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On This Day in Aviation History APRIL 27 th
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1839 - John Wise, an American, introduces the balloon ripping-panel, a glued section that the pilot can pull open for quick emptying of the balloon after landing. This prevents the balloon from being dragged along the ground

1887 - Birth of John Steele Ralston, Scottish WWI flying ace

1889 - Birth of William Charles Campbell, Scottish WWI fighter ace, notable balloon buster and instructor.

1894 - Birth of Alexander Walker Merchant, Scottish WWI flying ace

1894 - Birth of Lewis Ewart Whitehead, British WWI flying ace

1895 - Birth of Daniel Murray Bayne "Nigger" Galbraith, Canadian WWI flying ace, 

1897 - Birth of Elsa Andersson, Sweden's 1st female aviator and stunt parachutist.

1905 - Under the supervision of Samuel F. Cody, Sappy Moreton of the British Army's Balloon Section reaches 2,600 feet beneath a mancarrying kite in Aldershot, England.

1910 - Frenchman Louis Paulhan takes off his Farman III in the London to Manchester air race, marking the 1st long-distance aeroplane race in England, the 1st take-off of a heavier-than-air machine at night, and the 1st powered flight into Manchester from outside the city.

1913 - In a floatplane, Robert Grant Fowler makes the 1st flight with a passenger in Central America (and the 1st flight in Panama) when he flies with film cameraman Raymond Duhem from the Atlantic to the Pacific, flying 40 miles across the Panama isthmus in 57 minutes. En route, Duhem makes the 1st aerial film of Central America.

1918 - The 1st of three prototypes of the Sopwith T.F.2 Salamander, British ground attack aircraft, was flown.

1922 - Birth of Sheila Scott,(Sheila Christine Hopkins), English aviatrix.

1928 - Death of Alessandro Guidoni while testing a new type of parachute. He was a general of the Regia Aeronautica,

1929 - Squadron Leader A.G. Jones-Williams and Flight Lieutenant N.H. Jenkins complete the 1st non-stop flight from England to India; they fly the 4,130 miles in 50 hours, 37 minutes in a Fairey Long-Range Monoplane

1929 - 1st flight of the SPAD S-61/9, French single engine, biplane singlke seat racer prototype, evolution of the S-61 Fighter for the Michelin Cup.

1930 - Stunt flyer Milton Cobert crashes in the crowd at an airfield at Fayetteville, Tenn.

1931 - Death of Frederick Ernest Luff, American WWI flying ace

1932 - Imperial Airways commences a regular passenger service to Cape Town.

1933 - Stanislaw Skarzynski takes off for a Warsaw - Rio de Janeiro flight with a RWD-5bis, small single-seater Polish tourist airplane.

1933 - Death of  William Geoffrey Hanson Salmond, senior commander in the Royal Flying Corps during WWI and high ranking officer postwar.

1934 - 1st flight of the Bücker Bü 131 "Jungmann", basic training aircraft which was used by the Luftwaffe during WWII.

1934 - 1st flight of The Stinson Model A, American 3 engine low wing monoplane airliner, one of the last commercial airliners designed in the USA with a fabric-covered steel tube fuselage.

1940 - Since the metal was needed for other aircraft, airships LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin , LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II and framework of LZ 131 are cutted in pieces.

1941 – Evacuating British troops from Greece, the Dutch troopship Slamat is sunk by German Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers. The British destroyers HMS Diamond and HMS Wryneck rescue 700 survivors before themselves being sunk by the Stukas. Only 60 - 50 men ultimately survive from the three ships.

1942 - Birth of Valeri Vladimirovich Polyakov, former Russian cosmonaut. He holds the record for the longest spaceflight in human history, staying aboard the Mir space station for more than 14 months (437 days 18 hours) during one trip. His combined space experience is more than 22 months

1943 - RCAF No. 405 (Bomber) Squadron, now transferred to No. 8 Pathfinder Group (RAF), carried out its 1st Pathfinder operation.

1944 - Gloster Meteor F9/40 (Prototype) DG205 crashed after 80 hours of flight, (structural failure). 

1945 - 1st Flight of The Pilatus P-2, trainer aircraft designed by Swiss manufacturer Pilatus

1946 - 1st hover flight of the McDonnell XHJH Whirlaway, American experimental twin-rotor helicopter, 1st successful twin-engined, twin rotor helicopter.

1946 - American Airlines and United Air Lines introduced the DC-6.

1947 - 1st flight of the Brochet MB-50 'Pipistrelle', French single seat parasol wing light sporting aircraft

1950 - 1st flight of the Dassault MD-312 'Flamant' II,  French light twin-engined transport airplane 

1951 - Death of Acheson Gosford Goulding, Canadian WWI flying ace and WWII instructor.

1952 - 1st Flight of The Tupolev Tu-16 'Badger', twin-engine jet bomber used by the Soviet Union.

1953 - Birth of Ellen Louise Shulman Baker, American physician and NASA astronaut.

1953 - 1st flight of the Doman LZ-5, American utility helicopter prototype.

1954 - 1st flight of The Supermarine Type 525, British prototype naval jet fighter aircraft.

1958 - 1st flight of the de Havilland DH 106 Comet 4, British commercial jet airliner, further improvement on the stretched Comet 3 with even greater fuel capacity.

1961 - 1st flight of the Legrand-Simon LS-60, French single engine, high wing monoplane seating two side-by-side light trainer aircraft prototype.

1965 – Ryan XV-5A Vertifan, 62-4505, noses over from 800 feet (244 m) and crashes at Edwards AFB, California, during a demonstration in front of several hundred reporters, military personnel, and civilians. Ryan test pilot Willis Louis "Lou" Everett, flying at 180 knots, prepares to transition from conventional flight to fan mode but the aircraft unexpectedly pitches down. Everett attempts low-altitude ejection but seat fails, his chute snags on the high tail, and he is killed.

1967 - A-6 Intruders and A-4 Skyhawks raid Kep Airfield in North Vietnam, striking MiGs on the ground.

1972 - USAF F-4 Phantoms finally destroy the Thanh Hoa Railroad and Highway Bridge in North Vietnam with laser-guided bombs. The bridge had withstood numerous air attacks sine April 1965.

1972 - Apollo 16, American mission to the moon, is back on earth, bringing back 94.7 kg of lunar samples.

1974 - An Aeroflot Ilyushin 18V crashed shortly after takeoff from Leningrad-Pulkovo Airport after Engine nr.4 suffered a catastrophic failure of the turbine disc of the third stage of the compressor killing all 109 on board.

1975 - Death of John B. McKay, civilian research pilot and aeronautical engineer , one of the 1st pilots assigned to the X-15 flight research program at NASA.

1976 - American Airlines Flight 625, a Boeing 727, crashed at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. It overran the departure end of Runway 9 when landing at the Harry S Truman airport. The aircraft struck an Instrument Landing System antenna, crashed through a chain link fence, and traveled another 1,040 feet (320 m) until stopped by a building.

1977 - Aviateca Convair 240 crash near Guatemala City. During the initial climb to cruise altitude the number one engine suffered a failure due to oil exhaustion.

1980 - Thai Airways Flight 231 Hawker Siddeley HS 748 stalled and crashed after entering a thunderstorm on approach to Bangkok, killing 44 over 53.

1982 - CAAC Flight 3303 Hawker Siddeley Trident on approach to  Guilin Qi Feng Ling airport in heavy rain crashed into a mountain near the town of Yangshuo, China, killing all 112.

1984 - 1st flight of the Gardan GY-120, French 2 tandem seat, single engine, parasol wing, ultralight aircraft prototype.

1986 - 1st flight of The Partenavia P.86 Mosquito, Italian two-seat civil trainer prototype aircraft, high-wing monoplane of pod-and-boom construction with tricycle undercarriage and a twin tail that accommodated the student and instructor side-by-side.

1989 - Soyuz TM-7 is back on earth.

1991 - 1st flight of The Eurocopter Tiger, European consortium four-bladed, twin-engined attack helicopter 

1993 - Zambian Air Force De Havilland Canada DHC-5D Buffalo ditched into the Atlantic Ocean about 500 metres (547 yards) offshore from Libreville, Gabon. The flight was carrying most of the Zambian national football team to a FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Senegal in Dakar. All 25 passengers and five crew members were killed.

1995 - Death of Sylvester Joseph "Steve" Wittman, American air-racer and aircraft designer.

2002 - The last successful reception of telemetry was received from Pioneer 10, 1st probe to travel through the asteroid belt and the first to make direct observations of Jupiter.

2005 – The superjumbo jet aircraft Airbus A380, European long-range widebody four engine jet airliner, makes its 1st flight from Toulouse, France.

2006 - Launch of Yaogan 1 (JB-5-1), Chinese reconnaissance satellite, 1st Chinese synthetic aperture radar military surveillance satellite..

2007 - Lion Air received the 1st The 1st 737-900ER in a special dual paint scheme combining the Lion Air lion on the vertical stabilizer and the Boeing livery colors on the fuselage.

2007 - A Russian military Mil Mi-8 helicopter carrying special forces and officers crashed in southern Chechen mountains, killing all 20

2008 - Eos Airlines, American all-business class airline, ceased operations.

2011 - 1st flight of The Boeing Phantom Ray, American flying wing demonstration stealth UCAV, at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

2012 - A team of scientists staged an airplane crash near Mexicali, Mexico. An unmanned Boeing 727-200, fitted with numerous cameras, crash-test dummies and other scientific instruments, was flown into the ground. The exercise was filmed for television.