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On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 10th 
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1891 - Birth of Friedrich-Wilhelm "Fritz" Morzik, German WWI pilot, Sports pilot, and WWII luftwaffe high ranking officer.

1895 - Birth of Edwin Louis "Lobo" Benbow, British WWI flying ace.

1898 - Birth of David Endicott Putnam, American WWI flying Ace.

1908 - 1st flight of the Dunne D.4, British early powered glider, at Blair Atholl, Perthshire

1910 - Romanian Henri Coanda makes a brief flight in the world's 1st jet-powered aeroplane. It is powered by a 37kW (50 horse-power) Clerget piston engine driving a centrifugal air compressor.

1913 - Death of Léon Letort, early french aviator. During a meeting in Barbezieux. About to land, his engine failed and he attempted to avoid the crowd and crashed into the trees.

1914 - HMS Ark Royal is commissioned, 1st ship in history designed and built as a seaplane carrier, 1st ship with an internal hangar enclosed by her hull, and 1st with specially designed internal spaces to accommodate aviation fuel, lubricants, ordnance, and spares and machinery required for aircraft maintenance.

1915 - Death of Gaston Caudron, french aviation pioneer and aircraft designer along with his brother René, killed in the crash of the Caudron R-4 he was testing at Lyon-Bron.

1917 - 1st flight of The Junkers CL.I , German 2 seat ground-attack aircraft.

1919 - Brothers Keith Macpherson Smith and Ross Macpherson Smith, together with Sgts Bennett and Shiers (1st All-Australian crew to fly an aeroplane), lands their Vickers F.B.27 Vimy in Darwin australia after a 135 hours 55 minutes (18,170 kilometres / 11,290 miles) flight from Hounslow, Uk.

1919 - Death of Cedric Ernest "Spike" Howell, Australian WWI fighter ace, and George Henry Fraser, navigator and aircraft mechanic, Drowned at sea after a forced landing with their Martinsyde Type A Mk.I in the St George's Bay, Corfu during the England to Australia air race.

1926 – Western Canada Airways was incorporated, with headquarters in Winnipeg.

1927 - Death of Pierre-Charles Corbu, french Airliner pilot and test pilot, Killed in the crash of the transport monoplane he was testing.

1927 - 4 Supermarine Southampton flying boats of the Royal Air Force Far East Flight under the command of Group Captain H.M. Cave-Brown-Cave complete 27,000 mile cruise in Singapore  from Plymouth, UK through  Egypt, India, Australia & Japan.

1928 – 1st airmail flight between Edmonton and Winnipeg. Punch Dickins, flew the Fokker Super Universal aircraft for Western Canada Airways. He landed in what is now the Edmonton City Centre Airport carrying mail from Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon and North Battleford. 

1930 - French André Paul Vercuyse set an altitude record C.Bis Class, 4th categorie seaplane of 3461m (11355Ft) with the  Peyret-Mauboussin PMH X Bis

1933 - Charles Kingsford Smith in a Percival Gull IV  lands in Darwin, Australia flying from Lympne Aerodrome, setting a new solo flight record between England and Australia in 7 days, 4 hrs, 44 min.

1935 - SABENA Savoia-Marchetti S.73 crashed at Tatsfield, Surrey, England killing all 11.

1938 - 1st flight of The Lockheed Hudson, American-built light twin engine bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft built initially for the Royal Air Force

1941 - USAAF Boeing B17 Flying Fortress bombers, operating from the Philippines, attack Japanese shipping. This is the 1st American air offensive action WWII.

1941 - Death of Colin Purdie Kelly, Jr., American WWII bomber pilot, Killed in his B-17 Flying fortress by Zeros, 1st B-17 shot down. Kelly stayed at the controls of the badly-damaged aircraft so that the surviving crew members could bail out. Just as he and his co-pilot attempted to escape, the plane exploded.

1941 - The Royal Navy capital ships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse are sunk by Imperial Japanese Navy torpedo bombers Mitsubishi G-4M 'Betty' near Malaya.

1944 - Death of Kiichi (Ki-ichi) Oda, Japanese WWII flying ace, while returning to mainland Japan with submarine submarine I-365 which was sunk in the Bonin Islands.

1945 - Birth of Richard Michael "Mike" Mullane, USAF pilot and NASA astronaut.

1946 - 1st flight of the Avia S 92 Turbina CS 92.3, Two seat version of the Czechoslovakian built Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter.

1951 - 1st helicopter in the world to have its rotors powered by a turbine engine is a modified K-225 equipped with a Boeing 502 (YT50)

1953 - 1st flight of the The Beechcraft Super 18, larger and Improved version of the D18S, American twin engine Trainer & Utility aircraft.

1955 - 1st flight of The Ryan X-13 Vertijet (company designation Model 69), American experimental Vertical Take-Off and Landing aircraft to demonstrate the ability of a pure jet to vertically takeoff, hover, transition to horizontal forward flight, and vertically land.

1957 - 1st flight of The Aermacchi or Macchi MB-326, Italian light military jet aircraft, one of the most commercially successful aircraft of its type which set many category records.

1960 - Death of Frank Trenholm Coffyn, American pioneer aviator.

1967 - Death of American soul singer-song writer, record producer, arranger and talent scout Otis Redding in a plane crash near Madison, Wisconsin.

1968 - 1st flight of The Zlín Z 43, Czech four seat low-winged monoplane light aircraft, development of the two seat Zlín Z 42.

1973 - 1st flight of the Saab SH-37 Viggen, Single-seat maritime reconnaissance and strike version of the Swedish short-medium range fighter and attack aircraft.

1974 - Launch of Helios-A (or Helios-1), joint venture of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and NASA for studying solar processes.

1976 - Death of Sir Arthur Murray Longmore, British early naval aviator and high ranking RAF officer.

1977 - Launch of Soyuz 26, Soviet manned mission, used to launch the crew of Salyut 6 EO-1, 1st long duration crew on the space station Salyut 6.

1980 - Soyuz T-3, soviet space mission to space station Salyut 6, is back on earth. 

1980 - Death of Armand Jean Galliot Joseph de Turenne, French WWI fighter ace

1982 - Soyuz T-7 is back on earth.

1987 - Two prisoners escape from the maximum security Gartree prison with the aid of a hijacked Bell 206L helicopter.

1989 - The California Polytechnic State University Da Vinci III, human powered helicopter, flew for 7.1 seconds and reached a height of 20 cm

1990 - Soyuz TM-10, Russian space mission to MIR, is back on earth.

1990 - STS-35, NASA space shuttle Columbia mission is back on earth.

1995 - Death of Moye Wicks Stephens, American aviation pioneer, businessman and co-founder of Northrop Aircraft, Inc.

1998 - 1st flight of the The Kamov Ka-60 Kasatka (model 601), Initial prototype of the  Russian Air Force helicopter  to be used for reconnaissance, for transporting air-assault forces, radio-electronic jamming, for special-operations missions and for various light-transport missions.

1998 - Captain Michael VandenBos of the Snowbirds aerobatic team dies in a midair collision between two CT-114 Tutors during training near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

1999 - 1st commercial flight of Ariane 5, ESA expendable launch system, Carrying the XMM-Newton X-ray observatory satellite.

2004 - Two CT-114 Tutors from Canada's Snowbirds aerobatic team collide while training near Mossbank, Saskatchewan. Captain Miles Selby is killed and Captain Chuck Mallet is injured.

2005 - Sosoliso Airlines Flight 1145 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, after a missed approach, crash-landed and bursted into flames at Port Harcourt International Airport in adverse weather - windshear, rain and lightning, killing 108 over 110.

2010 - 1st flight of the Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire-X, american unmanned autonomous helicopter to demonstrate an unmanned cargo resupply capability to the US Navy.

2011 - Aviation Technology Innovators Beechcraft 65-80 Queen Air cargo plane crashed just after take off into the Felixberto Serrano Elementary School near Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, killing at least 14 people including the three crew members on board the aircraft, and injuring over 20 people. Approximately 50 houses in the residential area were set ablaze by the subsequent fire caused by the plane crash.