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On This Day in Aviation History AUGUST 26 th
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1740 - Birth of Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, Brother of Jacques-Étienne, inventors of the montgolfière-style hot air balloon, globe aérostatique. The brothers succeeded in launching the 1st manned ascent.

1827 - Birth of Eugène Godard, french aeronaut.

1867 - Birth of Milan Emil Uzelac, Croatian soldier and military commander who was a leading figure in the air forces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Independent State of Croatia.

1883 - Birth of Otto Splitgerber, German WWI flying ace.

1884 - Birth of John William Aldred, British WWI flying ace 

1886 - Birth of Jerome Clarke Hunsaker, American Engineer, Aircraft and Airship designer.

1891 - Birth of Alexis Maneyrol, French aviation pioneer

1894 - Birth of Arthur Henry (Harry) Cobby, Australian leading WWI fighter ace and WWII high ranking officer.

1894 - Birth of Antonio Chiri, Italian WWI fighter ace.

1896 - Birth of Anthony Rex Arnold, British WWI flying ace.

1898 - Birth of William Boyd Elliott, Canadian WWI flying ace

1900 - Birth of Hellmuth Walter, German engineer who pioneered research into rocket engines and gas turbines.

1905 - Birth of Valerio Scarabellotto, Italian WWII bomber pilot.

1909 – French Hubert Latham flying the Antoinette IV at the 1st 'Grande semaine de l'aviation de la Champagne' near Reims, France, sets a world distance record, flying 154.6 km (96.1 mi) in 2 hours 17 minutes 21 seconds

1914 - 1st British aircraft to arrive in France after the start of WWI is a B.E.2a of No.2 Squadron RFC.

1915 - Birth of Boris Feoktistowitsch Safonow, Russian WWII fighter ace.

1918 - Death of William Carrall Hilborn, Canadian WWI flying ace, from injuries after he smashed into a tree on his new home aerodrome of Grosso, Italy, while practicing night flying with his Sopwith Camel. 

1919 - Death of Romolo Ticconi, Italian WWI flying ace, killed in a flying accident.

1921 - 1st flight of The Orenco D, American biplane fighter aircraft, 1st fighter type of completely indigenous design.

1921 - Birth of Maxime "Max" A. Faget,  American engineer, designer of the NASA Mercury capsule, and contributed to the later Gemini and Apollo spacecraft as well as the Space Shuttle.

1926 - Death of Ernest Thompson Willows, pioneer Welsh aviator and airship builder, 1st person in the United Kingdom to hold a pilots certificate for an airship, killed in a balloon accident at Hoo Park, Kempston, Bedford along with two passengers. 

1930 - Wolfgang von Gronau and crew ditch their Dornier Wal D-1422 on the Hudson river, completing the 1st east to west crossing of the Atlantic from Germany to New York.

1932 - Birth of Joe Henry Engle, USAF test pilot and NASA astronaut.

1933 - Death of Reinhold Poss, German WWI flying ace and air racer, killed with his copilot, Paul Weirich, striking a church tower while flying near Neuruppin. 

1942 - Death of Junichi Sasai, Japanese Navy WWII fighter ace, Killed in his A6M2 Zero by a Grumman F4F Wildcat over Guadalcanal while escorting Betty bombers over Henderson Field.

1942 - Birth of John Elmer Blaha, American engineer, USAF test pilot and NASA astronaut. 

1944 - Death of Toshio Kuroiwa, Japanese 2nd Sino-Japanese War fighter ace, too old to continue with combat duty he became a civilian pilot, disappearing off the Malay Peninsula in the civilian transport aircraft he was flying.

1944 - 1st flight of The Martin AM Mauler (originally BTM), US Navy shipboard attack aircraft.

1951 - The sole Handley Page HP.88, British research aircraft, built to test the aerodynamics of the Victor design, broke-up in mid-air due to a tailplane servo control system failure while carrying out a high-speed pass over Stansted.

1952 – Prototype English Electric Canberra B5 made the 1st double transatlantic crossing by a jet, with a total time of 10 hr 3 min.

1954 - The Sikorsky XH-39 (manufacturer designation S-59), U.S. Army’s 1st turbine-powered helicopter prototype set a world helicopter speed record of 155.9 mph (251 km/h).

1954 - USAF test pilot Arthur 'Kit' Murray flies the Bell X-1A to 90,443 feet, Last USAF flight, the aircraft is turned over to NACA.

1956 - Death of Roy Manzer, Canadian WWI flying ace.

1958 - Death of Gilbert Ware Murlis Green, British WWI flying ace  who served on many theaters, commanded two of the original night fighter squadrons and shot down the 1st German airplane at night over Britain.

1959 - 1st woman to attain the speed of Mach 2 is French Jacqueline Auriol, piloting a Mirage III.

1959 - Birth of Kathryn Patricia "Kay" Hire, USN pilot and NASA astronaut.

1965 - 1st flight of the Cessna Model 401, American 6 to 10 place light twin piston engine aircraft issued from the Model 411 and wich will be developped also in Model 402.

1968 - Death of Mario Pezzi, famous Italian aviator.

1969 - 1st flight of the Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner (later Fairchild Aerospace Metro), American 19-seat, pressurised, twin turboprop airliner

1971 - Death of John Leacroft, British WWI fighter ace who also served in WWII.

1972 - Death of Sir Francis Charles Chichester, British aviator and sailor

1974 - Death of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, (nicknamed "Slim", "Lucky Lindy" and "The Lone Eagle"), American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist.

1974 - Launch of Soyuz 15, Soviet manned space flight to space station Salyut 3 with presumably military objectives

1975 - 1st flight of the Cessna 441 Conquest II, 1st turboprop designed by Cessna, meant to fill the gap between their jets and piston-engined aircraft.

1975 - 1st flight of The McDonnell Douglas YC-15, American 4-engine short take-off and landing (STOL) tactical transport prototype.

1977 - Death of Jean Pierre Marie Joseph de Gaillard de la Valden, French WWI flying ace

1978 - Launch of Soyuz 31, Soviet manned space flight to the Salyut 6 space station, with Sigmund Jähn becoming the 1st German cosmonaut.

1979 - Death of Philip Gerald Cochran, American USAAC WWII pilot developed many tactical air combat, air transport, and air assault techniques.

1981 – Voyager 2 spacecraft makes its closest approach to Saturn

2002 - 1st flight of The Eclipse 500, American small 6-seat business jet aircraft

2003 - Colgan Air Flight 9446 (flight operated for US Airways Express) Beech 1900D hit the water 100 yards off of the shore of Yarmouth, Massachusetts,shortly after taking off from Barnstable Municipal Airport due to elevator trim improper replacement after maintenance, killing all 2 on board.

2007 - An overloaded Antonov An-32 owned by Agefreco Air and operated by Great Lakes Business Company crashes In Kongolo, Tanganyika District, DRC killing 13 over 15.

2009 - Aéro-Frêt Antonov An-12BK Cargo crashed into a cemetery at Brazzaville, Congo.  Eyewitnesses reported that one of the wings was on fire before the crash, and that the aircraft broke up in mid-air, Killing all 6 on board.