On This Day in Aviation History SEPTEMBER 8 th

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1856 - 1st human free ascent in Canada (Québec) is made by french Eugène Godard in his balloon named 'Canada', carrying the 1st Canadians to fly : Alexandre-Édouard Kierzkowski and Alfred Xavier Rambau.

1895 - Birth of Gerald Joseph Constable Maxwell, Scottish WWI fighter ace who served as station commander at RAF Ford during WWII. -

1902 - Birth of Ruth Elder, American aviatrix.

1902 - Birth of Joseph 'Joe' B. Duckworth, USAF pilot and commercial pilot, regarded as the "father" of modern instrument flight, noted for being the 1st person to fly through the eye of a hurricane

1905 - Birth of Thomas Keith Glennan, 1st Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

1909 - 1st flight of the Voisin Tractor, French early aeroplane prototype.

1909 - British Army Aeroplane No 1 Cody 3 made a sustained flight of more than an hour around Laffan's Plain (Farnborough), travelling about 64km (46 miles) in 1 hour and 3 minutes), 1st recorded cross-country flight in the UK.

1912 - Birth of James Lincoln Holt Peck, American flying ace during the Spanish Civil War, one of the few African-American aviators in the Air Force of the Spanish Republic, Aviation Journalist, 1st African-American to serve at Cape canaveral in an engineering capcity. -

1914 - Pyotr Nikolayevich Nesterov, Russian WWI pilot, is the 1st pilot to destroy an enemy airplane in flight. Using a Morane-Saulnier Type G monoplane (s/n 281), he rammed an Austrian reconnaissance plane Albatros B.II. He probably intended to hit it with a landing gear of his Morane-Saulnier monoplane, but he hit it with his plane's propeller instead. As a result, both planes crashed. Nesterov, who had not strapped himself in, fell from his plane. He will die the day after from his injuries. -

1915 - German Zeppelin L13 commanded by Heinrich Mathy, one of the great airship commanders of WWI, hits Aldersgate in central London, killing 22 people.

1916 - Birth of Émile Francois Marie Léonce Fayolle, French WWII fighter pilot, one of the 1st pilots to join the Free French Air Force. -

1919 - Birth of Manfred Meurer, German WWII night fighter ace. - -

1926 - 2 German Junkers G-24 lands in Peking coming from Berlin after having flown the 20,000 km (12,400 mi) in only 10 stops. It was initially meant that they would fly all the way from Berlin to Shanghai, but they were prevented by military conflicts.

1927 - Messerschmitt Flugzeugbau GmbH merge with Bayerische Flugzeugwerke.

1930 - Birth of Nguyen Cao Ky, chief of the Vietnam Air Force and prime minister of South Vietnam. Commanding Tân Son Nhut Air Base, he became the 1st pilot for South Vietnam's Presidential Liaison Officer, which was organizing to infiltrate military intelligence teams into North Vietnam. He recruited pilots from his command for this intelligence program of the CIA, and flew some of the missions himself after being trained by an expert pilot from Air America.

1932 - 1st flight of the Yakovlev Ya-6 (AIR-6), russian high wing light aircraft.

1934 - 1st flight of the de Havilland DH.88 Comet, twin-engined British aircraft, Designed specifically for the 1934 Victorian Centenary Air Race from Mildenhall to Melbourne. It set many aviation records and used afterwards as a pioneer mail plane.

1939 - 1st French Aircraft shot down by the Luftwaffe in WWII is an ANF les Muraux 115 of GAO 553. -

1939 – 5 French Air Force Curtiss H-75 fighters engage a squadron of German Messerschmitt Bf 109 s and shoot down 2. They are the 1st French air-to-air victories of World War II, as well as the 1st by any of the Western Allies.

1939 - 1st flight of the Vultee V-48, Prototype of the Vultee P-66 Vanguard, American fighter aircraft initially ordered by Sweden.

1943 – 131 U. S. Army Air Forces B-17 Flying Fortresses conduct a bombing raid against the headquarters of Field Marshal Albert Kesselring at Frascati, Italy, killing 485 civilians.

1944 – 2 German V2 balistic rockets land in Paris and later, London is hit by a V2 rocket for the 1st time. -

1948 - Birth of Per Lindstrand, Swedish aeronautical engineer, pilot, adventurer and entrepreneur.

1953 - 1st flight of the Meyers 200, American four-seat cabin monoplane prototype which will lead to the Aero Commander 200.

1960 - 1st flight of the Maule M-4, American four-seat cabin high wing monoplane.

1961 - 1st transitions from vertical to horizontal flight and back for the Hawker P.1127, british Experimental V/STOL aircraft.

1965 - The sole Dassault Balzac V (French vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) testbed built from a prototype Mirage III aircraft to test the configuration for the Mirage IIIV) crashed fatally again during a low altitude hover. The aircraft was not rebuilt, as flight development of the Mirage IIIV prototype was already underway.

1967 - Launch of Surveyor 5, american unmanned lunar lander sent to explore the surface of the Moon.

1968 - 1st flight of The SEPECAT Jaguar, Anglo-French jet ground attack aircraft. -

1974 - TWA Flight 841 Boeing 707-331B crashed into the Ionian Sea 30 minutes after takeoff. The out of control aircraft was observed by crew on the flight deck of Pan Am 110. They watched the aircraft execute a steep climb, the separation of an engine from the wing, and the death spiral. All 79 passengers and 9 crew members were killed. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the plane was destroyed by a bomb hidden in the cargo hold. 1st known instance of a young Arab boarding an American plane in a suicide mission.

1980 - Death of Oleg Grigoryevich Kononenko, Russian test pilot and cosmonaut, Killed in the Crash of a Yak-38 VTOL fighter during takeoff from aircraft carrier Minsk in the South China Sea

1987 - Death of Gordon M. Gollob, WWII German fighter pilot and flying ace, 1st pilot in aviation history to claim 150 aerial victories. -

1989 - Partnair Flight 394 Convair 580 crashes into the sea off the coast of Denmark due to In-flight structural failure (tail) killing 55 people.

1994 - USAir (now US Airways) flight 427 Boeing 737-300 crashes into a hillside near Aliquippa, Beaver County, Pennsylvania killing all 132 people aboard.

1999 - 1st flight of the NASA Helios, US solar powered unmanned aerial Prototype.

2000 - Launch of STS-106, Atlantis Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

2004 – NASA's unmanned spacecraft Genesis crash-lands when its parachute fails to open. It sample for a return mission which collected a sample of solar wind and returned it to Earth for analysis. It was the 1st to return material from beyond the orbit of the Moon.

2004 - 1st flight of The Boeing AH-6 Unmanned Little Bird (ULB) demonstrator, American light helicopter gunship built from a civilian MD 530F and Developed by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems.

2005 – Two EMERCOM Il-76 aircrafts land at a disaster aid staging area at Little Rock AFB; the 1st time Russia has flown such a mission to North America.

2009 - KD Avia (orKaliningrad Avia), Russian airline, ceases operations.