On This Day in Aviation History SEPTEMBER 19 th

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1783 - The Montgolfiers launch a sheep called 'Montauciel' ("Climb-to-the-sky"),a duck and a rooster in a hot-air balloon (the Aerostat 'Réveillon') in a demonstration for King Louis XVI of France. The balloon rises some 500 m (1,700 ft) and returns the animals unharmed to the ground.

1784 - 1st flight over 100km. The Robert brothers (Anne-Jean Robert and Marie-Noël Robert) plus M. Collin-Hullin flew their hydrogen balloon, 'La Caroline', for 6 hours 40 minutes, covering 186 km from Paris to Beuvry -

1805 - Birth of Charles Ferson Durant, American early aeronaut.

1898 - Birth of Robert Hazen Little, WWI canadian fighter ace.

1902 - The Wright Brothers begin testing their 3rd glider at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. 1st glider to incorporate yaw control by use of a rear rudder.

1902 - 1st flight over London is made by Stanley Spencer in his Airship 'Mellin', a 75-foot-long dirigible powered by a 3-hp water-cooled engine. He makes a flight of 30 miles.

1906 - Robert Albert Charles Esnault-Pelterie made a 500 m towed flight with a glider based on the Wright brothers machine.

1912 - The Zeppelin LZ 13 Hansa, German Airship, under the command of Count Zeppelin, makes the 1st commercial airship flight from Hamburg to Denmark, Sweden and back

1918 - 1st flight of The Sopwith Buffalo, British armoured fighter/reconnaissance single-engined biplane prototype aircraft

1919 - Compagnie des Messageries Aériennes (CMA) begins its Paris to London passenger service with Breguet 14s.

1921 - 1st regular scheduled airline service in Latin America commences, with Colombian airline SCADTA operating float-equipped Junkers F.13s between Barranquilla and Girardot.

1922 - Birth of Robert Howden 'Bob' Fowler, Canadian WWII pilot and De Havilland Canada Test pilot.

1924 - 1st flight of The Junkers G 24, German three-engine, all-metal low-wing monoplane passenger aircraft.

1925 - Birth of Masajiro "Mike" Kawato, Japanese WWII fighter ace. -

1928 - 1st flight of a Diesel engined aircraft : American Packard Motor Company of Detroit placed a Diesel engine in a Stinson-Detroiter, which was flown successfully by Captain Woolson and Walter Lees, Packard pilot. -

1935 - Death 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.

1935 - Birth of Benjamin Thurman Hacker, 1st Naval Flight Officer (NFO) to be selected for Flag rank in the US Navy.

1936 - Death of Tom Campbell Black, famous English aviator, killed in his Percival Mew Gull collided by a Hawker Hart while taxiing after landing.

1937 - 1st Junkers EF 61, German prototype twin-engined high-altitude bomber aircraft which provided valuable information on pressure cabins, crashed on that day.

1938 - 1st flight of the Short S.31, half scale version of the Short S.29 (later Stirling), British 4 engine bomber, Prototype used for aerodynamic tests.

1940 - 1st convoy of aircraft to use the West African Reinforcement Route, six Hawker Hurricanes, led by a Bristol Blenheim carrying a navigator, leave Takoradi in the Gold Coast en route across the African Continent to Abu Sueir in Egypt -

1940 - RAF Squadron No. 71 is formed at RAF Church Fenton, with Brewster Buffalos. Part of the 'Eagle Squadrons' composed of American volunteers.

1942 - RAF Bomber Command mounts the 1st Allied daylight raid on Berlin. Six de Havilland Mosquito BIVs of No.105 Squadron, RAF, take off from Horsham at 1230hrs for a high-level raid on the city, however, due to poor weather over the target, only one aircraft bombs Berlin, through cloud. Two aircraft bomb the alternate target (Hamburg), two return with mechanical problems and one fails to return.

1944 - Death of Guy Penrose Gibson, 1st CO of the RAF's 617 Squadron, which he led in the "Dam Busters" raid (Operation Chastise). Killed with his navigator in the crash of his de Havilland Mosquito while acting as a Pathfinder Master Bomber on a bombing raid.

1945 - No.273 Squadron RAF (Supermarine Spitfire IXs) is deployed to Tan Son Nhut airfield in French Indo-China.

1946 - Transportes Aéreos Portugueses, SGPS, S.A. (TAP),national airline of Portugal, begins operations.

1946 - The Avro 691 Lancastrian Jet , British high-speed transport derived from the Lancaster bomber for testing the new jet and turboprop engines, acted as the world's 1st jet airliner by making three passenger flights carrying representatives of the Press as well as Ministry officials and other passengers

1949 - 1st flight of The Fairey Gannet, British carrier-borne anti-submarine warfare and airborne early warning aircraft. Mid-wing monoplane with a tricycle undercarriage and a crew of three, and double turboprop engine driving two contra-rotating propellers.

1953 - A new world speed record of 709mph over a 100 kilometre closed course is established by Squadron Leader N.F. Duke in a Hawker Hunter at Dunsfold in Surrey.

1957 - Birth of Richard Michael Linnehan, American veterinarian and NASA astronaut.

1961 - Death of Armond Jean Berthelot, French WWI flying ace -

1961 – Betty and Barney Hill claim that they saw a mysterious craft in the sky and that it tried to abduct them.

1962 - 1st flight of The Aero Spacelines Pregnant Guppy, American large, wide-bodied cargo aircraft, developed from the Boeing 377, 1st of the Guppy line of aircraft produced by Aero Spacelines.

1965 - Birth of Sunita Williams (born Sunita Pandya Krishna), US Navy test pilot and NASA astronaut, who holds the record of the longest space flight (195 days) among female space travelers,most number of spacewalks for a female, and most spacewalk time for a female.

1969 - 1st flight of The Mil Mi-24 (Hind), Soviet large helicopter gunship and attack helicopter and low-capacity troop transport with room for 8 passengers.

1976 - 2 Imperial Iranian Air Force F-4 Phantom II jets fly out to investigate an unidentified flying object when both independently lose instrumentation and communications as they approach, only to have them restored upon withdrawal.

1976 – Turkish Airlines Flight 452 Boeing 727-2F2 hits the Taurus Mountains, outskirt of Karatepe, Osmaniye, Turkey, killing all 154 passengers and crew.

1985 - 1st flight of The Gulfstream IV (G-IV or GIV), American twin-jet aircraft, mainly for private or business use, re-engined,stretched fuselage derivative of the Gulfstream III.

1988 - Launch of Ofeq 1, Israeli reconnaissance satellite wich accomplished mainly solar cell and radio transmission tests.

1989 – A terrorist bomb explodes UTA Flight 772 McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 in mid-air above the Tùnùrù Desert, Niger, killing 171.

1999 - 1st flight of the PZL-104MW Wilga 2000 Hydro, Floatplane variant of the Polish designed and built short-takeoff-and-landing (STOL) Civil Aviation utility aircraft.

2000 - STS-106, Atlantis Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS), is back on earth.

2006 - Death of John "Jack" Lawrence Finley, US Navy aviator, test pilot and astronaut

2007 - Death of Ján Režnák, Most succesfull Slovak WWII fighter ace who served on the Eastern front with the Axis Forces.

2009 - Efly, Malta-based private airline, begins operations.

2012 - Death of Jean Dabos, French WWII fighter pilot, Test pilot and aircraft designer. -