On This Day in Aviation History May 26 th

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1835 - Birth of Edward Porter Alexander, engineer, officer in the U.S. Army, a Confederate general in the American Civil War, and later a railroad executive, planter, and author, also noted for his early use of signal and observation balloon intelligence in combat.

1874 - Birth of Henri Farman, French pilot, aviator, aircraft designer and manufacturer with his brother Maurice Farman.

1890 - Birth of William Stanley Jenkins, Canadian WWI flying ace -

1892 - Birth of Eustace Slade Headlam, Australian WWI flying ace

1895 - Birth of Rudolf Besel, German WWI flying ace

1896 - Birth of William Grossart, Scottish WWI flying ace -

1898 - Birth of John Sidney Owens, American WWI flying ace.

1904 - The Wright brothers begin a series of over 100 flights in the Flyer II.

1909 - 1st flight of the Zeppelin LZ5, German experimental military airship.

1910 - Frederick Handley Page makes several hops in his 'Bluebird' monoplane at Barking but crashes while attempting to turn.

1911 - Jules Vedrines wins the Paris-Madrid Race in a Morane-Saulnier A -

1915 - Oberleutnant Erich Kästner and Lt Georg Langhoff score the 1st German air-to-air victory of WWI, shooting down a French Voisin in their Halberstadt C-type at Dournai in France.

1918 - Death of Thomas Frederick Le Mesurier, British WWI flying ace, Killed in action in his De Havilland DH4. -

1919 - 1st flight of The Tarrant Tabor, British bomber triplane, which was designed towards the end of WWI and was briefly the world's largest aircraft. It crashed fatally on this 1st flight, killing crew Capts. F. G. Dunn and P. T. Rawlings.

1920 - Alfred Fronval, french aviator, sets in Madrid a record of 962 loopings in 3 h 52 min.

1920 - 1st flight of The Boeing GA-1 (company designation Model 10), American armored triplane powered by a pair of modified Liberty engines driving pusher propellers, 1st of the Engineering Division's heavily-armored GAX series (ground attack, experimental) aircraft.

1921 - Death of Karl Scharon, German WWI flying ace -

1923 - Lieutenant H. G. Crocker lands in a modified DH-4B at Gordon, Ontario, completing a non-stop transcontinental south/north flight from Houston, Texas, of 11 hours, 55 minutes.

1924 - 1st flight of The ANT-2 Tupolev OKB's 1st all-metal aircraft, two-passenger capacity.

1929 - A Junkers W 33 (much modified and sometimes referred to as a W 34) established a world altitude record, piloted by Willy Neuenhofen, at 41,800 ft (12740 m)

1931 - Charles William Anderson Scott, takes off for an attempt to break the record for the fastest solo flight from Wydham, Australia to Lympne, England with a DH.60 Moth (Gipsy II).

1932 - 1st flight of The Farman F.220, French hick-sectioned, high-winged monoplane, biggest bomber to serve in France between the world wars. One variant was designed as an airliner. -

1937 - 1st flight of the Brouard 'Libellule', French single seat tandem wing homebuilt aircraft prototype.

1940 - Beginning of Operation Dynamo : 338,226 Allied troops are brought back to the UK. This resulted in intensive air combat between the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force, with neither side able to achieve permanent air superiority. The Royal Air Force lose 177 aircraft over Dunkirk, including 106 fighters and the Luftwaffe lose 132 aircraft of all types. -

1941 - In mid-morning, a RAF Coastal Command Catalina reconnaissance aircraft from 209 Squadron, which had flown over the Atlantic from its base on Lough Erne in Northern Ireland across the Donegal Corridor, a small air-corridor secretly provided by the Éire government, spotted Bismarck (via her oil slick) and reported her position to the Admiralty. At 21:05, a hit by a single torpedo from a Swordfish of 818 NAS (piloted by Sub-Lieutenant John Moffat) jammed Bismarck's rudder and steering gear.

1941 - 1st flight of the Kayaba "Ka"-Go / Ka-1, Japanese Autogyro and 1st armed machine of the autogyro/helicopter family to have been used operationally.

1942 - 1st flight of The Northrop P-61 Black Widow, 1st operational U.S. military aircraft designed specifically for night interception of aircraft, and 1st aircraft specifically designed to use radar.It was an all-metal, twin-engine, twin-boom design developed during World War II.

1945 - A de Havilland DH89 makes the 1st Jersey/Guernsey Airways landing in the Channel Islands following the surrender of the German garnison.

1945 - Aries, a modified Lancaster of the Empire Air Navigation School, returns to RAF Shawbury after completing the 1st ever flight over both the True and Magnetic North Poles.

1946 - Death of Marziale Cerutti, Italian WWI fighter ace and WWII pilot. -

1951 - Death of Lincoln Ellsworth, American raid aviator and polar explorer.

1951 - Birth of Dr. Sally Kristen Ride, American physicist and a former NASA astronaut. Ride joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983 became the 1st American woman—and then-youngest American—to enter space.

1951 - Birth of Muhammed Ahmed Faris, Syrian military aviator. He was the 1st Syrian and the 2nd Arab in space.

1952 - 1st flight of the STITS SA-2A 'Sky Baby', American tiny single seat single engine biplane. It had a wing span of just over seven feet and a length of just less than ten feet and barely five feet tall. Powered by an 85 hp Continental engine, the engine could develop 112 hp at 3,800 rpm with water injection, giving the Sky Baby a power loading comparable to WWII fighters.

1956 - 1st flight of The Sukhoi T-3, prototype delta wing Soviet fighter aircraft.

1956 - 1st flight of the Breguet Br 904 'Nymphale', French two seat training and competition sailplane. -

1956 - 1st flight of 1st pre-production YF-105B Thunderchief, American supersonic fighter-bomber.

1958 - Death of Constantin 'Bazu' Cantacuzino, Romanian aerobatic pilot, WWII fighter ace, and LARES (Today TAROM airline) chief pilot. -

1958 - 2nd prototype of The Short SC.1 (1st British fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft) made his 1st tethered vertical flight.

1960 - A Vickers Valiant of No.214 Squadron, captained by Squadron Leader J.H. Garstin, completed the 1st non-stop flight between the UK and Singapore. It covered a distance of 8,110 miles in 15 hours 35 minutes, achieving an average speed of 623 mph and was refuelled in flight over Cyprus and Karachi.

1961 - William Payne and his crew flew from Carswell to Paris setting, en route, record times of 3 hours 39 minutes 49 seconds from Washington and 3 hours 19 minutes 51 seconds from New York with a Convair B-58 Hustler.

1961 - 1st flight of The Canadair CF-104 Starfighter (CF-111, CL-90), modified version of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter supersonic fighter aircraft built in Canada by Canadair under licence.

1962 - 1st flight of the Enstrom Shark, 1st of two three-seat pre-production models of the F-28 light helicopter.

1962 - Death of Aida de Acosta Root Breckinridge, American socialite and 1st female to fly a powered aircraft solo.

1966 - 1st flight of the Filper Beta 200, helicopter using the 'Gyroflex Rotor', which employed special balance weights fitted to the roots of the rotor blades instead of conventional flapping or lead-lag hinges, or other hub stability devices. -

1966 - A Learjet 24 complete a round the world flight as a demonstration of its capabilities in 50 hours, 20 minutes flying time.

1969 - Apollo 10, 4th manned mission in the American Apollo space program, returns on earth.

1969 - Death of Allan Haines Loughead , later changed to Allan Haines Lockheed, was an American aviation pioneer and engineer. He formed the Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company along with his brother, Malcolm Loughead that became Lockheed Corporation.

1970 - The prototype Tupolev Tu-144 supersonic airliner reaches a speed of 1,335mph, becoming the 1st commercial transport in the world to exceed Mach 2

1970 - 1st flight of the Robin DR-300/180, French 4 seat low wing cabin monoplane tourer aircraft.

1972 - Cessna Aircraft Corporation announces completion of the company's 100,000th aircraft, becoming the 1st company in the world to achieve such a production figure.

1977 - 1st flight of the NDN Firecracker, Canadian single-engine aircraft designed as a military trainer, tandem two seat aircraft with retractable tricycle landing gear.

1980 - Launch of Soyuz 36, Soviet manned space flight to the Salyut 6 space station.

1981 - Soyuz-T4, Soviet space mission to dock with Salyut-6, is back on earth.

1983 - A Learjet 55 sets a world speed record in its class of 448 mph (722 km/h) over the 5,655 mile (9,101 km) between Los Angeles and Le Bourget in 12 hours, 37 minutes with one refueling stop.

1991 - Soyuz TM-11, russian space flight to the Mir Station, is back on earth

1991 - Lauda Air Boeing 767-3Z9ER Flight 004, international passenger flight, crashed due to a thrust reverser deployment of the number 1 engine in flight.

1991 - Death of Gerald Alfred Sigourney Birks, Canadian WWI flying ace -

1995 - 1st flight of the Bombardier Challenger 800, Canadian Business jet aircraft evolution of the CRJ200LR.

1998 - MIAT Mongolian Airlines Harbin Y-12 crashed into a mountain near Erdenet, Mongolia shortly after departure from Erdenet Airport, all 28 passengers and crew died.

2003 - An Ukainian Yakovlev Yak-42 crashes into a mountain on the final approach in the fog near Trabzon.

2008 - A Moscovia Airlines An-12 cargo aircraft crashed near Chelyabinsk, Russia, killing all 9 crew members when after departure to Perm it turned back and crashed near the airfield.

2010 - Death of Christopher Hugh Moran , commonly known as Sir Chris Moran, british fast jet pilot and later a senior commander in the Royal Air Force.

2010 - 1st flight of The Boeing X-51 (also known as X-51 WaveRider), American unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic flight testings, achieving the longest duration flight at speeds over Mach 5 at an altitude of 70,000 feet (21,000 m) for over 200 seconds.