On This Day in Aviation History May 23 rd

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1848 - Birth of Otto Lilienthal, German pioneer of human aviation who became known as the Glider King. He was the 1st person to make well-documented, repeated, successful gliding flights

1881 - Birth of Artur de Sacadura Freire Cabral, known simply as Sacadura Cabral, Portuguese aviation pioneer.

1893 - Birth of Jean Charles Romatet, French WWI flying ace and WWII high ranking officer. -

1894 - Birth of Edward Robert "Ted" Pennell, British WWI flying ace who served during WWII. -

1904 - 1st flight of the Wright Flyer II, 2nd powered aircraft built by Wilbur and Orville Wright, -

1908 - 1st airplane flight in Italy is made by Léon Delagrange with a Voisin in Roma.

1908 - Birth of Hélène Boucher, French aviatrix who setted some altitude and speed records, pupil of Michel Detroyat.

1908 - 1st Airship disaster in the USA. A Morrell airship, 450 ft. long, collapsed 300 ft. above the earth, hurling its 16 occupants at Berkekey Ca.

1908 - Crash of The White Wing (or Aerodrome #2), early US aircraft. Unusual for aircraft of its day, it featured a wheeled undercarriage. The wings were equipped with ailerons controlled by a harness worn around the pilot's body; leaning in one direction would cause the aircraft to bank to follow.

1909 - The world’s 1st official aerodrome, Port-Aviation, is opened outside of Paris, at Viry-Châtillon, France. -

1914 - Death of Gustav Hamel, pioneer British aviator, over the English Channel while returning from Paris in a new 80hp Morane-Saulnier monoplane he had just collected

1915 - 1st flight of the Fokker Eindecker, German WWI monoplane single-seat fighter aircraft.

1915 - Birth of James A. "Jim" Chamberlin, Canadian aerodynamicist who contributed to the design of the Canadian Avro Arrow; and NASA's Gemini spacecraft and the Apollo program.

1916 - Birth of Tiberiu Vinca, Romanian WWII flying ace -

1917 - 1st flight of The Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin, British WWI biplane fighter aircraft.

1918 - Death of George Edwin Thomson, Scottish WWI fighter ace, Killed in a flying accident on take off. -

1923 - Belgian airline SABENA is formed, adding new European routes to SNETA's routes in Belgian Congo that it takes over.

1923 - Birth of Walter Wolfrum, German WWII fighter ace (127 credited), and later a successful aerobatics pilot, winning the German Championship in 1962 and taking 2nd place in 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1966.

1925 - Death of Rudolf Rienau, German WWI flying ace, Post War instructor, killed in a flying accident.

1928 - Umberto Nobile commands the Italian airship Italia on an 3rd flight over the North Pole.

1933 - Death of Ludovic Marie René Arrachart, French officer aviator, raid pilot, pioneer of intercontinental aviation, killed in a crash while practising for the Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe.

1933 - Birth of Bruce A. Peterson, American engineer and NASA test pilot. He flew a wide variety of airplanes including the F5D-1, F-100, F-104, F-111A, B-52, NT-33A Variable Stability Trainer, the wingless lifting bodies and numerous general aviation aircraft as well as several types of helicopters and sailplanes.

1934 - New Zealander Miss Jean Batten lands in Darwin, Australia, setting a record of 14 days 22 hours 30 minutes from Lympne, flying a de Havilland Dh.60 Moth

1937 - The TsAGI A-12 prototype, Russian Autogyro, crashed killing test pilot I.Kozyrev, after the rotor blade came off.

1938 - 1st flight of The Fiat CR.42 Falco, Italian single-seat sesquiplane WWII fighter.

1940 - S/L FM Gobeil, an RCAF exchange officer and CO of No. 242 Squadron RAF, was the 1st RCAF officer to enter combat. He engaged a Messerschmitt Bf 109 near Berck, France.

1940 - Death of William Edward 'Bill' Green, British WWI flying ace, killed just before the evacuation from Dunkirk werving as high ranking officer in a battalion of the British Territorial Force. -

1941 – 24 German Junkers Ju-87 dive bombers attack the British destroyers HMS Kelly and HMS Kashmir as they attempt to retire after a patrol north of Crete the previous night, sinking both. Among the survivors is Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten. -

1943 - 1st U-Boat destroyed with the assistance of a rocket attack was U-752 by a Swordfish of 819 NAS from the HMS Archer. The rockets used on this occasion had solid, cast-iron heads and were known as Rocket Spears. -

1944 - 1st flight of The British Martin-Baker MB 5 (actually second Martin-Baker MB 3), prototype fighter aircraft.

1945 - 1st flight of the Starck AS-70 'Jac', French-built single-seat light aircraft -

1947 - 1st flight of the SNCAC NC.1070, french twin engine carrier born bomber prototype.

1958 - 1st flight of The PZL-102 Kos, Polish two-seat touring and training monoplane. -

1958 - Explorer 1 (1st Earth satellite of the USA) stopped transmission of data when its batteries died. It remained in orbit for more than 12 years

1958 - Birth of Thomas Arthur Reiter, ESA astronaut and Brigadier General in the Luftwaffe, 1st german in space.

1958 - Flying a Douglas F4D-1 Skyray, USMC Major Edward N. LeFaivre breaks 5 world climb-to-height records, including 15,000 meters (49,221 feet) in 2 minutes 36 seconds. -

1960 - Death of Julius Buckler, German WWI fighter ace. -

1962 - 1st flight of the Merville D-63, French two-seat light aircraft based on Druine Condor.

1965 - 1st flight of the Moynet M-360-6 'Jupiter', French small executive transport prototype, push-pull configuration, re-engined evolution of the Moynet 360 Jupiter. -

1966 - Death of Ernest William Norton, Welsh WWI flying ace and RAF senior officer post WWI. -

1966 - A Learjet 24 takes off for a round the world flight as a demonstration of its capabilities.

1967 - 1st flight of Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.1 prototype, British maritime patrol aircraft, extensive modification of the de Havilland Comet. -

1978 - 1st Tu-144D experienced an in-flight failure during a pre-delivery test flight, and crash-landed with crew fatalities.

1981 - Death of Jean Alfred Fraissinet, French WWI flying ace, He served in WWII and later entered politic. -

1989 - 1st flight of the 2nd and last Grumman X-29, american experimental aircraft that tested a forward-swept wing, canard control surfaces, and other novel aircraft technologies. -

2002 - 1st flight of the Zlin Z-400 Rhino, re-engined version of the Russian Technoavia SM-92 Finist, Czech utility aircraft with a STOL capability.

2013 - Solar Impulse lands in Dallas, coming from Phoenix, Longest flight of a solar powered aircraft (1541 km/ 832 NM in 18h 21min at an average speed of 84 Km/h- 45,3Kts)