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Today in Aviation History APRIL 23 rd
 
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1894 - Birth of Frederick Joseph Cunninghame, British WWI flying ace

1908 - Birth of Charles "Chuck" L. Sharp, JR., who led CNAC (China National Aviation Corporation ) through turbulent times in China, Burma and India. He was an outstanding and able administrator, a superior pilot and a leader of men. He was the director and supervisor of the first airlift over the "Hump,"

1911 - Yoshitoshi Tokugawa set a Japanese record with a Blériot, flying 48 miles in 1 hour 9 minutes 30 seconds.

1912 - Billy Stark returned to British Columbia with his pilot's licence and a new Curtis "Flyer." Stark took Daily Province sports editor Jim Hewitt up for a flight.  Hewitt, who was British Columbia's first air passenger, related his impression of the flight to his readers. Later that same day, Olive Stark became the first woman airplane passenger in Canada.  She sat beside her husband on the lower wing of his Curtis, bundled up against the cold, looking both proud and apprehensive

1915 - Patrick Nieson Lynch Bellinger, American pioneering US Naval aviator, climbed a Burgess-Dunne AH-10 to 10,000 feet in one hour, 19 minutes.

1917 - Death of Paul von Osterroht, German WWI flying ace, killed in his Albatros D.III by a Sopwith pup near Cambrai.

1918 - Lt Paul Baer shoots down his 5th aircraft, becoming the 1st ace of the American Expeditionary Force

1918 - Death of Kenneth William Junor, Canadian WWI flying ace, killed in his SE5.a

1919 - The North Sea Aerial Navigation Company is formed as a domestic airline, using surplus military Blackburn RT1 Kangaroo Torpedo Bombers, flying between Hounslow and Leeds.

1924 - 1st flight of The Stout 2-AT "Pullman" (or "Air Pullman"), American single engine all-metal monoplane that was used for early airline travel and air mail transport in America.

1931 - Death of Henry Michael Moody, British WWI flying ace

1935 - 1st flight of the Duverne-Saran, French 3 seat low wing twin engine monoplane.

1938 - 2 Heinkel He 116, German 4 engine long-range mail plane purchased by Manchurian Air Transport, take off from Berlin to Tokyo (a 54 hours 17 minutes flight of 15,251 km /9,477 mi) 

1941 - RCAF No. 405 (Bomber) Squadron was formed at Driffield, Yorkshire. 1st RCAF bomber squadron formed overseas and the only RCAF Pathfinder Squadron.

1942 – Baedeker Blitz – German bombers hit Exeter, Bath and York in retaliation for the British raid on Lübeck.

1942 - Colonel Caleb V. Haynes, was assigned to command the Assam-Kunming branch of the India-China Ferry, dubbed the Assam-Burma-China Command

1943 - Death of Eugène Przysiecki, polish aviator, test pilot and WWII bomber pilot, killed in his Wellington Mk X while dropping mines over St Nazaire, France.

1945 - US Navy Consolidated PB4Y Liberators of Patrol Bombing Squadron 109 launch two Bat missiles against Japanese shipping in Balikpapan harbour in Borneo, 1st use of automatic homing missiles during WWII.

1945 - Death of Hidenori Matsunaga, Japanese WWII fighter ace, Killed in action.

1946 - 1st flight of The Bell L-39-2 used by the U.S. Navy to study swept wings in its 2nd configutation with fully swept wings for the X-2 program. The USN contracted with Bell for the modification of two P-63C-5 Kingcobras which would be fitted with a pair of wings swept back at 35 degrees, with a short inboard straight section.

1947 - 1st flight of the SNCAC NC.1070, French twin engine twin boom carrier born bomber prototype.

1956 - 1st Flight of the Douglas C-133 Cargomaster, American turboprop-powered strategic airlifter.

1959 - Air Charter Limited Avro Super Trader IV (a modified Avro Tudor IV fitted with an aft cargo door and flown unpressurized), carrying twelve men and top-secret equipment for Woomera rocket range, crashed in strong winds on Mount Süphan in eastern Turkey, killing all 12.

1962 - Launch of Ranger 4, spacecraft of the Ranger program designed to transmit pictures of the lunar surface to Earth stations during a period of 10 minutes of flight prior to crashing upon the Moon

1965 - 1st delivery to an operational unit (63-8088) of a Lockheed C-141 Starlifter to the 44th Air Transport Squadron, 1501st Air Transport Wing, Travis Air Force Base, California

1967 - Launch of Soyuz 1 , manned spaceflight of the Soviet space program. Soyuz 1 was the 1st flight of the Soyuz spacecraft.

1983 - Death of Duerson "Dewey" Knight, American WWI flying ace.

1986 - A British-constructed Airship Industries Skyship 500 airship begins scheduled passenger services, flying over London's landmarks.

1988 - The MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics Department's Daedalus, human-powered aircraft that, flew a distance of 71.5 mi (115.11 km) in 3 hours, 54 minutes, from Iraklion on the island of Crete to the island of Santorini. The flight holds official FAI world records for distance and duration for human-powered aircraft.(Pilot Olympic cyclist Kanellos Kanellopoulos of Greece.)

1996 - 1st flight of The Extra EA-400, german six-seat single-engined high wing monoplane utility aircraft.

2000 - Flight GF72 operated by Gulf Air, crashed minutes after executing a go-around upon attempting landing on Runway 12 at Bahrain International Airport for the second time.

2001 - 1st flight of the Airbus A340-600, European long-range widebody four engine jet airliner.

2001 - Death of David Mathieson 'Dave' Walker, United States Navy officer and a NASA astronaut, which flew aboard four Space Shuttle missions in the 1980s and 1990s.

2005 - 1st flight of the Citation Mustang, "very light jet" (VLJ) class business jet.

2006 - Death of RNZAF Wing Commander John "Johnny" Milne Checketts, WWII Flying ace.

2008 - A T-38 crashes at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. Another crash the same year caused the Air Force to temporarily ground the aircraft.

2010 - 1st flight of LSP-3, HAL Tejas, Indian Airforce, equipped with the Hybrid MMR radar.(lightweight multirole jet fighter)

2010 - Tex Amanda Meachem (Born Brown), 92, went up flying again for the 1st time in decades in Fort Lauderdale. A former Women Air force Service Pilot from WWII, Tex (her given name) went up in an AT6 trainer aircraft like she flew in the 1940's.

2011 - 1st flight of the Mosquito 0.75, 3/4 scaled model of the famous WWII fighter bomber De Havilland Mosquito.