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On This Day in Aviation History APRIL 14 th
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1882 - Death of Henri Giffard,  French engineer, who invented the steam injector and the powered airship.

1883 - Birth of Karl Menckhoff, German WWI fighter ace, one of the oldest pilots in the Imperial German Aviation Service.

1894 - Birth of Pierre Fortaner Paul de Cazenove de Pradines, French WWI flying ace

1898 - Birth of George Ivan Douglas Marks, Canadian WWI flying ace

1901 - Birth of Antonie Strassmann, German aviatrix and actress.

1914 - Birth of Hans "Assi" Hahn, German WWII Flying ace.

1917 - Death of Hartmuth Baldamus, German WWI fighter ace, killed in a mid-air collision with a Nieuport 17

1918 - The 94th Aero (Pursuit) squadron becomes the 1st American unit to engage in combat when Lieutenants Douglas Campbell and Alan Winslow, flying Nieuport 28's shoot down two German aeroplanes and capture the pilots.

1919 - Birth of Ján Režňák, Most succesfull Slovak WWII fighter ace who served on the Eastern front with the Axis Forces.

1921 - The Fokker FIII,  single-engined high-winged monoplane aircraft which could carry five passengers, is 1st used by KLM when they re-opened their Amsterdam-London service.

1923 - Étienne Oehmichen (French engineer and helicopter designer) sets a record with a flight of 358 m with his Oehmichen No.2 .

1927 - George Raymond Henderson establish a world altitude record of 22,178 feet for Class C-2 seaplanes with useful load

1928 - Dieudonne Costes and Joseph le Brix, with a Breguet 19GR 'Nungesser-Coli' complete their round-the-world 57,000 km trip.

1929 - Birth of William Edgar Thornton (M.D.), former NASA Astronaut.

1936 - 1st flight of the Salmson D-6 'Cricri', French conventional, parasol-wing monoplane light aircraft with fixed tailskid undercarriage and seating in tandem open cockpits for the pilot and passenger.

1936 - A Sikorsky S-43, American twin engine amphibious aircraft with a 500 kilograms (1,100 lb) payload and piloted by Boris Vasilievich Sergievsky set an altitude record for amphibious aircraft when it reached an altitude of 27,950 feet above Stamford, Connecticut. Also aboard was designer Igor Sikorsky

1938 - 1st flight of The Rogožarski IK-3, Yugoslav low-wing monoplane single seat interceptor fighter with retractable landing gear.

1939 - 1st flight of the 1st prototype Morane-Saulnier M.S.450,  French Armée de l'Air fighter aircraft.

1939 - Eugène Przysiecki lands his RWD-13,  Polish touring three-seater high-wing monoplane, in Teheran coming from Warsaw, Poland, gift of the governement for the Iranian king.

1941 - 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron carried out the RCAFs 1st offensive patrol over enemy territory.

1942 - Birth of Valentin Vitaljevich Lebedev, Soviet cosmonaut who made 2 flights into space. His stay aboard the Space Station Salyut 7 with Anatoly Berezovoy in 1982, which lasted 211 days, was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records.

1947 - The 1st of three D-558-1 Skystreaks (single-engine jet research aircraft), BuNo 37970, made its maiden flight at Muroc Army Air Field.

1948 - Official opening of Southampton's Flying Boat Terminal.

1948 - Start of Operation Sandstone, American nuclear weapon tests. Test blast 'X-Ray', a 37 kilotons bomb, detonates on Engebi Island.

1949 - 1st flight of The Helio Courier, American light C/STOL utility aircraft 

1951 - 1st flight of The Fletcher FD-25 Defender, American light ground-attack aircraft.

1952 - 1st flight of The Kamov Ka-15 (NATO reporting name Hen) , Soviet two-seat utility helicopter with coaxial rotors,  primarily used for bush patrol, agricultural purposes, and fishery control.

1953 - 1st flight of the McDonnell XF-88B, modification of the 1st prototype american long-range, twin-engine jet fighter aircraft with swept wings, with 2,500 shp (1,865 kW) Allison XT38 turboprop engine in nose, and retaining its jet engines.

1958 - Sputnik 2 falled from orbit after a mission duration of 162 days. it was the 2nd spacecraft launched into Earth orbit, and the 1st to carry a living animal, a dog named Laika.

1958 - 1st flight of The PZL-101 Gawron, Polish agricultural and utility aircraft. 

1959 - 1st flight of The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk, armed military observation and attack aircraft, designed for battlefield surveillance and light strike capabilities. It is of twin turboprop configuration, and carried two crewmembers with side by side seating. The Mohawk was intended to operate from short, unimproved runways in support of Army maneuver forces.

1959 - 1st in-flight gear change of The Bell XV-3 (Bell 200), American tiltrotor aircraft.

1960 - Death of William Wallace Whitney Christmas, American aeronaut, early aviator and aircraft designer.

1961 - Death of Leonard Horatio Slatter, South african WWI flying ace and senior RAF commander during WWII.

1962 - 1st flight of The Bristol 188, British supersonic twin engine research aircraft designed to investigate the effects of heat on aircraft structures at very high speeds. Its length, slender cross-section and intended purpose led to its being nicknamed the "Flaming Pencil"

1965 - Death of Roger Sommer, French early aviator and aircraft designer.

1965 - British United Airways Flight 1030X Douglas C-47 hit the outermost pole of the approach lighting system before crashing into a field and catching fire killing 26 over 27.  Poor visibility and low cloud cover led to an aborted landing attempt, leading to a second attempt which resulted in the crash.

1966 - Pan Am places the 1st order for the forthcoming Boeing 747

1968 - Kosmos 213, one of a series of Soviet Soyuz programme test spacecraft whose purpose was to further test and develop the passenger version, is docked in orbit.

1973 - Death of John Everard Gurdon, British WWI fighter ace who also served in WWII.

1981 – STS-1 – The 1st operational space shuttle, Columbia (OV-102) completes it's 1st test flight.

1994 - USAF F-15 Eagles shoot down two US Army UH-60 Blackhawks over Iraq, mis-identifying them as Iraqi Mil Mi-25s

1999 - Last Flight of the TU-144 (NATO reporting name: "Charger'") supersonic transport (nicknamed 'Concordsky'). project cancelled

2001 - Death of František Hanovec, Slovak WWII flying ace who served on the Eastern front with the Axis Forces until The Slovak National Uprising (armed insurrection organized by the Slovak resistance movement during WWII), High ranking officer post WWII.

2004 - Rico Linhas Aéreas flight 4815 Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia crashed on approach to Manaus, Brazil, killing all 33

2007 - 1st flight of The Comp Air CA12 , American turboprop-powered civil utility aircraft, configured as a conventional, low-wing monoplane with tricycle undercarriage.