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On This Day in Aviation History OCTOBER 17th
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1833 - Birth of Paul Bert, French zoologist, physiologist and politician, sometimes given the sobriquet "Father of Aviation Medicine".

1835 - Birth of Paul Haenlein, German engineer and flight pioneer.

1882 - Birth of Giulio Gavotti, Italian engineer and pilot, who fought in the Italo-Turkish War, 1st man to make an aerial bombardment, as well the 1st to perform a night mission.

1884 - Birth of James Floyd Smith, Early american aviator, aircraft designer and pioneer of parachutism. 

1889 - Birth of Pierre Théodore Weiss, French military aviator, raid pilot and French air force High ranking officer.

1889 - Birth of D'Arcy Fowlis Hilton, Canadian WWI flying ace

1894 - Birth of Francis May Simonds, American WWI flying ace

1898 - Birth of Robert Chalmers, Scottish WWI flying ace.

1905 - Birth of Andrea Zotti, Spanish war Italian flying ace.

1907 - Charles DeForest Chandler and James C. McCoy in Signal Corps Balloon No. 10 became the 1st winners of the Lahn Cup. Leaving St. Louis, their flight ended 20 hours, 15 minutes later at Walton, W. Va., after covering 473.56 miles.

1911 - 1st flight of the Schütte-Lanz airship SL1, German airship, 1st built of the Luftschiffbau Schütte-Lanz company.

1911 - Zee Yee Lee becomes the 1st Chinese pilot to qualify, Royal Aero Club certificate (No.148), flying a Bristol Boxkite on Salisbury Plain.

1913 - Zeppelin LZ18 (L2) burns while in the air due to an exploding engine suring a test flight at Johannistal. All of the 28 crew members died.

1914 - American William 'Billy' C. Robinson sets an american record distance flying 4 hours, 44 minutes over approximately 390 miles at a rate of 80 miles an hour.

1917 - Death of Arthur Gilbert Vivian Taylor (Pilot) and William Joseph Benger (observer), British WWI flying aces, from wounds just after their Bristol F.2b has been shot down in aerial combat.

1918 - Birth of John de Havilland, british test pilot, son of Geoffrey de Havilland, the famous aircraft designer and manufacturer.

1919 - COAN (Comando de Aviación Naval Argentina), Argentine Naval Aviation is formed.

1922 - 1st plane to take off from an American aircraft carrier. Virgil C. Griffin took off from the deck of the newly-commissioned carrier USS Langley in a Vought VE-7 'Bluebird'

1922 - U.S. Army's largest blimp, C-2, catches fire shortly after being removed from its hangar at Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas for a flight. Seven of eight crew aboard are injured, mostly in jumping from the craft. It made the occasion for official announcement by the Army and the Navy that the use of hydrogen would be abandoned "as speedily as possible."

1926 - Birth of Karl Gordon Henize, Ph.D., American astronomer, space scientist and NASA astronaut.

1927 - 4 Supermarine Southampton flying boats of the Royal Air Force Far East Flight under the command of Group Captain H.M. Cave-Brown-Cave leave Plymouth for a 27,000 mile cruise to Egypt, India, Australia, Japan & Singapore.

1932 - 1st flight of the Loiré 43, French high wing monoplane fighter prototype.

1933 - Birth of William 'Bill' Alison Anders, USAF Pilot, NASA astronaut, businessman, and engineer.

1936 - The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC), Australian aircraft manufacturer, is formed.

1936 - John M. Sterling flying a  Consolidated P-30 (PB-2A) wins the Mitchell Trophy race with a speed of 217.5 mph (350.2 km/h).  

1936 - 1st flight of the FMA  AeC.4, Argentinian light utility prototype aircraft, evolution of the FMA AeC.3 with improved aerodynamics

1937 - Death of Marie Paul Jules Lebaudy, French industrial and politician, early dirigible pioneer along with his brother Joseph Marie Pierre Lebaudy.

1939 - 2 Luftwaffe air raids take place on warships at Scapa Flow and the 1st enemy bombs to explode on British soil land on the Island of Hoy in the Orkneys

1940 - 1st flight of The Airspeed A.S.39 Fleet Shadower, British long-range 4 engine patrol prototype aircraft.

1943 - VMF-214 'Black Sheep Squadron' Vought F4U Corsairs leaded by Greg 'Pappy' Boyington flew from Vella Lavella to Kahili where 60 hostile aircraft were based, goading the enemy into sending up a large force. In the fierce battle that followed, 20 enemy aircraft were shot down while the Black Sheep returned to their base without loss.

1954 - A Sikorsky XH39 helicopter sets a new world altitude record for rotary wing aircraft of 7,468 metres (24,500 feet)

1956 - Birth of Mae Carol Jemison, American physician and NASA astronaut, 1st black woman to travel in space.

1958 - Aeroflot Tupolev 104A entered an area of a powerful upstream and ascended to 12.000m, crew lost control and the airplane entered a spin. It crashed Near Kanash, Russia killing all 80.

1963 - Launch of Vela 1 and Vela 2, USAF Nuclear detection surveillance satellites (along with TRS 5, Navigation technology satellite).

1967 - 1st flight of The Zlín Z 42, Czech single-engine two-seat  trainer aircraft.

1969 - Soyuz 7 is back on earth.

1973 - Death of Jean-Paul Jacques Favre de Thierrens, French WWI flying ace

1973 - Death of Bernt Balchen, American (norvegian born) pioneer polar aviator, navigator, aircraft mechanical engineer and military leader.

1974 - 1st flight of the pre-Sikorsky S-70, (UH-60A), American medium transport/utility prototype helicopter.

1977 - 4 days after it was hijacked, Lufthansa Flight 181 Boeing 737-230 Adv lands in Mogadishu, Somalia, where a team of German GSG 9 commandos later rescues all remaining hostages on board.

1977 - The US ban of the Concorde was lifted when the Supreme Court of the United States declined to overturn a lower court's ruling rejecting the Port Authority's efforts to continue the ban.

1988 - Uganda Airlines Flight 775 Boeing 707-338C crashed while attempting to land at Roma-Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy, killing 33 over 52.

2009 - Victoria Air Douglas DC-3C (C-47D) crashed in a warehouse shortly after takeoff from Manila-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL), Philippines after it experienced engine problems, killing all 4.