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JAN20

On This Day in Aviation History January 20 th
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1888 - Birth of Jens Tryggve Herman Gran, Norwegian aviator, explorer and author, 1st pilot to cross the North Sea.

1889 - Birth of Alfred Mohr, German WWI flying ace

1889 - Birth of Allan Haines Loughead, later changed to Allan Haines Lockheed, American aviation pioneer and engineer. He formed the Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company along with his brother, Malcolm Loughead that became Lockheed Corporation.

1890 - Birth of Pierre Henri Edmond Dufaur de Gavardie, French WWI flying ace

1890 - Birth of Arthur Whitehair "Wiggy" Vigers, British WWI fighter ace, 3d ranking of theaces who flew the Sopwith Dolphin.

1892 - Birth of Ludwig Hanstein, German WWI fighter ace.

1893 - Birth of Howard John Thomas Saint, Welsch WWI flying ace

1896 - Birth of Henry Eric Dolan, British WWI flying ace.

1896 - Birth of James Dudley Beane, American WWI flying ace

1913 - Birth of Gheorghe Popescu-Ciocanel, Romanian WWII fighter ace

1913 - Attempting to establish a new women's altitude record, Bernetta Miller is covered with oil and temporarily blinded when her oil flow indicator smashes. She makes a safe emergency landing in New York.

1920 - Birth of Ferruccio Serafini, WWII italian fighter ace.

1928 - 1st flight of the Blériot Bl-127/3, French twin engine night Bomber prototype.

1928 - Death of George Augustine Taylor, Australian artist, journalist, and aviation pioneer,1st person in Australia to fly in a heavier-than-air craft.

1930 - Birth of Buzz Aldrin (born Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr.), American mechanical engineer, USAF pilot and astronaut who was the Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 11, 1st manned lunar landing in history.

1932 - Imperial Airways' Handley Page H.P.42 'Helena' leaves Croydon, England, for Paris on the 1st leg of the company's new mail service to Cape Town. 

1933 - Consolidated P-30 prototype XA-11 attack version crashed during flight testing at Wright Field, Dayton, killing  Lieut. Irvin Alberta 'Bert' Woodring.

1934 - 1st flight of The Boeing YP-29 (originated as the Model 264), US Fighter prototype, fully-cantilever wings, wing flaps, enclosed "greenhouse" canopy, and retractable undercarriage.

1938 - 1st flight of the Latécoère 523, 6 engine high wing monoplane reconnaissance Flying boat for the French Navy, Based on the 521, variant of the 522 airliner.

1938 - A Flight Refuelling Ltd Armstrong Whitworth AW.23 refuels an Imperial Airways Short Empire over Southampton Water

1940 - 1st flight of the Arsenal VG-34, French light fighter aircraft prototype developped from the VG-33.

1940 - 1st flight of the Breguet 694, French 3-seat twin engine reconnaissance aircraft prototype based on the Breguet 693, 2-seat attack bomber.

1940 - The Brazilian Air Force, originally founded in 1908 as the Brazilian Army Balloon Corp, adopts its current title, Fôrça Aeréa Brasileira.

1941 - Death of Frederick Erastus Humphreys, American aviator, one of the original three military pilots trained by the Wright brothers and the 1st to fly solo.

1948 - Birth of Jerry Lynn Ross, USAF pilot and NASA astronaut.

1949 - 1st flight of The Martin MGM-1 Matador, 1st operational surface-to-surface cruise missile built by the US, similar in concept to the German V-1, but which included a radio link that allowed in-flight course corrections.

1952 - Death of Ronald Malcolm Fletcher, British WWI observer/gunner ace in two-seater fighters in conjunction with his pilot, Lt. S.F.H. Thompson.

1958 - 1st flight of the Nord Aviation 3400 'Norbarbe', French twin seat High wing single engined observation and casualty-evacuation aircraft.

1959 - 1st flight of The Vickers Type 950 Vanguard, British short/medium-range turboprop airliner, development of the Vickers Viscount.

1964 - 1st flight of the production prototype of the Beechcraft designated Model 90 King Air.

1965 - Death of Friedrich Hefty, Austro-Hungarian WWI flying ace.

1965 - Death of Ludwig "Lutz" Beckmann, German WWI flying ace and WWII Luftwaffe flying officer.

1969 - Death of Arthur Eyguem De Montaigne 'Jacko' Jarvis, Canadian WWI flying ace.

1971 - 1st flight of the Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye, American all-weather, aircraft carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft, evolution of the E-2A and E-2B.

1974 - 1st 'accidental' flight of the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, US multirole jet fighter aircraft, during a high-speed taxi test. While gathering speed, a roll-control oscillation caused a fin of the port-side wingtip-mounted missile and then the starboard stabilator to scrape the ground, and the aircraft then began to veer off the runway. The GD test pilot, Phil Oestricher, decided to lift off to avoid crashing the machine, and safely landed it six minutes later.

1975 - A Boeing 707, commandered by three terrorists and flown by a crew of Air France volunteers, lands in Baghdad, Iraq. The terrorists forced the French airline to fly them out of Paris by taking ten travelers hostage yesterday, at Orly airport.

1975 - Death of Howard Burdick, American WWI flying ace.

1977 - Death of Ernest Archibald "Ernie" McNab, Canadian WWII fighter pilot, 1st scoring pilot for the RCAF in WWII.

1980 - Death of André Dubonnet, French WWI flying ace, WWII fighter pilot, athlete, racecar driver, and inventor.

1988 - Death of Robert Miles Todd, American WWI flying ace.

1990 - STS-32, Space Shuttle Columbia mission, is back on earth.

1990 - North American Airlines, American airline, begins operations.

1992 – Air Inter Flight 148 Airbus A320-111 crashes near Strasbourg, France, killing 82 passengers and 5 crew.

1994 - Launch of GALS, Russian communication satellite, for Chinese TV broadcast.

1996 - STS-72, Space shuttle mission, recovers in space the Japanese spacecraft 'Space Flyer Unit' and lands back on earth.

1997 - A new balloon absolute distance record of 16,722 kilometres (10,363 miles) is set by Steve Fossett, during his unsuccessful non-stop, round the world flight, which he is forced to abandon in India

2011 - Launch of Elektro-L No.1 , also known as Geostationary Operational Meteorological Satellite No.2 or GOMS No.2, Russian geostationary weather satellite

2011 - Launch of SA-224, also known as NRO Launch 49 (NRO L-49), American reconnaissance satellite.

2012 - Launch of WGS-4, (Wideband Global SATCOM system) American high capacity satellite communications system .