Tuesday, September 03, 2013

September 3, 2013

September 3, 2013 2011 -- Spirit Flight 245 en route to Los Angeles, California returned to Las Vegas, Nevada after a man on board made a bomb threat. Police took the passenger who made the alleged threat into custody at the gate.

2011 -- The European Union has formally lifted the sanctions on Libyan Airlines that were re-imposed in March. This clears the way for the airline to begin repairing or renewing its fleet as the country rebuilds after the uprising. In the official gazette issued this week, the EU has also lifted the restrictions on purchase of equipment and services for the airport industry.

2011 -- Kalitta Air B747-200F cargo plane, N792CK, loaded with $900,000 worth of food, medical aid, soap, blankets and cooking kits from the United States touched down at Pyongyang's Sunan airport late today.  This small yet symbolic shipment of emergency relief items to flood-hit North Korea provided by the United States is the latest sign of thawing ties between the wartime foes. The North Carolina-based aid group Samaritan's Purse said it has pledged $1.2 million in addition to the $900,000 that the U.S. government has allocated for aid to North Korea through U.S.-based charities. The agency said it has worked with the U.S. government and several Christian organizations to send the aid as they try to continue gaining humanitarian access to North Korea.

2011 -- In the latest in an unusually high number of aviation incidents this week involving Indian airports, an aircraft from Indian budget carrier Spice Jet made an emergency landing in Mumba.

2011 -- Russia successfully tested its Topol strategic missile with a new warhead designed to breach missile shields, Russian news agencies reported, citing the defense ministry.  The Topol intercontinental missile used has been operational for 23 years.  According to the ministry of defense report, the missile was produced in 1988 and had remained in service until March 2011. The launch confirmed the 23-year service life of the missile. Earlier test, conducted in 2010, extended Topol's service life to 23 years.   The ministry of defense representative mentioned that today's launch could allow further extension of Topol's service.

2011 -- Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board ∙ Division on Engineering and; Physical Sciences ∙ September 2011: "Rising concerns about meteoroids and orbital debris, which put spacecraft and astronauts in potential danger, have prompted decision-makers to look into strategies for lessening the hazard they pose.  Derelict satellites, equipment, paint fragments and other debris orbiting Earth—also called “space junk”—have been accumulating over many decades and could significantly damage, or even possibly destroy, satellites and human spacecraft if they collide. In 2010, NASA asked the National Research Council to evaluate the programs within the agency responsible for addressing meteoroids and orbital debris. This report examines NASA’s efforts to understand the meteoroid and orbital debris environment, what NASA is and is not doing to mitigate the risks posed by this threat, and how they can improve their programs.

2010 -- UAE investigation team finds blackbox of UPS 747.  UPS plane went down in a ball of fire¹ in military area between Emirates Road and Al Ain Highway in Dubai killing 2 pilots.

2010 -- The South Sudan military takes delivery of first shipment of four Mi-17 military transport helicopters from Russia; a total of 10 for $75 million have been ordered.

2010 -- UPS Flight 6 operated by Boeing 747-44AF N571UP crashed shortly after take-off from Dubai International Airport, killing both crew and destroying the aircraft.

2007 -- Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett (63), crashed his single-engine Bellanca airplane into a mountainside near Mammoth Lakes, California. His plane and remains weren't found until almost 13 months later.

2000 -- NASA data showed the ozone hole at just under 11 million square miles - the biggest it had ever been. Record low temperatures in the stratosphere are believed to have helped the expansion of the ozone hole during the southern hemisphere's spring season.  Antarctic ozone depletion starts in July, when sunlight triggers chemical reactions in cold air trapped over the South Pole during the Antarctic winter. It intensifies during August and September before tailing off as temperatures rise in late November of early December. Depletion of the ozone layer over Antarctica and the Arctic is being monitored because ozone protects Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation.  September 9, the hole had grown over Chile.

1998 -- A Swissair plane flying from New York to Geneva has crashed in the sea off the coast of Nova Scotia, just over an hour after taking off.  All 229 passengers and crew were killed in what was the worst crash in Swissair's history. Ten U.N. officials were among the fatalities, including Jonathan Mann, the founding director of the World Health Organisation's global Aids program.  It is believed the fire which caused the crash was the result of faulty wiring in the cockpit.

1984 -- 35,000 British troops are air-transported to West Germany for the Lionheart and Cold Fire exercises. This is the largest deployment of British troops since WW II.

1982 -- U.S. President Reagan signed into law Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act,Title V of which was the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982.  Increasing aviation user taxes, the act raised the airline passenger ticket tax from five to 8 percent, increased the general aviation gasoline tax from four to 12 cents a gallon, levied a 14-cent-a-gallon jet fuel tax, and reimposed the 5 percent air cargo tax and the $3 international departure fee.

1976 -- The unmanned spacecraft Viking II  landed on Mars and took the first pictures of the surface of Mars.
  Its twin, Viking I, was the first to arrive on the surface of Mars on July 20, 1976. Each lander housed instruments that examined the physical and magnetic properties of the soil; analyzed the atmosphere and weather patterns of Mars; and determined any evidence of past or present life.

1955 -- British Squadron Leader J.S. Fifield in England makes the 1st successful demonstration of the use of an ejection seat from a moving aircraft while still on the ground.  He ejects from a modified Gloster Meteor 7 that is traveling 120-mph.

1949 -- A U.S. Air Force B-29 detected a radioactive cloud over the Pacific, which indicated that the Soviets had detonated an atomic device.

1944 -- (Fifteenth Air Force):300+ B-17s and B-24s hit key escape routes of retreating German forces in the Balkans. They also bomb rail communications and supply lines S from Budapest, Hungary, 3 bridges in the Belgrade, Yugoslavia area, bridges at Szajol and Szeged, Hungary, and badly damage ferry docks at Smederovo, Yugoslavia; 3 B-17s evacuate interned airmen from Bucharest, Rumania; 40 P-38s divebomb the Smederovo ferry and strafe Kovin and Baviniste, Yugoslavia airfields and a landing ground, destroying many parked aircraft, motor transport, vehicles, and fuel tanks; and 75 P-51s strafe roads, railroads, vehicles, bivouac areas, railroad repair shops, and miscellaneous targets in the Skoplje-Nish-Krusevac-Belgrade, Yugoslavia areas. (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 12 B-24s pound marshalling yards at Nanking; 7 B-25s destroy at least 45 trucks and damage about 100 others during armed reconnaissance from Hengyang to Tungting Lake and Yoyang; 2 others bomb Hengyang Airfield; 100+ P-40s, P-51s, and P-38s attack troops, railroad targets, bridges, and other targets of opportunity in areas around Changning, Hengyang, Sungpai, Chuki, Yangtien, Hengshan, and in French Indochina, near Haiphong, and in the Red River Valley. (Seventh Air Force): Saipan Island-based B-24s bomb Iwo Jima Island, Volcano Islands. In the Mariana Islands, P-47s hit Pagan and Maug Islands with rockets. A lone B-24 on armed reconnaissance bombs Yap Island. (Far East Air Force): On Celebes Island, B-24s pound Langoan Airfield and Lembeh Strait warehouses and shipping. B-25s hit the village of Tobelo on Halmahera Island. Fighter-bombers hit oil tanks and a radio station at Boela on Ceram Island. In New Guinea, fighter-bombers hit Babo, Warren and Nabire Airfields, Manokwari storage and personnel areas, strafe areas along MacCluer Gulf, and fly coastal sweeps in the Wewak area, strafing troops, supplies, and occupied areas. (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 4 B-25s attack and slightly damage the Tabpalai Bridge NE of Hsipaw; 1 B-25 knocks out the center span of a railroad bridge in the area and another causes considerable damage at Indaw.

1939 -- At 1130 hours, air-raid warning sirens sound in the London area for the first time. However, the warning is a false alarm, triggered by the detection of a French aircraft, en route to the United Kingdom, that had not filed a flight plan.The mass evacuation of children from cities to the reception areas considered safe has been proceeding for three days. By tonight 1,473,391 evacuees, including escorts and teachers, have arrived in the reception areas. 827,000 are school children traveling with their teachers, 535,000 are women expecting babies or with children under school age. Residents who take evacuees will be paid 10/6 for one child and 8/6 for each extra child. Cinemas (movie theaters) are closed throughout the country to prevent concentrations of people being caught in air raids, which never materialise. Except for those in the centre of London, cinemas re-open within the next two weeks. As a result, UK cinema admissions dip by 30 per cent during the first month of war but by November are already above average and continue to grow to record levels by 1946.

1939 -- A Bristol Blenheim IV (N6215) of No.139 Squadron is the first Royal Air Force aircraft to cross the German frontier after war is declared.
  Between 1200 and 1650 hours the Blenheim, flown by Flying Officer A. McPherson, carries out a photographic and visual reconnaissance of German naval ports. Although the crew, which includes a naval observer, Commander Thompson, sight a number of warships in the Schillig Roads off Wilhelmshaven, their radio is unserviceable and they are unable to report until they return to Wyton. Flying Officer McPherson is subsequently awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

1939 -- RAF Bomber Command conducts the Royal Air Force's first operational sorties of WW II, when eighteen Handley Page Hampdens and nine Vickers Wellingtons of RAF Bomber Command undertake a search for German naval shipping.  However, they do not locate any targets and all return safely.

1939 -- Pilot Officer John Noel Isaac of No.600 Squadron becomes the first Briton to die in WW II when his Bristol Blenheim crashes into Heading Street in Hendon 1 hour, and 50 minutes after the British declaration of war.

1939 -- 3-4: The first propaganda leaflet raid by 10 Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys of No.51 and No.58 squadrons drops 5.4 million leaflets (13 tons) over targets included Hamburg, Bremen, and the Ruhr, nicknamed the "bumph raid."

1939 -- At 1115 hours local, no reply has been received from the Germans to the British ultimatum which expired at 1100 hours; Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain broadcasts from the Cabinet room of 10 Downing Street: "I am speaking to you from the Cabinet Room at Ten Downing Street. This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note, stating that, unless the British Government heard from them by eleven o'clock that they are prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country was at war with Germany. You can imagine what a bitter blow it was to me that all my long struggle to win peace has failed. We have done all that any country could do to establish peace. The situation in which no word given by Germany's ruler could be trusted, and no people or country could feel themselves safe, has become intolerable.... We have resolved to finish it. It was the evil things we shall be fighting against - brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution... ...and against them I am certain that the right will prevail." In the United States of America, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares in a fireside chat that the U.S. would remain a neutral nation in regard to the war in Europe, but he could not ask every American to remain neutral in thought as well as action.

1939 -- European air services are temporarily suspended.

1937 -- The first successful use of Air-to-Surface Vessel (ASV) radar equipment occurs when the battleship HMS Rodney and the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous are located at a range of 5 miles.

1932 -- Major J.H. Doolittle wins the American National Air Race in Cleveland, flying a Granville Gee Bee racer at a new world record speed of 476kph (296mph).

1925 -- The USN rigid dirigible USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) was torn apart in a severe line squall before daylight over Byesville, Ohio. The control car and after section >of the hull fell directly to the ground, while the forward section with seven men aboard free-ballooned for an hour before they landed safely 12 miles from the scene of the crash. In all there were 29 survivors, but 14 were killed including Lieutenant Commander Zachary Lansdowne, the commanding officer.

1924 -- Regular airmail service in Canada begins with flights by Laurentide Air Service Ltd. It carried out operations in both Québec and Ontario, including passenger and freight service from Haileybury, Ontario, to Rouyn, Québec, in addition to airmail.

1922 -- Bessie Coleman performs the first public flight by an African-American woman in the United States.



1908 -- Orville Wright makes his 1st flight at Fort Meyer, Virginia, circling the field one-and-one-half times.  During the next two weeks, he conducts a series of 14 long, high, and impressive flights, many of which set new records and are witnessed by government officials.


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¹ Investigators are now trying to verify which cargo aboard the Boeing 747-400 was located just forward of the starboard wing, where the fire erupted.  The smoke-filled cockpit that reduced visibility for its two pilots who were killed in the accident. They requested Bahrain Air Traffic Control for permission to land the plane thre. However, due to the Plane’s high altitude, Bahrain directed the plane to turn around to Dubai for easier landing.

The UAE Air Traffic Control (ATC) centre issued a clearance when the aircraft was approximately 40km from touchdown.

However, because the UPS plane was high on approach, it overshot the airfield and rapidly lost altitude.

By 7.42pm, radar contact was lost.

The two UPS pilots have been identified as Captain Doug Lampe and first officer Matthew Bell.

A team from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), led by investigator Bill English, is in Dubai and is working closely with the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the UAE and a team from UPS.

2. On this day when the first Briton died in WW II, it probably was no comfort to recall that on this day in 1933, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler renounced war except against Bolshevism stating ". . . because the German people know that no war could take place which would gain for their country more honor than was won in the last war . . . Germany is not in need of rehabilitation on the battle-field, for there she had never lost her prestige. . . . By waging war on Bolshevism, Germany . . . is fulfilling a European mission. . . ."















Sunday, September 01, 2013

September 2, 2013


2013 -- Turkish Aircraft Industries has flown the Hurkus, a two-seat tandem trainer that is designed to compete with the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II and Embraer Super Tucano.

2011 -- China's AC313 civilian helicopter  developed by the AviationIndustry Corporation of China (AVIC), climbed to a height of 8,000 meters at Gongheairport in Qinghai province. 

 The AC313 helicopter made a successful maiden flight in March 2010. 

2011 -- A 46-year-old farmer in China, Shu Mansheng  completed his first flight of his “flying saucer”. OK, it was more like a hop, skip, and a jump.


2011 -- An unmanned spaceship funded by Internet billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com., veered out of control and had to be destroyed during a recent test flight, highlighting the dramatic risks of private space ventures.

2011 --  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today said it would seek a $175,000 civil penalty against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for alleged violations of Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations.  According to the FAA,  MIT offered a fiberboard box containing 33 electronic devices to FedEx for transportation by air from Cambridge to Seattle on Aug. 25, 2009.  Each electronic device consisted of a lithium battery attached to a circuit board and tube-like container. Lithium batteries have had a poor transportation safety reputation in the past.


2011 -- The FBI and Homeland Security have issued a nationwide warning about al-Qaida threats to small airplanes, just days before the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.  Threats to small airplanes are nothing new.  In 2002, U.S. officials said they uncovered an al-Qaida plot to fly a small plane into a U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf. And in 2003, U.S. officials uncovered an al-Qaida plot to crash an explosives-laden small aircraft into the American consulate in Karachi, Pakistan.

2011 -- Moscow's two international airports, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo,  said  they do not have enough fuel reserves for more than a few days.

2011 --  Austrian prosecutors suspect aircraft manufacturer EADS of having made up to 100 million euros available to lobbyists to sell its Eurofighter jets in Vienna, media reported today.

2011 -- A Chilean Air Force plane, CASA C-212 Avioca,  crashed near the Juan Fernandez islands in the Pacific Ocean with 21 people aboard, after it tried twice to land before it disappeared in the late afternoon.  The accident was the deadliest suffered by the CAF since 1977, and the second deadliest accident in CAF's history.  TVN national television said five of its staff members were among the passengers, including popular presenter Felipe Camiroaga.  The crew was planning to film a report about reconstruction on the islands, which like Chile's mainland coastline were battered by a tsunami triggered by a devastating earthquake that hit Chile early last year.

2011 -- A military helicopter crashed  in Montenegro's famed Kotor Bay, killing three people, authorities said.

2010 -- A NASA Global Hawk few over hurricane Earl, marking the first time the unmanned drone flew over a fully formed hurricane.  Now that the Global Hawk has successfully flown over an Atlantic hurricane all the way from its base in southern California, the GRIP team is hoping for more opportunities to put the aircraft in the field. Because of the drone’s 30-hour flight range, it can remain directly over a storm to make high-quality measurements far longer than a manned plane or a satellite.

2009 -- Bell 430 helicopter crashes at Rudrakonda Hill, India, killing all five people on board, including Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
2008 --  ExpressJet Airlines ended operations as an independent carrier.

2006 --  A Royal Air Force Hawker-Siddeley Nimrod MR.2 NATO reconnaissance plane, XV230, crashes near Kandahar, Afghanistan after a fire and explosion caused by a fuel leak. All 14 crew on board are killed.

2003 --  A soldier is killed as a UH-60L Black Hawk from 2–501st Aviation Regiment rolls over during a nighttime troop insertion southwest of Baghdad

1998 -- Typhoon is announced as the new name for the Eurofighter 2000, of which 620 are on order from the four partners involved in the aircraft's development.

1998 -- Swissair flight 111,¹ MD-11 jetliner crashed off Nova Scotia, killing all 229 people aboard.  The MD-11 jet was en route from New York to Geneva when the pilot issued a distress call of "Pan-Pan-Pan," which means the situation is urgent, but not an emergency ("Mayday"). The pilot reported smoke in the cockpit and requested permission to land as soon as possible. Air traffic control directed the craft to land in Halifax, but they were too high, so the pilot circled back around over the ocean in an effort to lose altitude. He also requested to dump fuel. The last transmission — "We are declaring an emergency ... we have to land immediately" — occurred at 10:24 p.m.; the jet crashed into the ocean at 10:31 p.m. at a speed of almost 350 miles per hour, and shattered on impact.
The investigation of the crash took four years; the plane had lost power six minutes before impact, so the flight data recorders also shut off.

1998 -- A Permaviatrans Antonov An-26 was shot down by UNITA rebels over Angola. All 24 people on board were killed.

1998 --  First flight of the Boeing 717.

1995 --  RAF Kinloss Wing Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.2, XV239, crashes into Lake Ontario, at Toronto, Canada, during the 46th Canadian National Exhibition International airshow, killing all seven crew of 120 Squadron.

1993 -- The United States and Russia formally ended decades of competition in space by agreeing to a joint venture to build a space station.

1990 -- Dozens of Americans reached freedom in the first major airlift of Westerners from Iraq during the month-old Persian Gulf crisis.

1987 -- The trial of Mathias Rust, the 19-year-old pilot who flew his Cessna plane into Red Square in May 1987, begins in Moscow.  Rust had become an international celebrity following his daring intrusion into Soviet airspace and landing in the center of Moscow, but the Soviet government condemned his actions.  Rust, a West German, had taken off in his aircraft in May 1987. He flew completely undetected through Soviet airspace and then guided his plane to a landing near the Kremlin in Red Square in Moscow. A crowd of onlookers mobbed the young man, many of whom sought his autograph. Soviet officials were less amused by Rust and arrested him. He was charged with several violations, the most serious being that he had illegally entered Soviet airspace. Following a brief and perfunctory trial, Rust was found guilty of violating Soviet airspace and sentenced to prison. He served 18 months.



1987 -- U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Hanford Dole announced a rule instructing all major air carriers to file monthly reports on their delay and baggage handling records.

1986 -- It was reported that the pilot of an Islamic Republic of Iran F-14A Tomcat, equipped with at least one AIM-54A Phoenix missile, defected to Iraq.Upon landing, U.S. technicians took control of the aircraft. The second crewmember of the F-14A, the radar intercept officer did not wish to defect and became an Iraqi prisoner of war. The F-14A and two of the F-4Es that had defected in August 1986 were flown to Saudi Arabia and destroyed there.

1986 --  Schweizer RG-8A, 85-0048, c/n 4, ex-civil registration N3623C, modified Schweizer SGS 2-32 motor glider for U.S. Army Grisly Hunter reconnaissance project. Crashed at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, killing two-man crew.
1981 -- Two Italian Air Force Fiat G.91PANs of the Frecce Tricolori collide over Rivolto during a team practice, team leader is killed.
1972 -- Phúc Yên, 10 miles north of Hanoi, and one of the largest air bases in North Vietnam, is smashed by U.S. fighter-bombers. During the attack, a MiG was shot down, bringing the total to 47 enemy aircraft shot down since the beginning of the North Vietnamese offensive.
1966 -- A USN Grumman F-11A Tiger, BuNo 141764 , of the Blue Angels aerobatic team, Blue Angel 5, crashes on the shore of Lake Ontario during the International Air Exhibition at Toronto, Canada. The pilot, Lieutenant Commander Richard "Dick" Oliver, 31 years old, of Fort Mill, South Carolina, is killed. Coming out of a knife edge pass, followed by a roll, 5 contacts the lake surface at ~500 mph and literally skis across the surface, striking a a six-foot high sheet steel piling retaining wall on the edge of Toronto Island Airport and disintegrating. Wreckage (turbine) is thrown as far as 3,483.6 feet from point of initial impact.
1958 -- Seventeen U.S. Air Force crewmen were killed when a Soviet MiG-17 shot down their C-130 Hercules airplane, which had been flying a reconnaissance mission near the Armenian border and had strayed into Russian territory.  Forty years later, remaining fragments of the crewmen (bones, etc.) were returned to the U.S. for burial at Arlington National Cemetary.
1958 -- Vickers Viking accident occurred near Southall, London, killing all 3 crew on board and another 4 people on the ground. 
1949 -- First flight of the De Havilland Venom.
1948 -- American teacher who was chosen to be the first private citizen in space  Christa Corrigan McAuliffe is born. She was one of the seven astronauts killed when the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after takeoff. The death of McAuliffe and her fellow crew members in the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster was deeply felt by the nation and had a strong effect on the U.S. space program. Space shuttle flights were suspended until 1988. An independent U.S. commission blamed the disaster on unusually cold temperatures that morning and the failure of the O-rings, a set of gaskets in the rocket boosters.

1948 -- Australian National Airways Flight 331, a Douglas DC-3, crashes into high terrain near Nundle, New South Wales, killing all 13 people on board.

1947 --  First flight of the Hawker P.1040 VP401.

1945 -- Japan formally surrenders. [Video] 

Allied planes fly over Tokyo Bay1945 -- 462 B-29 Superfortresses and other allied planes fly over battleship Missouri during ceremonial surrender of Japan (Tokyo Bay).

1945 -- As of this date, 1,228 Japanese suicide pilots had sank 34 U.S. ships and damaged 288.

1944 -- Future United States of America  President George Herbert Walker Bush is serving as a torpedo bomber pilot in the Pacific theater of WW II when his squadron is attacked by Japanese anti-aircraft guns. Bush was forced to bail out of the plane over the ocean. 

Former President and one-time youngest Naval Aviator George H.W. Bush in the seat of his Avenger Torpedo Plane in the PacificAccording to the Navy's records, Bush's squadron was conducting a bombing mission on a Japanese installation on the island of Chi Chi Jima in the Pacific when they encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire. The engine on Bush's plane was set ablaze, yet Bush managed to release his bombs and head back toward the aircraft carrier San Jacinto before bailing out over the water. Three other crew members perished in the attack. After floating on a raft for four hours, a submarine crew fished a safe but exhausted Bush out of the water.  His bravery in action earned him a Distinguished Flying Cross. The previous June, Bush had experienced a similar close call with death when he was forced to make a crash landing on water after a bombing run; a U.S. destroyer crew rescued him from the sea. After his harrowing experience near Chi Chi Jima, Bush returned to the San Jacinto and continued to pilot torpedo bombers in several successful missions. Over the course of 1944, while his squadron suffered a 300 percent casualty rate among its pilots, an undaunted Bush won three Air Medals as well as a Presidential Unit Citation. In total, Bush flew 58 combat missions during the war. In December 1944, Bush was reassigned to Norfolk Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was tasked with training new pilots. He received an honorable discharge from the Navy in September 1945 after the Japanese surrender.


1944 -- In an experiment with the use of the F4U Corsair as a fighter-bomber, Charles Lindbergh—the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean—flies a bombing mission in an F4U as a civilian consultant with United Aircraft, dropping one 2,000-lb (907-kg) and two 1,000-pound (454-kg) bombs on Japanese positions in the Marshall Islands

1943 -- Oblt Franz Schieß, Staffelkaptän of 8./JG 53 and with 67 claims, was killed in action versus P-38's.  The following day Italy surrendered.

1943 -- U. S. Army Fifth Air Force B-25's, with P-38 escort, attack the airfield and harbor at WewakNew Guinea, sinking two Japanese merchant ships.  Barrage balloons offer some protection to the enemy ships. This is first AAF observation of Japanese use of such balloons in the Southwest Pacific Area.
1942 -- CHINA AIR TASK FORCE (CATF):  P-40s hit barges and junks carrying rice in the Poyang Lake region, strafe HQ and runways at Nanchang Airfield, attack railroad stations and warehouses at Hua Yuan, and sink a launch, damage 4 junks, and wreck a train on Wuchang Peninsula. 
1942 -- The only test flight of the Soviet Antonov A-40 winged tank is partially successful. Although A-40′s aerodynamic drag forces the Tupolev TB-3 towing it to detach it early to avoid crashing, the A-40 glides to a successful landing and drives back to base as a conventional T-60 tank. The A-40 project nonetheless is abandoned due to the lack of aircraft powerful enough to tow it.  In 1932, the Soviet high command requested many new airborne warfare concepts for close-support to the army. One idea was i dropping an armored vehicle from the sky to support the parachute troops. The original concept was converting the 32-ton T-34 tank into a glider and towed by a pair of Ant-20bis as tugs. In 1939, Soviet airborne force tried the light-weight tank, T-60 for the experiment, and selected Antonov OKB for the glider design. The prototype was started in 1941, and was given designation A-40, KT Kryl'ya Tanka (winged tank). The tank was lightened for flight test by removing the armament, the signal light and the tracks fenders. The first and only flight was made by tow from TB-3 in 1942. The test was judged successful with smooth landing, but the test pilot (who also performed as the tank driver) doubted that it would possible to fly the fully loaded tank. As the real need was to fly in the heavier T-34, and also due to the shortage of the tow aircraft, the KT project was cancelled.
1942 -- First flight Hawker Tempest prototype.

1941 --  First RCAF night fighter victory was scored by F/O RC Fumerton and Sgt LPS Bing in a Bristol Beaufighter of 406 Squadron, over Bedlington, England.

1940 -- Aircraft from the British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal conduct Operation Smash, a night raid on CagliariSardinia. While some Swordfish drop parachute flares, others bomb an Italian military headquarters and aircraft parked on the ground.

1939 -- The Advanced Air Striking Force (AASF) is deployed to France. The AASF initiallycomprised twelve squadrons, ten equipped with Fairey Battle light bombers and two equipped with Hawker Hurricane single-seat fighters and is commanded by Air Vice Marshal P.H.L. Playfair.

1939 -- First flight of the Messerschmitt Me 210.

1937 -- First flight XF4F2 Grumman Wildcat prototype shipboard fighter.

1930 -- The first non-stop airplane flight from Europe to the U.S. was completed as Capt. Dieudonne Coste and Maurice Bellonte of France arrived in Valley Stream, New York, aboard the Question Mark; it took 37 hours. (The plane was known as “The Question Mark” because it bore the image of the punctuation sign on its side.)

1927 -- Captain Emilio Carranza flying a all-wood constructed airplane with a a 185 hp BMW engine, named Coahuila, flew from Mexico City to Ciudad Juarez, the second longest flight  flown by a Mexican Pilot. His arrival to Ciudad Juarez coincided with Charles A. Lindbergh's and the Spirit of St. Louis arrival at El Paso, Texas where they both celebrated together.

1925 -- The U. S. zeppelin the USS Shenandoah crashes, killing 14.

1919 -- Edmonton Police Chief Hill approached famed pilot, Wop May and asked Wop and his brother Court to re-assemble their Curtis Jenny bi-plane, named the City of Edmonton to pursue John Guddard Larson believed to have murdered Constable William Leslie Nixon.  Wop, Court, and every available mechanic worked overnight to do so. Detective James Campbell, the first known police officer to use an aircraft for police business, took off with Wop May at 3:30 p.m.  flying west toward the mountains. There were no airfields constructed yet. Wop put down near Edson to refuel and was advised that the terrain west of there was more rugged which would prevent him from being able to land. Detective Campbell transferred to the train riding into Mountain Park. On September 4th, he located and arrested Larson for Constable Nixon's death. Chief Hill received a cable advising of Larson's arrest. At 7:30 p.m., Detective Campbell, assisted by Constable McElroy of the Alberta Provincial Police, escorted the handcuffed Larson to the train station. The three boarded the railway speeder and set off for Edson. Wop May also assisted with the apprehension of the murderer of Constable Edgar Millen, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, in 1932.

1910 -- Blanche Stuart Scott, the first woman pilot in the United States, makes a solo flight, sort of,  at Lake Keuka, Hammondsport. Subsequently recognized by theEarly Birds of Aviation.  Scott was renowned as the second woman to drive a car across the U.S. when she took flying lessons from aircraft designer Glenn Curtiss. Scott was instructed to taxi the plane which had been fitted with a regulator to keep it on the ground. Yet the regulator failed–or Scott maneuvered to lift off. The plane left the ground and flew forty feet. The Aeronautical Society of America refused to recognize the flight and credited Bessica Raiche with the first flight by a woman on September 16.

1898 -- Alberto Santos-Dumont flies his first airship design.

1891 -- The first parachute descent by a Canadian woman is made when Nellie Lamount jumps from a hot-air balloon during a fair in Quebec.  Her employer, W.W. McEwen, advertised Parachute Leaps with Improved Hot Air and Gas Balloons.

1858 -- Samuel King introduces the 1st dragline in America.  It is a long rope attached to the basket, which helps to stabilize altitude by dragging on the ground when the balloon is flying very low.

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¹  Flight 111 was often called the U.N. shuttle because it was so popular with members of the United Nations flying home from New York. On this ill-fated flight were several notable scientists, diplomats, and executives. A member of the Saudi royal family, the cousin of the Queen of Iran, and the son of boxer Jake LaMotta were also on board.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 26






2013 -- John C. Bierwirth, who led the Grumman Corporation, one of the nation’s largest aircraft makers,during the 1970s and ’80s, died at a hospice in Freeport, on Long Island. He was 89. He presided over a sprawling company with a storied past. It had produced some of the Navy’s most renowned warplanes, including the F6F “Hellcat” in World War II, and it built the lunar module that landed on the moon in 1969

2012 -- People's Republic of China (PRC) launched CHINASAT 2A, a chinese military communications satelliteThe spacecraft will circularize its orbit about 22,300 miles (35,888 km) over the equator, where its speed will match the rate of Earth's rotation, making the satellite appear to hover over a fixed position. The Xinhua news agency reported the satellite was built by the China Academy of Space Technology. According to Xinhua, the Chinasat 2A satellite "will be used to meet the demands for China's radio and TV broadcasting and broadband multimedia transmissions". But some analysts believe the satellite will serve with Chinese military with on-the-move communications.

2012 -- Afghan authorities said today that an airstrike by the U.S.-led NATO coalition killed eight members of a family in eastern Afghanistan. Rohullah Samon, a spokesman for the governor of Paktia province, said Mohammad Shafi, his wife and their six children died in an airstrike around 8 p.m. in Suri Khail village of Gurda Saria district. 

2012 -- Less than 24 hours after a historic docking, astronauts aboard the International Space Station clambered into SpaceX's unmannedDragon spacecraft and began unloading the 1,014 pounds of food, water and clothing that were packed inside.  Delivering cargo wasn't SpaceX's key mission -- the space station is well-provisioned. The main purpose was to demonstrate that the Dragon space capsule could rendezvous with the $100-billion orbiting outpost and link up with the space station's onboard computers.  Those goals were achieved when the Dragon docked with the space station at 9:02 a.m. PDT on Friday. It marked the first time a privately built and operated space capsule had done so. SpaceX, with about 1,800 employees, has received nearly $400 million in seed money from NASA and has a $1.6-billion contract to haul cargo in 12 flights to the space station for the agency.  Live coverage of the  hatch opening started shortly before 3 a.m Pacific on the Hawthorne, California company's website and NASA TV.


By the bye, Fifteen student experiments will be conducted aboard the International Space Station after making their way there on the SpaceX's Dragon capsule.  The experiments, which are collectively known as Aquarius, were sent to space on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that launched Tuesday and were inside the Dragon capsule that has now docked at the International Space Station.  The experiments were designed by 13 teams from across the country that submitted their proposals and were picked out of a pool of 779 student teams.  The youngest teams were composed of middle-school students while the oldest team was from a community college.  Those experiments will "assess the effects of microgravity on physical, chemical and biological systems," according to a NASA press release.  "This unique student activity adds a new dimension to the International Space Station and its role as America's only orbiting national laboratory," said Leland Melvin, NASA's associate administrator.

More by the byeJames Doohan, the late actor who played Chief Engineer Montgomery Scotty Scott in the early Star Trek franchise, was beamed up to space, as portions of his remains were aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that launched earlier this week.  Seven grams of Doohan are now floating in space on the second stage of the rocket and will remain there for about a year.  Doohan, who had portions of his remains flown into space on a previous commercial mission as directed in his will, was not alone on the Falcon 9. He was joined by the remains of 318 other people and Gordon Cooper, one of NASA's original astronauts. Cooper, whose remains also accompanied those of Doohan's back in 2007, flew into space while he was alive twice in the '60s, on missions for the Mercury and Gemini programs. 


2011 -- An imam from the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago was convicted today in New York over a plot to blow up fuel supplies at John F. Kennedy Airport.

A fire-fighting plane dumps water over a forest fire near the village of Sant Joan de Labritja on the Spanish Balearic island of Ibiza2011 -- A fire-fighting plane dumps water over a forest fire near the village of Sant Joan de Labritja on the Spanish Balearic island of Ibiza.  A fire which has broken out on Morna mountains has so far destroyed 1,000 hectares and forced 200 people to flee their homes and is on course to become the biggest fire in Ibiza in recent years, authorities said today.

2011 -- A new Pentagon forecast showing the total cost of owning and operating a fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters topping $1 trillion over more than 50 years has caused a case of sticker shock in Washington.

2011 -- Qantas says pilot demands putting airline at risk. International pilots on the "Flying Kangaroo" are poised to take their first strike action in 45 years after negotiations on pay and conditions with management broke down last week. Chief executive Alan Joyce  told ABC television he would not be giving in to all demands from the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) which Qantas estimates would cost more than Aus$300 million (US$320 million).  "We believe that some of the demands that are being put on the table are outrageous," Joyce said late today, adding that they could result in job losses within the company if implemented.

An electric powered aircraft demonstrator has taken to the air for the first time with a 20-minute flight from Mindelheim, Germany. Intended for entry in the NASA funded CAFE 2011 Green Flight Challenge, the eGenius concept's single tail-mounted propeller is driven by an electric motor producing a maximum of 60 kW at 2,000 rpm and can travel at cruising speeds of up to 235 km/h (146 mph) with a range of up to 400 km2011 -- First flight  eGenius  electric powered aircraft demonstrator.

2010 -- The U.K. Royal Air Force's second most senior officer, Air chief Marshal Chris Moran, died after collapsing while taking part in a triathlon at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. He was 54.

2010 -- First flight test of the first EC725 helicopter is performed at Eurocopter’s facility in Marignane, France.

It’s intended for the 1st Squadron of the Brazilian Air Force’s 8th Aviation Group.

2010 -- Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. has agreed to pay the United States an additional $3,718,770, bringing the total paid to resolve civil claims arising from the company's cost charging practices on some of its contracts with the government to $16,570,018.

2010 -- Boeing's X-51 WaveRider has completed the longest ever supersonic combustion ramjet-powered flight.
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flew for almost three and a half minutes in the skies off the southern California coast, reaching an altitude of about 70,000 feet and hitting hypersonic (Mach 5) speeds.  The flight is considered the first use of a practical hydrocarbon fueled scramjet in flight and smashes the previous record for a scramjet burn in a flight test was 12 seconds in a NASA X-43, which has achieved speeds speeds of Mach 9.8, or 7,000 mph.


2010 -- Gliding into retirement after 32 missions covering 120 million miles, the shuttle Atlantis dropped out of orbit and returned to Earth, wrapping up a storied 25-year career with a near-flawless space station assembly mission.


2010 -- EADS North America’s chairman has warned that a bill Boeing would like to see passed that would punish EADS for violating the World Trade Organization’s restrictions on trade subsidies would itself violate the international body’s rules.

Ralph Crosby wrote Rep. Nancy Pelosi that passage would violate "the WTO treaty which forbids punitive action taken on trade matters being adjudicated by te organization."
2009 -- British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh gives up a month’s salary and invites staff to take unpaid leave as losses announced.On Friday (22 May) the firm announced an operating loss of £220m in its preliminary results to March 2009, compared to a £878m profit in 2008. To save costs during the "bleak trading environment", Walsh has offered employees the chance to take unpaid leave and increase temporary or part-time working.His monthly salary? £61,250 (90,699 U.S. dollars).

1991 -- WW I Canadian Ace Gerald Alfred Birks died at Toronto, Ontario, Canada, age 96.

1991 -- Lauda Air Boeing 767-300ER OE-LAV twelve minutes after takeoff the crew received a visual REV ISLN advisory warning which indicated that an additional system failure may cause deployment of the No. 1 engine thrust reverser.  
No action was taken since the manual indicated "No Action Required."  Just before reaching FL 310 during a climb, there was an uncommanded deployment of the No. 1 engine thrust reverser. The aircraft stalled, when into a steep high speed dive, broke apart at 4,000 feet and crashed into the jungle  near Bangkok, Thailand, and kills all 223 people on board.   Failure of the reverse thrust isolation valve. Following the accident Boeing made modifications to the thrust reverser system.


1983 -- General Dynamics delivered the 500th F-16A aircraft to Hill AFB, Utah.

1976 -- A contract for a new Navy multi-engine aircraft trainer, to be designated T-44A was awarded to Beech Aircraft. The aircraft will replace the TS-2A.

1972 -- The Cessna aircraft company announces the completion of the company’s 100,000th aircraft, the first company in the world to achieve this figure.

1970 -- The prototype Tupolev Tu-144 became the first commercial transport in the world to exceed Mach 2 by reaching 1,335 mph.
1969 -- Apollo 10 Astronauts Thomas P. Stafford, USAF, John W. Young, USN, and Eugene A. Cernan, USN, were recovered by HS-4 off the USS Princeton less than 4 miles (6.4 km) from the target point and the recovery ship, after making an 8-day orbit of the earth.The Apollo 10 mission, launched May 18, was a complete staging of the Apollo 11 mission without actually landing on the Moon. The mission was the second to orbit the Moon and the first to travel to the Moon with the entire Apollo spacecraft configuration. Astronauts Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan descended inside the Lunar Module to within 14 kilometers of the lunar surface (achieving the closest approach to the Moon before Apollo 11 landed two months later).


1961 -- A Convair B-58, flown by Lieutenant Colonel William Payne, sets a New York-to-Paris record of 3 hours, 19 minutes, at 1,089.36 miles per hour. (Payne is subsequently killed in an accident in a B-58 in Paris.)

1956 -- The Fifth Academy of the Chinese Ministry of National Defence is founded for development of ballistic missiles.

Tsien Hsue-shen is named its first Director on October 8. The Academy is established on the premises of an old hospital and two sanatoriums, with an initial staff of 100 high school graduates and 100 to 200 college gaduates

1956 First flight of Republic's F-105B Thunderchief.

Exactly two years later, Gen. O. P. Weyland accepted TAC's first production F-105B at Republic’s Farmingdale plant in Long Island, New York. The F-105B was the biggest single-seat, single-engine combat aircraft in history. Originally designed for high-speed low-altitude penetration carrying a single nuclear bomb in its large internal bomb bay, the F-105 was the primary strike bomber of the Vietnam War, typically carrying a cargo of eight 750-pound bombs. Over 20,000 Thunderchief sorties were flown, with 382 aircraft lost (nearly half of the 833 produced) including 62 operational casualties. During the war, the two-seat F-105F and F-105G Wild Weasel variants became the first dedicated Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) platforms.

1953 -- Twelve Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 jet fighters are shot down over North Korea.

1952 -- The feasibility of the angled deck concept was demonstrated in tests conducted on a simulated angled deck aboard Midway by Naval Air Test Center aviators and Atlantic Fleet aviators, using both jet and prop aircraft.

Rear Admiral Dennis Campbell, R.N. was the inventor of this modification to carriers permitted simultaneous launch and recovery of aircraft, launch more aircraft in a given time, allowed landing approaches at higher speeds and the possibility of an abort if the tailhook didn't engage the arrestor cable, and eliminating the previous danger with straight-decks, of aircraft missing the arrestor cables and then crashing into other aircraft, vehicles and personnel.

The Royal Navy tested the concept on HMS Triumph in the early 1950s and HMS Centaur was fitted with an angled flight deck. The tests on HMS Triumph merely repainted the landing line, and left the arrestor cables in the same locations. HMS Ark Royal in 1955 was the fleet's first carrier to enter service with an angled deck.

The U.S. Navy quickly adopted the design and converted USS Antietam (CVA 36) in December 1952 and fourteen carrier Essex and Ticonderoga class aircraft carriers got angled flight decks between 1954 and 1959.

1952 -- The U.S. Navy's first and for many years the world's largest wind tunnel was decommissioned at the Naval Gun Factory, Washington, D.C.

Completed in 1914, the wooden 8- by 8-foot wind tunnel was used over 30 years.

1951 -- Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman to orbit the earth was born. She flew aboard Space ShuttleChallenger on 18 Jun 1983. Only two other women preceded her in space, both from the former Soviet Union.  Accepted into the astronaut corps in 1978, she completed her training as a mission specialist in 1979, and flew on two missions with Challenger, the second in 1984. She has a Ph.D. degree in physics, and was a member of the team chosen to investigate the 1986 explosion of Challenger.

Ride was the most insistent feminist among the first group of American astronauts to include women. She refused to be seen in television downlinks doing food preparation or toilet cleaning, even though these were shared crew responsibilities. She refused to accept a bouquet of flowers from NASA after completing her first space mission. She pasted a bumper sticker to the front of her desk: "A woman's place is in the cockpit".

1948 -- The first Navaho research test vehicle launched successfully at the White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico.

1946 -- WW I Italian Ace Marziale Cerutti was killed in a motorcycle crash.

1945 -- Aries, a modified Lancaster of the Empire Air Navigation School, returns to RAF Shawbury after completing the first ever flight over both the True and Magnetic North Poles.

1943 -- USAAF contracts for 250 Sikorsky R-5As for Anti-Submarine Warfare/utility work, 100 Sikorsky R-4Bs for use as trainers.

1943 -- A German government commission, consisting of SpeerMilch,Doenitz, and Fromm viewed launches of the competing missiles at Peenemuende.

The V-1/Fi-103 was much cheaper than the V-2/A4, but it was slow and low - it operated at 160 m/s at an altitude of between 200 and 2,000 m - and vulnerable to enemy flak batteries and interceptors. It provided the enemy with a forewarning of attack by its characteristic engine noise and the cut-off of that noise when it went into its terminal dive. It could only be launched from fixed concrete launch ramps, making the launchers vulnerable to enemy air attack. The V-2 was mobile, more accurate, could not be intercepted, and gave the enemy no warning of attack in its supersonic ballistic course to the target. In the end, the commission could find no overwhelming advantage to either of the very different weapons, and both were ordered into production. The positive advantages of each weapon outweighed the negatives.

1942 -- The Northrop prototype for the P–61 Black Widow, the first U.S. aircraft designed as a radar-equipped night fighter, made its first flight at Hawthorne, California, with test pilot Vance Breese at the controls. The P-61 was originally designed to meet the urgent need for a high -altitude, high-speed aircraft to intercept Luftwaffe bombers attacking London. The requirement was for a fighter to patrol continuously over the city throughout the night, carrying multiple gun turrets and an early, heavy airborne radar unit.


1942 -- The feasibility of jet-assisted takeoff was demonstrated in a successful flight test of a Brewster F2A-3, piloted by Lieutenant C. Fink Fischer, at NAS Anacostia, using five British antiaircraft solid propellant rocket motors.  
The reduction in takeoff distance was 49 percent.


1941 -- Scout planes from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal found theGerman battleship Bismark, and torpedo bombers were dispatched to attack.During the first attack, her Swordfish torpedo bombers misidentified friendly ship HMS Sheffield, fortunately for the crew of Sheffield, the torpedoes malfunctioned upon impact of the waves. A second attack was subsequently launched just before sunset, which hit Bismarck with torpedoes, damaging the German battleship's rudder, which allowed other British ships to sink her on the following day.


1940 -- The evacuation of British and French forces from Dunkirk begins, Operation Dynamo, and continues until the June 4, during which time 338,226 Allied troops are brought back to the United Kingdom. Two British Army divisions, the 1st Armoured Division, which is the United Kingdom's only armoured division at that time, and the 51st Highland Division, remain in France and continue to fight alongside the French Army.

The fighter squadrons of No.11 Group, RAF Fighter Command, operating from the south-east of England, provide fighter cover throughout the operation, although fuel constraints limit the time that patrols could spend over the Dunkirk area. This resulted in intensive air combat between the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force, with neither side able to achieve permanent air superiority. The Royal Air Force lose 177 aircraft over Dunkirk, including 106 fighters and the Luftwaffe lose 132 aircraft of all types.

1940 -- Twelve Hawker Hurricanes of No.46 Squadron, led by Squadron Leader K.B.B. 'Bing' Cross, fly from the deck of the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious; flights from the squadron land at Bardufoss and Skaanland.

The flight of No.46 Squadron at Skaanland flies its first operational sorties on 27 May, however, following a succession of landing accidents it joins the rest of No.46 Squadron and No.263 Squadron at Bardufoss later that day.

1938 -- The Konoye ministry reorganized the cabinet, giving six ministerial positions to officers in the Japanese army and navy.

1937 -- After fighting the Chaco War, the governments of Bolivia and Paraguay restored full diplomatic relations.¹

Both countries were exhausted and on the verge of collapse. There were 80,000-100,000 dead. Paraguay held 300,000 prisoners, all of whom had to be fed, clothed, and housed at her expense. The familiar forests lay behind her army, the Bolivian mountains ahead. Paraguay was, moreover, too underpopulated and too poor to sustain even "moderate" human losses. She was a farming nation and needed her men at home. Bolivia had seemingly inexhaustible manpower, but her generals knew that this would not win the war, whatever they might say in public. The nation's mineral wealth was mortgaged to the hilt, her costly arms were mostly lost, and morale in the army rank and file was very bad. Both sides needed peace.

1934 -- Hamoa Airport, Hana, Maui dedicated.

1929 -- An FIA Class C-2 altitude record was set by WW I Triple AceWilhelm Neuenhofen of Germany, attaining 41,795 feet in a Junkers W 33.

1924 -- Following the deployment of British troops to Kirkuk, to quell violence between Assyrian troops and the local population, Moslem leader Sheikh Mahmud declares a Jihad (a holy war) against the British and the Assyrians in Iraq and begins to gather a large lashkar (armed force).

In response, messages are dropped to Sheikh Mahmud by the Royal Air Force, calling upon him to report to the nearest Government forces by May 26 and warning that Sulaimaniya would be bombed should he fail to comply.

No reply to this ultimatum had been received from Sheikh Mahmud by May 26 and on this day, 42 aircraft from Nos. 6, 8, 30, 40, 45, 55 and 70 Squadrons are gathered at Kingerban and Kirkuk prior to commencing operations against Sulaimaniya on the following day.

1923 -- Lt. H. G. Crocker used a DH-4B Liberty 400 to make a nonstop transcontinental South-North flight from Ellington Field, Texas, to Gordon, Ontario, in 11 hours, and 55 minutes.

1920 -- GAX (Ground Attack Experimental) twin-engine triplane was tested.

Powered by two Liberty engines turning four-bladed pusher propellers, the GAX was a triplane. All that lift seemed necessary for the ton of 3/16-inch armor protecting the engines and three crewmen. Slow and awkward, it had a 37mm Baldwin cannon in front that swung 45 degrees right or left, 60 degrees down or 15 degrees up. Eight 30-caliber Lewis guns were mounted: four pointed front and downwards 45 degrees, another one faced aft over the wings, and all were fired by the busy front gunner. The rear gunner handled two belly guns and one upper gun.

Designed by Isaac M. Laddon (1897-1977), who had not yet reached the competence that his famousPBY and B-24 designs would show. The aircraft was severely criticized by test pilot Lt. Harold R. Harris, who found it unmaneuverable and complained of the long takeoff run, poor visibility, and especially of vibration and noise from the armored sides. Nevertheless, a contract for 20, to be designated GA-l, was given to Boeing on June 15, 1920, but the quantity was reduced to ten before the first example was tested May 2, 1921. Shipped to Kelly Field for the 3rd Attack Group, the GA-ls were seldom flown, and were scrapped in April 1926.

1915 -- Following a request from the Indian Government for trained pilots for service in Mesopotamia, Australian Flying Corps air and ground personnel arrived at Basra to join Indian Flying Corps personnel serving in the theater.

Australian and Indian Army personnel flying Indian Flying Corps aircraft formed the Mesopotamian Half-Flight, which supported the Indian Army during the opening round of the Mesopotamian Campaign.

1915 -- Seventeen French Voisin biplanes of Groupe de Bombardment I conduct an attack on a strategic military target at Ludwigshafen in Germany.

1915 -- Oberleutnant Kastner and Leutnant Georg Langhoff (observer) attack and shoot down a French Voisin in their Halberstadt C-type at Dournai in France.

This is the first intentional attack by a German aeroplane on another armed aeroplane.

1914 -- On the basis of flight tests, Naval Constructor Holden C. Richardson recommended that the U.S. Navy buy two swept-wingBurgess-Dunne hydroaeroplanes²"so that the advantages and limitations can be thoroughly determined and this more particularly as it appears to be only the beginning of an important development in aeronautical design."  

The aircraft which were subsequently obtained were designated AH-7 and AH-10.

1904 -- The Wright brothers begin a series of over 100 flights in Flyer No.II.


1874 -- Henri Farman French aviator and aircraft constructor who developed ailerons (1908) to solve the enormously difficult and dangerous problems of lateral control. His  innovation subsequently came into general use on all planes. His first steps in aircraft design began in 1907 when he ordered his own aircraft incorporating his design modifications of a dihedral in the wings and the reduction of the tail to a single plane. These intuitive rather than scientific modifications were the beginning of a long career in which Farman diagnosed and solved a myriad of aircraft control and structural problems. The Farman Goliathwas the first long-distance passenger airliner, beginning regular Paris–London flights.

1832 -- James Bell Pettigrew is born.  This Scottish comparative anatomist made anatomical, physical, and physiological researches, especially on the flight of insects, birds and bats. By 1867, he became interested in the mechanical aspects of animal flight, and spent two years in Ireland in its study. In 1870, He published an article on the physiology of wings. Also experimenting on artificial flight, he wroteAnimal Locomotion, or, Walking, Swimming, and Flying with a Dissertation on aeronautics  in 1873.

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¹ At first, Bolivia had the advantage militarily, particularly in the air. In the course of the conflict, the Cuerpo de Aviacin had about sixty combat aircraft available, including various fighters, Curtiss bomber-reconaissance biplanes, and Junkers W.34 bomber-transports. In 1930, it used the proceeds of its mines and a line of credit from Standard Oil of Bolivia to conclude a major arms deal with Vickers, that included six Vickers Type 143 Bolivian Scouts, an export fighter for which Bolivia proved the only customer, surely one of the shortest total production runs on record. The Scout'ssupercharged, 500-hp Bristol Jupiter VIA radial engine and generous wing area gave the Scout a good high-altitude performance for its day, an important consideration in Bolivia. It spanned 33 feet 6 inches, was 26 feet 3 inches long, and weighed 2,246 lbs maximum at takeoff. Service ceiling was 20,000 ft and maximum speed was 150 mph. Like all the fighters in the conflict, it was armed with a pair of rifle caliber machine guns, .303 Vickers in this case.

Jimmy Doolittle, as a Curtiss representative, sold four Curtiss Model 35 Hawk II aircraft to Bolivia in 1927 and nine Hawk IIs in 1932-33. The Hawk II was the principle Bolivian fighter. It was essentially a land-based version of the US Navy's BFC Goshawk. A 600-hp Wright R-1820 gave the Hawk II a 202-mph top speed and a 25,000-ft service ceiling. Nine Curtiss Falcon two-seat reconnaissance bombers radial-engined variants of the U.S. Army O-1/A-3 were added at the same time. The ground troops were meanwhile provided with organic air defense in the form of excellent SEMAG-Becker 20-mm AA guns, two of which were supplied to a division (Bolivian divisions were actually of regiment or battalion size).

While Bolivia began the war with new, Vickers- and Curtiss-built equipment, impoverished Paraguay's armed forces were caught between procurement cycles and desperately short of cash. From 1927-1929, the country had re-equipped its air force with a number of French-made Potez 25A.2reconaissance bombers and seven Wibault 73C.1 fighter monoplanes (numbered 1-7). The Potez 25was a widely exported two-seat biplane developed primarily as what would later be called a COIN airplane. It was designed for use against the fractious, independence-minded natives of France's colonies. It looked very much like a WW I type. While excellent for its intended purpose, it was at a definite disadvantage when facing aerial opposition. It spanned 46 feet 4.75 inches, was 29 feet 10.25 inches long, and weighed 4,317 lbs (t/o). It could reach 137 mph and 23,600 ft. Range was 410 miles and bombload was 440 lbs. The Wibault was a rarity for its time, an all-metal parasol monoplane covered with Wibault's own system of corrugated metal skinning. It was about 25 feet long, spanned 35 feet 11 inches, and weighed 3,351 lbs. Performance closely approximated that of the Potez.

Unfortunately, the aircraft were already obsolescent in 1932. Worse still, Paraguay had tried to economize by standardizing on one engine for both fighters and bombers. Unfortunately, the engine Paraguay chose was the 450-hp Lorraine-Dietrich 12Eb. This was a water-cooled, W-12 with three banks of four cylinders each. It was heavy and old fashioned, and its cooling system had been marginal even in northern Europe. In the sweltering Gran Chaco, it was a disaster. So much had been spent for the airplanes, however, that nothing could be spared for replacements. What little finance was available had to be spent on other, more urgently needed armaments. Shortly after the start of operations, Paraguayan mechanics found themselves frantically cannibalizing aircraft to keep a minimum number of flying. Many were lost to forced landings and in-flight fires. Soon, serviceability was so bad that the Wibaults had to be grounded so that the remaining engines could be reserved for the more urgently required Potez.

Airpower was largely misused in the Chaco War, particularly by Bolivia. Bolivia enjoyed almost total air superiority until the last days of the conflict. But it did her little good. Her commanders ignored aerial reconnaissance, though the information provided was usually excellent. Officers invited losses by ordering low-level air strikes against entrenched positions that could not be seriously harmed by the relatively light weapons the aircraft could carry. Yet they did not let their airmen attack the long, strung-out columns of slow moving trucks and road-building infantry that characterized the campaign. Nor did they attempt to disrupt Paraguayan traffic at the vulnerable crossings over the Paraguay River. The Junkers trimotors were frequently called on to drop supplies to the many encircled Bolivian units that invariably resulted from combats with the Paraguayans. These missions were highly successful up to a point. Accurate drops were generally made from low altitude into small positions and in the face of ground fire. But the three or four aircraft available could never successfully supply more than a few rounds of ammunition and a few bandages to hundreds or thousands of troops trapped without water in the blazing Chaco sun. Paraguay's infantry dominated leadership also neglected the air arm, though with better reason, given the low serviceability and vulnerability of the available airplanes. Nevertheless, Paraguay achieved some success attacking Bolivian transport and using her few single seaters for fast reconnaissance. The Potez 25 reconnaissance planes were called on for tactical intelligence only in cases of dire need, since they were few in number and likely to be lost to Bolivian fighters or antiaircraft guns. Paraguayan aircraft also carried out some successful small-scale supply drops, notably at the battle of Nanawa, where Lt. Col. Luis Irrazbal's 5th Division ran out of ammunition after flooded roads slowed road transport to a crawl. The air drops let the Paraguayans beat off Bolivian assaults until reinforcements could arrive and counterattack. Bolivia lost 2,000 killed in the attack against 248 Guarani defenders.

Air combat was a relative rarity over the Chaco. Reconnaissance and close support for the infantry held a higher priority for both sides than did air-superiority and counter-air missions. Moreover, given the distances and the small numbers of aircraft involved on each side, pilots had a hard time finding one another.

On September 30, 1932, a Wibault gained the dubious distinction of being the first aircraft destroyed by air-to-air combat in South America. It crashed and was written off during landing after a fight with a Vickers 143. Fighters flew frequent escort missions for reconnaissance and bombing aircraft as well as independent armed reconnaissances of their own. By 1935, both sides had lost about 30 aircraft of all types. There were no real aces, but the Bolivian Maj. Rafael Pavon became widely known for his three victories.

By 1933, the air situation began to change. Doubtless through the good offices of Argentina, Paraguay secured the help of an Italian military training mission and Italian armaments. Italian tactical precepts and reliable, high-performance aircraft soon turned the small Paraguayan air arm into a force that could more than hold its own against the Andeans. The fighter force was re-equipped with five of the excellent FIAT CR.20bis, an agile biplane powered by a reliable, 425-hp FIAT A.20AQ water-cooled V-12. Bergamaschi AP.1 attack monoplanes and Caproni Ca.101 bomber-transports rounded out the force.

² Burgess-Dunne — built by Burgess under license, one of which became Canada's first military aircraft. Burgess fitted a tailless biplane designed by John Dunne in England with central floats. 

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