On This Day in Aviation History SEPTEMBER 17 th

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1857 - Birth of Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky, Imperial Russian and Soviet rocket scientist and pioneer of the astronautic theory, considered to be one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics.

1886 - Birth of Alexandre Buisson, French WWI flying ace

1898 - Birth of Edward Carter Eaton, canadian WWI flying ace.

1901 - Birth of Sir Francis Charles Chichester, British aviator and sailor.

1902 - Birth of George Vernon Holloman, American engineer pioneer in the field of aeronautical engineering and unmanned flight.

1908 - Death of Thomas Etholen Selfridge, First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and the 1st person to die in a crash of a powered airplane, while Orville Wright was demonstrating the Flyer at Fort Myers.

1909 - 1st flight of the Canadian Aerodrome Baddeck No. 2, early Canadian aircraft, copy of the No 1.

1911 - Calbraith Perry Rodgers takes off from Sheepshead Bay, New York with a Wright Model EX 'Vin Fiz Flyer' for the 1st U.S. coast to coast airplane flight. -

1912 - Igor Sikorsky made a 90-minute night flight in his S-8 Malyutka, side-by-side two-seat biplane trainer.

1916 - Jan Nagórski (Ivan Nagurski) performs the 1st ever loop with a flying boat, a Grigorovich M-9. -

1916 - Manfred von Richthofen scores his 1st victory, with an Albatros D.II over a F.E.2b Near Villers Plouich, France -

1916 - Birth of Oswald Garrison "Mike" Villard Jr., American engineer, pioneer in radio and radar, Father of the 'over-the-horizon radar'.

1917 - 1st flight of The Junkers D.I (factory designation J 9), German fighter aircraft produced as a private venture, significant for becoming the 1st all-metal fighter to enter service.

1918 - Birth of Tameyoshi Kuroki, 2d Sino-Japanese War and WWII japanese Fighter ace -

1918 - Death of Richard Frank Hill, British WWI flying ace -

1929 - Death of Jean Charles Augustin Dubois de Gennes, French WWI flying ace -

1929 - 1st flight of the Adcox Student Prince, American two-seat open-cockpit sports biplane

1930 - Birth of Edgar Dean Mitchell,American pilot, engineer, and astronaut.

1930 - Birth of Thomas Patten Stafford, USAF pilot and NASA astronaut.

1935 - 1st flight of The Junkers Ju 87 'Stuka', German 2 seats ground-attack aircraft.

1939 - British aircraft carrier HMS Courageous is sunk by German U-boat U-29 off the coast of Ireland. The loss of Courageous results in the Royal Navy withdrawing aircraft carriers from antisubmarine operations.

1941 - 1st operational sortie by a de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito is made by a PR Mk I unarmed for a Photo-reconnaissance mission during during which it evaded 3 Messerschmitt Bf 109s at 23,000 feet (7,000 m).

1943 - Birth of Samuel Thornton Durrance, American scientist and NASA astronaut.

1944 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Barb (SS-220) torpedoes and sinks the Japanese aircraft carrier Unyo in the South China Sea. There are over 761 survivors.

1944 - Operation Market Garden begins, Allied military operation, fought in the Netherlands and Germany in WWII. It was the largest airborne operation up to that time

1947 - A restored Blackburn Type D, sometimes known as the 'Single Seat Monoplane', single-engine mid-wing monoplane from 1912, takes off again. It is Britain's oldest active aircraft.

1947 – The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) are separated from the United States Army and become an independent armed service, the United States Air Force.

1952 - Death of Alan Bott, British WWI Flying ace and journalist. -

1952 - Bell pilot Elton J. Smith set a world distance record of 1,217 mi (1,959 km), by flying nonstop a Bell-47 from Hurst, Texas to Buffalo, New York

1956 - CIA pilot Howard Carey is killed when his Lockheed U-2 mysteriously disintegrated in mid-air near Kaiserlauten, W. Germany, perhaps caused by the jet wash from 4 Canadian F-86 fighter aircrafts nearby. -

1959 - 1st flight (powered) of the North American X-15, American rocket-powered aircraft/spaceplane.

1961 - Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 706 Lockheed L-188 Electra crashed on take-off from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, killing all 37. Investigators with the Civil Aeronautics Board determined that the cable physically connecting the first officer's control wheel to the aileron boost unit had disconnected.

1961 - Birth of Pamela Anne Melroy, USAF test pilot and NASA astronaut

1962 - 1st flight of the 2nd prototype of The Mil Mi-8, Russian medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship.

1965 - Pan Am Flight 292 Boeing 707-121B 'Clipper Constitution' flew into Chances Peak on the island of Montserrat, killing all 30, as the crew made a navigational error and descended below the safe minimum altitude while unsure of their position.

1977 - Death of Lawrence Kingsley Callahan, American WWI flying ace. -

1984 - 1st flight of The Avtek 400, American prototype turboprop-powered business aircraft designed by Al Mooney, a low-wing monoplane with two pusher engines mounted above the wings, and a large canard mounted atop the forward fuselage.

1985 - Launch of Soyuz T-14, Soviet space mission to Salyut 7.

1997 - 1st flight of The Antonov An-140, Russian turboprop regional airliner.

2001 - A Russian Armed Forces Mil Mi-8 is hit by a surface-to-air missile fired by a special Chechen group over Grozny killing all 13 (including 10 russians high ranking officers).

2006 - A Nigerian Dornier 228-212 Air Force transport plane, carrying 15 senior army officers and 3 crew members crashed into a hillside near a remote village in Benue State, leaving only 3 surviving passengers and 2 crew members that sustained serious injuries.

2010 - 1st flight of the BAE Systems Demon, British UAV designed as part of its "FLAVIIR" project. It has a novel aerodynamic control system which uses engine exhaust and bleed air to provide the aerodynamic forces usually provided by flaps, ailerons and elevators. It has been called the world's 1st "flapless" plane.

2010 - Death of Robert C. Truax, US Navy and Aerojet rocket engineer, founder of Truax Engineering. He was a proponent of low-cost rocket engine and vehicle designs.