On This Day in Aviation History May 21 st

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1878 - Birth of Glenn Hammond Curtiss, American aviation pioneer and a founder of the U.S. aircraft industry Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, now part of Curtiss-Wright Corporation.

1885 - Birth of Angel María Zuloaga, early argentian aviation pioneer, and record setter.

1887 - Birth of Ruth Bancroft Law, pioneer American aviatrix, 1st woman to loop the loop in an airplane and 1st woman to make a night flight. -

1889 - Birth of Nikolai Kirillovich Kokorin, Russian WWI flying ace. -

1896 - Birth of Johannes Janzen, German WWI flying ace -

1898 - Birth of Edward Denman Clarke, British WWI flying ace abd managing director of Saunders-Roe Ltd. -

1901 - Birth of Sergei Konstantinovich Tumansky, Soviet aircraft engine designer.

1908 - 1st flight of the AEA 'June Bug' (or Aerodrome #3), early American aircraft designed and flown by Glenn H. Curtiss, famous for winning the 1st aeronautical prize, the Scientific American Cup, ever awarded in the US.

1909 - 1st flight of the Blériot XII, early French Hign wing monopane, 1st aircraft to be flown with two passengers on board.

1910 - French Jacques Benjamin de Lesseps is the 2nd pilot to cross the English Channel in a 37 minute flight. -

1911 - At the start of the Paris-Madrid air race, Louis Émile Train with his own buil monoplane, made a forced landing, running into a group of people killing Henri Maurice Berteaux, french Minister of defence. -

1913 - 1st flight of the Jeanson-Colliex, French Double biplane twin tandem engine driving a single propeller (in pusher configuration) flyingboat prototype -

1914 - 1st UK charter flight, 1st passenger charter flight and 1st international charter flight take place at the same time, when Princess Ludwig von Löwestein-Wertheim charters a Handley Page HP7 from the Northern Aircraft Company to fly her to Paris. The aircraft leaves Hendon at 0730hrs, but fog in the Channel forces it to land at Eastbourne and wait. They arrive in Calais at 1630hrs.

1915 - 1st flight of The SPAD A.2 (also called SA.2, A-2 or A2), French tractor biplane fighter, designed to carry an observer/gunner placed in a streamlined nacelle in front of the propeller. -

1916 - Birth of Wilhelm "Willi" Batz, German WWII fighter ace. - -

1918 - Death of Harold William Medlicott, British WWI flying ace, in a Prisoner camp.

1921 - Birth of Roberta (Born Robert) Cowell, WWII Spitfire Pilot, 1st known British male-to-female transsexual to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

1927 - Flight Lieutenants Charles Roderick Carr and L.E.M Gillmann in their Hawker Horsley, British single-engined biplane bomber, attempting a non-stop flight to India. ran out of fuel en route, ditching in the Persian Gulf near Bandar Abbas, Iran. Despite this, it had covered a distance of 3,420 mi (5,506 km), which was sufficient to set a new world distance record, -

1927 - Charles A. Lindbergh lands his Ryan monoplane Spirit of St. Louis at Le Bourget. 1st to fly a non-stop solo Atlantic crossing of 3,600 miles in 33 hours, 29 minutes.

1927 - Lieutenant Rutledge Irvine, in a Vought 02U Corsair equipped with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine, established a world record for Class C Seaplanes for 1,000 kilometers at Hampton Roads, Va., with a speed of 130.932 mph.

1930 - 1st flight of The Short S.11 Valetta , British passenger monoplane prototype, in a flotaplane version.

1931 - 1st flight of the Dewoitine D-30, French 10 seat single engine cantilever monoplane prototype aircraft. -

1932 – Bad weather forces Amelia Earhart to land her Lockheed Vega 5b in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becomes the 1st woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

1932 - The Dornier Do X flying boat returns from his promotional flight taking off from New York to Berlin via Newfoundland and the Azores.

1938 - 1st flight of The Dornier Do 26, German all-metal gull winged flying boat produced before and during WWII .

1941 - Death of Rudolph, Charles Godfrey of Hemricourt Gunn, Belgian fighter Ace during the Spanish War and WWII pilot, drowned at sea when his Spitfire was shot down near Goodwin Sands.

1941 - A Royal Air Force photographic reconnaissance Supermarine Spitfire of the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit sights the Bismarck in a Fjord near Bergen in Norway.

1941 - Operation Splice: 46 Hawker Hurricanes are flown from HMS Ark Royal and HMS Furious to Malta, however, only 4 aircraft are retained, together with the pilots of No.249 Squadron. A detachment from No.82 Squadron (Bristol Blenheim) also arrive on the island.

1942 - Birth of Robert Clyde "Bob" Springer, American astronaut, Vietnam war pilot and test pilot

1945 - Birth of Prof. Dr. Ernst Willi Messerschmid, German physicist and astronaut.

1946 - KLM is the 1st continental European airline to launch scheduled service to New York.

1949 - A Sikorsky S-52 flown by U.S. Army Captain Hubert D. Gaddis sets a new helicopter altitude record of 21,200 ft (6,468 m).

1949 - 1st flight of the Breguet G.IIE "Gyroplane", french helicopter prototype.

1953 - Polish Air Force pilot, Zdzislaw Jazwinski escaped with a MiG-15 to Bornholm island.

1953 - Dan-Air is founded as a charter operator.

1955 - John "Jack" Michael Conroythen of the USAF 115th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, completed "Operation Boomerang" world record. This involved flying coast-to-coast and return in one day during daylight hours. He flew a North American F-86A Sabre from San Fernando Valley Airport in Van Nuys, California to Floyd Bennett Field, New York with return using fuel stops both ways.

1956 - 1st air dropped thermonuclear weapon : A Boeing B-52B Stratofortress dropped a Mk-15 nuclear bomb over the Bikini Atoll in a test code-named Cherokee -

1957 – 1st Sud-Aviation (Sud-Ouest) SO.9050 Trident II -001, rocket-powered short-range interceptor, is destroyed during a test-flight out of Centre d'Essais en Vol (Flight Test Center) when its highly volatile fuels, Furaline and nitric acid, accidentally mix and explode, killing test pilot Charles Goujon. Project is discontinued following this accident. - -

1958 - 1st flight of the pre-production Dassault Étendard IVM, supersonic carrier-borne "strike" fighter aircraft designed for service with the French Navy. -

1958 - 1st flight of the Breguet Br 940, French four-engine STOL transport aircraft prototype. -

1965 - Death of Captain Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, British aviation pioneer and aircraft engineer. His Mosquito has been considered the most versatile warplane ever built.

1969 - 1st flight of The Antonov An-26 'Curl', Soviet twin-engined turboprop civilian and military transport aircraft

1973 - 1st flight of The Saab 37 SF Viggen, Spanning Foto, or photo-reconnaissance version of the Swedish single-seat, single-engine, short-medium range fighter and attack aircraft

1975 - Death of Arthur Stanley Gould Lee, British WWI flying ace, Author and WWII RAF senior officer. -

1975 - 1st flight of The Rutan VariEze, American composite, canard aircraft, notable for popularizing the canard configuration and moldless composite construction for homebuilt aircraft.

1977 - The Concorde makes a special trip from New York to Paris to mark the 50th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's historic flight on the same route in the Spirit of St. Louis; the airliner takes just 3 hours, 44 minutes, compared with Lindbergh's time of 33 hours, 29 minutes

1978 - Tokyo's new Narita International Airport becomes operational.

1982 - Whilst lying in Falkland Sound and supporting Operation Sutton by bombarding the Argentine airstrip at Goose Green, HMS Ardent (Royal Navy Type 21 frigate) 1s attacked by at least 3 waves of Argentine Navy A-4Q Skyhawks. The air strikes resulted in the sinking of Ardent the next day.

1985 - Death of Murray Kenneth Guthrie, American WWI flying ace -

1986 - Launch of Soyuz TM-1, Soviet unmanned test flight of the Soyuz-TM spacecraft for use in the Mir space station program.

1999 - Launch of Nimiq 1, geostationary telecommunications satellite, Canada's 1st direct broadcast digital TV satellite.

2011 - Volcano Grímsvötn in Iceland enters in eruption, causing Disruption to air travel in Iceland, followed by Greenland, Scotland and Norway and north europe in the following days