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On This Day in Aviation History January 18 th
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1882 - Birth of Gaston Caudron, french aviation pioneer and aircraft designer along with his brother René.

1888 - Birth of Sir Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith, English aviation pioneer, founder of the Sopwith Aviation Company and yachtman.

1891 - Birth of Herbert Wilhelm Franz Knappe, German WWI flying ace

1893 - Birth of Dr. Wolfgang Benjamin Klemperer, German prominent aviation and aerospace scientist and engineer, who ranks among the pioneers of early aviation.

1893 - Birth of Douglas Evan Cameron, British WWI flying ace

1906 - The Zeppelin LZ2 is destroyed in a gale the day after its 1st flight.

1911 - Eugene B. Ely makes the 1st landing by an aircraft on a ship when he flies his Curtiss Model D pusher biplane from Selfridge Field near San Francisco to a specially prepared wooden deck on the stern of the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania.

1913 - Birth of Wing Commander George Cecil Unwin DSO, DFM & Bar, British WWII fighter ace.

1916 - Birth of Giorgio Savoja (Savoia), Italian WWII fighter pilot.

1916 - 1st flight (complete one) of The Junkers J 1, German experimental aircraft and world's 1st practical all-metal aircraft. 

1918 - Birth of Frederick C. Bock, WWII pilot who took part in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945, flying the B-29 bomber 'The Great Artist'

1920 - Death of Albert René Chabrier, French WWI flying ace

1921 - 1st flight of the production version of The Dewoitine D.1 , French single-seat fighter aircraft and 1st plane designed by Emile Dewoitine, high-wing monoplane, with a metal oval-section fuselage with duralumin sheet skinning, and a metal strut-braced parasol wing with fabric covering.

1930 - Death of Tommaso (Tomaso) Dal Molin, Italian pilot in the crash of his seaplane racer Savoia-Marchetti S.65 on Lake Garda.

1935 - 1st flight of The Blohm & Voss Ha 137, German single seat ground-attack prototype aircraft with a fixed landing gear and an inverted gull wing, very similar to the Ju-87.

1936 - 1st flight of the Amiot 144, French twin engine 5 seat bomber.

1944 - Death of Eugene Jules Emile Camplan, French WWI flying ace

1949 - 1st flight of the Westland Wyvern TF.Mk.2,  Turboprop version of the British single-seat carrier-based multi-role strike aircraft. 

1957 - End of Operation Power Flite, 3 B-52B aircrafts of the 93rd Bombardment Wing of the 15th Air Force lands at March Air Force Base near Riverside, California after flying for a total of 45 hours and 19 minutes, 1st jet aircrafts to circle the world nonstop

1958 - Birth of Jeffrey Nels Williams, USAF test pilot and NASA astronaut

1960 – Capital Airlines Flight 20 Vickers 745D Viscount crashes into a farm in Charles City County, Virginia, killing all 50 aboard.

1962 - 1st flight of the Westland Wessex HC. Mk 2, High-performance development of the Mk 1,  British turbine-powered version of the Sikorsky S-58 "Choctaw".

1965 - Death of Charles Marie Joseph Leon Nuville, French WWI fighter ace and WWII officer.

1965 - 1st flight of the Sud Aviation 'Caravelle' 10R, Reengined version of the french short/medium-range jet airliner

1966 - Death of Henry Charles Biard, British early aviator, WWI instructor and pilot, post WWI air racer who also served in WWII.

1969 - Soyuz 5 reenters earth.

1969 – United Airlines Flight 266 Boeing 727-22C crashes into Santa Monica Bay killing all 32 passengers and six crew members.

1973 - Results of the USAF A-X fly-off announced, with the Fairchild YA-10 selected over the Northrop YA-9.

1977 - A Yugoslav Government Learjet 25B crashed on the Inac mountain near Kreševo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in poor weather Killing all 8 on board including  prime minister of Yugoslavia Džemal Bijedic.

1979 - Death of Giovanni Ballestra, Italian Air Force pilot, not bailing out of his F-104 Starfighter on fire in order to avoid victims in a high denisity population zone.

1981 - Bell Helicopters delivered its 25.000th helicopter, a Model 222, to Omniflight Helicopters.

1982 - Death of Josef Mai, German WWI fighter ace and WWII instructor.

1982 - 4 Northrop T-38A Talon of the USAF aerobatic team 'Thunderbirds' crashed at Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, Nevada (now Creech Air Force Base) during operational training. The pilots were practicing the four-plane line abreast loop, in which the aircraft climb in side-by-side formation several thousand feet, pull over in a slow, backward loop, and descend at more than 400 mph. The planes were meant to level off at about 100 feet (30 m); Instead, the formation struck the ground at high speed.

1985 - CAAC Antonov AN-24B Crashed while performing a missed approach in drizzle and fog at Jinan Airport, China, Killing 38 over 41

1986 - Aerovias Guatemala Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle III crashed in the jungle 8 km (5 mls) from Flores (Guatemala) after two missed approaches, killing all 87 occupants.

1986 - STS-61-C Space Shuttle Columbia returns on earth, last shuttle mission before the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

1988 - China Southwest Airlines Flight 4146 Ilyushin Il-18D crashed near Chongqing, China, after No 4 engine (the outer engine on the right wing) caught fire. The fire burned the engine mount and the engine fell off the aircraft's wing causing a loss of control. All 108 on board were killed.

1991 - Eastern Air Lines is dissolved after 64 years of operation. Many of its remaining assets are parceled out to American and Continental.

2001 - 1st flight of the Sikorsky S-70B-28, development of the SH-60B "Sea Hawk", American utility helicopter, for the Turkish Navy.

2009 - Death of James Elms Swett, USMC WWII fighter ace.