On This Day in Aviation History May 31 st

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1811 - Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger, the "tailor of Ulm" (Germany) crashes in his Apparatus into the Danube. It was presumably a workable hang glider.

1850 - Birth of Charles-Alphonse Pénaud, French pioneer of aviation, inventor of the rubber powered model airplane.

1862 - Information obtained from Thadeus S. C. Lowe's balloon observation saves Union forces from defeat at the Battle of Seven Pines, Virginia during the U. S. Civil War. Union General George McClellan is warned by Lowe of Confederate General Albert Johnston's approaching troops.

1882 - Birth of John Robertson Duigan , Australian pioneer aviator who built and flew the 1st Australian-made aircraft.

1884 - Birth of Maurice Roch Gond, French WWI flying ace

1888 - Birth of Medley Kingdon Parlee, Canadian WWI flying ace -

1889 - Birth of Charles Gordon Bell, early british aviator and WWI flying ace. -

1896 - Birth of Thomas Grey Culling, New Zealand WWI flying ace. -

1896 - Birth of Fritz Höhn, German WWI fighter ace -

1896 - Birth of Louis Fernand Coudouret, French WWI flying ace -

1897 - Birth of Giuseppe Marini, Italian Aviator.

1908 - The 1st British-held international balloon race at Hurlingame is won by the balloon 'Valkyrie' with a crew which included 2 ladies. -

1911 - Andre Beaumont (real name Jean Louis Conneau) beats Roland Garros in the Paris to Rome air race, completing the 1,465 km (910 mile) course in 28 hours, 5 minutes with a Blériot XI. -

1915 - 1st Zeppelin raid on London, is made by LZ 38. 7 people killed, 14 wounded.

1916 - 1st time in history that a carrier-based aeroplane was used for reconnaissance in naval combat : A Short Type 184 from the Royal Navy seaplane carrier Engadine achieves the only British aerial reconnaissance flight of the Battle of Jutland, reporting the sighting of three cruisers and ten destroyers of the German High Seas Fleet before a broken fuel pipe forces it to end the mission. -

1917 - Austrian pilot Linienschiffleutnant G.Banfield, at the controls of a Pfalz AII fighter, forces down an Italian seaplane, achieving the 1st Austro-Hungarian victory against enemy night bombers

1918 - Death of Viktor von Pressentin von Rautter, German WWI fighter ace, killed in action in his Fokker DR.I -

1918 - 1st American aviator flying in an American unit to achieve the status of ace is Douglas Campbell, scoring his 5th victory over a Rumpler C with his Nieuport 28.

1919 - 1st wedding held in an aircraft. Flying 2000 ft above Houston Texas in a converted Handley Page bomber, Marjorie Dumont and Lt. R.W. Meade were married by an Army chaplain.

1920 - Herbert John Louis 'Bert' Hinkler made a non-stop flight from Croydon to Turin in 9 hours 30 minutes in his Avro 534 Baby - a flight of 655 mi (1,050 km) and celebrated at the time as "the most meritorious flight on record"

1928 - 1st airplane flight across the Pacific starts. British Capt. Charles Kingsford-Smith and crew takes off in the Fokker F-VIIB/3m 'Southern Cross'. They will fly from Oakland Field, California to Brisbane, Australia, 7,389 miles (11,890km), in 83 hours, 38 minutes. On the way, it becomes the 1st airplane to land in Fiji. -

1928 - Arturo Ferrarin and Carlo del Prete takes off with their Savoia-Marchetti S.64 for record attempts (Speed, Endurance and distance)

1935 - 1st flight of the Fairchild Model 45, American five-seat cabin monoplane aircraft.

1938 - Italian Aviazione Legionaria bombed the town of Granollers, killing between 100 and 224 civilians.

1942 - Operation Millennium : with 1047 aircrafts, 868 aircrafts bombed Cologne during that 1st 1000 bomber raid while others where bombing the German night-fighter airfields and secondary targets.

1945 - Middle East Airlines, national flag-carrier airline of Lebanon, is formed.

1946 - London's Heathrow airport is officially opened, although facilities are still limited, with only one runway and most of the passenger handling facilities in tents.

1955 - French aviatrix Jacqueline Auriol sets a new speed record of 1 151 km/h with a Dassault Mystère IV.

1960 - 1st flight of the Fiat G-91T, tandem two-seat trainer evolution from the G.91R, Italian jet fighter.

1962 - A USAF superpressure unmanned research balloon is launch from the Bermudas for testing scientifics equipments at the edge of space (68000ft). The fligth will last 19 days.,2250363

1967 - A USAF KC-135 Stratotanker makes an emergency refuelling of six US Navy jets.

1968 - Death of Mario Castoldi, Italian aircraft engineer and designer.

1973 - Indian Airlines Flight 440 Boeing 737 2-A8 'Saranga' crashed while on approach to Palam Airport, India, killing 48 of the 65 passengers and crew on board.

1974 - Death of Cyril Marconi "Billy" Crowe, British WWI flying ace and WWII pilot -

1975 - The European Space Agency (ESA), intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, is formed.

1977 - The Vietnam People's Air Force (Không quân Nhân dân Vi?t Nam) is separated from the Vietnamese Air Defense Force (Quân ch?ng Phòng không)'s_Air_Force#1975-present_.28reunified_Vietnam.29

1978 - 1st flight of The RFB Fantrainer, German 2-seat ducted-fan flight training aircraft.

1982 - Death of Czeslaw Michal Zbieranski, Polish engineer, pioneer of Polish aviation.

1990 - Launch of Kristall, 4th module and 3rd major addition to the Mir space station.

1991 - 1st flight of The Pilatus PC-12, Swiss single-engine turboprop passenger and cargo aircraft.

1995 - 1st flight of The Schweizer RU-38 Twin Condor, US two or three-seat, fixed gear, low wing, twin boom covert reconnaissance aircraft. It is intended to fulfill both the low altitude, quiet, over water/hostile terrain reconnaissance role and also the high altitude standoff surveillance role

2000 - 1st flight of the AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant, Canadian Forces designation for the AgustaWestland AW101 (formerly EH101), medium lift helicopter used for air-sea rescue in Canada. Developed as a joint venture between Westland Aircraft in the UK and Agusta in Italy (now merged as AgustaWestland),

2002 - 1st flight of The Toyota TAA-1 (also referred to in the press as the TA-1), Japanese prototype general aviation aircraft substantially built and test flown by Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites under contract with Toyota.

2008 - Launch of STS-124, Discovery Space Shuttle mission to the ISS.

2008 - Champion Air, American airline operating general charter services to sports teams, vacation wholesalers and government agencies, ceases operations.

2012 - Dragon C2+, also known as SpaceX COTS Demo Flight 2 (COTS 2), 2nd test-flight for SpaceX's uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft, is back on earth.