount collided in a mid-air with a Lockheed T-33 of the Air National Guard, Killing all on board. Only one of the T-33 crewmembers ejected safely.

1959 - 1st flight of Max Holste MH.250 Super Broussard, French twin-engine high-wing airliner prototype which will lead to the Nord 262. -

1960 - 1st flight of The Yakovlev Yak-30 (NATO 'Magnum'), Yakovlev's entry in a competition for the 1st Soviet military jet trainer aircraft.

1961 - Death of Josef "Pips" Priller, German WWII fighter ace, famous because of the publicity regarding his single strafing pass attack on Sword Beach on D-Day. - -

1964 - Birth of Paul William Richards, American engineer and former NASA Astronaut.

1965 - Pakistan International Airlines Flight PK 705,Boeing 720–040B, crashed while descending to land on Runway 34 at Cairo International Airport resulting in 119 fatalities.

1965 - 1st flight of The DHC-6 Twin Otter, Canadian 19-passenger STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) utility aircraft.

1976 - 1st flight of Bell Model 209 "Huey Cobra" version AH-1T Improved SeaCobra. (American wo-bladed, single engine attack helicopter)

1977 - 1st flight of The Sukhoi T-10 , prototype of the Su-27 (NATO reporting name: Flanker) soviet single-seat, twin-engine Mach-2 class jet fighter.

1978 - Launch of Pioneer Venus 1 (or Pioneer Venus Orbiter). It studied the planet for more than a decade after orbital insertion.

1984 - Death of Meredith Thomas, British WWI flying ace and WWII RAF senior commander. -

1984 - Death of Gorman DeFreest Larner, American WWI flying ace, and WWII USAAF senior officer. He helped to set up the New York National Air Guard and was Chairman of Robinson Aviation, Inc. -

1988 - Death of Andrei Yumashev, Russian test pilot and record setter, WWII high ranking officer.

1990 - Death of Roy Windower, RCAF pilot, 1st pilot of the Red Knight aerobatic demonstration team.

1995 - Launch of Spektr, 5th module of the Mir Space Station, designed for remote observation of Earth's environment, it also had four solar arrays which generated about half of the station's electrical power.

2000 - 1st flight of the DAR-21 Vector, Bulgarian 2 seat high wing light monoplane for amateur construction.

2003 - 1st flight (captive) of the SpaceShipOne, American suborbital air-launched spaceplane.

2009 - A Lockheed C-130H Hercules of the Indonesian Air Force crashes at Magetan killing 97 people on board the aircraft and a further two on the ground. -

2010 - Death of Umberto Bernardini, Italian test pilot, 1st italian to break the sound barrier.

2010 - Launch of IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency experimental spacecraft, 1st spacecraft to successfully demonstrate solar-sail technology in interplanetary space.

2010 - Launch of Akatsuki, formerly known as the Venus Climate Orbiter (VCO) and Planet-C, Japanese unmanned spacecraft which intend to explore Venus.