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Today in Aviation History APRIL 16 th
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1811 - 23 years old Wilhelmine Reichard is the 1st lady to take off in a balloon.

1867 – Birth of Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer

1890 - Birth of Thomas George Lanphier, Sr. american aviator and raid pilot.

1895 - Birth of August Künstle, German commercial Pilot.

1895 - Birth of Giles Noble Blennerhasset, Irish WWI fighter ace.

1896 - Birth of Wilfred Bertie "Twist" Giles, british WWI flying ace

1896 - Birth of George Ramsden Poole, british WWI flying ace

1897 - Birth of Alois Šmolík , Czechoslovakian aircraft designer (Best known aircraft was the Letov Š-28,  single-engined, two-seat reconnaissance aircraft)

1897 - Birth of Fernand Henri Chavannes, French WWI flying ace

1899 - Birth of Frederick John Shaw Britnell, British WWI flying ace. He returned to service in the RAF just before WWII.

1899 - Birth of Arthur Henry Turner, British WWI flying ace

1899 - Birth of David James Hughes, Welch WWI flying ace

1907 – Birth of Joseph-Armand Bombardier, French-Canadian inventor and businessman founder of Canadian conglomerate Bombardier, large manufacturer of regional aircraft, business jets, mass transportation equipment

1910 - Jan Kašpar made his 1st successful flight with Blériot XI and is the 1st pilot of Czech nationality.

1912 – Harriet Quimby (1st woman to gain a pilot's license in the United States) becomes the 1st woman to fly an airplane across the English Channel with a Bleriot.
Quimby took off from Dover, England, en route to Calais, France and made the flight in 59 minutes, landing about 25 miles (40 km) from Calais on a beach in Hardelot-Plage, Pas-de-Calais

1913 - 1st contest for the Schneider Trophy. Maurice Prévost wins in a Deperdussin monoplane, completing the 28 circuits of the 10 km (6.2 mile) course with an average speed of 73.63 km/h (45.75 mph)

1914 - Birth of Mark Lasarewitsch Gallai, sovietic WWII pilot, Test pilot and engineer.

1914 - The Canadian Aviation Corps is formed.

1915 - An AB-2 flying boat (Curtiss Model F) is successfully catapulted from a barge by Lieutenant Patrick Nieson Lynch Bellinger at Pensacola. The catapult used had been designed in 1913 by Naval Constructor H. C. Richardson and fabricated at the Washington Navy Yard. The success of this and subsequent launchings led to installation of the catapult aboard ships.

1922 - Taking advantage of the Treaty of Rapallo, a flying school for German pilots is set up at Lipetsk. By 1933, 450 German military pilots will have trained here.

1923 - Lt John MacReady and Lt Oakley Kelley takes off to over Dayton, ohio, to establish a new endurance record, staying aloft for 36 hours 5 minutes in a Fokker T-2, covering a distance of 2,518 miles (4,052 km).

1928 - Sir (George) Hubert Wilkins and his pilot Carl Ben Eielson lands after 20 a 20 hrs flight from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Spitsbergen. It was the 1st trans-Arctic crossing.

1929 - 1st Flight of The Short Gurnard, single-engined two-seat biplane naval fighter.

1932 - The Curtiss XP-23, single-engine biplane fighter, is Delivered and evaluated by operational fighter pilots at Wright Field.

1935 - A Pan Am Sikorsky S-42 flying boat takes off for the 1st airline flight from the continental US to Hawaii.

1940 - The sole Kimura HK-1, Japanese glider prototype to investigate the possibilities of tailless aircraft, is destroyed in a crash.

1941 - London comes under intense bomber attack, with nearly 900 tonnes of high explosive dropped on the city.

1945 - Death of Katsue Kato, Japanese WWII flying ace, killed in action in his Kawanishi N1K 'George' by F6-Fs over Amami island.

1945 - Death of Manford Croy, Jr., USAF WWII fighter pilot (credited with the 1st victory over a jet in WWII), killed in action in his P-47D.

1946 - Project Hermes : 1st V-2 launch by US Army at White Sands Proving Grounds by von Braun and General Electric.

1947 - Capt. William P. Odom (pilot),  Tex Carroll Sallee (navigator) and Milton Reynolds (owner), land their A26 'Reynolds Bombshell' at La Guardia Field, New York after a round the world flight of 78 hours 55 minutes 56 seconds.

1949 - 1st flight of the Mikoyan/Gurevich I-320 , side-by-side two-seat swept-wing fighter with the engines disposed in tandem.

1949 - 1st flight of The Lockheed F-94 Starfire, USAF 1st operational jet-powered all-weather interceptor aircraft.

1951 - 1st Flight of the Morane-Saulnier MS.733 Alcyon, French two or three-seat basic training monoplane, production version of the MS.730.

1951 - 1st flight of the SNCAN Nord-1226 'Norélan', French 3 seat single-engined low-wing cantilever monoplane with a distinctive large dihedral angle to the wings trainer prototype, re-engined version of the Nord-1221, Engine-test bed for the 240hp (179kW) Potez 6D0 inline engine.

1952 - Birth of Anatoly Kvochur, Russian aerobatics pilot and test pilot for Mikoyan Design Bureau, widely regarded as one of the best Russian pilots.

1956 - Birth of David McDowell Brown, United States Naval Captain and a NASA astronaut. He died on his 1st space flight, when the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) disintegrated during orbital reentry into the Earth's atmosphere

1958 - Death of Herbert Gardner "Tiny" Travers, British WWI flying ace, Test pilot for Blackburn Aeroplane & Manufacturing Company, Instructor, airliner pilot and who also served in WWII

1961 - 1st flight of The Beagle A.109 Airedale, British high wing light civil aircraft.

1959 - Birth of Michael Reed Barratt, American physician and a NASA astronaut. 

1969 - 1st flight of The Let L-410 Turbolet, Czech twin-engined short-range transport aircraft.

1969 - Alvin Marks lands his Cessna 210 Centurion 'Semper Fl II' in Sacramento, California, after a round the world flight of 23,356-mile in 13 days, 8 hours, and 41 minutes. 

1969 - 1st flight of the Bell 212 'Twin Two-Twelve', Civil version of the  american two-blade, twin-engine, medium helicopter. 

1972 – Launch of Apollo 16 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. 10th manned mission in American Apollo space program, 5th mission to land on the Moon and the 1st to land in a highlands area. Featuring a Lunar Rover, it brought back 94.7 kg of lunar samples.

1974 - Death of Gustave Victorin Daladier, French WWI fighter ace

1978 - Death of Gustave Naudin, French WWI flying ace

1980 - A contract was signed at CFB Uplands for 173 CF-18A Hornet fighter aircraft.

1988 - Death of Louis José Lucien Dolhem, French racing driver, half brother of Formula One driver Didier Pironi, killed in the crash of his plane at St Etienne, France.

1988 - 1st flight of The T-45 Goshawk, highly modified version of the BAE Hawk, land-based training jet aircraft. The T-45 is used by the United States Navy as an aircraft carrier-capable trainer.

1988 - Death of George Robert Howsam, Canadian WWI fighter ace, who served as Director of Training for the RCAF in WWII

1994 - A Sea Harrier of the 801 Naval Air Squadron operating from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal was brought down by a SA-7 Grail fired by Army of Republika Srpska while attempting to bomb two Serbian tanks. The pilot, Lieutenant Nick Richardson ejected and landed in the territory controlled by friendly Bosnian Muslims.

2002 - Launch of NSS-7, Netherlands communications satellite.