Home‎ > ‎DECEMBER‎ > ‎

DEC17

On This Day in Aviation History DECEMBER 17th 
Jump to December => 
(01 - 02 - 03 - 04 - 05 - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31)


1752 - Birth of André Giroud de Villette, One of the 1st man to fly.

1855 - Birth of Frank Hedges Butler, British balloonist and pioneer of flying

1887 - Birth of Ferdinand von Hiddessen, German WWI pilot and politician, 1st German to bomb Paris in WWI

1891 - Birth of Karl Emil Schäfer, German WWI fighter ace.

1892 - Birth of Leslie William Sutherland, Australian WWI flying ace (observer/Gunner) and author (Aces and Kings).

1894 - Birth of Leopoldo Eleuteri, Italian WWI flying ace

1897 - Birth of William Gosnell Tomlinson, Us navy pilot and record setter.

1903 - 1st flight of The Wright Flyer (often retrospectively referred to as Flyer I or 1903 Flyer), 1st sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight on a 36.5 metre (120 feet) flight lasting 12 seconds,  made by Wilbur Wright, Immediatly followed by Orville.

1910 - Birth of Manuel Vázquez Sagastizabal, Spanish Nationalist fighter ace of the civil war.

1915 - 1st flight of The Handley Page Type O, British early twin engine biplane bomber. At the time, it was the largest aircraft that had been built in the UK and one of the largest in the world. 

1917 - Death of Mathieu Marie Joseph Antoine Tenant de la Tour, French Aviation pioneer and WWI flying ace, killed while performing aerobatics with his SPAD XIII.

1918 - Death of William Henry Maxted, British WWI flying ace, killed in a flying accident in his Sopwith Camel.

1920 - Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T), British airline formed during WWI, 1rst airline to operate a regular international flight (between London and Paris) ran its last service.

1921 - Death of Edmund Roger Tempest, British WWI fighter ace, killed in a flying accident Near Baghdad.

1929 - Death of Arthur Gordon Jones-Williams, Welsh WWI flying ace and record setter, in the crash of his Fairey Long-range Monoplane  at Djbel Lit, Zaghaouan, Tunisia while attempting a nonstop flight from England to South Africa.

1929 - Uruguayan Tydeo Larre Borges lands his Breguet 19 TR 'Oiseau Blanc' in Maracuja (missing Natal), Brazil, coming from Sevilla, Spain, 1st south atlantic crossing by a south american.

1930 - Italian Italo Balbo takes the lead of a formation of 12  Savoia-Marchetti S.55 flying boats from Orbetello, Italy to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for his 1st transtlantic flight.

1931 - 1st flight of The Latécoère 300, French 4 tandem engine, monoplane with a parasol wing,  flying boat.

1932 - Birth of Gilbert Klopfstein, French Air force Pilot, Test pilot, creator of the 1st modern HUD and standardized system of HUD symbols so that pilots would only have to learn one system and could more easily transition between aircraft. He pioneered HUD technology in military fighter jets and helicopters, aiming to centralize critical flight data within the pilot's field of vision.

1935 - Death of USAAC Major Alfred J. Waller, WWI pilot, killed in the crash of his Consolidated PB-2A at Langley Field, Virginia.

1935 - 1st flight of The Douglas DC-3 (DST), American fixed-wing propeller-driven aircraft whose speed and range revolutionized air transport. Its lasting impact on the airline industry and WWII makes it one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made.

1938 - 1st flight of The Gregor FDB-1, Canadian biplane fighter prototype, manufactured by Canadian Car and Foundry, advanced and innovative design, incorporating all-metal construction with flush riveting, retractable undercarriage and a sleek shape,

1941 - Boyd David "Buzz" Wagner becomes the 1st USAAF WWII flying ace : while strafing a japanese airfield near Vigan, Philippines, with his Curtiss P-40, he shot down a Mitsubishi A6M Zero which had managed to take off during the attack.

1943 - Death of Joachim Kirschner, German WWII fighter ace, killed by a firing squad after having bailed out from his  Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 which was shot by a Republic P-47D Thunderbolt  over Croatia.

1944 - Richard Ira "Dick" Bong, American most successful fighter ace, scores his 40th and last victory, shooting down a Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa 'Oscar' with his P-38.

1947 - 1st flight of The Boeing Model 450 B-47 Stratojet, US long-range, six-engined, jet-powered medium bomber built to fly at high subsonic speeds and at high altitudes. 

1953 - A London to Capetown point to point record of 12 hours 21 minutes 3 seconds is established by Wing Commander G.G. Petty and Squadron Leaders J. McD. Craig and P. MacGarry in an English Electric Canberra.

1954 - 1st forward flight with rotors tilted of the Transcendental 1-G, American single-seater convertible helicopter prototype with two contra-rotating rotors located at the end of its wings which be swivelled forward to become the traction airscrews of a typical aircraft.

1955 - The Yakovlev Yak-24 'Horse', Soviet twin engine, tandem rotor transport helicopter, set two new world payload records, lifting a 2,000 kg (4,409 lb) load to 5,082 m (16,673 ft) and 4,000 kg (8,818 lb) to 2,902 m (9,521 ft).

1956 - The Dassault MD500 Mirage I, French early small all-weather interceptor fighter prototype (which will lead to the Mirage III), attained M=1.3 in level flight without rocket power and M=1.6 with the rocket lit.

1956 - 1st flight of The Grumman E-1 Tracer, American airborne early warning aircraft, derivative of the Grumman C-1 Trader.

1958 - 1st flight of The Wassmer WA-30 Bijave, French two-seat advanced training glider,  cantilever shoulder-wing monoplane with a welded steel tube fuselage covered with fabric and reinforced plastic.

1960 - A USAF Convair C-131D Samaritan crashed shortly after take-off from Munich-Riem Airport (due to fuel contamination) into a crowded two-section Munich streetcar next to the (vacant) Oktoberfest site in the downtown Ludwigsvorstadt borough. All 20 passengers and crew on board as well as 32 people on the ground were killed.

1963 - 1st flight of The Moynet 360-4 Jupiter, French small executive transport prototype aircraft in an unusual twin-push-pull, single-fuselage configuration.

1963 - 1st flight of The Lockheed C-141A Starlifter, American military strategic airlifter.

1968 - USAF  Convair C-131D Samaritan crashed shortly after take-off from Munich-Riem Airport due to fuel contamination. All 20 passengers and crew on board as well as 32 people on the ground were killed.

1973 - Pan Am Flight 110 Boeing 707-321B scheduled to fly from Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport in Rome to Beirut International Airport in Lebanon, is bombed by 5 five Palestinian terrorists, who had had taken six hostages while passengers boarded. The aircraft caught fire, killing 30 people.

1974 - 1st flight of McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50, largest version of the American twin-engine, single-aisle jet airliner

1977 - United Airlines Flight 2860 McDonnell Douglas DC-8-54AF (scheduled cargo flight) crashed into a mountain in the Wasatch Range near Kaysville, Utah, killing all 3.

1981 - 1st flight of The NAC Fieldmaster, British  turboprop powered single-engined low-winged monoplane with a fixed nosewheel undercarriage agricultural and firefighter aircraft, 1st western-built agricultural aircraft to be designed for turboprop power.

1981 - 1st flight of The NOTAR prototype (modified Hughes OH-6 Cayuse), anti-torque system equipped (controllable pressurised air release instead of a tail rotorwhich offers quieter and safer operation).

1986 - Death of Leonard Henry 'Tich' Rochford, British WWI flying ace.

1986 - Death of Alfred Williams "Nick" Carter, Canadian WWI fighter ace.

1997 - Aerosvit Flight 241 Yakovlev Yak-42 crashed into the side of Mount Pieria at 3,300 feet (1,006 m) after a missed approach into Thessaloniki in Greece, killing all 70.

1998 - 1st flight of the Dassault Falcon 900C, Evolution of the French-built corporate jet aircraft.

2001 - Death of Masajiro "Mike" Kawato, Japanese WWII fighter ace.

2001 - STS-108, space Shuttle Endeavour mission to the ISS, is back on earth

2003 - SpaceShipOne becomes the 1st privately built and manned aircraft to fly faster than the speed of sound on its 1st powered flight

2004 - 1st flight of The Antonov An-148, Russian twin engine regional jet aircraft.

2004 - My Way Airlines S.r.l., operating as MyAir.com, Italian low-cost airline, is founded.

2009 - 1st (official) flight of The Eurocopter EC175 (Avicopter Z-15), European 7-ton class medium utility helicopter.

2011  - Launch of Pléiades-HR 1A via a Russian Soyuz STA rocket out of the Guiana Space Centre, Kourou, French Guiana, very-high-resolution optical Earth-imaging satellite, Designed as a dual civil/military system to meet the space imagery requirements of European defence as well as civil and commercial needs.

2012 - GRAIL A 'Ebb' and GRAIL B 'Flow' (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL)), Nasa lunar science mission Spacecrafts to determine moo,'s interior structure, end their mission and impact the Lunar surface.