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MAY01

On This Day in Aviation History MAY 1 st 
 
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1889 - Birth of Wilbert Wallace "Wilbur" White, Jr., American WWI flying ace

1892 - Birth of Ehrenfried Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld, German Aviation pioneer and initiator of the 1st trans-atlantic flight in East-West direction.

1893 - Birth of Forster Herbert Martin Maynard, New Zealand WWI flying ace, Air Officer Commanding of Malta during the early part of WWII

1896 - Birth of Paul Codos, French Raid Aviator.

1896 - Birth of William H. "Bill" McAvoy, American test pilot for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA)

1897 - Birth of Eugen Bönsch, Austro-Hungarian WWI fighter ace who also served in WWII

1898 - Birth of Karl Waldemar Ritscherle, German WWI flying ace, who served in WWII.

1899 - Birth of Stanislaw Jakub Skarzynski, Polish Air Force and aviator famous for his transatlantic solo flight in 1933, and WWII pilot. He helped in transferring Polish pilots, fleeing from Poland, through Romania to France where the Polish Air Force was recreated.

1909 - 1st official flight by a British pilot in Britain, John Moore-Brabazon (later Lord Brabazon of Tara) made a flight of 500 yards in his Voisin at Shellbeach.

1912 - 1st flight of the Avro Type F, single seat British aircraft from Avro and the first aircraft in the world to feature a completely enclosed cabin.

1916 - German Airship Schütte-Lanz SL3 is stranded near Riga as structure of the ship degraded because of atmospheric exposure.

1918 - Austro hugarian WWI fighter ace Benno Fiala Ritter von Fernbrugg flying his Albatros D.III, shoot down a Sopwith Camel, a SIA 7b and 2 balloons ont that single day.

1922 - Deruluft (Deutsch-Russische Luftverkehrs A.G., or Deruluft), joint Soviet-German airline, opens its 1st service to Moscow from Königsberg (later Kaliningrad) 

1925 - The Imperial Japanese Army Air Corps is formed.

1925 - Birth of Malcolm Scott Carpenter, American engineer, test pilot, astronaut, and aquanaut. 

1926 - 1st Flight of Spad 61SES, last version of the Bleriot S.61 , french fighter aircraft with redesigned wings, but it proved to have inferior characteristics to those of the standard Type 61-2 

1927 - 1st cooked meals on a scheduled flight are introduced on an Imperial Airways flight from London to Paris.A galley is fitted into the rear of the fuselage of the Armstrong Whitworth Argosy aircraft 'City of Birmimgham' operating the service.

1934 - Fank Akers made a hooded landing in an OJ-2 at College Park, Maryland, in the 1st demonstration of the blind landing system intended for carrier use and under development by the Washington Institute of Technology. 

1936 - RAF Training command is formed.

1940 - 1st flight of The Douglas SBD Dauntless, American WWII naval dive bomber also operated by the United States Army as the A-24 Banshee.

1942 - Squadron No. 588 of the Soviet Air Force, an all-woman night-bombing unit equipped with Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes , is formed in the USSR. Notorious for its daring low-altitude night raids on German rear-area positions, with veteran pilots Katya Ryabova and Nadya Popova on one occasion flying 18 such missions in a single night. The women pilots observed that the enemy suffered a further degree of demoralization simply due to their antagonists being female. As such, the pilots earned the nickname "Night Witches".

1942 - 1st flight of The Miles M.35 Libellula, British tandem wing fighter-sized aircraft prototype.

1945 – The U.S Navy’s mixed-propulsion Ryan FR Fireball becomes the 1st aircraft incorporating jet propulsion to qualify for use aboard aircraft carriers.

1947 - Harold Brownlow Morgan "Micky" Martin and Edward Barnes Sismore land their De Havilland Mosquito, setting a new London-Cape Town speed record, covering a distance of 6,717 miles in 21 hours 31 minutes at an average speed of 279mph.

1949 - The Air Arm, Hong Kong Defence Force is established with Royal Air Force (RAF) assistance.

1950 - 1st prototype of the De Havilland D.H.108 'Swallow'crashes. During low-speed sideslip and stall tests the 1st prototype, TG283, was lost in a crash at Hartley Wintney killing the pilot (WWII flying ace) Sqn Ldr George Eric Clifford 'Jumbo' Genders, when, after abandoning the aircraft at low altitude in an inverted spin, his parachute failed to open in time. 

1951 - US Navy A-1 Skyraiders and F4U Corsairs from USS Princeton attack the Hwachon Dam, flooding the Pukhan River

1953 - Death of Clemante Ravetto, Italian aviation Pioneer.

1954 - 1st display in a fly-past over Moscow of the Myasishchev M-4 / 3M Bomber.

1957 - An Eagle Aviation twin-engined Vickers VC.1 Viking registered G-AJBO crashed into trees near Blackbushe Airport, located in Hampshire, England

1957 - Birth of Paul David Ronney, American engineer payload specialist astronaut.

1959 – North Vietnam organizes No. 919 Transport Regiment as the 1st unit of the Vietnam People’s Air Force.

1960 - A Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, piloted by U.S. Air Force Col. Francis Gary Powers, is shot down over the Soviet Union by a surface-to-air missile (SAM). 

1963 - Jacqueline Cochran takes off from Edwards Air Force Base, California, to set a 100-km (62-mile) closed-circuit world speed record for women of 1,203.7mph in a Lockheed Starfighter.

1964 - 1st Flight of the BAC 221, British supersonic research aircraft. the Fairey Delta 2 rebuilt by British Aircraft Corporation to test the delta wing of the "Concorde".

1965 - During flight tests the YF-12As set a speed record of 2,070.101 mph (3,331.505 km/h) and an altitude record of 80,257.86 ft (24,462.6 m)

1967 - Death of Lucien Girier, French WWI pilot, raid pilot and French air force High ranking officer.

1970 - Death of Henry Adler Berliner, American aircraft and helicopter pioneer.

1975 - Death of Francis Stanley Symondson, British WWI flying ace, air racer, instructor and stunt pilot.

1982 – Operation Black Buck: The Royal Air Force attacks the Argentine Air Force during the Falklands War.

1982 – American Airlines launches AAdvantage, the first frequent flyer program in history

1990 - 1st flight of McDonnell Douglas MD 520N, developed from the Hughes 500, a civilian version of the US Army's OH-6A Cayuse/Loach

1993 - Death of Valentina Stepanovna Grizodubova, one of the 1st female pilots in the Soviet Union and WWII pilot.

1996 - 1st flight of The General Atomics ALTUS II, American unmanned aerial vehicle, designed for scientific research.

2001 - STS-100, Space Shuttle mission Endeavour to the ISS, is back on earth.

2003 - US President George W. Bush rode in the co-pilot seat of a Viking that landed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, where he delivered his "Mission Accomplished" speech announcing the end of major combat in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. That Navy flight is the only one to use the callsign "Navy One"

2006 - Death of Bruce A. Peterson, American engineer and NASA test pilot. He flew a wide variety of airplanes including the F5D-1, F-100, F-104, F-111A, B-52, NT-33A Variable Stability Trainer, the wingless lifting bodies and numerous general aviation aircraft as well as several types of helicopters and sailplanes.

2009 – Fijian airline Air Fiji ceased operations.

2010 - Death of Paul Rudolf 'Rudy' Opitz, German Glider pilot, Luftwaffe Chief test pilot for the Me-110 and the Me-163.

2011 - Operation Neptune Spear: 2 modified United States Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) carry United States Navy SEALs of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group from Jalalabad, Afghanistan, to Abbottabad, Pakistan, where they attack the compound of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.