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JUNE20

On This Day in Aviation History JUNE 20 th
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1540 - Joao Torto, in Viseu, Portugal, builds two pairs of cloth-covered wings, an upper and lower, which are connected by iron hoops. While preparing to jump from the town's cathedral to the nearby St. Matthew's fields, he is killed when the elaborated helmet slips over his eyes and he falls onto a roof

1866 - Birth of Chuhachi Ninomiya, Japanese aviation pioneer and aircraft designer.

1892 - Birth of Charles J. "Charlie" Fern, American WWI pilot, barnstorming Hawaii aviator and newspaper pioneer, 1st commercial pilot in Hawai.

1893 - Birth of Karl Bolle, German WWI fighter ace, Instructor, Director of the German Transportation School and advisor to the Luftwaffe during WWII.

1894 - Birth of William Louis Max Herisson, French WWI fighter ace.

1894 - Birth of Charles Gossage Grey, American WWI flying ace

1895 - Birth of Ronald McNeill Keirstead, Canadian WWI flying ace who worked at Canadian Ministry of Munitions during WWII.

1897 - Percy Sinclair Pilcher is towed about 750 feet in the 'Hawk', the 4th of his hang gliders.

1897 - Birth of George Victor Learmond, Scottish WWI flying ace

1897 - Birth of Donald Edward Keyhoe, American Marine Corps naval aviator, writer of many aviation articles and stories in a variety of leading publications, and manager of the promotional tours of aviation pioneers, especially of Charles Lindbergh.

1898 - Birth of Ernest Tilton Sumpter Kelly, Canadian WWI flying ace

1908 - 1st flight of the Zeppelin LZ 4, German experimental airship.

1911 - Birth of Carina Massone Negrone, Italian aviatrix.

1913 - 1st American naval aviator killed in an airplane crash : William Devotie Billingsley , Naval Aviator No. 9, flying a Navy-Wright B-2 for instruction with John Henry Towers is thrown from the plane due to heavy turbulence. Passenger Lt. John Henry Towers stays with airplane, sustaining injuries when it hits water.

1914 – While the Austro-Hungarian airship Militärluftschiff III (or M.III) hovers over Fischamend testing new camera equipment, an Austro-Hungarian Army pilot tries to loop M.III in a Farman HF 20 biplane. The airplane strikes the top of the airship, tearing a hole and igniting the escaping hydrogen gas. Both aircraft are destroyed, and both men in the airplane and all seven men aboard M.III are killed. It is the end of the Austro-Hungarian airship program.

1918 - Death of Basile Felicien Saune, French WWI flying ace.

1918 - Death of William Reginald Guy Pearson, British WWI flying ace, killed with pupil William Smith Macfarlane in a midair collision while practising fighting against Vincent Flynn. All 3 pilots where killed

1923 - 1st flight of the Gallaudet CO-1, American 2 seat High wing monoplane single engined prototype, US army's 1st all metal aircraft.

1925 - 1st aircraft to chase a "rum-runner" is a US Cost Guard Vought UO-1 biplane.

1932 - 1st flight of the Being Model 100F, one-off commercial equivalent of the American pursuit Biplane aircraft P-12F, delivered to Pratt & Whitney for engine testing.

1933 - The 'Cuatro Vientos', a Br.19 TF Super Bidon that just made an historic flight from Spain to Cuba, disappeared after departing from Mexico. No trace of the plane and of the occupants (Mariano Barberán y Tros de Ilarduya and Joaquín Collar Serra ) were found.

1935 - Carina Massone Negrone, Italian aviatrix, reaches an altitude of 39.402 feet (12.043 m) with a rudimental oxygen bottle in a Caproni Ca.113 Biplane.

1937 - Valery Chkalov, G.F.Baidukov, A.V.Belyakov lands their Tupolev ANT-25 in  Vancouver, Washington, coming from Moscow via the north pole. A non-stop distance of 8,811 kilometers (5,475 mi). The flight pioneered the polar air route from Europe to the American Pacific Coast.

1938 - Carl Bode sets a distance record flight of 230.348km distance in a straight line with the Focke-Wulf Fw 61.

1938 - 1st flight of the Potez-Cams 160, French experimental high wing 6 engigne flying boat, 1:2.6 scale model to test the design of the 161.

1938 - 1st flight of the SNCAC NC-510, French twin engine reconnaissance, army co-operation or advanced training aircraft prototype.

1939 - 1st flight of The Heinkel He 176 with Erich Warsitz at controls, German prototype rocket-powered aircraft. World’s 1st aircraft to be propelled solely by a liquid-fuelled rocket,

1940 - French WWII flying ace James Denis, realising that the Battle of France was lost, borrowed a Farman F.222 from an airbase near Saint-Jean-d'Angély and flew to Britain with twenty of his friends, Joining the Free French Air Force.

1941 - Birth of Ulf Dietrich Merbold, German Physicist, 1st West German citizen and 2nd German native to fly in space. 

1941 - The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) , military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after WWII, is formed.

1943 - 1st flight of The Hughes D-2, American fighter bomber prototype.

1944 - The Battle of the Philippine Sea comes to an end. A decisive naval battle of World War II which effectively eliminated the Imperial Japanese Navy's ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions, Nicknamed the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" by American aviators for the severely disproportional loss ratio inflicted upon Japanese aircraft by American pilots and anti-aircraft gunners. (USA: 1 battleship damaged and 123 aircraft destroyed - Japan: 3 fleet carriers sunk, 2 oilers sunk, 550–645 aircraft destroyed, 6 other ships damaged)

1944 - Transcontinental and Western Air Flight 277 C-54 Skymaster encountered severe weather, including heavy rains, high winds, and lightning-induced radio static over New Brunswick and Maine which blew the aircraft 70 miles (110 km) off course. The pilot apparently did not realize that he had been blown into mountainous territory with peaks. It crashed on Fort Mountain, in Maine's Baxter State Park killing all 7 on board. 

1945 - Birth of James Frederick Buchli, American engineer, USMC Pilot and NASA astronaut.

1947 - 1st flight of The Baumann Brigadier B-250, American twin-engined monoplane light transport aircraft pusher configuration prototype.

1947 - 1st flight of the Martin 3-0-3, American pressurized passenger airliner prototype issued from the 2.0.2 and which will lead to the development of the 4.0.4.

1948 - Birth of Gary Eugene Payton, USAF Pilot and astronaut.

1950 - 1st flight of The Blackburn B-101 Beverley, British heavy transport aircraft , 4 engine high-wing cantilever monoplane with a fixed undercarriage.

1951 - 1st Orenda-powered Avro Canada CF-100 is tested at Malton, Ontario.

1951 - 1st flight of The Bell X-5, US Jet aircraft prototype, 1st aircraft capable of changing the sweep of its wings in flight.

1953 - Birth of Brian Duffy, USAF test pilot and NASA astronaut

1954 - Birth of Ilan Ramon, fighter pilot in the Israeli Air Force, and 1st Israeli astronaut.

1956 - 1st flight of The Beriev Be-10, (NATO reporting name: Mallow), Soviet jet-engined flying-boat patrol bomber of all-metal construction with the engines located beneath the wing roots and with splayed-out tailpipes.

1956 - 1st launch of The Cajun, American sounding rocket.

1956 - Linea Aeropostal Venezolana (LAV) Flight 253 Lockheed L-1049E-55 Super Constellation "Rafael Urdaneta" loss control of propeller no.2. Immediately after starting to dump fuel, the aircraft burst into flames and disintegrated 40 miles off New York, NY killing all 74

1958 - 1st flight of The Westland Wessex, British turbine-powered version of the Sikorsky S-58 "Choctaw", developed under license by Westland Aircraft.

1961 - An Avro Vulcan of No.617 Squadron, captained by Squadron Leader M.G. Beavis, takes off for the 1st non-stop flight between the United Kingdom and Australia

1964 - Civil Air Transport Flight B-908 Curtiss C-46D crashed near the village of Shenkang in western Taiwan, killing all 57 people aboard.

1966 - British pilot Sheila Scott Lands at London Heathrow , 1st round-the-world solo flight. She flew 29,000 miles (46,670 km) in stages in her Piper Comanche 'Myth Too'.

1968 - Death of Thomas 'Tommy' Rose, British WWI Flying Ace.

1973 - Aeroméxico Flight 229 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-15 crashed into the side of a mountain while on approach to Lic. Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport at Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico killing all 27 on board.

1976 - NASA Viking 1 Lander lands on Mars.

1978 - 1st flight of the Dassault-Breguet/Dornier 'Alpha Jet' B, Version for Belgium of the French twin seat jet trainer and ground attack aircraft.

1980 - 1st flight of the Beechcraft C99 Commuter, American twin-engined, unpressurized, 17-seat/15 passenger turboprop aircraft, a converted B99 fitted with P&WC PT6A34 engines.

1980 - Death of Herman R. Salmon , nicknamed "Fish", American barnstormer, air racer, and test pilot for the Lockheed Corporation, killed in the crash of a Super Constellation he was ferrying to Alaska

1981 - Death of Henri Gaston Busignies, French  electrical engineer who made major contributions to radar, radio communication, and radio navigation, helding 140 patents, many of them secret.

1983 - 1st flight of The Bombardier Dash 8, (de Havilland Canada Dash 8 or DHC-8) twin-engined, medium range, turboprop airliner.

1993 - Death of Chitoshi Isozaki, Japanese 2nd Sino-Japanese War and WWII fighter ace

1996 - Launch of STS-78, SPace Shuttle Columbia mission, 5th dedicated Life and Microgravity Spacelab mission, flown partly in preparation for the International Space Station project.

2002 - 1st flight of The Boeing Insitu ScanEagle, American small, low-cost, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for autonomous surveillance in battlefields.

2005 - Death of Bernard Adolph Schriever (Bernie Schriever), born in Germany, who after immigrating to the USA, played a major role in the USAF programs for space and ballistic missile research.

2009 - Death of  Kenneth L. Reusser, USMC aviator, considered the most decorated Marine Aviator, having flown 253 combat missions, earning 59 medals, including 2 Navy Crosses while flying in WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War, only aviator to survive being shot down in all 3 wars.

2011 - After technical problems, and unable to make the airport, a RusAir Flight 9605 Tupolev Tu 134-A3  tried to land on a road 2 km from the airport near Petrozavodsk , Karelia. The plane flipped and caught fire as it struck the ground.

2011 - Death of Robert Henry Widmer,  American aeronautical engineer who specialized in designing aircraft for the military. He led the design teams for the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon

2012 - Colin Gore flew the Gamera II at the Reckord Armory on the University of Maryland Campus for a duration of 35 seconds, setting a new world record for human powered helicopter flight duration.