On This Day in Aviation History SEPTEMBER 18 th

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1879 - Birth of Henri Dufaux, Swiss aviation pioneer, painter and politician. -

1889 - Birth of Léon Letort, early french aviator.

1896 - Birth of Henry Arthur Richard "Weegee" Biziou, British WWI flying ace -

1898 - Birth of Hubert Cecil Hunt, British WWI flying ace -

1910 - Birth of Richard Mervin Bissell Jr.,American CIA officer responsible for major projects such as the U-2 spy plane.,_Jr.

1911 - 1st flight of the Short S39 Triple Twin, British twin engine seaplane, world's 1st successful twin-engine aircraft.

1913 - 1st flight of The Avro 504, Famous british Trainer, Fighter, Bomber WWI biplane aircraft.

1916 - 1st flight of the Blériot Bl-67, French 3 seat 4 engined bomber biplane prototype, destroyed on its 1st landing. -

1917 - Birth of François de Labouchere, French WWII fighter pilot, one of the 1st pilots to join the Free French Air Force. -

1918 - Birth of Viktor Vasilevich Talalikhin, Soviet flying ace during the Winter War and WWII, 1st to perform aerial ramming at night. -

1918 - Death of Paul Armand Petit, French WWI flying ace, Killed in action over Brimont, France. -

1918 - Death of Joseph Frank "Fritz" Wehner, American WWI flying ace, killed in his SPAD XIII while protecting, as a wingman, Franck Luke who was attacking a balloon. Luke during that mission shot down 2 balloons and 2 Fokker D.VIIs. -

1918 - Rudolph W. Schroeder of the U.S. Army Air Service, flew a Bristol airplane to a 28,897ft FAI altitude record at Dayton, Ohio.

1919 - A Curtiss 18T-2, American two-seat fighter triplane flown by Roland Rohlfs, established a world altitude record of 10640m.(35,000 feet)

1928 - 1st flight of the Zeppelin LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin, German rigid airship, most successful rigid airship ever built, flown commercially on a regular basis from Europe to South America. It flies over a million miles and carries some 13,100 passengers before its demise in 1940.

1928 - 1st flight of the Levasseur PL 8-02, French mailplane single engine, 3-seat biplane prototype issued from the original prototype long-distance record-breaking aircraft PL 8-01 'Oiseau Blanc' which disappeared during an atlantic crossing attempt with Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli.

1928 - Juan de la Cierva flew made the 1st rotorcraft crossing of the English Channel with his autogyro Cierva C.8L, from Croydon, England, to Le Bourget, France

1928 - 1st successful flight of a diesel powered aircraft is made with a Stinson model SM-1DX "Detroiter" Packard radial diesel equiped. -

1930 - Death of Ruth Blaney Alexander, American female aviation pioneer and record setter, killed when her NB-3 Barling struck a hillside shortly after takeoff from Lindbergh Field, San Diego on a scheduled cross-country flight to New York City via Wichita, Kansas.

1932 - Birth of Nikolai Nikolayevich Rukavishnikov, russian Physicist and cosmonaut.

1933 - Birth of Valentina Leonidovna Ponomaryova, Soviet Cosmonaut.

1935 - 1st flight of the Potez 543, Export version of the 541, French multi-role High wing twin engined reconnaissance bomber aircraft.

1937 - 1st flight of the Amiot 150M, French 5 seat twin engine Bomber flying boat prototype.

1941 - 1st flight of The Curtiss XP-60, US prototype single-engine single-place, low-wing monoplane fighter aircraft.

1944 - Birth of Charles Lacy Veach, USAF pilot and NASA astronaut.

1947 - Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF is formed as a separate branch.

1948 - 1st flight of the Convair XF-92, 1st American delta-wing prototype jet aircraft conceived as a point-defense interceptor.

1953 - 1st flight of The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 "Farmer", Soviet second-generation, single-seat, twin jet-engined fighter aircraft, 1st Soviet production aircraft capable of supersonic speeds in level flight.

1954 - Birth of Takao Doi, Japanese engineer and NASA astronaut.

1959 - Launch of Vanguard 3, American scientific satellite.

1961 - Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary General of the United Nations and 15 other passengers and crew died when their DC-6 crashed near Ndola, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia).[citation needed] The exact cause of the crash remains contentious with some eyewitnesses reporting a second aircraft shot down the airliner.

1968 - Death of Friedrich Altemeier, German WWI fighter ace -

1968 - 1st flight of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-20, evolution of the American twin-engine, single-aisle jet airliner.

1973 - Birth of Mark Richard Shuttleworth, South African entrepreneur, 2nd self-funded space tourist and 1st ever African in space.

1976 - Death of Albert Boyd, pioneering USAF test pilot who logged more than 23,000 hours of flight time in 723 military aircrafts. He flew every aircraft type operated by the USAF, including attack, cargo, trainer, fighter, experimental, bomber, mission trainer, liaison, observation, and general aviation planes and helicopters.

1978 - Death of Rudolf Nebel, German spaceflight advocate active in Germany's amateur rocket group, the Verein für Raumschiffahrt (VfR - "Spaceflight Society") in the 1930s and in rebuilding German rocketry following WWII.

1980 - Launch of Soyuz 38, soviet human spaceflight to space station Salyut 6, bringing Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, 1st cuban in space.

1982 - 1st flight of the Rombac One-Eleven, Romanian production of the British short-range jet airliner British Aircraft Corporation One-Eleven (BAC-111, BAC-1-11 or BAC 1-11).

1982 - Death of Ion Milu, Romanian WWII fighter ace, Instructor, Aerobatic pilot and test pilot, 3rd most succesfull romanian ace. -

1982 - Death of Maurice Hurel, French engineer and aircraft designer, famous for his studies on lengthened wings.

1984 - Joe Kittinger lands his 106,000 cubic foot (3,000 m³) Balloon of Peace in Savona, Italy, 1st solo transAtlantic crossing with a balloon.

1985 - 1st flight of the PZL-106BT-601 Turbo Kruk, turboprop engined variant of the Polish agricultural aircraft.

1991 - STS-48, space shuttle Discovery mission, is back on earth

1995 - 1st flight of the replica Lambach HL II, a rebuilt of a 1930's famous Dutch aerobatics biplane aircraft.

1995 - STS-69, Space Shuttle Endeavour mission, is back on earth

1997 - 1st flight of the Zeppelin NT ("Neue Technologie", German for new technology), german semi-rigid airship.

2000 - 1st flight of The Boeing X-32, American multi-purpose jet fighter prototype.

2002 - Launch of Hispasat 1D, Spanish telecommunications satellite.

2006 - Launch of Soyuz TMA-9, Soyuz mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

2007 - Launch of WorldView-1, commercial earth observation satellite owned by DigitalGlobe to meet the growing commercial demand for multi-spectral geospatial imagery.